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WOW! What a place! A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of visiting Darwin for the first time. I don’t really know what I expected but it wasn’t this. Darwin is tropical, hot, full of palm trees and beautiful teal-coloured water. Being August, the humidity wasn’t horrible, but it was HOT. I mean, I love the heat, so this was right up my alley coming from, Brisbane winter. We absolutely loved the town, it very much is a holiday destination for those looking for some sun and some relaxation.
CAGE OF DEATH AKA SWIMMING WITH CROCS
If you are in Darwin, you definitely have to tick this one off your bucket list. The croc dive is located in Crocasaurus Cove in the heart of the city and what an awesome experience it was. I mean the name is “Cage of Death”, so I mean it immediately entices you in, right?! We dived with Leo, one of the “favourite” crocs of the team, and boy did he deliver! You are placed in a Perspex, very thick plastic, cage and brought up and across to the croc pool. To be honest, it felt like a scene from Hunger Games when Katniss was in the glass pod when the countdown to the games begun. Once you are in the correct position, they begin to LOWER you into the water. There are small little holes at the bottom of the cage that allow water to pool inside, but you can always stand or kneel in the water as the cage does not fill up. You have the ability to dive under the water with your goggles on and get cool photos from the photographer who positions themselves underneath at a viewing window for a series of underwater photos and then they will come up to the top and get some photos of you whilst they FEED the croc. Leo was an active croc, he began biting the bottom of our cage as we were lowering in. It was the funniest yet scariest moment of our lives! Life flashed before our eyes! But once we were settled in the water, it was great. Seeing the croc so close was unreal and such a cool experience. Leo wasn’t so interested in his “food”, I think he was more interested in US being food, so he circled our cage most of the time. Thank god for the cage, hey! I did give him a sneaky kiss, though.
Apparently Crocodylus park is even better in terms of croc and animal attractions but is about 15 mins out of town, so if you have time then I’ve heard it’s worth the trip!
The Adelaide River Queen Cruise is also meant to be incredible! Get on this one if you want to see some croc jumping as well as crocs in their natural habitat! Be careful not to fall in.
The street art around Darwin is next level. It is so beautiful and such a giant area to explore. We only got to explore a small part of this but I definitely recommend finding all the hot spots and doing a tour of them because the artwork is incredible. The left side of the photo above shows Jess standing near a large wall painting where the little van that is painted is actually a green electrical box they have painted to look like a van. Very cool.
FOOD & DRINK
There is something about laksa in Darwin, it is a huge thing. Being one of the hottest places in Australia it’s a strange concept as why on earth would you want hot spicy laksa in that heat! But alas, its huge. Apparently, Mary’s has been serving laksa for over 20 years in Darwin and it has become a “Must do in Darwin”. The proximity to Southeast Asia and the high immigration rate over to Darwin means the cuisine has travelled too and the Asian cuisines are vast and FABULOUS. Darwin has made laksa a local delicacy and is now thought to be the laksa capital of Australia.
WHERE TO FIND THE BEST ONE:
Mary’s @ Parap markets on Saturday
The line for this place was mental! Apparently, all the ramen hype in Darwin started with Mary’s so the market stall is a hit. People wait in line for ages just to devour this yummy laksa.
CHOWS! A taste of Southeast Asia
This was the best laksa we tried (we didn’t get a taste of Mary’s laksa, unfortunately), so if you are around Darwin get on this one! They do their own delivery via the website too so its perfect if you don’t want to leave your apartment.
YUM! We were recommended this place by a few people, and it did not disappoint! My recommendations: the kangaroo, lamb strips and the roast pumpkin with blue cheese sauce. 🤤 The kangaroo… I was certainly hesitant, but I had heard good things and WOW! One of the nicest pieces of meat I have EVER had. It was tender & delicious.
We didn’t get to try this delicious drink station, but it was on the list of a number of people. They have everything from bubble tea and milk tea to juices, shakes and coffee! And it looks super cute and instaworthy so great spot to stop into.
AND if you feel like a drink with a view, head to the waterfront precinct and enjoy a WIDE range of choices, from the Oyster bar to The Precinct… It is the place to be!
Thursday night markets – Mindil Street sunset markets
Unfortunately, we didn’t get to attend this market as the timing didn’t align, but everyone we spoke to recommend this place for its beautiful sunset and gorgeous market. This market is said to be more clothing, knickknacks, homewares and art centered.
Parap markets on Saturday
This is more of a food-style market, but HOLY YUM! There is everything from authentic Asian cuisine to street food to laksa to the freshest mangoes and fruit you have ever seen. If you have the stomach capacity, get Mary’s laksa, some dim sums & samosas and a mango smoothie, oooooooo DELISH.
Darwin Highlights Round up – things to note:
- Only swim in areas you know you are allowed to! There are spots in town you can swim included the man-made beaches which places to relax or blow-up slides and obstacle courses if you feel like doing some water sports.
- Darwin is also known as the sweatiest city. The humidity can be extremely high closer to the wet season and the temps anywhere between 32-40 °C. The weather rarely goes under 30 °C during the day. Darwin has very distinct dry and wet seasons, with the wet seasons prone to tropical cyclones and monsoon rains. The wet season ranges from December to March and the dry season is predominantly from May to September. October and November are the hottest months just prior to the wet season, with temps up to 45 °C. The lightning shows are known to be incredible, as well as beautiful orange sunsets. One place and you get to experience it ALL! Coming for a while? Pack for all weather – and make sure you bring a good umbrella and a raincoat.
- There is so much culture! With a high immigration rate, the culture and cuisines are great.
Crocs don’t just roam the street!
- Don’t be scared, you are safe. Maybe…
We hope you enjoyed this overview of Darwin, and please feel free to send us your recommendations so we can add them to the list!! Happy travelling!
Xana, Healthcare Australia Brand Ambassador