Darwin Travel Guide
All this week, HotelChatter contributor Eric Rosen lets us tag along as he explores the wild, far reaches of Australia, visiting some of the most untouched landscapes down under, and bringing you inside looks at some of the continent’s most distinctive hotel experiences.
So far, I’d been to a lush tropical island, a real-life sheep station, and the wildlife wonderland of Kangaroo Island. Next stop on my Australian perambulation was the lush billabong country of the Mary River Wetlands, about 90 minutes southwest of Darwin to live out my Crocodile Dundee fantasy at the all-new eco-luxe Wildman Wilderness Lodge.
If the standard hotel package that throws in free meals, some champagne or maybe a nice box of chocolates has got a bit boring for you, then perhaps you'd like to get dunked into a pool infested with crocodiles instead? That's the angle the Novotel Darwin is going for in the far north of Australia.
We'd like to say up front that we will never sign up for this package ourselves, but it's a free world so we thought we'd mention it anyway. The current Novotel Darwin deals work together with nearby Crocosaurus Cove and you can get a Cage of Death package for A$287 ($195) a night, including accommodation and one experience that they describe like this:
Guests are suspended in an acrylic transparent cage on a monorail system above the crocodile enclosures at Crocosaurus Cove and then slowly lowered into one of the four chosen enclosures for an "experience of a lifetime."
We just hope it's not the last experience of your lifetime.
If you just prefer to watch others risk getting eaten, then there are cheaper packages which just include entry to the croc park going for A$197 ($130) a night. We're probably even going to give that one a miss.
If you're traveling around the so-called Top End of Australia you'll probably land in the Northern Territory's capital, Darwin. For a good meal, check out the Zest Restaurant in the Novotel Atrium Darwin--it just won an award in the NT Culinary Challenge, with a special fish dish.
After you've checked out the restaurant, you could consider checking in to the hotel as well. It gets mixed reviews, with some guests adoring their ocean view rooms while others figuring it wasn't worth the money (although to be fair, even everyday items are expensive when you're as far away from everything as Darwin is). Perhaps one reviewer summed it up fairly: "Not bad by Darwin standards". At least you'll know the fish is the best around.
· Award-Winning Dish at Novotel Atrium Darwin [eTravel]