Swim year round in Darwin City
Darwin is Australia's tropical capital. It's warm all year round, which is great for swimmers - as long as you know the right places to swim.
You're probably thinking you'll come to Darwin to see some crocodiles and visit some iconic attractions. That's good, but Darwin is also about slowing down a bit, and enjoying life. This is reflected in the layout of its city and the people.
Yes, it is a slower pace and as you're on holidays, don't forget to take a breath, relax and get into the rhythm of Darwin. One very good reason that the pace here is slower, is the heat... it just makes sense not to rush about. You need to work with the elements, not against them.
Don't forget to factor swimming time into your itinerary - it will be a welcome relief. There are some terrific local places to swim that are safe and unforgettable.
The Waterfront Precinct
Darwin's Waterfront Precinct offers a range of restaurants, pubs and cafes to eat and drink, and it also boasts a Wave Lagoon and an artificial beach area. There's a small fee to enter the Wave Lagoon, but swimming in the beach area is free.
The multi-story car park has free parking for the first 2 hours, or you can walk down from the city via a pedestrian bridge and elevator.
Bring your towel and a book, and pull up a spot on the grass under a shady tree. There's also plenty of lounge chairs about for anyone to use. It's only about 5 minutes walks from the CBD and Darwin Mall, but feels like you're on an island resort.
The Darwin Waterfront Precinct at Sunrise
Click on any image to see the full sized picture.
Lake Alexander, East Point Reserve
Less than 10 minutes drive from the CBD is Lake Alexander on East Point Reserve. As you enter East Point, the lake is on your right hand side, with Darwin Harbour on your left.
There's plenty of shade, grassed and sandy areas, as well as a large kids playground area around the lake.
Lake Alexander is a favourite for paddle boarders, swimmers, kayakers, joggers, early morning walkers, and those who enjoy yoga. Families come down to picnic on the weekends, and you'll see the odd kid's birthday party taking place.
During the Dry Season, chances are you'll be witness to some magnificent sunsets, but make sure you bring your insect repellent if you do plan on visiting early in the morning or late afternoon.
If you're interested in Paddle Boarding lessons, then take a look at Fun Supply's website. They hire out equipment, as well as provide lessons.
Your Hotel Pool
It doesn't matter if you're staying in a swanky hotel or the local caravan park, they are sure to have a pool.
Darwin is known as a capital city but most people don't realise how small it is. It takes around 25 minutes to get from one point in Darwin, to another... and that's if you catch a lot of red traffic lights on the way. This means wherever you are, you're not going to be too far away from a safe swimming spot.
Don't forget the local Council swimming pools. These are well maintained and located in Parap, Nightcliff, Casuarina, and Palmerston.
A fun place to take the kids is to Leanyer Recreation Park or the Palmerston Water Slides. Both of these have free entry. Visit the NT Government website for more info on opening times.
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