We sent Xav Judd to see http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2444072602.html[Darwin] in 24 hours – next time he goes to the tropical city, we’re guessing he’ll probably leave the day-glo vest and Chewbacca hairpiece at home
Of course, I wasn’t surprised when I found out that Darwin was named after that bloke (Charles), who wouldn’t stop pestering all the little animals. But there would be much more to discover, as I tried to get to the bottom of why this place is a starlet of the area in the Northern Territory known as the “Top End”.
08:30 DIP INTO THE BRINY
Nothing gets me up more than going down on something first thing in the morning. So what could have satisfied me better than diving into a huge World War II shipwreck? As this warm stretch of the Timor Sea is also chock-full of vivid sponges and coral, it’s literally a diver’s wet dream. So why was it a nightmare for the wobbegong sharks, stonefish and other creatures? As soon as they saw my skintight flubber, they ran
The damage & the details: dives with http://www.coraldivers.com.au/[www.coraldivers.com.au] from $125
12:00 VISIT THE MUSEUM AND ART GALLERY OF THE NORTHERN TERRITORY
Yes. I hear you. Museums can be a bit stuffy. Are you asleep already? ….Zzz…Well. Wake up. This place is worth a look-in, just to see the exhibition on Cyclone Tracy. I was honestly moved when I saw the dramatic photos and heard the audio-tape of this howling 1974 tempest – 60 per cent of http://www.tntdownunder.com/article/2444072602.html[Darwin] was destroyed. The Aboriginal art collection, which included dot-paintings and bark carvings from Arnhem Land, was utterly profound too.
The damage & the details: free, Conacher St, Fannie Bay
13:00 CORNUCOPIA MUSEUM CAFÃ‰
Sitting in the museum’s adjacent cafÃ© on a sparkling terrace, I remembered when a former teacher had said my fave drawing was a bit Earl Grey and ketchup. Not because that’s what I’d depicted, oh no! It was because he actually believed it looked like I’d spilt a mug of tea on a canvas, and then pebbled-dashed it with the sauce. I consoled myself at his lack of appreciation by wrapping my jowls around a sticky pineapple muffin, in front of an awesome view of Fannie Bay.
The damage & the details: $12-20
Although you’ve probably already guessed I love the water, this is one stretch of the wet stuff my skinny backside wasn’t gunna be hopping into. Gnashers that looked worse than anything you’d find in a Neanderthal’s tooth museum, as well as the crocs they belonged to, explained my reluctance. Especially as I knew just one of their bites could turn my head into a pancake of mush in a nanosecond. But despite my slight fear of being up close to a creature that wanted to eat me, there was something mesmerising about watching them jump a foot out of the water just for their din-dins.
The damage & the details: tours cost $26; visit http://www.jumpingcrocodilecruises.com.au/[www.jumpingcrocodilecruises.com.au]
16:45 GO GO-KARTING
If you didn’t leave your stomach behind with the bone-crushing crocs in the Adelaide River, you’ve still got a chance to spill it all over the race track. And I couldn’t believe it. They obviously didn’t know my driving track record. Some guy actually gave me the keys! Two seconds later. Foot down, a quick twist of the steering wheel, and I was whizzing around in a twin engine kart like a blowfly stuck in a jam jar.
The damage & the details: $22 per 12 minutes; Hidden Valley Raceway; Ph: 0 407 710 068
18:00 VISIT MINDIL BEACH SUNSET MARKET
You want exotic? This place made me think I was in Indonesia or Barbados. Why? Because it highlighted the fact that Darwin’s position on the Top End of the country actually made it a lot closer to some Asian cities than Antipodean ones. So, thinking that I was even more abroad than before, I let my hair down. I had a Real Flash with an Afro Gal before Mick’s Whips got the better of Coco Loco. Just kidding. They’re just the names of some of the 200 stalls!
The damage & the details: up to you; http://www.mindil.com.au/[www.mindil.com.au]