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"Zoe" by Tony Trischka from Territory

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
The banjo in American music was traditionally associated with bluegrass and old-time until the early 1970s when Tony Trischka spearheaded a movement to innovate the sound. In his hands, the banjo became a vehicle for greater melodic and harmonic sophistication. Through Trischka, the instrument found its way into many different musical forms from jazz to rock to classical. In his 35 year career Trischka has performed extensively in the USA and Europe as well as touring Australia, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand. He was awarded Banjo Player of the Year in 2007 by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

"monument" for V. Tatlin

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

#FWTrueLove Live Tour Part 1b: Dr. Nick Pyenson & Fossil Marine Mammals

Smithsonian Institution
We have sound! Join us in this video that explores the Department of Fossil Marine Mammals with curator Dr. Nick Pyenson. Tweet us your questions and watch Twitter @TranscribeSI @BioDivLibrary @FieldBookProj @PyensonLab @SmithsonianArch for livetweeting details

#FWTrueLove Tour - (missing sound but interesting clip!)

Smithsonian Institution
Please note: this video is missing sound input. To view Part 1 of our #FWTrueLove tour follow to this link: https://plus.google.com/events/c0281lge6s8551pf1e7ip2r5ea0 As we wrap up this session, join us at this link for a tour of the Cullman Library - http://bit.ly/17KWS2P

#FWTrueLove Tour Part 2: Dr. Nick Pyenson & the Kellogg Library team

Smithsonian Institution
Part 2 of our tour explores the Kellogg Library with our host and curator, Dr. Nick Pyenson. Tweet us your questions and watch Twitter @TranscribeSI @BioDivLibrary @FieldBookProj @PyensonLab @SmithsonianArch for livetweeting details

#FWTrueLove: the Tour!

National Museum of Natural History
Join us tomorrow for #FWTrueLove: the LIVE tour! 03 March 2015 - 3:00-4:00 pm EST National Museum of Natural History, Department of Fossil Marine Mammals & Remington Kellogg Library On February 13, we issued Smithsonian Transcription Center volunteers an #FWTrueLove challenge - and they stepped up in a big way!...

#FantasticObjects Tweet Up with National Museum of American History!

Smithsonian Libraries
Join us for a Tweet Up with the National Museum of American History and Smithsonian Libraries! Friday, August 7, 9:00-10:30 A.M. (EDT). To celebrate the opening of the Innovation Wing in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, 10 lucky Twitter followers will have the opportunity to experience a special tour of two of the more »

$25.5 Million Raphael Painting Discovered in Scottish Manor House

Smithsonian Magazine

The Haddo House is full of treasures. Located in northeast Scotland, the manor is stuffed with rare antique furniture, sculptures and paintings. Built in 1732, the estate is run by the National Trust for Scotland, which has opened it up to guided tours. Anyone going through the tour should keep an eye for one recently restored painting currently on display in the dining room. That's because it appears to be a genuine Raphael.

According to the BBC, art historian and art dealer Bendor Grosvenor discovered the painting while visiting the Haddo House earlier this year for a BBC show called Britain’s Lost Masterpieces in which he and art historian Jacky Klein track down lost or overlooked paintings in small museums or country houses.

Dalya Alberge at The Guardian reports that Grosvenor made the trip to investigate some other paintings when he noticed the Madonna up in a high dark corner. It was discolored by dark varnish but it stuck out to him. “I thought, crikey, it looks like a Raphael … It was very dirty under old varnish, which goes yellow,” he tells Alberge “Being an anorak [obsessive], I go round houses like this with binoculars and torches [flashlights]. If I hadn’t done that, I’d probably have walked past it.”

A little research revealed that the painting had been purchased in the early 1800s by George Hamilton-Gordon, the 4th Earl of Aberdeen and Prime Minister between 1852 and 1855 as a genuine Raphael. In 1841, the painting went to London and was part of Raphael exhibition at the British Institution. However, the painting was soon downgraded by experts of the time and attributed to Innocenzo Francucci da Imola, a minor Italian painter who often copied Raphael.

