9th- 14th July
The plane to Darwin was very small, only holding around 125 people. It had a three seat row and a two seat row. We got into Darwin at around 2pm and got a taxi to our hotel, Argus Hotel, in the city. It was just a short 5 minute to the main streets. It was a lovely hotel with a pool, a light breakfast and our room was great too with a balcony and the comfiest bed ever! It was a nice change, a bit of luxury for once! Darwin was very small, it had 3 main streets, one with a few restaurants, one with shopping and one with bars and clubs that was a bit like a holiday strip. There was also the waterfront with bars and restaurants and a wave pool. It was a pretty city, very small and fairly quiet, mainly based on tourism. It was around 32 for the whole time we were there which was a good temperature, though chafing didn't go down well!
On the first day we explored the city, walking here there and everywhere before getting ready and going out for the night at an Irish bar. We had a little sharer dinner of kangaroo and crocodile and then drank our body weight in alcohol. It was good night, we spent the night with a group of Aussie lads working in Darwin and had a good laugh. I paid for it the next day, been sick all day! We had a walk to Mindl beach, went to the casino complex there and then waited for the Mindl market to set up and had a walk around that. On the 11th we went on our Jumping Croc and Litchfield NP trip with Walaroo Tours. It was a brilliant trip, with a small family run business. The croc tour was our own private tour on a small boat with a local guy who grew up on the river, named Pat. He was a nutter and total bush man! We saw a lot of crocs on the river and Pat dangled meat out to get them very close to the boat and get them jumping in the air. It was crazy and scary as s*** how close they were! These are wild saltwater crocs that would snap you up in a second- whole! It was an amazing experience and Pat taught us a lot about them. One of them soaked me and Nath by splashing the water with his tail. Muddy brown water all over our face! Some of the crocs were seriously huge too! The biggest ones we saw was around 5-6m, weighing 700-900km. Very scary animals! Amazing to see them in their natural habitat. We also saw water buffalo on the wetlands on the way to the river and saw Hawks whilst on the boat. We spent the rest of the day at Litchfield National Park where we had lunch and swam in different waterfalls. We visited Buley Rockhole, Florence Falls and the magnetic termite mounds. The waterfalls were lovely- very clear water and very refreshing. We had a lovely swim in them. To end the day we went to East Point Reserve for sunset with bubbly and prawns. The driver isn't quite time it right for sunset and we missed it. He pretended that we hadn't which was hilarious! He said oh the sun has just disappeared behind the smog now! The prawns and bubbly were good though and we had a brilliant day! One of the best trips seeing the crocs in the wild! After the trip we went down to the waterfront for some drinks and to use our groupon pizza and drink voucher, which was lovely. We then spent the rest of the night back on Mitchell Street at some bars.
We spent the next day at the wave lagoon down on the waterfront precinct, enjoying the big wave pool. In the afternoon we visited the WWII oil tunnels, built secretly under Darwin. On the last day we went to crocosaurus cove, a crocodile zoo. It had many massive crocs and lots of tiny tiny baby ones too. We got to feed the smaller crocs from a fishing rod and saw the handlers feed the massive 6m ones. We then hired push bikes and rode to Cullen Bay to watch the sunset over the beach, which was lovely! For dinner we went to an all you can eat steak and seafood buffet restaurant called the Jetty which was spot on for a last meal in Darwin! We got to the airport around 4 hours before our flight and just had to sit around at the airport until our flight at 2am, it was a long day after checking out from the hotel at 10am! We got about 2-3 hours sleep on the tiny uncomfortable jetstar flight back to Melbourne to pick the car up.
Darwin was brilliant, a nice little break to the NT! The crocs are the best thing about it and probably the main reason to come as there isn't much else, but it's worth it just for that to see them in the wild. The holiday is going too quick already, can't believe we have already done the NT and seen everything we have!