Darwin with Teens/Kids

Mar 17th, 2006, 06:21 PM
  #1  
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Posts: 274
Darwin with Teens/Kids

My family (3 boys, ages 17, 14 and 10) is thinking of visiting Darwin for 4 nights in mid-August. Our itinerary would be (in order):

5 nights - Sydney
5 nights - Port Douglas
4 nights - Darwin
2 or 3 nights Alice Springs
1 or 2 nights Uluru
4 nights Melbourne.

That means we will have 3 full days in Darwin.

My boys are not much into scenery. They like to DO things. If they can do something in a beautiful place, that works. Can anyone suggest ways to fill those 3 days? Based on other postings and books/websites, I am thinking that Kakadu might bore them, but that Litchfield might be fun. I have also noted Aquascene, Sunday night market, museum with the cyclone exhibit, jumping croc cruise and perhaps Territory Wildlife Park.

Suggestions, insights and details would be most appreciated!
Europewithkids is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 04:37 AM
  #2  
 
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Posts: 4,039
How about the Fannie Bay Gaol? That ought to interest teenage boys. Also, have dinner one night at Tim's Surf and Turf--good food, plenty of it and reasonably priced.
longhorn55 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2006, 04:45 AM
  #3  
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Thanks. Anything else outside of town? Also, anything in particular recommended for the day in Litchfield? Do you think we should hire a guide who knows the less crowded spots?
Europewithkids is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 10:21 AM
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I can't see hiring a guide to go to Litchfield unless you have your heart set on seeing the few places in the park which require 4WD (e.g. the Lost City) AND they include those on their itinerary. I think most of the commerical companies just take you to the spots that you can reach on your own--Wangi Falls, Florence Falls, Magnetic Termite Mounds, etc.
I think you can easily make a full day of Litchfield on your own. There are two ways to enter the park--either through the NW entrance via an unsealed road or through the entrance from Batchelor. The advantage to coming through the NW entrance is that you don't have to backtrack through the park to leave via the Batchelor Road, which is the road I'd want to take at the end of the day. Also, it's closer to Wangi Falls which is where I imagine you will want to spend most of your day.
Whichever entrance you choose, I would start the day at Wangi. Take a picnic lunch with you and eat on the grassy area under the trees. If you can't arrange to make a lunch, there is a kiosk there that sells food. The kids (and maybe you too) will definitely want to climb the rocks near the waterfalls. There will be kids jumping off the rocks here and at Florence Falls. I did let my teenage son do this once he dove down to make sure it was deep enough for jumping where he was. (It was.) It still gave me a scare, but it was the highlight of the trip for him. The water is also pretty clear, so a pair of goggles might come in handy too. There will be a lot of people here, but the pool is huge and you won't feel crowded.
You can also stop at Tolmer Falls (view only--no swimming), Florence Falls (where we saw an elusive rock wallaby), Buley Holes (more swimming) and the Magnetic Termite Mounds--fascinating. There is a hiking trail between Florence Falls and Buley Holes which I would have loved to done, but we had spent so much time at Wangi Falls that we didn't have time to do it.
On the road from Darwin south, you will see many signs for old WWII airfields. There's not much to see at them anymore, but we did drive over to the Hughes Airfield. This might be interesting to your sons if they have an interest in history or WWII. They might also enjoy the Aviation Museum--my son did.
For more info on Litchfield and a detailed map, check out www.nt.gov.au and www.travelmate.com.au
longhorn55 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2006, 07:35 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
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ditto the comment on tour guides.

Just adding that, well you know your kids and maybe you;re right, BUT, maybe the experience in darwin will be a little different this time for them. Also, if in doubt perhaps getting them to participate in the research and itinerary preparation would help.
bhuty is offline  
Mar 20th, 2006, 02:44 AM
  #6  
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Thanks for the advice. I think there is a fair amount to keep them busy. I am hoping that Darwin and environs will present them with a different experience and "look" than the other parts of our itnerary. I am also exploring a 1/2 day barramundi fishing trip on the Mary River (we do not really know how to fish, but this seems like something that is very "Top End") and a 3 hour sail around Darwin Harbour. Just putting tohgether a list of options. For the moment, I just want to make sure that Darwin is worth adding to the itnerary before I do final ticketing on my Aussiepass (which locks in my flights).
Europewithkids is offline  
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