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Last week I flew to Darwin for the first time and I was lucky to have a twenty-four hour layover to explore the capital city of the Top End of Australia!

Walking out of the terminal and into the balmy tropical climate, I instantly felt the relaxed vibe of the laid back local lifestyle.

The crew and I got in mid-afternoon, so rather than hitting the hotel gym, I immediately ventured out to explore the waterfront. I love exercising in the fresh air after being on a plane all day and the city of Darwin itself is small, so it’s easy to get around on foot. However, there is a sightseeing bus if you prefer not to walk in the heat.

I bumped into a local tour guide who suggested heading to the Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, which are held every Thursday evening from April through to October.

I’ll definitely do that next time I’m visiting Darwin mid week. However, the crew and I had already made plans to head to the Darwin Sailing Club for dinner and drinks and I’m so glad we got there early, as the sunset over Fannie Bay was absolutely spectacular! The mood at this idyllic beachfront bar reminds me of the vibe in Bali, so it’s the perfect spot to enjoy a cold beer. We had such a fun night and it was the perfect place to unwind in the bistro-style outdoor dining setting.

The next morning I woke early and dropped by a local cafe for my morning coffee fix, before heading straight to the hotel pool to work on my tan.

The morning sun took a while to warm up the water. But I enjoyed the tranquillity of being poolside in a bikini, since I most certainly would not be doing that back home in Melbourne in the middle of Winter! I spent the entire day relaxing, reading my book by the water in the 30 degree heat, before sadly having to head home. I felt blessed to have had the chance to escape, albeit for a short getaway, before heading back to Melbourne and straight into another snap 7-day lockdown.

Next time I visit Darwin I plan on heading to Parap to explore the local markets and I might see a film at the Deckchair Cinema down at the waterfront.

Or, if I’m feeling brave, I’ll dive with the crocs at Crocosaurus Cove! Unless I happen to get a full day free, in which case I’ll definitely venture out of the city to explore Litchfield National Park. Or, I’d also love to swim in the natural plunge pool at Gunlom Falls in Kakadu National Park, which is also a short drive from Darwin.

This sacred land is truly a special place to visit and flying home over the majestic red centre of Australia at sunset was absolutely breathtaking. To see that best that the Northern Territory has to offer, though, you need to rent a van and head outback into the desert. There is so much more to see by road in the red centre of Australia and a trip to Uluru is an absolute must-do when holidaying here this year!