i have just spent the last week of october in sunny darwin, at the top end of australia. the top end is some of my favourite spots to travel to in australia, it is a real tropical paradise. not only are the people great here, there are some breathtaking locations to visit (and of course photograph). darwin is hot all year around and the week i was there was no exception.
the only seasonal change in darwin is what the locals call the dry and the wet. the dry is usually from may to october and the wet is november to april. as the name suggest the wet season is often subject to heavy rainfall that you can almost set your watch by, and as a result of that the humidity is fierce. luckily for me the wet season was yet to kick in, but the heat was intense nevertheless. the wet season is actually better for photography as the sky usually has beautiful cloud cover and sometimes is violent and stormy.
darwin city is full of energy and the surrounding area is full of wildlife and magical scenery. kakadu and litchfield national parks are nearby and draw many tourists. i was confined to the city this visit but there are two areas close by that are worth photographing; nightcliff and east point. They are both only a short drive from the city and in my opinion offer the best sunset photo locations in darwin. while i have been to both locations before, there are multiple areas that provide all the elements of a visualscape.
the other thing that people need to know about darwin is the tides, especially anyone wanting to do anything near the water (including a shoot). they are huge, around 6 to 7 metres and move very fast so you have to be wary.
i had three sunsets to take advantage of and prayed that the heavens would be nice to me. i was also lucky as each sunset was almost exactly at high tide, which is usually the best time for photos and to avoid the mud flats at low tide.
the first place i went to was nightcliff, which is to the north of the city. there is an area in nightcliff where there are some large rock formations that point out to sea that i call finger rocks. it is pretty easy to get to and there is a little car park just down the road from the location. see below for the spot.
here are some of the shots from the afternoon at nightcliff's finger rocks...
a couple came down to enjoy the sunset as well and add a human element to my visualscape. also adds scale to show how big the rocks actually are
as i was composing for another shot the guy in the shot above was off with his shirt and decided he would get into the water that was running between the rocks. out came my zoom lens to capture him loving darwin life!
the second evening i went to east point as there were some other rock formations that i noticed last time i was here, and I wanted to take advantage of the location at high tide. east point is only about 15 minutes drive from the city and a lot of people go there to run or cycle around the tracks. it is a beautiful recreation spot and a number of people take advantage of the sunset. the area i wanted to go to is a bit tough to get to, especially at high tide but it was worth it. the map below shows the location i was in.
the area i went to has very little vegetation around it and when i took these it felt like i was on another rocky desolate planet, here are some of the shots...
here are two shots of the coastline that surround this location as well,
the last night saw me back at nightcliff again. when i was there two days earlier i noticed some small mangroves that were in the shallows of high tide and i thought they would make a good foreground against a sunset. this location is shown below.
the tide actually caught me out here as it was still coming in...and fast. i had to reset my camera back a few times and i got quite wet but it was well worth it. the following are some of the shots from my last night. darwin is a great spot and recommend you get out for sunset whenever you are here.