Darwin Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Darwin is the capital of the Northern Territory, in a place Australian’s like call, “The
Top End”. Situated at the edge of the Timor Sea, the
city is closer to Bali than to Australia’s other major capitals. Traditionally the home of the Larrakia People, Darwin was settled by Europeans in 1869. The city’s isolation has meant that it’s
population has always been low, and that’s just the way locals like it. Darwin is very much a gateway city. It’s
the gateway to wild outback adventures, …it’s the gateway to the Aboriginal Dreamtime, …and, it’s the gateway to a relaxed state
of mind that you can only appreciate once you’re here. On Thursdays and Sundays, half the city gathers
at the Mindil Beach Markets. Here, the aroma’s of cuisines from all over the
world mix together under the tropical sky, creating the perfect essence of todays multicultural
Darwin. At sunset, head down to the beach for the best show in
town, as the sun dips into the Arafura Sea. Then catch a double feature under the stars
at another local institution, the Deck Chair Cinema. But life here hasn’t always been this easy
going. During The Second World War, Japanese warplanes
dropped more bombs on Darwin than on Pearl Harbor. You can learn more about and those dark days,
and about the city’s ongoing military significance, at the Defense of Darwin Experience, and the
Australian Aviation Heritage Centre. At the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery, learn how Darwin was tragically flattened
again in 1974, this time by Mother Nature. The Museum and
Art Gallery is also the perfect introduction into local cultures, and the Territory’s unique natural environment.
While you’re here, say hello to Sweetheart, a rogue croc that
developed a taste for small aluminum boats before he was finally caught. Sweetheart’s much quieter these days, but you can still experience the awesome power
of Australia’s salt and freshwater crocs at Crocodylus Park. Just a fifteen-minute drive from Darwin, the
park is home to over 1000 crocs, from hatchlings to adults weighing over half
a tone. But to get close, real close, make tracks to Crocosaurus Cove,
right in the heart of the city. Have a go at feeding the crocs, or better still, climb into the Cage of Death
and be lowered into a tank with some of the largest captive salties on
the planet. Of course, seeing crocs in captivity is just
a little Top-End taster. For the best holiday snaps of all, hit the
road to adventure. There’s over 60 national parks in the Northern
Territory; 20 in the Darwin region alone. If you ask a local for their favorite, chances are they’ll quietly point you in
the direction of Litchfield National Park. Just an hour and a half from Darwin, Litchfield is set around a sandstone plateau,
criss-crossed by deep, narrow gorges filled monsoon forests and croc-free
swimming holes. On your way into the park, stop to check out
the Magnetic and Cathedral termite mounds. And when it’s time to cool off , immerse
yourself in the pure refreshing waters of Buley Rockhole, a series of pools which cascade down the hillside
to spectacular Florence Falls. A little further into the park, are Tolmer
and Wangi Falls. Step into the primordial waters and let your worries float away, then climb into the stone country above, and
let your spirit drift off into a land that time forgot. But if you want to step further back in time,
into a place the Australia’s aboriginal People know as the Dreamtime, head to Kakadu. Half the size of Switzerland
and home to one-third of Australia’s bird species and some of
the world’s oldest art galleries, Kakadu is more than a national park, it’s
a national treasure. Whether you’ve explored The Outback for
a few days or a few months, there comes a time where everyone begins to
long for the creature comforts of the city. And this is where Darwin comes into it’s
own, it’s the perfect gateway back into the world, and not just any world, but the way the world
should be big hearted, relaxed, and forever connected to the rhythms of nature, and, the human spirit.

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