Darwin Waterfront Precinct Walk
Directions - I started this walk at the Stokes Hill Wharf that can be reached from the centre of Darwin by heading south on McMinn St and taking a left at the second roundabout onto Stokes Hill Rd. Follow this to the end and there is a large car park on the wharf.
The Walk - With the matriarch of Caris' family turning the big nine-zero in July it was decided that a family trip was needed. The requirements for the trip were it had to be warm and a relatively short flight from Perth so in the end Darwin was chosen as the location and plans were put in place. I had only been to Darwin once before but apparently I was only three so I cannot remember anything from that trip. Having loved my previous visits to Karijini and Broome in previous Perth winters, I was looking forward to escaping the cooler weather and exploring the Top End during the cooler but still quite warm dry season. As with any trip I was immediately on the lookout for walks I could do, to not only explore the city but provide a cool experience that I could photograph and write about.
Unfortunately there wasn't a whole load of information available about walks within the Darwin area online and the visitor centre in the centre of the city were only interested in selling you a tour (didn't even have the basic Litchfield National Park brochures). With that in mind and after a couple of days walking around Darwin (which by the way is a really cool city with a lot going for it), I decided to check out the sunrise from Stokes Hill Wharf and then do a highlights of Darwin tour along the waterfront area. Waking up before sunrise, I headed off from the hotel for the short walk down to the wharf. Loving the fact I could wear shorts and t-shirt at sunrise in July, I was rushing a little to catch the sunrise over the harbour. Passing over the Sky Bridge leading from the city down to the waterfront area (I would take a different way up the hill on the proper route), I could see the beautiful morning colours starting to appear. Far from being empty at first light, there were plenty of people jogging, walking and having breakfast. As I passed the Convention Centre and made my way to Stokes Hill Wharf I could see the sun gently rising over the water. Near the Indo Pacific Marine building I stopped to get a few photos of the sun peaking on the horizon.
Casting a bright orange glow everywhere, my timing was just right and I spent a while here photographing and admiring the brilliant colours. With plenty of boats in the harbour I had fun trying to get them in front of the sunrise glow with limited success. I still hadn't reached my planned start point at the end of the Stokes Hill car park but with such a cool sunrise I wasn't rushing anything. Having visited this area the previous day for a historic boat tour of the harbour and coastline around Darwin, I was looking forward to exploring the sights we'd been told about on foot. I reached the start point I had set (the first lot of buildings at Stokes Hill Wharf) and stood there for a while soaking it all in. The tug boats were looking cool in the morning light with their shiny exhaust pipes glowing orange from the early sun and off to the south the colours were a more muted purple and blue. Coming from Perth you really appreciate when it's not windy, especially near open water, so it was really peaceful and serene to just look out over the still waters of the harbour in the humid morning air.