Grosvenor convinced the National Trust to conserve the painting and remove the layers of varnish. Research also revealed underdrawing in keeping with Raphael’s technique. The face and model additionally pointed to the painter, as does a now lost photograph of a Raphael drawing that matches the Madonna.

In 1899, Alberge reports, the painting was valued at £20, roughly $2550 in today's currency. As a Raphael, it would be worth about $25.5 million on the art market.

Though outside experts are optimistic that the find is genuine, the piece needs examination by other Raphael scholars before it officially rejoins the pantheon of his work. For now, it will remain at the Haddo House.

“This is particularly exciting for the piece which looks likely to be by Raphael,” Jennifer Melville, head of collections, archives and libraries at the National Trust for Scotland says in a press release. “There are not many places where you can experience the work of one of the Renaissance’s giants in a dining room. It is this intimacy which makes exploring our collections quite so special.”

'A Clockwork Orange' Follow-Up Found in Burgess Archives

Smithsonian Magazine

A literature professor at Manchester Metropolitan University recently unearthed a legendary manuscript: a 200-page work titled The Clockwork Condition by A Clockwork Orange’s Anthony Burgess.

Don’t get too excited, Droog lovers. Colin Dwyer at NPR reports that Condition is not a sequel to the cult novel, but rather a meditation on the “condition of modern man” that was to be structured similarly to Dante’s Inferno. The manuscript was also something of a cash grab. After the release and success of Stanley Kubrick’s film version of book in 1971, a publisher reached out to Burgess, the pen name of writer and composer John Anthony Burgess Wilson: If he could write a brief follow-up to the novel, something that had the term “clockwork” in the title, he suggested, Burgess could ride the movie’s wave and earn some cash.

Burgess agreed to the deal while on a publicity tour in New York in 1972. Correspondence found with the manuscript shows discussion that the book would be illustrated with surreal photos and quotations from famous writers discussing freedom and the individual. But when he began working on it, the short book soon ballooned to 200 pages. Ultimately, according to a press release, Burgess shelved the project.

While rumors of a Clockwork sequel circulated for years, Burgess, who died at the age of 76 in 1993, was always coy about the project. That's why when Burgess scholar Andrew Biswell found the manuscript, a mix of typewritten pages and handwritten notes, while cataloguing Burgess’s papers at Manchester’s Burgess Foundation, he was especially excited.

“I was delighted, because I’d come across a reference to The Clockwork Condition — just one reference — in an interview from around 1975, where Burgess was asked, ‘Where is this book?’ And he said, ‘Oh God, that will never be published. That doesn't really exist,’” Biswell tells Dwyer. “And so that caused me to believe that the manuscript which we’ve now found was no more than an idea or a rumor — and in fact, the surviving manuscript is very developed, and there's a strong argumentative line to it.”

Allison Flood at The Guardian reports Burgess worked on The Clockwork Condition in 1972 and 1973. After Kubrick’s film, which follows the criminal exploits of “ultraviolence” aficionado Alex and his “droogs” in a dystopian future, was accused of spawning copycat crimes and pulled from circulation in the U.K., Burgess used the new project to opine on the controversy and expand on his views of crime, punishment and visual culture.

The manuscript also allowed him to fill in some autobiographical details left out of A Clockwork Orange. It reveals, for instance, where the title comes from: Burgess heard the phrase “a clockwork orange” from an elderly Cockney man in 1945 while he was in the army and kept the term in his back pocket for 20 years before finally finding a use for it in his most famous and problematic work.

So why did he stop work on The Clockwork Condition? “Eventually Burgess came to realize that the proposed non-fiction book was beyond his capabilities, as he was a novelist and not a philosopher,” Biswell tells Flood. “It was then suggested that he should publish a diary under the title The Year of the Clockwork Orange, but this project was also abandoned.”

Burgess did, however, eventually publish a short, illustrated novella in 1974 called The Clockwork Testament (Or: Enderby's End) that covers some of the themes he began in The Clockwork Condition, which is part of his semi-autobiographical Enderby series.

