|"Nature's Way" Scenic Drive|
Nature’s Way is a scenic tourism drive through a wetland wilderness, steeped in pioneering and cultural history. The triangular drive begins in Northern Territory’s tropical capital city, Darwin and meanders through the Adelaide and Mary River wetlands to World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park where you will see important Aboriginal rock art sites and exotic landscapes teeming with wildlife. Then it’s on to Katherine where the outback meets the tropics. Explore the Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park via air on board a helicopter flight or guided cruise. At the end of the journey, you can have an abundance of natural and cultural experiences. For photographic, wildlife and birdwatching enthusiasts, this is a dream drive on a fully sealed road – suitable for a two-wheel-drive vehicle.
|Darwin Waterfront Precint|
Darwin Waterfront is home to the Wave Pool and also safe swimming Recreation Lagoon. Darwin Waterfront's cafes and restaurants offer plenty of opportunities to refuel after a morning swim, linger over a luxurious lunch, or stop for a sundowner. Choose from high-end Mediterranean and Mexican restaurants, to more casual cafes and bars - you'll never be too far from an ice cream or a barra burger. Drift along Wharf One's row of restaurants and shops, by the lagoon, or head further afield to Stokes Hill Wharf, a favourite fishing and fish-and-chip spot and popular starting point for harbour cruises.
The Parap Village & Markets is a great place to shop and is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. Browse the markets, winding through stalls of local produce, local arts and crafts, entertainment and delicious cuisine from around the world. This Saturday morning market has become an institution and ritual among locals who just couldn’t survive a weekend without their Saturday morning laksa, satay prawns or fresh tropical smoothie. The markets are open from 8am to 2pm evey Saturday.
Being the closest Australian city to Asia, Darwin offers a wide range of Asian-influenced food. This includes Muslim-friendly dining options in and around the city, and at the weekend markets. Using the freshest produce from the NT, you can indulge in mouth-watering dishes at Sari Rasa, Ammas Café, Ayuriz Café and Curry in a Hurry – just to name a few.
Just a three-hour drive from the city limits is the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park, with a remarkable variety and concentration of wildlife, vast floodplains and billabongs, forests, and rugged rocky hills. Come marvel at some of the park’s prolific Aboriginal rock art, and get a sense of one of the longest historical records of any group of people on earth. As you explore, you will see a sample of the more than 2,000 plant species, a quarter of Australia’s freshwater fish species and more than a third of its birds that are all resident in the park. Join a cruise to see saltwater crocodiles, and lose yourself in an unforgettable sunrise and sunset from the top of the rocky outcrops overlooking vast wetlands. Challenge yourself to tackle any one of the four-wheel drives and bushwalking trails. It is nearly 20,000 square kilometres of exceptional natural beauty and unique biodiversity.
The town of Katherine offers visitors the opportunity to experience the inspiring wonders of Nitmiluk National Park (Katherine Gorge)- a deep gorge carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River. Katherine Gorge is made up of thirteen gorges. Walks over the sandstone plateau range from an hour to five days and offer spectacular views of the gorge. Some, like the 58-kilometre Jatbula Trail, take in most of Nitmiluk’s landscapes – monsoon forest, stone country, upland swamp, woodland and river. Canoes can be hired at the gorge, and commercially operated two, four and eight hour cruises are available, as well as helicopter flights. The gorges and the surrounding landscape have great significance to the local Jawoyn people, who are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park.
A less than two-hour drive from the city will get you to Litchfield National Park. Swim under cool, pristine waterfalls and watch in silent wonder at the passing parade of unique wildlife and birds as they gather at the myriad waterholes dotted over the landscape. Witness the intriguing magnetic termite mounds and marvel at Mother Nature’s handiwork. Retreat from the heat of the day into shady monsoon forests in the ancient gorges created over thousands of years. Birdwatchers can see Black Kites and other birds of prey wheeling overhead, and seek out Yellow Orioles, Figbirds, Koel, Spangled Drongos, Dollarbirds and the Rainbow Bee-eater in the sheltered areas close to waterfalls. Take a picnic and find a shady spot at Florence Falls, Tabletop Swamp, Greenant Creek, Wangi Falls and Walker Creek. Cool off in one of the many pleasant waterholes such as the spectacular Florence Falls, which cascades into a plunge pool set in a pocket of monsoon forest. Take the easy three -minute walk from the car park to the lookout to survey the gorge and excellent views of Florence Falls. Or stretch your legs by following the gorge rim walk down the stairs to the valley floor.
Of all the Australian cities, the Northern Territory’s capital city, Darwin is most like its Asian neighbours, complete with tropical climate and Asian-influenced food. And, on its doorstep are some of the world’s most important natural attractions. It’s no wonder Lonely Planet listed Darwin as one of the world’s top ten cities to visit in 2012. Only about five hours from Malaysia, Darwin is a unique destination for a short break. And for a longer holiday, Darwin is the gateway to some of Australia’s most stunning outback terrain, abundant wildlife, ancient Aboriginal rock art sites, cultural centres and World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. Weekends in Darwin kick off on Thursday night with the world-famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, and continue through to the local suburban Parap market on Saturday mornings for a great variety of food stalls, arts and crafts, handmade jewellery and souvenirs. Relish the flavor of five continents, have your palm read and watch local entertainers perform. Fine dining restaurants are dotted all over the city, with most showcasing the fresh produce available from the NT. Local restaurants and markets provide a variety of cuisines and atmospheres, but make sure that you tuck into some authentic Territory fare like mud crabs, Barramundi, kangaroo and crocodile.
For a closer look at Australia's iconic and fascinating saltwater crocodile, head to Crocosaurus Cove. Located in the heart of Darwin city, Crocosaurus Cove houses some of the largest crocodiles in the world, as well as a display of 70 reptile species found in the Top End. At Crocosaurus Cove, there are several opportunities to get close to a saltwater croc. Dangle a line from the Fishing for Crocs platform and watch the hungry juvenile crocs launch themselves out of the water. Take a dip in the pool for a tricky photo opportunity that places you amongst the crocs in the adjacent aquarium. Or smile for the camera holding a baby saltwater crocodile. For the ultimate adrenalin rush climb into the Cage of Death for a face-to-face dive encounter with some of the largest saltwater crocodiles in captivity. Go solo or ask a friend to join you as you are lowered into enclosures to meet their famous inhabitants including Chopper, Denzel and Bess. The 200,000-litre, two-storey freshwater aquarium is modelled after a typical Top End river and holds over 15 fish species, including the famous local barramundi. Don't miss the twice daily crocodile and fish feeding shows and turtle sanctuary.
Mindil Beach Sunset Markets
Experience the atmosphere and flavours, and enjoy the tropical night air at the famous sunset markets every Thursday and Sunday evening between May and October. The markets have a multitude of stalls offering international cuisine, arts, crafts and entertainment. Their unique combination of great food and an electric atmosphere make a visit a must do. The market boasts up to 60 food stalls featuring cuisine from Turkey, Greece, Sri Lanka, South America, North Africa, India and all over South East Asia. Enjoy a picnic dinner on the beach whilst experiencing a spectacular tropical sunset. Afterwards, take time to look around the stalls which include masseurs, tarot readers, leatherworkers, artists, tailors and jewellers. While browsing, listen to the free live street theatre, magicians and an array of local and international buskers.
Make your trip hassle free with Golden Holidays packages
4-days/3-nights Darwin from MYR 7,435 per person on twin sharing basis
Stay at the 4-star Vibe Hotel Waterfront
Valid until 31st March 2015
View full package details.