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Travel guide Darwin

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If Charles Darwin were alive today, there’s no doubt he’d approve of the city named after him in Australia’s Northern Territory. This coastal city is the very definition of survival of the fittest, having survived a horrific cyclone in 1974 and a ferocious attack by 183 Japanese warplanes during World War II. Each time, the people of Darwin proved their strength by dusting themselves off and rebuilding. The result today is a strong, modern city with a rich history, unique character, and plenty to see and do.

Local amusement:
Most major cities have special attractions that tourists flock to see, and Darwin has plenty of them nearby, including such wonders as Kakadu National Park (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/KakaduMaryRiver/TopEndDarwin/accomodation.htm ), Katherine Gorge (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Katherine/TopEndDarwin/accomodation.htm ), The Tiwi Islands and Crocodylus Park. More information about each of these must-see places can be found here (http://www.holiday-inspiration.com/Stories/NT/TopEndDarwin/Darwin.html ). 

However if you want to experience the real character of a place, then you need to keep an eye out for some of the attractions that the locals frequent. For example – the Sunset Markets on Mindil Beach. Each Thursday and Sunday throughout the dry season, you can experience the buzz in the air as the sun sets over the water and locals flock to the beach to explore stalls filled with crafts, indigenous art, jewellery, and delicious foods from five continents. But the fun isn’t just in exploring the stalls – with the market arrives exciting live entertainment in the form of street performers, fire shows, bands, acrobats, and dance troupes. Locals love this market, as do the visitors who join in the fun each season.

Another event that is extremely popular with the locals each year is The Darwin Cup. Put on your best hat and bring some money to bet on a horse – this is a special event that attracts an audience of around 19,000 each year! The feeling in the air is electric during this winter event, and win or lose, most people have a truly magical experience. In the month leading up to the Darwin Cup, the Darwin Cup Carnival arrives in town, with all of the usual exciting attractions found in travelling carnivals including midways full of rides and games, exhibits, and of course – loads of food. 

It’s not a secret that Aussies like to drink beer, and Darwinians enjoy a good brew like their southern counterparts. But what can you do with all the beer cans? The answer – have a Beer Can Regatta, and that’s exactly what the locals do. They gather up all the empties, bind them together into some fantastic floating contraptions and jump aboard for a fun-filled race. The regatta sets sail each August.

For those days when you just want to wander around and explore the city, you’ll find plenty of heritage-listed buildings, museums, galleries and boutiques. Be sure to visit the very trendy Cullen Bay Marina for a meal and a wander. This is “the” place in Darwin to be seen, and it’s a fun place to meet up with friends. Darwin has no shortage of restaurants and outdoor cafes for enjoying great food and chatting with mates.

When to go
Darwin is a city best enjoyed during the autumn, winter, and spring due to the heavy rainfall of the summer , when monsoon season occurs! Between May and October are most popular, although tourists who really enjoy a good rollicking electrical storm and seeing nature in all her might will appreciate the summer months.

How to get there
Darwin has a major airport, and flights from around Australia arrive daily. If you’re after a bit of adventure, you could catch the Ghan train up from Adelaide (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Adelaide/accomodation.htm ) via Alice Springs (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Alice-Springs/CentralAliceSprings/accomodation.htm ) and enjoy the views of our incredible expanse of desert.

Darwin is a city with loads of character, so it makes sense that there would be plenty of unique places to stay. Take, for example, the lovely self-contained home offered by BTs at Moil on the Park ( http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Darwin/TopEndDarwin/BTsatMoilonthePark.htm )  This elevated three bedroom holiday home is located in one of Darwin’s quieter northern suburbs, and offers a refreshing private saltwater swimming pool nestled in its tranquil gardens. Have a barbeque on the verandah, or wander across the road to the public playground with the kids. There’s plenty of room to relax, and in the evening – cosy bedrooms await.

Darwin is filled with interesting and comfortable choices of accommodation. You might prefer to try one of the gorgeous beachside apartments, or bask in the hospitality of a bed and breakfast or resort. There are boutique hotels, holiday villas, townhouses and more to be found in TakeABreak’s Darwin Accommodation options (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Darwin/TopEndDarwin/accomodation.htm ).

Ideal length of visit
Darwin alone would satisfy most history buffs in three or four days of exploring the museums and historical sights. Add in the surrounding parks and you could have a very memorable and enjoyable couple of weeks.

Further information
Be sure to drop into the Darwin Visitor Centre for information about tours and to pick up some maps and pamphlets for the area. It’s at Tourism Top End on 6 Bennett Street.

Thanks to BT’s at Moil on the Park (http://www.takeabreak.com.au/Darwin/TopEndDarwin/BTsatMoilonthePark.htm) for helping to put their town ‘on the map’.

About the Author
Kylie-Jane Degeling is a freelance writer who has lived in Adelaide, Yulara (Uluru), Alice Springs and Canberra, as well as five different countries throughout the world. After backpacking around Australia, she worked as a tour guide in Central Australia, before training for her Commercial Pilot License and working as a flight instructor, scenic flight and charter pilot. She later worked as a travelling IT trainer for the Civil Aviation Safety Authority, which involved spending time in each of their 16 District Offices around the country on a rotating basis.
Having experienced Australia as a backpacker, tour guide, pilot and business traveller, Kylie now enjoys family holidays with her husband Alex, and children Jezzy and Jordan. She says, “I have been lucky to see Australia from a variety of perspectives, and as a travel writer can use this experience to inspire others to find holidays they would enjoy.”  Kylie currently works as a travel writer in addition to being a government writer and columnist for two parenting magazines.

About the author
Find out more about Kylie at http://bit.ly/h_experts

More accomodation in Top End & Darwin
Darwin | Tennant Creek | Katherine | Kakadu & Mary River | Arnhem Land | Humpty Doo | Humpty Doo | Darwin, Northern Suburbs | Middle Point | Litchfield Region | Mataranka | The Gulf Region | Kings Canyon | Pine Creek | Adelaide River | Pirlangimpi | Palmerston | Batchelor | Bullo River | Dundee Beach | Fannie Bay | Bayview | Barunga | Bathurst Island | Borroloola | Cape Crawford | Cobourg Peninsula | Cooinda | Daly River | Daly Waters | Howard Springs | Jabiru | King Ash Bay | Larrimah | Maningrida | Melville Island | Gove | Oenpelli | Seven Spirit Bay | Threeways | Virginia | Coconut Grove | Nightcliff | Wagait Beach | Larrakeyah | Anula | Brinkin | Cullen Bay | Leanyer | Ludmilla | Northlakes | Parap | The Gardens | Woolner | McMinns Lagoon |

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