People Pleasing Darwin
Posted on August 30, 2011 by sguese
At the tropical tip of Australia’s north coast, a city composed of people hailing from 56 countries buzzes. The mellow, the modern, the metropolis of Darwin has become a place where non-Aboriginal meets Aboriginal. At the same time, urban fraternizes with remote. Darwin’s contradictions meet head on through its markets, restaurants and pubs. Outdoor public spaces reflect the city’s human spirit, one that will surprise you by its diversity.
To find that diversity first and foremost, head to Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Just outside of town, the night market runs Thursday through Sunday nights. Foods from nearly every nation seem to be represented including Thai, Sri Lankan, Greek, Chinese and Indian. If you don’t have a grumbling stomach at this hour of the night, the Mindil Beach Sunset Market also presents a number of handicraft stalls worth exploring.
Aviation enthusiasts can find one center to appreciate in Darwin. The Australian Aviation Heritage Center crams with aircraft and memorabilia. On display is a Japanese Zero fighter that was shot down in 1942. Visitors can also take a peek at a mammoth American B52 bomber at the heritage center.
Darwin fills with a number of other museums showcasing its rich heritage and diversity. The Fannie Bay Gaol Museum represents 100 years of solitude in the area. It was Darwin’s main jail from 1883 to 1979. Visitors get a look at the regionâ€™s unique social history. Lepers, refugees and juveniles were all confined here. Visitors may want to watch their backs as eeriness hangs over the Fannie Bay Gaol Museum.
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory is also a standout in Darwin. While this museum might not send chills up your spine like the Fannie Bay Gaol Museum, the rich Aboriginal art collection is worth seeing. The museum holds carvings from the Tiwi Islands along with dot paintings from the desert and bark paintings from Arnhem Land. Exhibits also tell of Cyclone Tracy, the devastating cyclone that ripped through the city. Newsreels and radio coverage from that day bring visitors into the moments of destruction.
Darwin also boasts a number of parks, including Crocodylus Park and the Bicentennial Park. Crocodylus Park houses hundreds of crocs. You can see crocodiles being feed firsthand here. If crocs aren’t your thing, the park also holds a mini-zoo with birds, monkeys and big cats. The Bicentennial Park is much more a traditional park. It runs the length of Darwin’s waterfront and Lameroo Beach. The park presents an ideal place to stroll, under the shade of tropical trees.
Darwin’s diversity is hard to miss. From crocodiles to rich Aboriginal art, the city is somewhat of a people pleaser. There is something for everyone here. No tastes are forgotten.
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