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Visiting Darwin

Ok full disclosure, I was supposed to go to Darwin on the weekend and take updated photos, however that didn't work out. A day trip involves over seven hours in the car, not always the most enjoyable or feasible. There's also the problem where money just flies out of your purse once you get  into real shopping centres. Kmart is my savings kryptonite.

People living in Katherine go up to Darwin for multiple reasons. My reasons are food, shopping and views of the water, all the things lacking in Katherine.

Food

There are so many food options in Darwin. If you are keen for fish and chips I recommend Frying Nemo. My all time favourite restaurant is The Oyster Bar on the Waterfront. AMAZING food at reasonable prices. There's a heap of restaurants on the Waterfront and while I haven't eaten at them all I have heard good things. The next on our list is the Mexican restaurant Hot Tamale, last time we went to eat there was a long wait and as it was already 9pm the kids were feral and we couldn't wait. Next time we'll be prepared and book.

Mitchell Street is another area that has great restaurants. For big, well priced delicious meals we like Tims Surf and Turf. The chicken schnitzels and steaks are HUGE! They also have a little pet crocodile chilling at the bar. There's something so interesting and wonderful about crocodiles so any time I see one I'm a mushy mess.

I've learnt not to underestimate food courts either. So many convenient, tasty choices! Casuarina has a whole bunch of food options, my favourite being Sushi Bay and Grill'd. I am known to spend up at KFC on the way home as a naughty treat that I usually regret but it tastes so bad it's good.

Shopping

Darwin has gotten a lot more shops over the past ten years. Casuarina used to be the only shopping centre, however now there's Gateway and Coolalinga. The Mall in Smith Street is another option for shopping, one that we don't really utilise as much as we should. Darwin has most of the shops found in other cities, however there's no Myer or David Jones and limited high end specialist shops. Put it this way, while Darwin is getting better shops it doesn't compare to other capital cities. In saying that though, I needed jeans (the worst clothing item to shop for my body) before we went to Melbourne earlier in the year and I managed to find two pairs in Darwin. Darwin shopping is what you make it.

Coolalinga is the closest to Katherine and their Kmart is pretty good for homewares so we seem to be going there a lot more than anywhere else. Mind you Casuarina is way bigger, with way more shops and food so if we need anything specific we head there.

Accommodation

Darwin is full of accommodation, just like restaurants. I've stayed at a few and my two favourites are;
- DoubleTree by Hilton for families and couples. We choose to stay here when we are going up for a weekend. The double rooms are well sized, clean and tidy. There's a huge new massive playground directly opposite the hotel, one that is built for kids and adults alike. The biggest reason we stay here though is the customer service, it is AMAZING. The staff really go out of their way to ensure you have a lovely stay with text messages, cookies and surveys. It honestly is the best customer service I have ever encountered.

Parap Village Apartments for families. The units are a bit outdated but well looked after and HUGE. We stayed in a proper unit with a lounge, dining, kitchen and two bedrooms. Parap is close to everything we seem to go to - the botanical gardens, Darwin city centre and Casuarina. We stay here for longer stays, more than one or two nights.
I have grown to love Darwin. It is a great escape from Katherine (although you will always run into someone you know). I would like to spend more time in Darwin discovering the hidden gems.

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