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”.

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
a mile.

The damage & the details: dives with http://www.coraldivers.com.au/[www.coraldivers.com.au] from $125

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

Sitting in the museum’s adjacent café 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]

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

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]