If I took a survey of dream places my students would like to travel, most of them would say they would like to visit Australia one day. I think this would be true of most people in general. Making a journey across the global into a reality is a totally different story. A few years ago, I decided to go for it. Australia was going to happen in August 2012 and I was going to hit up the Outback AND the Great Barrier Reef (story about snorkeling on the Reef HERE). When I began the research, I found that there are only two major cities in the Northern Territory of Australia: Alice Springs and Darwin. In between those two landmarks are a few small towns, epic national parks, and some aboriginal protected land. Because I didn’t want to end up lost or even worse, stranded in the middle of the Outback, I decided the only way to travel through the Northern Territory was with an official tour company. We signed up with a young adult group, Contiki Tours, and began a journey across the Outback.
After about a week with the tour (and many other epic stories and misadventures that ensued) our tour concluded in Darwin. We didn’t do too much in Darwin other than shop for didgeridoos with my music teacher friend and eat! Darwin had some of the best Thai food I’ve ever eaten, which falls in line with my rule of proximity. What’s this rule, you ask? I believe that whenever you are geographically closer to a country, that type of food will be significantly better than what you normally can get back home. For example, even the pizza in Switzerland or the gelato in Spain tastes much more like the stuff you would devour while in Italy than anything I could find at home. Since Australia is much closer to Thailand than Florida is, the Thai food will be better by default. And it was.
One of my favorite things that we did while in Darwin was watch the sunset from Bicentennial Park. We were able to walk over from our hostel to the park and found a great front row seat along the water to Ohhh and Ahhh the changing colors in the sky. The Darwin Harbor is at the at the… wait for it… Northern part of Australia (yes, the Northern Territory is actually in the north) and Bicentennial Park overlooks the western part of the Harbor which provides an awesome sunset.