Red, rugged and remote are the three words that best describe Australia’s Northern Territory. With a vast population across the 1.4 million square kilometres, it’s the flora and fauna that shines in the hot, golden sun.
As part of a Kimberley Coast adventure with Aurora Expeditions, you get the chance to see this isolated world for yourself. From gorges and waterfalls to crocodiles and sharks, the Kimberley Coast is packed with great photo opportunities and breathtaking views.
Most people who travel with us in Northern Australia are here for the first time. The environment is new and exciting, so why not take some time prior or after your Kimberley Coast cruise to explore more of the region? One of the best spots is Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory and will be either the starting or finishing point for your adventure.
Darwin – the fast facts
Darwin is Australia’s most northerly and smallest capital city, with a population of around 140,000. The city overlooks the harbour to the southwest, a main port for Australia between Indonesia and East Timor.
Despite being close to 1,700 km from another city (Cairns), Darwin is a hub of activity with an active cafe and restaurant scene and good accommodation. As such, if you find yourself with a spare few days in Darwin, there is plenty to keep you occupied. So, what’s on your Darwin to-do list?
Darwin Military Museum
Darwin may not stand out in your mind as a military hub, but wind the clock back to World War II, the city was right in the heart of the action. As a strong strategic position for southeast Asia, Darwin was placed under military government with both Australian and US forces based there.
On February 19, 1942, the Bombing of Darwin occurred at the hands of the Japanese – the largest single attack by a foreign country on Australian soil to this day. As well as many civilian casualties, the city was badly damaged, with the rebuild spanning most of the next decade.
The interactive Darwin Military Museum provides an excellent interactive look at the city’s role in the conflict. From armoured vehicles and military firearms to replica 9.2 inch guns used to defend Darwin, the museum provides a fascinating look back in time.
Fannie Bay Gaol
There is something interesting about old prisons. Whether it’s the scare factor of a potentially haunted building or just the history of the place, gaols offer a different tourism opportunity.
Darwin’s Fannie Bay Gaol was the city’s main prison between 1883 and 1979 and was the site for the final Northern Territory execution in 1952. During a tour of the prison, you can check out the cells, execution room, kitchen and amenity blocks. Don’t worry, you’ll get to leave at the end of the visit!
Mindil Beach Market
Every Thursday and Sunday, Mindil Beach comes alive with both locals and visitors alike at the famous market. With 130 craft vendors offering everything from handmade jewellery and artistic creations to clothing, you could pick up a souvenir or two of your time in the Northern Territory.
The real star of the Mindil Beach Market is the menu. More than 60 food stalls present dishes from around the globe, combining high-quality local produce with international flavours – perfect after a day of exploring Darwin.
To really top off the evening, get yourself a rug and grab a position on the beach before sunset. With a plate of delicious food and a drink, you can enjoy the golden sunset with the tunes of local buskers and bands in the background. It doesn’t get much better than that!
If you would like more information about our Kimberley Coast cruises, feel free to get in touch with our expert team today.