Meet Nathan: A Darwin boy, born and raised in the burbs on a diet of fishing, outdoors, friends and family. Now working as a construction engineer in Darwin, Nathan has a young family of his own and is always looking to make the most of his down time through fishing and exploring the beautiful corners of our Top End – and getting some pretty great photos while he’s at it!
Read on for the perspective of a local in love with his home town – and certainly not looking to jump ship anytime soon!
Where is your favourite café/coffee shop?
For coffee – Rays Cafe in Smith St do a great coffee with a smile. But my café tip is Xtreme Caffeine in Cavenagh St – they do a mean Tandoori Chicken Wrap!!
Where is your favourite place to photograph and why?
If I have to pick, Kakadu is where the real magic happens. It is so vast and diverse; you put in the effort and you will be rewarded.
Closer to home, the Nightcliff foreshore has something to offer at any time of the day, on any tide.
Where do you go for date night, or if you’re looking to impress a visitor?
Date night for us often ends up down at the Waterfront in the City. There are so many options that you don’t have to choose where to eat until you get there. There’s a different restaurant for each night of the week if you’re that way inclined!
If we are feeling inspired, we will throw together a picnic and roll out a rug either on the lawn at Cullen Bay Beach or eyeballing the ocean between Nightcliff Jetty and the Foreshore Cafe.
Where do you head for an after-work drink?
After work drinks are at the Railway Club (Parap). But for something different, get down to Cathy’s Place in Cullen Bay!
Where is your absolute favourite ‘True Territory’ location, and why?
This is not for everyone… But, having grown up in Darwin I have developed a love affair (along with many of my mates) for the Daly River and the Barra within it. Apart from the Barra, it is home to Crocs, all of the bugs, rainforest, floodplains, pigs and interesting humans. Around Easter every year during the “runoff” (google it) we head to the Daly to get carried away in the rain, heat, sweat and the Barra. Did I mention the Barra?
What’s the one thing you show every southerner that visits?
It’s cliché, but if you haven’t seen a crocodile, the Jumping Croc cruise on the Adelaide River is always a favourite and is very accessible.
Favourite Markets? Which stall do you visit first?
Parap Markets, Mary’s Laksa. Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner.
What is the best way to spend a Sunday in Darwin?
8am; Get to the Nightcliff Markets before 9am (before it’s hot). Savoury crepe (Ken’s Crepes), a fresh tropical juice, and 5 Po Pia for breakfast. Head to the Nightcliff Jetty for a coffee from Jay’s coffee van. Gaze at ocean.
11am – 4pm; Visit friends, swim somewhere and sit in the shade/aircon. Preferably with a beer.
4pm; Fill up an esky and make your way to the coastline. Nightcliff foreshore, De La Plage, Cullen Bay Beach, Darwin Ski Club, East Point. Sunset and chill.
Where is your favourite place to shop?
Fishing and Outdoor World, Cavenagh Street! All the equipment and life advice you could ever want or need, all under one roof.
Who is the local artist you are most inspired by?
Louise Denton. She takes some awesome photos, is super hard working and passionate about the huge expanse of nature we have at our fingertips in the NT.
Your ideal weekend away in the Top End would consist of…
Camping at one of the permit-only access campgrounds in Kakadu, Litchfield or similar with friends and family. I mention ‘permit only’ because as much as I enjoy the company of others, I personally find it more enjoyable not to have to share my waterfall with bus loads of pool noodles and inflatable unicorns.
Do you have your own local’s tip that you’re happy to reveal?
The attractions in Litchfield National Park are beautiful and more readily accessible than some of the Kakadu stunners if you’re pressed for time. The waterfalls can be crowded during the middle parts of the day, so plan ahead, leave Darwin earlier than the masses and snag a rockhole for yourself. Also, don’t be afraid to explore up or downstream a little from where everyone else is. Sometimes you only need to follow the path another 100m and you will find a pool of your own. (Obviously don’t ignore any of the signs and warnings!!!)
Which NT event do you hang out for every year?
The Darwin Festival always turns on some great entertainment. Darwin City’s Civic Park turns into ‘Festival Park’ for the duration of the event and is a great place for after-work drinks or a feed.
What makes Darwin ‘home’ to you?
Beyond it being my birthplace, Darwin is where my friends and family live. We are lucky up here to always be in close contact (geographically) with a large and diverse group of mates. The wider circle of mates is always morphing and most people (and parties) are only ever 10 minutes away…
When is your favourite time of the year in Darwin and why?
I had to leave this question until last… While most visitors probably appreciate our Dry Season (winter) the most, the Tropical Summer and its aftermath (Dec-May) are what I enjoy the most. The monsoonal rain brings with it relief and injects life into the NT like no other events through the year. Plants go crazy, waterfalls pump, rivers swell and all the critters go crazy. The Barra fishing is at its best between March and June!
Until the next Local’s list – follow us on social for the latest local’s tips!