In the release, Biswell suggests there is enough material in a finished state to publish a version of The Clockwork Condition today. “It’s not finished, but there is quite a lot there,” Biswell tells Rob Picheta at CNN. “If you put the book together, you can see what might have been.” No plans to do so have been announced at this time.

This is not the first treasure dredged from Burgess’s papers, which were transferred to the Burgess Foundation after his death. Already, Flood reports that the foundation has found around 40 unpublished stories, including one unfinished manuscript for an ambitious dictionary of slang that Burgess also abandoned.

(Sketchbook) Vevey La Tour

Smithsonian American Art Museum

(Untitled)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

(Untitled)(Woman)

Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

(l to r): Kendall Emerson (1907-1993), Alix Churchill, Eleanor Brown Merrill (b. 1887)

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Dr. Kendall Emerson (1907-1993), a physician, was managing director of the National Tuberculosis Association, 1922-1947; Dr. Alix Churchill, who was visiting United States on speaking tour in September 1935, was Associate Secretary General of the International Association for Prevention of Blindness and Executive Secretary of the International Union Against Tuberculosis; Mrs. Eleanor Brown Merrill (b. 1887) was associate director of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness.

(l to r): Kendall Emerson (1907-1993), Alix Churchill, Eleanor Brown Merrill (b. 1887), Frederick D. Hopkins

Smithsonian Institution Archives
Dr. Kendall Emerson (1907-1993), a physician, was managing director of the National Tuberculosis Association from 1922 to 1947; Dr. Alix Churchill, who was visiting United States on speaking tour in September 1935, was Associate Secretary General of the International Association for Prevention of Blindness and Executive Secretary of the International Union Against Tuberculosis; Mrs. Eleanor Brown Merrill (b. 1887) was associate director of the National Society for the Prevention of Blindness; Frederick D. Hopkins was executive secretary of the National Tuberculosis Association and worked there from 1915 to 1955.

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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

03 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition | Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery

Office of the Chief Information Officer
Benjamin Bloom and Dorothy Moss present the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition app through which it is possible to tour the exhibition, listen to interviews, get inside information, and vote your favorite portrait for the People's Choice Award. Available for iPhone and Android, it can be downloaded at: http://www.si.edu/apps/obpc2013

07 CoPilot | Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

Office of the Chief Information Officer
Vicki Portway and Sarah Banks present the CoPilot TAP tour at NASM created using TAP Explore: http://m.nasm.si.edu/

09 Romare Bearden tour and remixes | Smithsonian Institution Travelling Exhibition Service

Office of the Chief Information Officer
Heather Foster presents the two apps created for the travelling exhibition "Romare Bearden a Black Odissey". The tour app gives listeners new intellectual inroads into the works of Romare Bearden and into the bewitching heart of Homer's "Odyssey.", while the Remixes app users can create their own collage art based on the incredible works of American artist. Download: Tour http://www.si.edu/apps/BeardenTour Remixes http://www.si.edu/apps/BeardenRemix

1 Franc, Guinea, 1962

National Museum of American History
One (1) franc coin

Guinea, 1962

Obverse Image: Bust of Sekou Toure facing left.

Obverse Text: REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE / 1962 / SEKOU TOURE

Reverse Image: Denomination within wreath.

Reverse Text: LE PREMIER MARS / 1960 / 1 FRANC GUINEEN / TRAVAIL - JUSTICE - SOLIDARITE

1 Franc, Guinea, 1962

National Museum of American History
One (1) franc coin

Guinea, 1962

Obverse Image: Bust of Sekou Toure facing left.

Obverse Text: REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE / 1962 / SEKOU TOURE

Reverse Image: Denomination within wreath.

Reverse Text: LE PREMIER MARS / 1960 / 1 FRANC GUINEEN / TRAVAIL - JUSTICE - SOLIDARITE

10 Francs, Guinea, 1962

National Museum of American History
One (1) 10 francs

Guinea, 1962

Obverse Image: Bust of Sekou Toure facing left.

Obverse Text: REPUBLIQUE DE GUINEE / 1962 / SEKOU TOURE

Reverse Image: Denomination within wreath.

