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Darwin Australia

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Thing To Do & See


Aquascene

At Doctors Gully every day, Aquascene runs a remarkable fish-feeding frenzy. Visitors, young and old, wade into the water and hand-feed hordes of mullet, catfish, batfish and big milkfish.

Crocosaurus Cove

If the tourists won't go out to see the crocs, then bring the crocs to the tourists. Right in the middle of Mitchell St, Crocosaurus Cove is as close as you'll ever want to get to these amazing creatures. Six of the largest crocs in captivity can be seen in state-of-the-art aquariums and pools. You can be lowered right into a pool with them in the transparent Cage of Death (one/two people $120/160). If that's too scary, there's another pool where you can swim with a clear tank wall separating you from some mildly less menacing baby crocs. Other aquariums feature barramundi, turtles and stingrays, plus there's an enormous reptile house (allegedly the largest variety of reptiles on display in the country).

Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

This superb museum and gallery boasts beautifully presented galleries of Top End–centric exhibits. The Aboriginal art collection is a highlight, with carvings from the Tiwi Islands, bark paintings from Arnhem Land and dot paintings from the desert.An entire room is devoted to Cyclone Tracy, in a display that graphically illustrates life before and after the disaster. You can stand in a darkened room and listen to the whirring sound of Tracy at full throttle − a sound you won't forget in a hurry. The cavernous Maritime Gallery houses an assortment of weird and wonderful craft from the nearby islands and Indonesia, as well as a pearling lugger and a Vietnamese refugee boat.Pride of place among the stuffed animals undoubtedly goes to Sweetheart: a 5m-long, 780kg saltwater crocodile. It became a Top End personality after attacking several fishing dinghies on the Finniss River south of Darwin.The museum has a good bookshop, and the Cornucopia Cafe is a great lunch spot with views over the sea.

George Brown Botanic Gardens

Named after the gardens' curator from 1971 to 1990, these 42-hectare gardens showcase plants from the Top End and around the world − monsoon vine forest, the mangroves and coastal plants habitat, baobabs and a magnificent collection of native and exotic palms and cycads.Many of the plants here were traditionally used by the local Aboriginal people, and self-guiding Aboriginal plant-use trails have been set up − pick up a brochure at the gardens' information centre near the Geranium St entry. You'll also find birdwatching brochures and garden maps here too.The gardens are an easy 2km bicycle ride out from the centre of town along Gilruth Ave and Gardens Rd, or there's another entrance off Geranium St, which runs off the Stuart Hwy in Stuart Park. Alternatively, bus 7 from the city stops near the Stuart Hwy/Geranium St corner.

Bicentennial Park

Bicentennial Park (The Esplanade) runs the length of Darwin's waterfront and Lameroo Beach - a sheltered cove popular in the '20s when it housed the saltwater baths, and traditionally a Larrakia camp area. Shaded by tropical trees, the park is an excellent place to stroll.

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