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Croc City: Darwin Australia
Over the past year I have had the priviledge to work with a sister organisation in the Northern Territory based in Darwin. Last week I was up there for the final time and I took some time out to explore the city one last time.
Predominately I had spent my three days every quarter in Darwin helping a new General Manager settle into their role as well as assisting the business on a couple of key strategic initiatives. So there was limited time to actually get to know the city. This time I made sure that I had a spare afternoon and the result is this hub.
If you had only 1 day in Darwin what could you expect to experience and how many crocodiles could you get to see! This hub explores that one memorable day in Darwin, Australia.
AANT Discounts to Members
#1 - Crocodiles
Right in the centre of Darwin is Crocosaurus - a crocodile theme park right in the middle of the city. Entry is $30 for an Adult, but if you are a member of a motoring club (AAA, RAC, AA etc) then you can buy a discounted ticket for $27 from the local motoring club - AANT.
I spent a good 90 minutes at this attraction, exploring all of the crocodile and reptile exhibits as well as watching the crocodile feeding session...there is no way that I would ever get into that exhibit only armed with a stick for protection. You can even feed the smaller crocs during the show for those who are a bit more adventurous. For those thrill seekers you can even pay to be lowered into a perspect cage while the crocodile swims past you - not for the faint hearted.
As you leave the attraction you pass through a gift store that sells crocodile belts for $200 - the cheapest I ever saw in Darwin.
#2 - Go Shopping
Darwin has a couple of main shopping areas within the CBD. The main shopping centre is out of town and is very similar to other malls across the world with majors and mini-majors populating the centre.
In Darwin you have the choice of the Mall and the Mitchell Centre. The Mitchell Centre is anchored by a Coles Supermarket which is great to collect the essentials for your stay. It also has a NZ section where you can buy Raro powdered organge/mango drink, L&P softdrink and Kiwi crisps and biscuits. I happen to like this food, so it's a real treat for me. Otherwise the centre hosts a bank, a coffee shop and a number of other small businesses.
The Smith Street Mall is really a tourist centre without many majors in the mall. It's great if you want to get some cheap Aussie souveniers or to buy a dot painting. Otherwise it can be a bit tatty, but there is a great newsagency that is worth checking out.
At the top of the mall there are two exclusive shops. One is Paspaley, an exclusive luxury pearl retailer and the other is di Croco a luxury crocodile leather retailer.
Paspaley have a range of pearls in their collection with prices starting around the $650 mark. di Croco have small items such as cufflinks and key rings starting around the $150 mark, but a nice bag will set you back around $2500.
So Darwin can certainly cater to all tastes - from the tacky to the sublime and sometimes even to the ridiculous!
#3 - Eat & Drink
Darwin is renown for it's night life, especially in Mitchell Street once the sun goes down. Darwin generally has a younger population with travellers staying in the region and also young professionals starting their career.
I can recommend that you start your evening at Kitty's pub at the top of Mitchell Street. This pub has a good range of beers on tap and even has a TAB to bet on the races while you drink.
The next stop is down the other end of Mitchell Street to Hanaman's Restaurant. This Thai style cusine is renown in the top end as being one of the best places to eat and I have enjoyed many an evening working my way through the menu.
Afterwards if you are looking for further excitement then head back into the centre of Mitchell Street to visit one of the many restaurants and cafes to close out the night!
Because you are in Darwin there is also the quirky and unusual.
Before you go too far check out the Tourism Information Bureau located across the road from the Smith Street Mall. They will give you a free map, but as you will see you can walk the city in less than a hour.
Because the heat can be oppressive make sure that you drink lot's of water or take rest stops at the myriad of cafes along the way - specifically look out for the 'Duck's Nuts' cafe...only in Darwin!
I found Darwin to be an interesting town with lots to do in one day - I hope this inspires you to visit one day and to experience Croc City! Cheers Michael