Reverse Text: LE PREMIER MARS 1960 / 10 FRANCS GUINEENS / TRAVAIL - JUSTICE - SOLIDARITE

10 Lucky Celebrities Who Escaped Disaster

Smithsonian Magazine

For almost every famous disaster you can name there’s an equally famous person who, though some lucky quirk of fate, happened to miss the ill-fated boat, doomed plane, mass murder, or other calamity. Here are 10 examples from recent American history.

1. Admiral Richard E. Byrd

In August 1921, Richard Byrd was scheduled to join the crew of a new, 695-foot-long Navy dirigible known as the ZR-2, departing from Howden, England, on a trial flight. But Byrd, later to gain fame as an aviator and the first explorer to fly over the South Pole, missed his train the day before and was late arriving at the airfield. As a result, he was crossed off the crew list.

Byrd did, however, have a chance to inspect the huge airship and watch it lift off the next morning. “How magnificent she looked, the rosy light of sunrise tinting her bright sides a series of soft violet and lavender tints,” he recalled in his 1928 memoir, Skyward. “Officers and observers aboard, lines cast off, she rose slowly and with dignity befitting so huge a craft, sailed away into the cloudless sky.”

A day later, back in London, he learned that the ZR-2 had broken in half, exploded in midair, and crashed into the Humber River near Hull. A total of 44 American and British crew members died.

Byrd would live on to have other adventures, including six pioneering expeditions to the Antarctic. He died in 1957 at age 68, at home in bed.

2. Kirk Douglas

In March of 1958, the actor known for his starring roles in movies such as Lust for Life (1956) and Paths of Glory (1957) planned to join film producer Mike Todd on a trip to New York in Todd’s private plane, but his wife objected. As Douglas recalled in his 1988 autobiography, The Ragman’s Son, he and his wife were listening to the car radio when an announcer interrupted with the news that Todd’s plane had crashed in New Mexico, killing everyone on board.

Douglas is still alive, at age 96.

Another A-list movie star who narrowly missed being aboard Todd’s plane was Elizabeth Taylor, then the producer’s wife (see below).  There may have been others, as well. Two weeks after the crash, gossip columnist Earl Wilson noted that so many people were claiming to have avoided the flight that he’d heard someone joke, “Those are the same people who barely missed the Lusitania."

3. J. Paul Getty

Anointed the “World’s Richest Man” by People magazine, Getty supposedly booked passage on the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria in July 1956, but canceled at the last minute. On the final night of its nine-day voyage to New York from Genoa, the ship would collide with a Swedish liner and sink off Nantucket, killing 46 passengers and crew, just 10 hours from its destination. Because the accident occurred so close to land, camera crews were able to reach the scene by plane and helicopter before the Andrea Doria sank, making it the first ocean liner disaster to be televised. 

According to Robert Lenzner’s 1985 biography, The Great Getty, the Minnesota-born oilman, then living in England, had supposedly been warned by a fortune-teller that he would die if he ever attempted to cross the Atlantic again. Apparently that did the trick. Though he sometimes went so far as to make reservations, he always ended up canceling them, Lenzner wrote.

Getty died in 1976 at his mansion outside London at age 83. A longtime art collector, he left much of his vast estate, reportedly over $1 billion, to a trust that now operates the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, California, two of the most visited art museums in the U.S.

4. Cary Grant

Grant and fellow actor George Murphy were scheduled to be aboard the Pan Am Clipper “Yankee” in February 1943 but lucked out when their itinerary changed at the last minute. The flying boat crashed during an attempted landing in Lisbon, killing 24 passengers and crew. Murphy, who later became a U.S. senator from California, recalled the incident in his 1970 autobiography, Say… Didn’t You Used to Be George Murphy? Among the 15 survivors was the popular singer Jane Froman, who was badly injured in the crash. The incident figures prominently in the 1952 Froman biopic, With a Song in My Heart, starring Susan Hayward.

That would not be Grant’s last connection to a famous disaster, incidentally. His then-wife, the actress Betsy Drake, was aboard the Andrea Doria on its final voyage in 1956. Drake escaped the stricken ship, but reportedly lost nearly $250,000 worth of jewelry Grant had given her. According to Richard Goldstein’s 2003 account of the sinking and rescue, Desperate Hours, it was locked in a ship’s safe, where it apparently remains to this day.

