Travel: Darwin, from dawn until blood orange

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The hotel waitress couldn't contain her excitement as she exclaimed, "It's a dragonfly!" She explained to me that the first glimpse of dragonflies in Darwin signals the arrival of the dry season. These colourful harbingers of seasonal change are possibly the only insect that commands such glee.

The end of the rainy season brings the locals out to play. And SkyCity Darwin is not just a much-loved oasis of hospitality for travellers; it is the premier night-time playground for locals, too. Set in 7ha of soul-soothing tropical parkland, the beachfront resort houses 10 wining and dining options. A social institution in Darwin is the hotel's "Starbeque", which offers deluxe poolside dining under the stars from May to September.

The hotel boasts 120 lavishly appointed rooms and suites, loaded with amenities, complimentary internet access and laundry facilities.

SkyCity also features a sumptuous infinity pool, 9-hole golf course and, yes, a swanky casino.

Most guest rooms face the expanse of Mindil Beach, giving you a front-row seat on the blood-orange sunsets.

But the most magical experience was being jolted awake by the unique sound of Australia. A grand symphony of cockatoos, kookaburras, grebes, finches, rosellas, robins and fellow warblers, serenading the dawn of a new day.

- Hamilton News

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