Darwin, Australia

by DEREK HOLT

Darwin is a haven for debauchery and a delight for sinners. Something about the hot air that crawls inside you, the skies alight with fiery igniting sunsets and the general pace of life here that inspires an indulgent attitude to a bout of fun whether it’s enjoying a quiet beer as the sun sets along the Esplanade or swimming with crocodiles.

When you first arrive check-in at either the Melaleuca on Mitchell hostel – on Mitchell Street (notable for its top sun deck replete with a poolside bar) or make the slightly longer trek to Frogshollow Backpackers. Budget travelers will find Frogs’ more to their liking as the rooms are slightly cheaper (a weekly rate is also offered if you’re planning on staying for a spell) and the other guests are more of a backpacker variety.

Once you’re checked in either take a walk along the Esplanade or head instead down to the Botanical Gardens. Afterward, head just across the street to Mindil Beach where, if it’s summer, you can catch the Mindil Beach Market, an outdoor market selling food and handicrafts.

The next day if you’re not bound on a trip right away to either Uluru (also known as Ayers’ Rock) or the stunning Kakadu National Park (both of which your friendly neighborhood hostel can help you arrange) then go check out the downtown mall or go for a swim down at the Darwin Waterfront Lagoon, conscientiously netted off from the ocean so as to prevent box jellyfish from entering.