Grant died in 1986 at age 82.

5. George “Papa Bear” Halas

In July, 1915, George Halas was a 20-year-old college student with a summer job at Western Electric in Cicero, Illinois, just south of Chicago. The company’s annual picnic was scheduled for July 24 in Michigan City, Indiana, and employees were to be ferried there from downtown Chicago by one of several excursion steamers that plied Lake Michigan. Halas had bought a ticket on the Eastland.

As Halas told the story in his 1979 autobiography, Halas by Halas, he was late leaving to catch the ship, much to his good fortune. “When I came to the river where the Eastland was docked, an appalling sight awaited. The Eastland had turned on its side. Only a few passengers had escaped.” 

The final death toll was more than 800 men, women, and children. Because his name was on a passenger list obtained by a newspaper reporter, Halas was briefly assumed to be among them.

Halas lived on to become the founder and owner of the Chicago Bears, which he built from a company football team called the Decatur Staleys. He coached the Bears for 40 seasons and died in 1983 at age 88.

Image by Bettmann/CORBIS. On February 15, 1958, Elizabeth Taylor and her husband, producer Mike Todd, board his private plane named "The Liz," which crashed a month later killing Todd and two others. (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. Kirk Douglas narrowly escaped death when his wife objected to him riding on Mike Todd's plane. (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. A last minute itinerary change saved Cary Grant's life. (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. George Halas (right) with Pete Rozelle (left). (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. Musician Waylon Jennings gave up his seat on a plane, which later crashed. (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. Eleanor Roosevelt was just two years old when a ship carrying her on an Atlantic crossing almost sank. (original image)

Image by Wikipedia. The Flying Wallendas faced danger on a regular basis for generations, but never more so than on July 6, 1944. (original image)

6. Waylon Jennings

Jennings, who later gained fame as a country singer and songwriter and narrator of “The Dukes of Hazard” television show, was a little-known member of Buddy Holly’s backup band in 1959. When Holly decided to forsake their tour bus and charter a plane to fly to their next stop, Jennings gave up his seat to the singer J. P. Richardson, better known as the Big Bopper. The plane crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa, killing Holly, Richardson, and Ritchie Valens, as well as the pilot—a tragedy memorialized as “the day the music died” in the Don McLean song “American Pie.” 

Years later, Jennings described their last, jokey conversation after Holly learned he wouldn’t be joining them on the plane. “Well, I hope your damned bus freezes up again,” he remembered Holly saying.

Jennings’s reply: “Well, I hope your ol’ plane crashes.”

Waylon Jennings died in 2002 at age 64.

7. Steve McQueen

The actor was planning to drop by actress Sharon Tate’s rented home in Los Angeles on the night of August 8, 1969, but supposedly had a better offer from another female acquaintance and didn’t show. That proved to be a smart move. Tate, her unborn child, and four others were butchered shortly after midnight by members of the Manson Family cult.

McQueen later learned that he was on a list of celebrities that cult leader Charles Manson had marked for death, which he believed also included Tom Jones, Frank Sinatra, and Elizabeth Taylor. From that point on, he packed a handgun.

McQueen died in 1980 at age 50 from cancer.

Among others who were reportedly invited that evening but didn’t appear: Denny Doherty and John Phillips, the two “papas” of the Mamas and the Papas.

8. Eleanor Roosevelt

The future First Lady was just two years old in 1887 when she and her parents started on an Atlantic crossing aboard the White Star liner Britannic. A day into the voyage, their ship was rammed by another liner, the Celtic, resulting in as many as a dozen deaths and several horrific injuries. After helping his wife and other members of their party into a lifeboat, Eleanor’s father held out his arms so that a crewman she was desperately clinging to could pass her along to safety. As Blanche Wiesen Cook wrote in her 1992 biography, “The crewman finally freed her fingers, and Eleanor always remembered that fall, the feel of plummeting from the deck high above into the pitching lifeboat below, surrounded by ‘cries of terror’ and shouts for help.”

