The Esplanade

Much of Darwin’s up-market accommodation is built along The Esplanade, with balconies and windows looking out over Darwin Harbour and the new Darwin Waterfront development. Oil rigs can often be seen being towed out to the offshore fields of the Timor Sea, as can cattle boats lying at anchor, awaiting shipments. There are many Australian and American wrecks at the bottom of the harbour, sunk by the Japanese bombers that struck without warning in February 1942. There are memorial sites all around the harbour recording the hundreds of bombing raids that were made on the city during World War II.

Beautiful Bicentennial Park runs the length of The Esplanade and a walking/cycling track goes from Doctors Gully in the north to the Wharf Precinct in the south. The park is a great place to relax under a shady tree, enjoy lunch or simply watch the day go by; in the mornings and evenings, this is also a popular area for joggers and walkers. There is a children’s playground halfway along the park, an eagle’s nest lookout at the northern end and a Cenotaph honouring service men and women at the southern end. A branch of the walking/cycling track goes past Lameroo Beach and the Deckchair Cinema, showing current and popular films ‘under the stars’ every night during the dry season.

On the corner of Knuckey Street, at the southern end of The Esplanade, is Old Admiralty House, built in 1937. It shows off tropical design and living standards before the city was devastated in 1974, and is now incorporated into a restaurant. Further north is Lyons Cottage, the former British Australian Telegraph (BAT) headquarters for the Overland Telegraph. Built in 1925 for BAT staff, it now houses an excellent chronology of early Darwin life. Lyons Cottage: cnr The Esplanade and Knuckey St; open daily; admission free.

Summary

Watching a movie at the Deckchair Cinema

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