Swimming in the outback
Last month I spent a week in Darwin, breathing in humidity and breathing out big city stresses. I swam under waterfalls and drove on dirt roads and hiked up rocky mountains. It was more beautiful than I had really anticipated. I spent pretty much the whole time in a bathing suit with hair slicked back and skin covered in sunscreen. Everything else was unnecessary. Everything else just seemed irrelevant. I let everything else go and just embraced the rawness of it all. And at night I ate Thai food and Bubble O’Bills in the cool of air conditioning and felt at home in a city I’d never been to before.
You can read more about my time in Darwin here.
Do: A cruise of Yellow Water Billabong in Kakadu. In the dry season, this billabong teems with wildlife from crocodiles to buffalo, like a scene out of The Lion King. Even though I was there in the wet season, it was still incredibly beautiful. And there were still plenty of crocodiles to see.
Swim: Take a short ferry ride down the Katherine River at Nitmiluk to the nearby Southern Rock Hole. You have to walk through the bush a bit, jumping from stone to stone, but that just makes it all the more special I think. It’s truly off the beaten track. And once you’re there, you won’t want to leave.
On another day we drove out to Litchfield National Park. It started to storm just as we got to the incredible Buley Rockhole. While normally in the dry season, this place presents peaceful little rock pools, in the wet season it’s a flowing water slide. We battled the currents as the rain poured down, and slid and slipped down the rapids, holding onto what we could and laughing the entire way.
Eat: I had the most incredible brunch at Laneway Coffee in Parap. I wasn’t expecting Darwin to be cool – in terms of temperature and spirit – but Laneway Coffee proved me wrong. The other stand out was Nightcliff Markets on the Sunday, namely the stall that sold ‘Banana Cream.’ It’s the best thing to have on a humid day in Darwin, which is everyday really.