Darwin’s notorious wet season needn’t send you troppo. There is much to see indoors and undercover, and some of the Top End’s greatest treasures come to life during the monsoon.
Kakadu National Park Waterfalls
The cascades of Jim Jim Falls and Twin Falls are a breathtaking spectacle during the wet; in fact, they slow to a trickle or stop flowing completely during the dry season, which makes the monsoon the ideal time to visit. You won’t be able to access the falls by road during the wet season, but take a scenic flight and not only are you guaranteed the greatest bird’s-eye views, but you will also stay comfortably dry.
Jumping Crocodile Cruise
Crocodiles don’t mind the rain, and you won’t notice it from the comfort of an air-conditioned boat, especially not when you’re preoccupied watching giant man-eaters leap from the water. Join a Jumping Crocodile Cruise on the Adelaide River and stare down a prehistoric predator as it lunges out of the water at eye level, lured by a piece of bait. Just be sure to keep your hands inside the boat if you are seated on the open deck upstairs – crocs don’t differentiate fingers from food.
Word War II Oil Storage Tunnels
More than 70 years after the infamous bombing of Darwin, wartime relics still lurk around the city. At the Darwin Waterfront you can explore the subterranean tunnels bored into the cliff face that were built to house fuel and oil for protection against aerial bombardment. The tunnels were cut about 15 metres underground and the biggest was almost 200-metres long. Wander through the tunnels on a self-guided tour and peruse the historic photographs that tell stories from a dark period of Australia’s history.
The Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory
Ever wondered what it feels like to stand in the eye of a deadly Category 4 cyclone? At the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory you can experience the terror of Cyclone Tracy in a simulated exhibit that features real-life audio taken during the devastating Christmas Day disaster of 1974 that killed 66 people. The museum, overlooking the Arafura Sea, features artistic, cultural and scientific collections from Australia and abroad, including Sweetheart – the stuffed body of a five-metre rogue crocodile that terrorised boaters in the 1970s. Best of all, it’s free.
Defence of Darwin Experience
Step back in time to experience Darwin during World War II at the $10 million Defence of Darwin Experience. The stirring museum uses interactive and multimedia displays to give visitors an immersive experience of the war that came to Australian shores with devastating force on February 19, 1942. Get a sense of the terror wrought during the Darwin bombings in the multi-sensory theatre, hear first-hand accounts of the conflict, and share your own personal family stories via a digital StoryShare touchscreen. Next visit the adjoining Darwin Military Museum, where you can see tanks, military vehicles, armaments and other wartime relics.