Darwin, Australia

Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost. It’s also a gateway to massive Kakadu National Park. I would recommend joining a tour to cover the Northern Territory, I joined a Topdeck tour allowing me to make friends, not have to worry about plans and especially driving on endless roads (lots of dead kangaroos along the way, you may also spot snakes and crocodiles as I did). Here is what we got up to:

  1. Mindil Beach and markets, be sure to go during sunset!20180506_181135
  2. Crocosaurus Cove on Mitchell Street (main street with the mall, hostels, restaurants, Coles and pubs). Up-close wildlife exhibits with reptiles, turtles & a saltwater crocodile in a viewing cage. You can also pay more for the ‘cage of death’, an unclose encounter with crocodiles! Or enjoy a free photoshoot with various reptiles, and a paid photoshoot with baby crocodiles.
  3. Darwin Waterfront, wave pool and open air cinema with more fancy restaurants along the waterfront.
  4. Litchfield National Park: Wangi Falls, Termite Mounds, Florence Falls, Buley Rock holes.
  5. Katherine: Edith Falls, Katherine Gorge boat tour and Katherine Hot Springs.
  6. Kakadu National Park: Aboriginal rock art at Anbangbang, Yellow Water Billabong Boat Tour and Sunset at Ubirr (best one in my opinion).

Morocco

This was the absolute trip of a life time and definitely falls in my top three destinations! Starting in Marrakech and then doing a 3 day Sahara desert tour with RAK adventures, I have so much to recommend:

  1. When visiting Marrakech, make sure you stay in a riad, a traditional Moroccan house or palace with an interior garden or courtyard. I stayed at Riad Alwachma where they welcomed me with Moroccan mint tea and I even had a traditional hammam spa for the first time there too.
  2. See the Kotoubia mosque and medina both in the day and at night because of the different atmosphere you can experience. Don’t get ripped off by the people trying to get you to tour around on horse carriages like I did because you can easily walk around yourself and make sure you bargain at the Medina. At the Medina you’ll be able to have the cheapest and freshest orange juice in your life! Other things to do but not a must in my opinion: Bahia Palace (had no signs to indicate what I was looking at) and Majorelle garden (completely man made).

  3. A restaurant I would recommend in the Medina is Le Marrakchi. It’s a bit more fancy and pricy but a good start to getting a full sample of Moroccan food. They gave you so much to try for a set price and there was a little band playing which was a nice touch.

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  4. Learn how argan oil is produced, carpets are made and the use of fire to change the colour of natural plant dye to use in art. Consider buying these local products!
  5. Join the 3 day sahara desert tour to
    • Explore the High Atlas mountains, seen as snowcaps in the background as well. 10872747_10153756255303849_8613450311875366887_o
    • Pass Berber villages10985615_10153756255833849_2754009657113032688_o10959619_10153747088013849_512952712867989933_n
    • View the Tizi n Tichka pass10921670_10153756255528849_4998867960803262710_o
    • Visit Unesco kasbah of Ait Benhaddou1014942_10153747110698849_4520530785395530840_o10866060_10153756253563849_6448495490924231833_o (1)
    • Visit Ouarzazate movie studios
    • Visit Dades and Todra Gorges
    • Camel ride in Merzouga desert
    • Sleep in a desert camp which included a bonfire, and traditional berber music playing under the stars. Try sandboarding too!
    • Wake up early to catch sun rise behind the dunes10560565_10153756257673849_6856786587372321284_o 

Others: Some people say it is worth visiting a tannery where they tan animal skin (leather) but I was too afraid of the smell!

Note: The only time I felt a bit uncomfortable was in Marrakesh where it was very crowded, dusty and people kept trying to convince you to buy stuff. But once I went out into the country side, my trip was just incredible.