Your free what's on guide to the NT

Growing Up Troppo - June

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

By Libby Larsen

One of the things I really lovea bout having my kids grow up in the Top End are the special opportunities to learn and experience the rich and diverse Aboriginal culture that is part of the fabric of life up here.

Whether it's heading to an Aboriginal community festival, soaking up the hip and happening music scene, experiencing Kakadu, Litchfield or Humpty Doo with an Aboriginal custodian, or simply heading off to story time with Aunty Sharona in the Darwin CBD – there are some truly wonderful things to do with kids.

Perhaps jumping aboard an organised tour in your own backyard isn't something you think is for you.

Like heaps of Darwin families, we've been to places like Litchfield many times. But, for a different and enlightening view of this much loved park, you should look into spending a day with Tess from Northern Territory Indigenous Tours. She'll take you to special places that are off limits to the general public and share her stories, insights and culture. 

My guess is you've been to Kakadu, probably numerous times. But have you tried the Guluyambi Cultural Cruise, or hung out with Victor Cooper from Ayal Tours? And have you heard of Kakadu Cultural Camp?

If you haven't cruised along the East Alligator River on a Guluyambi Cultural Cruise, this is a must do for your next Kakadu sojourn. Seriously, my boys still wax lyrical about Hilton (our guide) and his masterful spear throwing techniques. I have to admit, he is pretty cool. 

But you don't have to head far out of town to jump on a tour. Just down the track from Darwin, past Humpty Doo, you'll find Pudukal Tours. With Lynette, Graham and their lovely family, your kids will see and experience basket weaving, the yidaki, spear throwing and learn about bush food and medicine. 

And then there are the community festivals – one of the best ways to get amongst it all. If you make the effort to head to a festival, it will be an experience your kids will never forget.

On our list for this year is the Mahbilil Festival in Jabiru, which we've never been to. Everyone says it's a super family-friendly event crammed with some really cool activities for kids, local music and dance performances.

There's a big emphasis on bushfood – so this might be your opportunity to sample buffalo, barra and Magpie Goose, which are cooked up in large earth ovens. I'm in. 

If getting out of town seems too hard because you have little kids in tow, keep your eye on the Facebook page of Starwin Shopfront in Darwin for their special Indigenous story time sessions with Sharona. 

Libby Larsen. 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 | @growinguptroppo

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