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Finding a Little Gem

Have you ever noticed that there are amazing places to visit
and places that are fantastic to live in? I’ve noticed that mostly a place falls in either of these categories and not both…

What I mean is this, six months ago when we reached
Darwin I was excited about visiting the Top End. The prospect of visiting cafes and shopping centres was thrilling after having travelled through a stretch of remoteness. The city felt like luxury and my modest needs were met pronto (e.g. good coffee, the occasional shopping spree and movies).

If big entertainment like concerts, theatre, museums or
extravagant shopping opportunities is what makes you want to pack your suitcase and visit a place then Darwin probably wouldn’t be the destination on your flight ticket.

This doesn’t deter the curious backpackers or campervan travellers
who frequent the city. Whilst I’m considering myself as part of that category I am wondering how these travellers perceive Darwin. It is after all a long way that we have travelled to finally arrive in Darwin with a modest selection of things mentioned above.

While the city may not be able to compete with Sydney or Melbourne on a metropolitan contest, it is still quite a gem. To me it shines in a very different light when you stay to work.

The last couple of days on my ten minute walk to work I was trying to put my finger on what it is that is so appealing. Maybe, I was thinking, it’s the dry season, which is pretty much what Northern Europeans would call a never ending hot summer. In terms that Sydneysiders are familiar with the dry season compares to an unusually warm day in spring, only that it lasts for 5 months. In other words, it’s damn

Here are a few other things I really enjoy that make this place so special:

Sitting on the Esplanade
This stretch of greenery is a two minute walk from my office. Sometimes when Thorsten doesn’t have time to meet me for lunch (which I should add to this list of why I enjoy Darwin) I grab a
sandwich and relax here whilst munching my lunch. Looking out over the sea clears any headache, doesn’t it?

Deckchair cinema
This independent cinema screens all sorts of old, new and slightly uncommercial movies. The deckchairs may not be comfortable for
everyone’s derrière, but there is plenty of cushions available to help out. The hot food on sale is ok and byo picnics are welcomed.


Mornings at the Waterfront
Lot’s of different restaurants offer scrumptious breakfasts
in this little precinct – one of my favourites to go to on a Saturday. The wave pool is great entertainment and the lagoon is a rare croc free place to splash around.

Almost too many markets to poke a stick at
Darwinites have a never ending love affair with markets.
Whilst some of the stalls are reoccurring visitors to all of them, each and everyone is definitely worth checking out. All of them sell food and anything from clothes, art, craft and jewellery. Nightcliff, Rapid Creek and Parap Markets on Saturday and Sunday mornings is offering fresh fruit and vegetables. Mindle Market on Sunday arvos is a great place to watch the sunset and enjoy some local life
entertainment to conclude the weekend.

Star Village
This little arcade is tucked away in Smith Street Mall. My
two favourite shops are the coffee place Four Birds and the chocolate shop Pure Indulgence.

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