The Roosevelts returned to New York aboard the Celtic, and when her parents attempted to resume their journey, young Eleanor refused to go with them and stayed behind with an aunt. She reportedly had a lifelong fear of both water and heights as a result of the experience.

Eleanor Roosevelt died in 1962 at age 78. 

As to the Britannic, despite being badly damaged, it made its way back to New York and soon returned to service. The White Star Line later used the name on another ill-fated liner, part of a trio of huge, near-identical ships that included the Titanic. That Britannic was sunk by a German mine in 1916.

9. Elizabeth Taylor

Like Kirk Douglas (see above), Elizabeth Taylor might easily have been aboard her husband Mike Todd’s plane during its fatal 1958 flight. Fortunately for her, Taylor had a cold and was running a 102-degree fever and Todd insisted she stay home, Life magazine reported. The two had been married for a year—Todd was her third husband—at the time of his death, and he had named the doomed twin-engine plane in her honor, with “The Liz” painted prominently on its sides.

Elizabeth Taylor died in 2011 at age 79. She supposedly said that Todd was one of the three great loves of her life, the other two being Richard Burton and jewelry.

10. The Flying Wallendas

The celebrated aerialist family known as the Flying Wallendas has faced danger on a regular basis for generations, but never more so than on July 6, 1944. On that day they were playing under the big top in Hartford, Connecticut, as one of the starring acts of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus.

The Wallendas were on their platforms high above the crowd when patriarch Karl, about to start across the high wire on a bicycle, spotted fire behind the bleachers below and signaled to the rest of the act, according to Stewart O’Nan’s 2000 account, The Circus Fire. The Wallendas scurried down to safety, but an estimated 168 others were not so lucky and died in the fire.

Also spared in the tragedy were Emmett Kelly, the most famous circus clown of his day, as well as the future actor and TV game show regular Charles Nelson Reilly, then a 13-year-old member of the audience. Though Reilly would appear on many stages throughout his career, he said he couldn’t bear to sit in an audience, the result of his traumatic experience in Hartford

10 Must-Do Experiences in Australia’s Northern Territory

Smithsonian Magazine

Sunset lingers on the still waters of the Yellow Water Billabong as an evening cruise glides past water lilies slowly closing their vibrant blooms for the night. Gazing out at this tranquil view, you can almost forget how just a few days before, standing on the bow of a similar boat on the Adelaide River, you watched with heart-pounding glee as a 20-foot crocodile launched itself vertically out of the water.

Australia’s Northern Territory, a 520,902 square mile area spanning the tropical shores of the north to the arid desert of the country's Red Center, packs beauty and adventure into every turn. Waterfalls tumble into crystal plunge pools, wallabies dart through monsoon forests and star trails glimmer over Aboriginal rock art sites dating back up to 50,000 years.

On the coast, open-air markets take over Darwin’s beaches and indigenous guides teach visitors Aboriginal art on the Tiwi Islands.

With so much to see, you need a few places to start. Here are ten experiences you can't miss:

See Ancient Aboriginal Rock Art at Ubirr and Nourlangie

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Kakadu National Park is home to more than 5,000 recorded Aboriginal art sites. Two of the most famous are Ubirr and Nourlangie, ancient shelters that contain rock paintings dating back 50,000 years. A one-mile path takes visitors through Nourlangie, and a steep climb to Gunwarddehwardde lookout offers incredible views over the Kakadu and neighboring Arnhem Land escarpment. Here a rock painting depicts the Lightning Man, an ancestral spirit heralding the monsoon season (which typically runs November to March). Like Nourlangie, Ubirr boasts breathtaking views over the Nadab floodplain. Look out for unique birdlife and native wildlife across the floodplain.

Cruise the Yellow Water Billabong

The Yellow Water billabong is one of Kakadu's best-known landmarks. Located in the heart of the national park, the billabong flows through the region's majestic wetlands, reflecting picture-perfect sunsets in the calm waters. Pink and white water lilies dot its surface, and paperbark forests, pandanus and fresh water mangroves line its shores. Cruises operate daily and are a fantastic way to discover the billabong's remarkable flora and fauna. From the deck of your boat, spot crocodiles, wild horses, buffalo and other wildlife.

