Driving into the City of Darwin was like a huge breath of fresh air. Finally, after three months on a desolate island, two days in Adelaide near the south coast, and 14 days in the outback, we were finally at our destination on the far north coast of Australia.
Darwin was a nice tropical town with a laid-back atmosphere. It was a much smaller town than most destinations in Australia, and that made it nice and roomy. Darwin is the only town in Australia that was bombed during World War II by the Japanese. This gives the city lots of history and culture that I found interesting.
Maggie and Matthew and I stayed in a backpacker hostel in Darwin for about five days. It was here that we met a handful of interesting people. First was Cornelius, a Netherlands chap who would be flying home in a few days. He was a very kind as most Dutch are. He had a big smile and curly blonde hair that made his appearance very boyish. He was extremely tall — over six foot — and had long and lanky arms and legs to match. Cornelius was our connection to the other friends we made. He introduced us to Harry, Sophie from the U.K. and a guy with a lot of tattoos whose name I never caught.
While in Darwin we spent our days doing very little. Often times we would sit on the balcony with our new friends and talk about anything we could think of, and when we weren’t doing that we were busy booking our flights and accommodation for Bali, our next destination, or wandering around the city in search of free attractions.
My favorite free attraction was the Mindil Beach Market. This was a farmer’s market located near the beach. We loved it. It was like strolling through an amazing art gallery of food and things. They had just about every type of food you could imagine: Mexican, Australian, Chinese, Thai, gluten-free and French crepes.
Although the food and shopping was amazing, the best part of the Mindil Beach Market was the sunset. The market times are strategically designed around the beautiful sunset that fades into the ocean. Around 6:30 p.m., crowds of people migrated just beyond the market to the beautiful white sand of the beach. Here as a group we sat and breathlessly watched as the big orange glow melted into the ocean’s horizon. The sunset was so wonderful that we all clapped and cheered afterwards, praising God for his wonderful handiwork.
Reach Haley Hoover at [email protected] or view photos with her blog at www.thesparklinghippie.com.