Australia, the island nation lures travelers with its melting pot of outdoor activities, endless list of natural land formations, great regional cuisines, some of the best metropolises in the world, the Great Barrier Reef , adventure packed outback, kangaroos………..the list goes on.
If you are on the lookout for an adrenaline rush and loads of outdoor fun, then head towards its Northern Territory.
Mindil Beach Sunset Market
Half of Darwin comes down to Mindil Beach Sunset Market with their tables, chairs, grog, rugs, and kids at dusk. Settling under the shades of swaying coconut palms for some amazing views of the sunset, they plunge into the act of deciding which tantalizing food-stall aroma to sample that day. The first choice is obviously the flaming satay stick sold at Bobby’s brazier. (image by Steve Swayne)
If you happen to be in the area, then after relishing this local delicacy, top it off with decadent cakes, fresh fruit salad or luscious crêpes. However, that’s only half the fun; here, you get to steep your senses in a sea of arts and crafts stalls bulging with handmade jewellery, Indigenous artifacts exciting rainbow tie-died clothes and loads of wares– from as far as Thailand and Indonesia. Tourists are enthralled to see patrons stopping by for an invigorating massage or for listen to the lilts of rhythmic live music. A must visit for all outdoor lovers indeed!
The Tiwi Islands
Melville and Bathurst and Islands, lying 80 km north of Darwin, are home to the indigenous Tiwi Aboriginal tribe. The Tiwis (‘We People’) boast of a distinct culture and are reputed for producing exuberant and an odd champion of the likes of Aussie Rules football player. With restrictions in place for tourism activities on these islands, daily organized tours from the city of Darwin are the only ways of reaching their scenic precincts. The most renowned highlights of their cultural activities include the pukumani (burial poles) which are intricately carved and painted with mythological and symbolic figures and are found erected alongside graves.
The backbone of the 2920-sq-km this popular park is formed by the spectacular attractions of Katherine Gorge -located a distance of 30 km from Katherine. Here, you can feast your eyes on a continuous range of 13 deep sandstone gorges that have been carved out by the waters of Katherine River-which meander on its journey from the scenic Arnhem Land to the depths of Timor Sea.
Truly a hauntingly beautiful place, albeit a bit crowded in peak season; the tranquil river is a haven for paddlers in the dry season. During rains, the dividing rapids and deep still waters are engulfed by awesome torrents that churn through the gorge. On your day out, plan to savor the delights of a full day canoeing, bushwalking and cruising on the river.
The jumping croc circus
Very few can resist the sights of a 5m-long saltwater crocodiles striving to launch itself out of water and hurl its weight towards a chunk of meat. Just like well-trained circus acts, the natural behavior of jumping out water and grabbing prey is a treat for croc lovers. As these thoroughly amazing sights can vanish in a flash-remember to keep your camera ready! (image by J Brew)
Litchfield National Park and Territory Wildlife Park are some other places worth visiting too. Enjoy!
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Feature image Boland Family Travels