Darwin is blessed with a particularly attractive coastline, lush parks and excellent walking paths that meander through a beautiful urban environment. The suburbs of Fannie Bay, Nightcliff and Casuarina all front onto the Timor Sea which is flat, calm and often like liquid gold at sunset. Tall palm trees sway in the breeze that blows onshore every afternoon, while parks full of fig trees provide shelter and food for the huge variety of birds that inhabit Darwin. The nature parks teem with wildlife and it is not unusual to see wallabies eating shoots of grass or goannas wandering the lawns and sandhills of the foreshore. Darwin is one of the few cities in Australia where sea turtles still come ashore to nest.
East Point Reserve
The cliff-top paths into and along East Point Reserve are spectacular and very popular with joggers, rollerbladers and cyclists. Early morning and sunset find a range of people taking a constitutional along these paths that meander between palm trees, parks and barbecues. The waters of Fannie Bay are enticing but, like all beaches in Darwin, are unsafe for swimming, particularly late in the year because of the presence of box jellyfish. Lake Alexander, at East Point Reserve, is an alternative swimming area, along with public baths at Parap, Nightcliff and Casuarina and these are definitely the options preferred by the locals. A raised boardwalk on the northern side of the lake gives access to mangroves that are teeming with bird, fish and plant life.
East Point Military Museum and the Defence of Darwin Experience, in the north of the reserve, form a fascinating World War II precinct. The Defence of Darwin Experience is a highly interactive experience using high-tech touch screen technology, storyboards and olde worlde sepia photographs. Immerse yourself in the action with realistic cinerama, deafening noise and flashing gunfire. The museum, housed in the original command post bunker, has an interesting array of weapons and military equipment used during World War II. Alec Fong Lim Dr, East Point; open daily.
The Nightcliff foreshore provides an excellent cliff-top walkway that runs from Nightcliff boat ramp to a bridge over Rapid Creek, on to Casuarina Beach. Parks, play areas for children and fishing spots can be found all along here.