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Ladies, I design Slappa’s Thongs to be comfortable and fashionable but there are some times and places where we need to sacrifice comfort for glamour.

On the dance floor at the Ladies Day event in Darwin, I’m sure I caught a few expressions from other women which I read as saying, I wish it were fashionable to swap the high heels for some comfortable thongs or orthotic friendly shoes!

Sadly, I think traditions like these will change very slowly, so in the meantime I have five tips to help you get the most enjoyment and least pain from your stiletto ordeals.

  1. Line your heels with second skin to avoid blisters – it works a treat
  2. Take a neurophen or panadol 30 mins before you go, this will help numb the pain in your feet and repeat about 2-3 hours later possibly before you can feel your feet burning.
  3. Don’t drink too much champagne, this step is very hard for some
  4. Pack your thongs and hide them under the table until the end of the day
  5. If you can’t do any of these steps sit down all day.

Thankfully, one tradition does survive in my beloved Darwin. At the end of the races when the band fires up, it is now appropriate for kicking off those heels and dancing with bare feet.

Everybody did that, bar one; me.

I followed step number 4 and packed my Slappa’s Thongs for the last leg of the day. Joy!

“you’ll never want to take them off!”

If you have a love for flowers and trees October is definitely a great time to visit Darwin. The air is filled with the sweet smells of trees blossoming. Rain trees, flame trees and frangipani’s are a mass of magnificent flowers and also attract plenty of native birds.

The flame tree has a striking red/orange flower which is so beautiful and bright. Such a happy tree with so much character and can be seen a mile away.

There are a few rain trees, one has a pretty pink flower with a very fluffy stamen and another with small yellow flowers. The flowers don’t last long as they tend to blow off with the wind. A great example of these trees can be seen along Gardens Road along the golf course not far from Mindil Beach and the Botanical Gardens.

My favourite tropics tree is the frangipani. These trees thrive in Darwin and there are many Darwin species that are now grown all over the world. The flowers form in bunches and come in many different colours ranging from white, several shades of pink, orange, burgundy, yellow and mixed shades. The white with a yellow centre is probably the most common and has a beautiful fragrance. Many people pick the flowers to put in their homes. You will see a lot of these also along the median strips of the roads.

It was rumoured that an Australian celebrity couple had florists pick flowers from people’s backyard frangipani trees all over Darwin,  just to make sure they had only the best and freshest flowers for their wedding.

I often find my children up one of our frangipani trees in our backyard, picking the flowers to decorate the house and my daughter always comes home with a bunch whenever we are on a walk or riding our bikes.

The frangipani does flower all year around, however is at it outstanding best in October.

So forget all the other things people say about Darwin’s Build Up and come and visit Darwin to see the mass of colour and freshness it provides this time of the year.

You will also have the chance to catch the last few Mindil Beach Sunset Markets, where you can find many of these beautiful trees, plenty of entertainment, food, gifts and the amazing sunset. Book a table from the Mindil Beach Sunset Market office to make sure you have a prime spot.


Mindil Beach Sunset Market is a great supporter of home grown music. Every Thursday and Sunday from the Sound Shell you can sit down at the tables set up by the markets, enjoy your dinner and a few drinks while listening to something different each week ranging from Reggae, folk, rock, jazz and country. Some of the local bands and musicians that have performance this year are Bridey Rose, Dave Garnham and his band The Reasons to Live, Reggae Dave, Skarett, Kormilda College Band, Darwin Army Band, After The Rain and recently brother’s Livi & Aaron VanderAa who have just returned from 2 years touring overseas.

min music korIt was great to listen to The Kormilda College band which was only created this year and is made up of talented junior music students, performing modern, classic soul and r’n’b inspired songs. Featuring upcoming diva Stevie Kyriacou, winner of the Darwin Schools Pitch Perfect singing competition, the band exhibits some of the most exciting young musicians in Darwin. So great to see so many young talented people in Darwin!

Performances from the Australian Air force Jazz Band, Darwin Army Band and the Australian Army Band draw in the crowds and are always extremely popular.

But the music which is best known at Mindil Beach is eMDee who play each week at the Casino End of the markets. You will experience the amazing sounds of extremely fast drum and didgeridoo laying at its best. They have even performed at the Sydney Opera House!

So if you are coming up to Darwin for a holiday or moving to Darwin this is just a taste of what is on offer when it comes to live music.

To see where all the live music is happening, you can look up the local Gig Guide either in the NT News on Thursday or the website or their face book site.

Pictures courtesy of Mindil Beach Sunset Market