in the media or from conversations with people who have visited before you. Since I have never really spoken to anyone about their trip to Darwin my mental image of the city was of the news items from the time when the catastrophic Cyclone Tracey hit the city on Christmas Day 1974. Although that is a full 40 years ago those terrifying images were seared firmly into my brain, so, despite researching the city a bit before visiting, I was still expecting to find a small, dusty, outback town with old fashioned houses and little infrastructure. How wrong could I be?
|An attractive colonial style house near my hotel|
With a population of around 140,000, half the total population of the vast Northern Territory State, Darwin is home to the Aboriginal Larrakia language group of people and includes ex-patriots from many countries. It is a city of culture, boasting its own symphony orchestra, holding occasional opera performances and supporting an annual sculpture exhibition. The large ex pat population also ensures plenty of ethnic restaurants to choose from.
|The new Anglican Cathedral attached to the |
|The Governors Residence|
and nuts mixed with alcohol.
There is a recently developed marine bay with modern hotels and restaurants and a popular wave pool for swimming, easily accessed by an over road walkway from the city centre. NB: you cannot swim in the sea due to salt water crocodiles all year and the lethal box jelly fish which frequent the waters October to May.
Later in the day I once again boarded the bus. The afternoon route includes a trip out to the Military Museum through the wonderfully named Fannie Bay to East Point Reserve. It is a beautiful trip, past glamorous tropical houses, through the very pretty reserve and past a fresh water lake free of crocodiles and jelly fish, a popular swimming spot.
The rest of my time in Darwin I spent strolling, swimming in the hotel pool, it was a hot 34 degrees, and relaxing. One evening I went to Mindil Beach Market, fantastic fun which I will write about next time.
So, I am pleased to say that my old mental image of Darwin as a dusty, run down, outback town has disappeared and been replaced with the reality...a modern, sparkling, go ahead, tropical town, one I liked very much indeed.