29/07/2015 Darwin is a very contemporary looking city, with many new apartment buildings particularly in the Darwin Harbour precinct, a 25 hectare lifestyle precinct and recreation hub located between the harbour and the CBD. We enjoyed a breakfast at one of the many cafes below the apartment blocks that border the shady village green, and across from the Darwin Convention Centre and 4,000sqm Wave Lagoon that generates 1.2m waves.
A short walk took us to the Old Court House and Police Station, erected in 1884. Following damage from Cyclone Tracy, the buildings have been extensively and tastefully renovated and are now used for government administration purposes. These were lovely old buildings with their thick stone walls and wide verandas.
At the Myilly Point Heritage Precinct on a high point overlooking the Casino, we looked at four houses that were constructed in the 1930s as government accommodation. These have survived WWII and many cyclones including Tracy in 1974, and provide a snapshot of early Darwin high-end tropical living. All the houses are listed with and managed by the National Trust, being the only grouping of prewar houses on an original, publicly accessible site in Darwin. Burnett House was particularly interesting with its enclosed open-plan ground floor living area and lack of internal walls in the upstairs bedroom areas, to maximise the flow of cooling breezes. Beds were movable to wherever was cooler, and privacy was provided by hotel-style swinging doors open at the top and bottom. Exterior walls comprised large sections of louvres for airflow. Makes a lot of sense in a tropical climate.
“A good holiday is one that is spent among people whose notions of time are vaguer than yours.” –J.B. Priestley