Explore the Waterfalls of Litchfield National Park

A short, 90-minute drive from Darwin, Litchfield National Park is a favorite for locals. Free to enter, it is home to crystal clear waterfalls and swimming pools. Don’t miss Buley Rockhole, Wangi Falls and Florence Falls. From Buley Rockhole, take the two-mile Florence Creek Walk through the monsoon rainforest and spot a range of wildlife, from unique bird species such as kingfishers and fairy-wrens, to bandicoots (small terrestrial marsupials).

Cool off in the plunge pool beneath Florence Falls, or enjoy panoramic views from the viewing platform above. Farther afield, Wangi Falls is one of the park's most popular attractions, featuring waterfalls and a post-card perfect swimming hole.

Embark on a Jumping Croc Cruise

The Australian saltwater crocodile is one of the most magnificent species on the continent. A protected species, today an estimated 150,000 inhabit Northern Australia. The world's largest living reptiles, Australian salties can grow to be more than 20 feet in length.

On the one-hour Jumping Crocodile Cruise, cruise down the Adelaide River and see the massive territorial crocs jump vertically out of the water at close range. Their size and raw power will thrill and amaze you.

Dive With Crocodiles at Crocosaurus Cove

For a bigger adrenaline rush, get even closer to Australia's iconic crocs at Darwin's Crocosaurus Cove. Peer into their underwater environment through aquarium walls, or dare to dive with them in the Cage of Death experience. Australia’s only crocodile dive, the Cage of Death takes up to two visitors into an enclosure for 15 minutes. Regular feeding by caretakers ensures that the massive reptiles are active. Watch out for those tails!

Wander the Mindil Beach Sunset Market

Fresh flavors from across Asia and Australia mix with local arts and crafts in a balmy, tropical setting at Darwin's Mindil Beach Sunset Market. Held every Thursday and Sunday evenings in the dry season months between May and October, this vibrant market is something of a Darwin institution. Locals start arriving at dusk, armed with tables, chairs and rugs, and settle on the beach or grass to watch the sun sink in a blaze of color.

Cruise Darwin Harbor

Larger than Sydney Harbor, Darwin Harbor supports a diverse range of marine ecosystems and is a vital transport hub for northern Australia. Cruise its sparkling blue waters surrounded by scenic mangroves aboard the schooner Tumlaren or multi-level catamaran Charles Darwin for a slice of the Northern Territory's Top End lifestyle. Watching sunset over the city from your intimate vantage point on the sea will take your breath away.

See World-Famous Tiwi Island Art 

Comprising Bathurst and Melville Islands, with a population of around 2,500, the Tiwi Islands are only 50 miles north of Darwin, accessible via the 2.5-hour SeaLink ferry service. The Tiwi people are known internationally for their unique style of art which includes carvings and bright textile designs. Prized by collectors, many Tiwi artists have exhibited around the world. A Tiwi Art Tour introduces visitors to the islands' rich culture.

Discover Indigenous Culture at Top Didj

This two-hour experience led by indigenous artists from the Katherine region and Central Australia immerses you in authentic Aboriginal culture. Try your hand at dot painting, building fire with sticks or spear and boomerang throwing, and even feed a baby wallaby. You can also browse a local art gallery featuring didgeridoos, Aboriginal artwork, boomerangs, weavings, clap sticks, carvings and souvenirs.

Paddle Through Katherine Gorge

The Outback meets the tropics in Katherine, a region home to the world-renowned Katherine Gorge. A series of 13 gorges carved through ancient sandstone by the Katherine River, the Gorge is a paddler's dream come true. Push off from the river bank, fasten your life jacket, and embark on an unforgettable journey past waterfalls, Aboriginal rock art sites and wildlife. Regular cruises also run through the Gorge. Helicopters leaving from near the visitor center offer stunning aerial views of the gorge system and Arnhem Land plateau.

Discover more of the Northern Territory's Top End.

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