Darwin: airport arrival and getting into town
Darwin Airport is an inviting very neat and tidy small to midsize airport and has an inviting sign that says “Welcome to Darwin”. With my face pressed against the plane window trying desperately to catch a glimpse…silly as it sounds the sign did bring a smile to my face. As it turns out, the local folks (around 100,000 of them) are so friendly and open the welcome sign is absolutely heartfelt from the city.
The topography from the plane looks quite flat with tall thin trees and underbrush. Upon closer inspection from the ground, this is in fact the case. The natural habitiat is a costal savannah- not the tropical rainforest most people expect. The air was quite hazy due to Dry Season burn off. The local aboriginal people, along with the government, burn off sections of the bush for land management, keeping underbrush to a minimum and putting nutrients back into the poor soils. Fires have been used in this way here for thousands of years through natural lightening strikes and planned burning by aboriginal people.
However, what it does is give everyone a little bit of a cough and sniffle. If you are seriously asthmatic, be warned and prepared. It also makes it difficult to get a good clear picture.
From the airport
Taxi’s are available (about $25) and certain hotels have free shuttles. However if you are like most people you’ll need the public shuttle. A shuttle is available to most hotel locations in town for a little over $9. You can get your ticket near baggage pick-up along side the rental car agencies. If you don’t need a car for a couple of days, I suggest taking the shuttle in and then pick up a car when you need it from one of the rental places in the CBD. (The CBD is the term used in Oz for Central Business District, or Downtown) the rates are similar to those at the airport. Some rental companies in the CBD will allow for airport drop offs of their rental cars at the end of your trip for a fee.