1) Wild barramundi
Barramundi is Australia’s most popular fish – and the word on the street is that it tastes best when you’ve just plucked it from NT waters yourself. Fish for toothsome specimens in the Yellow Water Billabong within Kakadu National Park, then barbecue your catch on the shore and wash it down with an ice-cold tinny or a bottle of Australian plonk.
2) Territory bush tucker
‘Bush tucker’ is the affectionate nickname given to the native food that Australia’s indigenous people have expertly foraged and cooked for the last 60,000 years; the term also encompasses native flora and fauna used for medicinal purposes (including saps and barks, witchetty grubs, kangaroo apples and more). Bush tucker is an intrinsic part of the Northern Territory’s culture: the best way to get a taste for it is with an Aboriginal guide. If you’re lucky, you might try strawberry gum, lemon myrtle, wattle seeds, long yam, banksia, pigface, wild grapes, quandong, Kakadu plums, cocky apples, bush bananas, native honey and coal-cooked meats. Join a bush tucker tour in the Top End or Central Australia: Animal Tracks’ safari in Kakadu National Park takes guests on a foraging session in the Kakadu area, seeking turtles, snakes, fruits, yams and bulbs. At sunset, the bush tucker gathered is cooked over a campfire along with meat and game – maybe magpie goose or buffalo.
3) Market produce and snacks
Darwin has some incredible food markets – canter through a global array of flavours at the brilliant Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, which take place on Thursday and Sunday evenings in the dry season (April–October). Sip a juicy fresh mango smoothie, tick off Asian-fusion food, have a Japanese omelette, some fresh gnocchi or a chilli-tastic laksa, perhaps. There are also local markets held at Nightcliff, Parap, Rapid Creek, Palmerston and Coolalinga.
Try wattleseed kangaroo carpaccio or kangaroo rillettes and other indigenous concoctions at Tali Wiru: a spectacular open-air dining experience for up to 20 guests, that’s organised by the Ayers Rock Resort. Dinners end with guests gathered around a campfire, accompanied by cups of steaming hot chocolate and hypnotic creation tales spun by an indigenous storyteller. Magic.
Get a taste for the outback at Red Ochre Grill in Alice Springs, which serves plum-glazed crocodile spare ribs served with charred red-pepper and yam fritters; don’t miss the traditional damper bread (dished up here with lemon myrtle butter). If you’ve room, the hefty kangaroo fillet is well worth sinking your teeth into.
Begin your Australian adventure in style with Singapore Airlines. Fly one stop to Darwin from £660.