The Mindil Beach Markets – which in fact don’t start until the Thursday after Easter – are an absolute insitution in Darwin. Such an institution that, on our first night in Darwin, we grabbed the camera and the baby and we headed down there. The Darwin Dry Season, as we quickly learned, brings with it copious amounts of tourists – I didn’t realise how many tourists there were in Darwin until we spent our first December here and the town literally empties.
The focal point for many is the beautiful, amazing sunset that occurs at around 6.45pm, giving market-goers enough time to get into the market mood, listen to some tunes, have a bit of a shop around and perhaps a bite to eat. Then at around 6.35pm, the masses converge on the beach to watch the sunset in this beautiful natural setting.
The irony being, of course, that so many people kind of ruin the serenity. (I’m thinking of that scene from The Castle – “Ahhh the serenity…” while the mosquito lamp keeps zzzzzzing mozzies dead in the background).
The other irony, of course, is that in the two years I’ve been here, the only time I’ve been to Mindil to snap the sunset is when the markets are on – even though the sun sets there every night of the year.
Because, despite the masses marring the perfect picture, there is something about the optimism of the Dry Season after the mould, cockroaches, frogs, spiders and more mould of the Wet Season. And I just can’t resist the general atmosphere of conviviality of the markets and the consequential picnicking on the foreshore.
For this week’s Travel Snap Tuesday, I am staying very close to home. In fact, the Mindil Beach Markets (which run during the Dry Season only – from the end of April to the end of October) practically down the end of my street
and around the corner and down another street.
Am am seeking local inspiration because the flights from Darwin to anywhere – all Australian capital cities or any of the direct international destinations of Singapore, Manila, Denpasar and Ho Chi Minh – are either booked out for the Easter weekend or ridiculously expensive.
Because we left it too late, we’re going to have to enjoy holidaying close to home, which seems a much nicer prospect now that the Dry Season is poking its head around the corner and giving us a wink in the form of humidity lower than 60 per cent and overnight temperatures of 20 degrees! OMG!
But very close to home it will have to be, because after a record-breaking Wet Season downpour of 3.2 metres of rain since October, the Top End is feeling very wet and very sorry for itself. Roads are damaged, especially into and out of remote Aboriginal communities, crossings are closed, and the waterways and floodplains are chock-a-block full of crocs!
So even if we don’t get away, I have the Mindil Markets to look forward to next Thursday night!
Travel snap Tuesday is about sharing a moment in time through a photo (or three). If you want to join in Travel Snap Tuesday, simply post a pic of anywhere you’ve been in Australia or abroad. And please leave a link so we can voyeurise your travel pics.