We’ve been having a wonderful time since we arrived in Darwin last week, and with the help of our tour guide, Kelvin, are now finding our way around quite easily.
Darwin is small city with a population of around 130,000, but that’s without the tourists. At this time of year that number must rise dramatically.
We’ve been to, and swam in some wonderful swimming holes, some in Litchfield National park, and at Berry Springs. They’re pleasantly warm and so beautiful. One of the swimming holes in Litchfield had several water falls, and we managed to find a spot under one of them with a good seat and foothold. The pounding water from the water fall gave us the best massage ever.
Darwin has lots of local markets, and we’ve been to the Mindil markets twice, and Parap markets. They’re both really good markets, but the Thursday night Mindil markets are particularly special. They have an amazing array of food stalls featuring food from all over the world, and it’s good food too. We bought our dinner and wandered down to the beach with it to watch the sunset – along with about half the population of Darwin. I’m not kidding. We’re going to take a photo of all the people next Thursday and will post it. I’ve never seen so many people on a beach at one time. Apparently sunsets are a rare sight for the Eastern state visitors….
We’ve been to two museums, which gave us a good insight into this small cities tragic past. Firstly it was bombed to bits by the Japanese in 1942, and we hadn’t known to what extent until going to the museum. Then, less than 35 years later it was almost annialated by cyclone Tracy. Now it’s a lovely, new and small cosmopolitan city that’s so easy to find your way around. The locals hate peak hour. To us peak hour in Darwin city centre on a week night is like any suburb in Perth in the middle of a week day. We could even do a U-turn at 5.30pm on a week night on a main centre city street. Amazing..
So, we’re loving the top end. The weather is amazing, around 14 over night, and around 30 in the day. Low humidity and soft breezes, and consistent day after day. Also, of course we’re loving having Kelvin with us to show us around. He loves this place and his pride in it shows. Must say, so far I can understand his love.
It’s not all good though, it’s super, super expensive. Caravan parks are around $350 a week, which is very pricey for Grey Nomads. National parks and museums though are free.
We’re starting to peruse both the job market here now, and the house sitting opportunities. We’ve noticed the house sitting opportunities in North Queensland are abundant, but here they’re a bit scarce. In another week we should have an idea if we’ll be staying here for a while, or travelling on. For now though we still have a lot to see here, so we anticipate a minimum two weeks more if job or house sitting doesn’t turn up anything appealing.