The underrated Aussie destination that should definitely be your next holiday

·Social Media Editor
·3-min read

I’m ashamed to admit, Darwin has never crossed my mind in terms of ‘dream’ holiday spots.

Hit me with a European holiday (pre-Covid, of course) and I’d drop everything to be airport ready, Aperol in-hand at a moment's notice. But if someone were to tell me a few months ago I’d be itching to get back to the NT once lockdown is over, I would have honestly questioned their sanity.

With borders hopefully due to open up again in the not too distant future for domestic travel, most of us are looking to explore local delights that normally wouldn't touch our radar. 

Enter: My trip to Darwin.

Whilst only there for 5 days, this magical city boasts endless activities, spectacular landscapes and food experiences you won’t want to pass up on!

Eat (and play) with the locals:

It might surprise you that Australia’s less-visited capital city is actually known for its diverse range of culinary delights. Not sure where to start? Darwin Gourmet Tour’s are run by locals who love to showcase unusual ingredients and Aboriginal bush foods from some of Darwin’s top eateries. We’re talking desserts featuring green ants (yup, and they taste like coffee!) and variants of crocodile offered on most menus.

A delicious spread from 'Little Miss Korea' and Green Ants for dessert from 'Phat Mango'
A delicious spread from 'Little Miss Korea' and Green Ants for dessert from 'Phat Mango'

One word: Sunsets.

Before heading to the Top End, I had no idea that Darwin’s sunsets were on par with that of the most spectacular in the world. Locals and tourists alike crowd Mindil Beach every night just to grab the best view possible. As someone who isn’t really into catching a sunset, the tangible atmosphere created by this unifying moment is something that truly must be experienced for yourself.

Mindil Beach showcasing the goods.
Mindil Beach showcasing the goods.

Visit the crocs in Litchfield:

Out of everything we did, Top End Safari Camp may just top them all. From being centimeters away from a 100-year-old croc named Otis, to wild airboat rides and a scenic helicopter flight overlooking the spectacular floodplains, this complete immersion in local culture is the perfect day out if you’re keen to see the ‘real’ outback in all its glory.

They know their music:

Music festivals have been an obvious no-no for the last year, so to be able to attend NT’s biggest music festival, Bass in the Grass (we’re talking 14,000 people!) was a completely surreal experience.

Headlined by the one and only Missy Higgins and set on the shores of Mindil Beach, this day-long event includes two stages, a plethora of home-grown talent with delicious food stalls scattered throughout. Tickets are already on sale for 2022 (Early bird sold out pretty much immediately) and you can bet I am already counting down the days until the line-up is announced.

Something for everyone:

Sunsets at Mindil Beach Casino are unmissable.
Sunsets at Mindil Beach Casino are unmissable.

One of the best things about Darwin is that it basically feels like you’ve just gone home for the weekend instead of to a big city. This, and the fact that all the locals are super relaxed was one of my favourite parts of the visit. Feel like relaxing at an infinity pool? Mindil Beach Casino has the perfect one. Want to experience their nightlife? Throb nightclub opens at 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights and hosts the BEST drag show in town.

Whether you’re looking to chill or get involved in the party scene, one thing’s for sure, you’ll be itching to get back to Darwin.

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