AT’s guide to the best cheap accommodation for summer and Christmas holidays

Darwin

Why do we rate it?
The great Northern Territory capital is fast growing up. In its ‘green’ (that’s spin for wet) season you see a very different town at its lush best.

Where is it?
It’s the city you visit when you don’t want to be in a city.

Where to stay
The options are endless in the wet season, when rates drop sharply. Even the top places to stay seem affordable. Our picks are the Mantra Pandanas and the new waterfront twin hotel and apartment-style developments of Medina/Vibe. Just outside town, on the edge of Litchfield National Park, is Batchelor Butterfly Farm, which offers well-appointed cabins.

How much is it?
The Mantra Pandanas has studios at $153 a night. The Butterfly Farm has a two-night package with brekkie for $155 per night. Medina Darwin has a studio from $144 and apartments from $174.

Availability
All have availability after December 26.

What to do
More and more operators are staying open in the wet season, so there are loads more things to do than in previous years. The real must-dos are mostly out of Darwin, and can be either day trips or overnighters. In the wet it’s advisable to stick to a day trip to Kakadu, the Tiwi Islands or Litchfield. In town, war-heads love East Point Military Museum, the WW2 Oil Tunnels. The Museum and Art Gallery of the NT has an eclectic collection and its Cyclone Tracey exhibit is moving and scary. Speaking of scary, Crocosaurus Cove has the Cage of Death, where thrillseekers can swim in a glass cage dipped in a crocodile pond. Buzz Café and Hanuman are the best places to eat.

Contact
Mantra Pandanas //
43 Knuckey St.
(08) 8901 2900; mantra.com.au

Batchelor Butterfly Farm //
8 Meneling Rd.
(08) 8976 0199; butterflyfarm.net

Medina Waterfront //
7 Kitchener Dr.
(08) 8982 9999; medina.com.au

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