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Travel the Top End Loop – Catch a Wave in Darwin – Day 1 & 2

Darwin-Sea-Pool-Wharf

A 10 day discovery of Darwin, Kakadu, Katherine and Litchfield Park by Campervan Hire with DriveNow.

FOR the September school holidays the choice was left to the kids, Darwin or New Zealand? – the selection fell the way of the warmer Northern Territory, and warmer it most definitely was with the coolest day hitting a mild 37.

Although a family of 4, we organised a 6 berth Platinum River motorhome through Maui which proved to be the perfect vehicle – plenty of room, easy to drive and came with everything we needed – shower, toilet, fridge, great cooker and no need to pack towels or bed linen. There’s even a TV and DVD player to keep the kids entertained and the air-conditioning made sleeping easy during the very warm nights.

The Team at the Maui branch in Winnellie, Darwin were terrific, explained the best insurance options for us, showed us right through the motorhome and even have a DVD to help you become familiar with the vehicle. All adding up to the perfect start.

You can find the latest rates and more details on this and other campervans on the DriveNow Darwin Campervan rental rate page.

Day 1 & 2 – Exploring Darwin

Our trip started with a slightly cramped late night Jetstar flight out of Melbourne (no star jumping in our little plane) on a Thursday evening depositing us 4 and half hours later into Darwin and into the Marrakai Luxury apartments on Smith Street at 2.15 in the morning. Shuteye time.

Whilst slightly dated our two bedroom apartment had everything we needed, was air-conditioned throughout and a great little pool downstairs that quickly became home from home for the kids.

Darwin is definitely a blend of old and new and always a city with a large transient population dominated by backpackers and more recently construction workers on the Ichthys Gas Project.

There’s plenty to do and explore in Darwin – for families your number one destination is the Darwin Waterfront precinct. This on-going development includes a huge Wave Pool that’ll keep everyone entertained for hours, a safe man-made beach and plenty of restaurants and shops. All within 5 minutes’ walk from the Smith street mall.
Darwin-Wave-Pool
Other highlights include the array of markets; Mindi Beach Sunset market (Sun & Thur May-Oct), Nightcliff Village Sunday market, Parap Village Saturday market and the Rapid Creek Sunday Flea Market are all worth a visit if time permits. Feed a multitude at high tide with Aquascene’s Fish Feeding on Doctor’s Gully off Daly Street.

For history buffs there’s the Aviation Heritage Centre at Berrimah on the Stuart Highway with a B52 bomber, Spitfire and other aircraft as well as a dedicated display to the bombing of Darwin; the WWII underground Oil storage tunnels; and plenty of WWII airfields dotted right across the Top End.

For those looking for a unique cinema experience checkout the Deckchair Cinema on Jervois road in the Waterfront Precinct running nightly shows of a range of movies between April and November (chairs provided).

We spent two days exploring Darwin and felt this was probably under done by 1. An extra day would have given us the additional time to explore more markets and the museums as well as time to relax, unwind and chill-out by the pool. But time now to collect our camper and hit the road.
Nancy L

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