THE LOCAL’S LIST: NATASHA FYLES

Natasha Fyles and son Henry

Meet Natasha: A Territorian through and through, Natasha was born at the old Darwin Hospital and grew up in the Northern suburbs. In her career – she’s been a teacher at St Marys, Executive Director of the Royal Life Saving Society NT, and now Member for Nightcliff!

There’s no doubting Natasha is a busy woman – she currently holds the Health Portfolio (through a pandemic, none-the-less!), Tourism and Hospitality, Racing, Gaming and Licensing, Alcohol Policy, Major Events, National Resilience, and is the Leader of Government Business!

As a politician, a mother – and a local – here are Natasha’s top tips for Darwin & the Top End!

Where is your absolute favourite ‘Real Northern Territory’ location, and why?

The Nightcliff foreshore. You can relax with a bite to eat, you can exercise, or you can just head down there for a wander; you never know who you will run into or what wildlife what you will see. 

Where is your favourite markets? Which stall do you visit first?

Pretty easy answer this one, the Nightcliff Markets! The people are vibrant and energetic, and the sights, sounds, and smells are just a great way to start the day. I always head over to the juice store to grab a crushed lime juice. Perfection! 

What about the best coffee? 

This is hard to answer with just one – I think that is the surprising thing about the about the Top End – It has a variety of great coffee spots! I’ve been at roadhouses and they have barista coffee. When people think of the Territory they don’t think great coffee, but the coffee is just as good as in a city like Sydney or Melbourne. I can’t choose!

Which NT event do you hang out for every year? 

I still love the Greek Glenti, the atmosphere, the entertainment, most definitely the desserts!  I used to enjoy it as a child and I have seen it grow to be such an iconic event and one that I think most Territorians in the Top End look forward to every year. 

What’s the one thing you want to show or tell every southerner that visits?

It sounds obvious but you have to do Litchfield National Park. It’s right on our doorstep and it is in every way as iconic and breathtaking as Kakadu.

When I can, I will head out to Litchfield for a swim in the waterfalls and then back to camp at the Florence Falls old 4WD campground and watch the stars. On occasion, you might even get to see a shooting star! 

Other hidden gems I like include Sandy Creek Falls which are just spectacular, especially early in the Dry Season when there’s lots of water. It’s a little bit off the beaten track and there is a small water crossing to get to it. Once you are there you can walk in and swim – you look back over your shoulder and it’s like a mini Jim Jim Falls. 

Where is your favourite place to shop?

That’s easy, Raw Cloth where I get so many of my dresses. It is a locally made clothing shop that uses a lot of local fabrics from the Aboriginal Art Centres across the Territory as well as classics from Finnish fabric house Marimekko. I personally love the designs they use from local Aboriginal artists such as Kieren Karritpul McTaggart. 

Best way to spend a Saturday in Darwin?

In the Dry Season my favourite Saturday morning is to do the park run along the Nightcliff foreshore and then grabbing a coffee with friends from one of the wonderful cafes.

In the Wet Season it’s sitting at the footy at Nightcliff Oval watching the storms roll in. 

That’s the great thing about the Territory, by the end of the Dry Season, you’re craving the storms and the greenery. But by March you’re looking forward to some dry weather and getting out and about and exploring the Top End.

Best way to spend a Sunday?

Most Sunday’s you’ll often find me at the Nightcliff Markets, but I am fond of a trip across the harbour to Mica Beach, or water-skiing at Manton Dam!


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