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Growing Up Troppo – Dec/Jan

Reviews, tips and advice for travelling the world with kids.

By Libby Larsen.

The holidays are on their way! The end of the year is looming – no doubt you’ve seen those telltale signs – Woolies has tinsel, Smith Street Mall has fairy lights, the Christmas party invites are flooding in and the most asked question around town is “are you staying or going?”. 

I love Christmas in Darwin – it’s way more chilled than the frenzied family festivities down south. A Darwin Christmas is all about lazy days lounging poolside, chowing down on chilli mud crab, BBQ barra and mango and lime sorbet. 

Santa is stopping in Darwin again and opportunities abound to meet our bearded friend. You’ll find him at the Waterfront, Casuarina Square and other locations around town. Carols by Candlelight at the Botanical Gardens is a must, and if you haven’t taken the kids to see the glitzy glow of houses laden with Christmas lights, glowing reindeers and fake snow in Palmerston, why not try it this year? Check out the Facebook page “Darwin/Palmerston Christmas Lights” for all the intel on where to see the best displays. 

And when the buzz of Christmas is over, there are heaps of activities to keep little ones entertained. Make sure you check out the school holiday programs at the Darwin Waterfront, City of Darwin, the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory and Palmerston City Council. Then, if you are still tearing your hair out wondering what to do with the kids, there’s always ice skating, bowling, Flip Out, the water parks and the wave pool.

We love to dine and dip at the Ski Club and Darwin Trailer Boat Club, both of which have great pools. Another option is the Loong Fong Seafood Restaurant at Novotel Darwin Airport – there’s a fabulous pool for a night swim. Our boys love spinning the Lazy Susan, gorging on prawn crackers, fried rice and crispy skin chicken. Take care with little ones though as the dining area is next to the pool, so best with older kids. 

Don’t forget trips out of town – Kakadu National Park in the Wet season is awe-inspiring. We love splashing about in the gorgeous rock pools at Boulder Creek and taking the Guluyambi Cultural Cruise with Kakadu Cultural Tours. For a few months a year, when Magella Creek floods and the road to Ubirr is closed, they run a combined Guluyambi Wet Season Cruise which takes you through paper bark forests to Ubirr. And yes, that means no hordes of tourists. We haven’t done it yet but it’s one my KPI’s for this Wet season.

And that’s just for starters! 

Travel is, and has always been, Libby’s passion and she believes that this shouldn’t stop when you have kids. Libby knows that the best travel advice and tips come from other parents and so she started Growing up Troppo. It has loads of inspiration about hip places to stay, play and eat with kids that importantly parents love too. 

FOLLOW | @growingup troppo

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