We were after somewhere hot, with a big pool, swim up bar and in Australia. We chose Darwin and it delivered. It’s the wet season in Darwin at the moment so the heat factor did not disappoint, in saying that it was not unbearable when on holidays and sleeping just meters away from an inviting pool.
The purpose of our little getaway other then the obvious of needing a holiday was to do a little trial flight/getaway with the kids before going to Europe later in the year.
I’ll share with you some of the things we did while in Darwin including some tips on travelling with kids, so if interested then please read on.
I created some little busy bags for both the kids, initially I was only going to do one up for Liana but last minute decided Luca would need one too. As the flight was only short (3.5hrs) Liana didn’t even have time to open her busy bag, with Qantas free in-flight WiFi the tablet was a hit with a huge selection of entertainment at your finger tips. I had also pre-packed her bento lunch box which she enjoyed just picking at.
As for Luca I stretched out his morning sleep and breastfed him during take off which he then drifted off to sleep for about 1 1/2 hrs. Once he woke we fed him his lunch at a slow pace to drag it out as far as we could. It’s amazing how long you can stretch things out when you have all the time in the world!!
Luca’s busy bag on the other hand came in handy and got us through the last hour of the flight.
Even though Liana didn’t use her busy bag on the flight, it was great for the mornings waiting for Luca to wake before we could leave the hotel room & to keep her entertained when getting restless. So I would definitely still do a busy bag for both next time and if it’s a longer flight to break up that screen time for her to do something different.
Another tip I believe really helped was talking about the flight/holiday in the lead up to going. Explain what will happen when you get to the airport. Read books about boarding flights. “Come fly with Captain Kangaroo” is a great book for kids. Sometimes being at the airport can be a really stressful time for parents, working out what check-in counter to go to, what gate, have we got everything, all of this whilst it is an overwhelming experience for kids as it’s a new place, lots of people, going through security, and even more so if in a different country. I feel if the kids know what to expect and what will happen next they are much easier to go with the flow. Try to get there early so everyone is relaxed but not too early so the kids don’t run out of patience waiting.
Our main purpose whilst on holidays was to really relax (as much as you can with kids) have a nice room with access to a pool and swim up bar (the Bali feel without being in Bali).
We chose to stay at the Sky City Darwin a friend had highly recommended it to us. We stayed in a Superior Lagoon Room with direct access to the lagoon pool and swim up bar.
The resort was great, and very quite this time of year (wet season) and we also went midweek which meant we pretty much had the pool to ourselves.
We spent most of our time around the resort in the pools so we did not see anywhere near as much as there is to see but as I said that is not what we came here to do, but what we did see was definitely worth leaving the pool for.
HOP-ON HOP-OFF Bus
Darwin’s HOP-ON HOP-OFF red double decker buses sell 1 or 2 day tickets were you can hop off at 12 different stops (including all major attractions).
This is always a great idea when getting to a new city if you don’t have a car to help get your bearings and to have a quick look around and if you see something you like just hop off. It also has a recorded commentary whilst driving which was quite interesting. Also great fun for the kids sitting on the top of the bus.
There is a stop out the front of SkyCity Darwin (stop 6), just a short walk to the main road (Gilruth Ave).
Royal Flying Doctor Service
At the RFDS Darwin Tourist Facility you can see two iconic Territory stories in one location, find out all about the history of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and the Bombing of Darwin Harbour in 1942.
This facility has been done really well to attract the attention of both adults and kids through their life size holograms, a fully equipped RFDS Pilatus PC 12 aircraft and do not leave without experiencing the Virtual Reality of the bombing of Darwin Harbour, it really is an unreal experience. Even watch it twice as you’ll be sure to see something you missed the first time.
Where to eat
Right next to the RFDS is the Stokes Hill Wharf which offers plenty of food or I would recommend a short walk down Stokes Hill Rd to the Wave Lagoon there is plenty of inviting restaurants along the bottom of the apartments including a yummy Ice Cream shop Trampoline.
Just across from the ice cream shop is a playground and a lagoon you can swim in, you will also find the Wave Pool which looked like a lot of fun. If we had another day there we would probably have spent it there.
Crocosaurus Cove is in the heart of Darwin City. You can’t go to Darwin without seeing a Crocodile. There are a few places to go but we chose Crocosaurus Cove this time but would be keen to check out Crocodylus Park next time in Darwin.
If you want to hold a baby crocodile or if even braver and want to swim with one you can at Crocosaurus Cove. You can also hold/meet some reptiles, there are plenty of shows on during the day including feeding the crocodiles.
If you are wanting to to go, there is a 10% discount voucher in the local Do the Top End holiday guide which you can pick up from the airport.
We stayed for 3 nights so only really had 2 full days in Darwin, next time I would probably have stayed 4 nights just to have that extra day. We also stayed on Perth time while there, which was a good tip we were given especially for the kids. In saying that we didn’t stick to any strict routine while away, I find there is so much for them to see and do during the day that if they need to, will fall asleep on the run and then usually have a good night sleep from being on the go most of the day.
I hope you enjoyed reading, I know there is so much more to see and do in the NT which we will explore more of next time.
This blog is in no way sponsored, all wording and pictures are my own.