Thinking about adventuring up to the Northern Territory, aka, The Top End? Not sure what to take? As an obvious frequent flyer to Darwin (*cough*, three times now *cough*) - I thought who better to give you a comprehensive guide of Darwin travel essentials. Now I know what you're thinking - this girl is super not qualified to be giving me this information, but! this breakdown is coming from someone who lives almost as close as you can get to Antarctica without actually leaving Australia, and speaking as a plus-sized lass, I think I'm pretty well equipped to give you the rundown on what I'd suggest to be the BEST things to bring with you.
I must admit, my trip this time around has been 1000% better than my trip at Christmas time. Take heed, the humidity after the end of October is no joke (I’ve been told that I’ve actually been pretty lucky to have avoided it on this recent trip). We’ve averaged temperatures around 35-42 degrees Celsius, and it hasn’t actually been too terrible, especially coming out of an average of about 11 degrees down-home.
ESSENTIAL ONE: PACK WATER
Once again, this feels like a no brainer, but if I can preach anything up here, it’s just to make sure that you’re packing a water bottle with you at all times. Don’t even worry about makeup if you’re not used to the heat – you will legit sweat it off, and replacing that sweat is essential. If you’re planning to do any walking (even if it’s really from your hotel to the supermarket) – you will feel it.
Re-usable ones are the best (like pictured above). I myself bought a plastic re-usable one with a straw, and regretting it for the aesthetic vs practicability of it in bags (aka, don’t get a straw one. Get an anti-leak one)
DARWIN TRAVELL ESSENTIALS #2: 3B CREAM
IF. YOU. ARE. A. CURVY. PERSON. YOU. NEED. TO. BUY. THIS.
If for nothing else for your beauty regime up here, buy this. I chafe, and I chafe bad. Normally I’ll have that horrid rash for days, and if you’re prone to chafing, you’ll know immediately how badly a holiday (or your day to day life) can be impacted. This product legit saved my ass.
I used to use the silky underwear powder by Lush – and whilst in slightly cooler climates it does the job sort of okay – it definitely didn’t have the same results as the 3B cream
*Now – for those who are vegan/conscious of animal cruelty related products, at the time of the post – I cannot verify if 3B is animal cruelty free. The Lush alternative absolutely is, and I’ve reached out to Neat for further clarification.
DARWIN TRAVELL ESSENTIALS #3 : TELSTRA NETWORK SIM
For disclosure, whilst being in the Darwin vicinity, I’ve been using my Vodafone SIM card with no issues, and absolutely no complaints. When we went out to explore Litchfield National Park however, we dropped out of complete signal with still about 45 minutes to go before we got to our destination. Luckily google maps was a gem and saved our destination offline, but did pose a real concern if we had an accident or ran into some form of trouble.
Now, I say Telstra network SIM card, because Telstra can be expensive AF and there’s a couple of providers in Australia that run on the Telstra network for prepaid and a sim only plan, and should, (should is a very operative keyword, these have NOT been tested by myself,) give you the same, if not similar coverage for the rural areas:
ESSENTIAL FOUR: SUNSCREEN
Look, I’m not going to go into much on this as it’s really self-explanatory. The temperature here can get up over 60 degrees Celsius. Do not leave the house without sunscreen, even if it’s an inconvenience. Your non-burnt skin will love you.
ESSENTIAL FIVE: COTTON, COTTON, COTTON
I’m sure if you’ve got curves, again I don’t need to be telling you that hot weather + lumps = sticky mess. I will super encourage you to invest in clothes before coming up here, particularly for bathers and swimwear. I didn’t find anything for myself (for reference, I’m sitting currently at a size 14/16) and being off-peak season, wasn’t exactly a lot at home either to assist with this.
Super loose clothing has been a saving grace, like the ones pictured below.
Valley girl circa 2017 for the blue jumpsuit, and Dotti 2019 for the pink dress
I’m a much bigger fan of flats for footwear over thongs/sandals – just because of the blister factor, and they’re also much more acceptable if you’re wanting to go out to a restaurant as many places won’t accept said flip-flops.
Originally, I was going to write don’t worry about wet weather gear, but the drought finally broke here earlier this morning and it’s bucketing down – so an umbrella or really really really light poncho may be a good option if you’re coming in the wet season (Mid October – March)
I feel this may be an ongoing list, especially as we enter back into summer but absolutely the above items are essentials on visiting the top end. Have you visited up here before? What other things would you recommend?