It is hot, relaxed and is a great change of pace from other Australian capital cities. Its laid-back approach makes it very family friendly. I also love that everything is close together, it is flat and easy to walk around and it has lots of free or cheap parking in the main part of Darwin.
|Nothing says 'tropical' like a frangipani|
|Swimming with my boys!|
The Wave Lagoon is on the Darwin waterfront and the main attraction is the large wave pool. Inflatable tubes and body boards are provided free of charge to bob about in the waves or to try your luck catching a wave. There is also a small baby pool perfect for the little ones, JJ loved walking around the pool while standing in the middle of tube and floating on a body board.
The wave pool is graduated in depth and my four year old was able to negotiate the waves with a body board in the shallow end by the end of our first visit.
Banana lounges and umbrellas are available and you can come and go as may times as you like once you have paid. It is great value, especially if you are staying on the Waterfront where you could use it several times throughout the day. By the way, if you do need to stay in a hotel I would try to stay somewhere on the Waterfront - it is beautiful and central.
You can get 2 free hours of undercover parking in Kitchener Drive. It costs $2 per hour for the 3rd and 4th hour. You can also get close on-street parking for $2 an hour. Parking is free on the weekend.
It's safe, stinger and croc free and caters for a wide variety of ages. It is open daily from 10am to 6 pm.
15 years and over $7
Under 15yrs $7
Under 2 yrs Free
Family (2 adults, 3 children) $18
We love this place. It has 3 giant water slides (including one that uses a double inflatable tube), a big lagoon, baby pools, an awesome wet play area with smaller water slides, water guns etc and and a dry playground under full shade. It also had well utilised BBQ's, a skate park and basketball ring, so again it caters for a wide range of ages.
The only downside is that the water parts are not open on a Monday or a Tuesday during the school term. It is open Wednesday to Sunday 10am to 6pm. The dry playground is open everyday. And the best bit, it is absolutely free! Amazing. It is a heap of fun and a perfect place to spend a couple of hours every day if you want to!
Where: 215 Vanderlin Dve Leanyer NT
We went and saw 'The Boxtrolls' at the outdoor Deckchair Cinema. Although I didn't love the movie I did love the cinema. The movie started at 7.30pm and as we got their early we got to enjoy watching the sunset over the water.
|Movie with a view|
Different hot food options are available every night from 6.30pm and table and chairs are provided to eat at. Don't feel shy about taking your own food though, when we were there families were bringing in a wide range of food, with one family even making up roast chicken rolls production line style! You can't bring alcohol in but you can buy wine and beer from the kiosk.
MJ loved running around before the movie started, playing with some of the other kids. The stage under the screen was well utilised by kids 'performing' before the movie started. You then get to kick back in a deck chair and watch a movie under the stars. They even provide insect repellent and cushions. The chairs are comfy and the view is great.
I was able to take JJ and didn't feel self conscious about bringing a 10-month-old to a movie. When he got a bit restless in the dark, I moved to the back in the light and I could easily keep him entertained and still see the movie.
The cinema is open from April to November. Parking is free after 6pm. You can get their via the Damoe Rd Walkway from the Esplanade or by road from the end of Kitchener Drive in the Waterfront precinct.
If you are in Darwin you have to make the almost two hour drive down to Litchfield National Park. It is quintessential north Australia with waterfalls, rock pools and walking trails. On this visit we swam at Wangi Falls and then relaxed in the Buley Rockholes. Florence Falls is also beautiful but it is harder to access the water with young kids. Litchfield is a must-see!
It is located at 19 Conacher St, The Gardens, Darwin and is open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm and on the weekends 10am-5pm.
|Sweetheart the croc|
Here you'll find sandstone rocks and a beautiful sandy beach. We couldn't swim as it was stinger season and you always need to be careful about the crocs, (which makes me curious about how the Darwin Life Saving Club practice their surf skills), but it has a beautiful sandy expanse and it is perfect for beautiful morning walks and sand play. Just be aware that you may hit the nudist beach if you head a couple of kilometres up the beach! There is also a walking path along the top of the beach. It is located at the end of Trower Rd
|Perfect for morning walks.|
|Smoothie, sand and sunset|
Eating Out.We only ate out a few times but I found each of them to be very family-friendly.
Seafood on Cullen Bay. This is a more expensive option but the buffet experience is fun and it provides lots of choice to meet everyone's taste. The chocolate fountain is definitely the kid's favourite! Make sure you sit outside so you can enjoy the excellent beach location and accompanying sunset.
Darwin Sailing Club. This is another waterfront location but with a far more relaxed setting. It has a fairly classic bistro menu and also has a playground and grass area for the kids to play. You will again be rewarded with an amazing sunset with your meal.
Rawgasm Cafe. This is a fairly new raw, paleo cafe. It has a small menu but I enjoyed a green smoothie (in obligatory mason jar) and a paleo pizza with the base made from coconut flour. Mum had the paleo pancakes which were excellent. It is located opposite the playground in the Smith Street Mall which you can see from the restaurant.
Have you been to Darwin? Where are your favourite places to visit in Darwin?
Linking up with I Blog On Tuesdays at Essentially Jess - (a former Territorian!)