Discover Dynamic Darwin
Australia's Brazen North Port calls you to quests.
Darwin – Australia's Brazen Asian Port City beckons intrepid and timid alike. “Discover Dynamic Darwin,” is first in a series of eight articles on Australian Capitals.
Thank-you Stephen and Rob for the images.
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, Kakadu National Park
Beautiful Darwin from the air
Exciting darwin enters the tiger
What a hot city. So hot, in fact, Darwin homes 120 thousand but also attracts thousands more each week. Small by comparison to many places, it is just roaring with commercial activity. The city is explorer Charles Darwin's namesake, that, if the man were alive to see it, he would love its' vibe. Something is happening here; Darwin has jump to it. In fact, Lady Luck has placed Darwin smack in the heart of the roaring Asian Tiger.
Visiting dynamic darwin
May 1st to November 1st is the best time to visit – the climate is mild; dry. You can swim at their beaches without fear of box jellyfish. It's also a great time to catch locals at their finest enjoying their city. Many locals depart during Christmas ( The Wet Season ) escaping the heat.
Dress for the tropical climate. Wear shorts and light footwear during the day. At night wear light, formal wear. Lastly, take salt tablets and sunscreen with you. This same clime is sweaty and burning – a fair skinned person will fry.
Did you know about dynamo Darwin?
- The only city in the world carrying the name of the famous botanist and explorer, Charles Darwin
- The only city in Australia bombed continuously during the Second World War – 65 times from 1942 – 1945
- Wiped flat by Cyclone Tracy on Christmas Eve 1974
- A frontier town surrounded by wild reserves filled with ravenous, six-meter saltwater crocodiles, magic and adventure
How do i get there now!?
Fly into Darwin direct from Sydney. Singapore is close; it's worth grabbing some shopping on your way into Darwin. Travel to Darwin on, “The Ghan,” the luxury train that now snakes its' way there from Adelaide, across the Outback. Fly into Darwin from any major Aussie city or for the adventurous, sail into expansive Darwin Harbour by sailing ship.
Destination Darwin – a seafarer's paradise
What delights does darwin offer?
Darwin offers the traveller a hop into the Outback or a skip into exotic Asia. Think about visiting spectacular Kakadu National Park. This sacred park houses rock-art galleries rivalling The Louvre in scope. Thousands of detailed and ancient Dreamtime paintings, painted on rocky overhangs, will make you gasp in awe. It takes two days to get to Kakadu National Park from Darwin by road, with a stop at Bark Hut Pub overnight, but visiting this magical park is a must.
Haunting Kakadu National Park
Why it is worth all my sweat?
After acclimatising to the heat, Darwin's true nature will then reveal itself with exciting stories, mixed cultures and wonderful adventures. It is the only city that blends Eastern and Western Cultures with vigour. Also, the Outback beckons and you will just want to, “Go Bush,” in your Darwin adventure experiencing the true Australia. Darwin is unique, without peer, and definitely one place to which you will return.
Parliament House, Darwin, from the Harbour
The story of the sandblasted hippies
A Darwin urban myth recounted to me by an old timer back in “88.
It was Christmas Eve of “74 and a hugh Cyclone ( Southern Hemisphere Hurricane ) named Tracy crushed our beloved town, Darwin. It's been in the papers, and you saw the devastation, if you owned a colour telly back then.
Anyway, as you know Darwin has a small “beach,” a sandy cove you could call it – you go down through the bushes near the Travelodge – down a dirt track onto this hidden beach that in those days housed, of all things, what you would call a, “Hippy Commune.”
Drop-outs from Sydney and Melbourne Universities – wraiths still trapped in 1968 – lived down there. As far as communes go, you could say that it was quite successful. The times I ventured there everyone was living happily nude, in small lean-too shelters and smoking drugs ( being a practicing Christian, nothing like that ever touched my lips, not even a drop of liquor! ). They were all coupling to their hearts' content. I was always friendly but never got too involved. My last visit was December 20th, a few days prior to Cyclone Tracy. I was delivering some Arnotts Family Assortments* to Moon Hunter, the head-hippy. It was my favour to him for he missed them with his afternoon cup of tea ( cuppa ).
I left that afternoon after sharing a Monte Carlo** and a hot cuppa with Moon Hunter and with, who I suspected was his, “Wife,” Jade Krystal Eyes. Dread engulfed me that night. I have never felt that since, but to my shame, I chose to ignore it. I wished I had heeded that dread for what I about to tell you, to this day, leaves me with icy goose-flesh.
That evil dread gripped again when the winds of Tracy started brewing that bleak Christmas Eve. By the time I had made up my mind to check on Moon and Jade, I knew it was too late! The barometer was falling like a bride's nightie – winds were progressively gaining strength – I had to find shelter myself, fast! I won't tell you anything about the next twelve hours, for fear you will vomit you lunch, but all I can say is, “I was lucky to make it out of Tracy alive.” Darwin was carnage that Christmas Morning; utter ruin all the world saw.
By Boxing Day, December 26th, I had to act. I had to go and check the Hippies. The authorities had no idea they were on that beach. I was the only soul who could have helped any survivors of the beach commune. I heard neither Moon Hunter nor Jade Krystal Eyes' names called at the official roll-call at the Airport on Christmas Day. Boy, I was as worried as an anteater with his tongue chopped off.
I acted fast filled with fear. Slowly, I climbed down the now debris-strewn, dirt path to the Hippy beach. What I saw curdled my blood; I let out a girly scream. All the shelters were gone. On the rock face behind the beach was a sight I care only to erase from my head. There on the cliff face were the perfect outlines of each Hippy – sandblasted by the high-pressure forced-gale from Cyclone Tracy – onto the cliff face itself.
I knew which silhouette was Moon Hunters'. It was the figure of a man holding a mug with the words, “A Good Cup of Tea – the Ultimate Love-In,” scorched onto the rock. Those were unforgettable words on Moon Hunter's tea mug. Words before me now in fine and grisly detail; the words of a gentle hero. Jade Krystal Eyes' silhouette was next to his, clasping hands, fleeing Tracy's wrath. There I sobbed. Since, I have always taken a Monte Carlo down there, each Christmas Eve, in memory of those free-thinkers who perished in that terrible storm.
The colours in the figures have since faded, but you can still make out their shapes, blasted onto the rock-face of that little beach in those terrifying hours of Christmas Eve 1974.”
*Arnott's Family Assortments are a brand of cookies popular in Australia. A typical packet of these cookies holds six different types of biscuits to enjoy with your coffee and tea.
** A Monte Carlo is one of the cookies from the Arnott's Family Assortment. With a crusty, sweet biscuit encasing raspberry fondant, this cookie is truly unique and yummy.
Thank-you Stephen Barnett and Rob Inh00d for the images.
Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, Kakadu National Park