Australia · 9 Days · 32 Moments · April 2017

Kyle and Sheridan go to Darwin

7 May 2017

We had nothing planned for our last full day in Darwin but there was a Mother's Day market on the waterfront lawns so we checked it out. Some great arts and crafts and we almost purchased a few things. But in the end we decided we had nowhere to put them. A cruise ship (the Dawn Princess) arrived about midday so after coffee we went back to the apartment which overlooks the terminal to watch it dock. We researched quite a bit about cruises while we waited but decided that it is all a bit too much like being herded like cattle and not enough time in Port. 8 hours in Darwin-we needed 8 days!!! The afternoon was more relaxing and swimming in the lagoon. There was some jumping water fun stuff set up and it was interesting watching some of the kids having a ball. After tea we took a stroll around the lagoon and made the most of our last balmy tropical night for a long time.
Jumping fun stuff in the lagoon.
The Dawn Princess cruise ship.
Mother's Day market.

6 May 2017

Caught the number 4 bus to the Parap market today. This was more craft and fresh food than Mindil beach. A small but lively village market this is where the locals go for their fresh fruit, veggies, herbs and spices and there were many on display with a tropical SE Asian flavour. Also many vendors selling hot Asian food. We decided to try the Laksa. We also bought our tea which included lots of delicious tropical fruit. Spent the afternoon relaxing and swimming at the waterfront lagoon. Very hard to take!
Waterfront lagoon.
Parap village market.

5 May 2017

Tonight was the Deckchair Cinema. A rare experience-cinema under the stars. The cinema is run by the Darwin film society and it is on 7 nights a week during the dry. We got there at 6pm and had some lovely Asian food at tables on the deck area to the side. There is also a fully licensed kiosk. Then we went to our deck chairs complete with cushions to see Flickerfest, a series of short Australian films. It was quite a memorable experience especially when you include the high quality of the films.
The Deckchair Cinema.
Today was a round trip walk to the Chinese museum/temple then to Stokes Hill wharf for lunch and the Royal Flying Doctor Service/Darwin Bombing museum. The Chinese museum was interesting. We were admitted as SENIORS and got in for $3 instead of $4 and we didn't even ask! Not sure whether to be pleased or not! The Chinese played a huge part in the development of Darwin and at one stage outnumbered the rest of the local population by a ratio of 4:1. Chinatown took up the whole of Cavanagh street but the Darwin bombing and the evacuation of civilians including most of the Chinese gave authorities the chance they had been waiting for, for years.... to demolish Chinatown. Another interesting fact is that many Chinese wanted to enlist to fight the Japanese but were refused until after the bombing. The RFDS/bombing of Darwin museum was a surprise. A new mainly multimedia museum. The highlight being the virtual reality headset which puts you in the centre of the bombing. Amazing graphics!
The RFDS/ Bombing of Darwin museum.
The Chinese museum and temple.

4 May 2017

After a morning swim at the waterfront we had a tasty vegetarian lunch before heading to the botanical gardens and then the sunset market and Mindil Beach. The Gardens were small but included a nice walk through a tropical rainforest to a waterfall. Lots of shady areas and very restful despite the heat. The vegetation is certainly different to home. The market is a bit of an institution in Darwin and the variety of food is amazing. What to choose? So multicultural that the Australian accent and even the English language itself seems to be in the minority. The sunset was worth it but it's over very quickly in the tropics. Sheridan had a foot and calf massage so I went to the main stage and caught a few numbers from the Neo band, a funk/reggae/roots band who have recently been on JJJ unearthed. I was impressed.
Mindil beach sunset market.
The Darwin botanical gardens.

3 May 2017

Visited the Darwin Military museum today. Had to get a bus and a taxi as East Point is not really served by public transport. Spent the best part of 3 hours there. So much we didn't know about the defence of Darwin and the bombings. Very impressed with the indoor section multi media presentations. Especially the Darwin bombing re-enactment. Superimposing explosions, fire and Japanese fighter plane footage on to old black and white photos was very effective with sound effects and audio from witness recounts. The outdoor section was a little tired but still worth seeing. There was even a small section on the Vietnam war maintained by the Darwin Vietnam veterans.
Military museum outdoor section.
Military museum indoor section.

2 May 2017

A much quieter day after our big one yesterday. A very helpful girl at the bus office showed us how to get around on public buses. So we headed to the museum and art gallery. Small but very interesting. The cyclone Tracy section kept us busy for over an hour.
NT MAG. The guess who's coming to dinner painting is about Pauline Hanson's racist views in the 90's. Some things never change!

1 May 2017

In Litchfield National Park we visited 2 waterfalls and 2 swimming holes. Unfortunately May 1 is a public holiday in the territory so half of Darwin was in the Park making the swimming holes crowded!
Tolbert falls, Florence falls and Buley Rockhole.
Entering Litchfield National Park and one of the termite cathedrals.
The jumping crocodile cruise on the Adelaide river with Litchfield Escapes was excellent. Not just because of the crocs. Our guide was on old bushman called Pat who had so much knowledge about crocs and a very anti materialistic philosophy to life. The smallest tour operator with the smallest boat allowed us to get very close to some wild crocodiles.
Crocodile Pat and a large salty on the croc cruise.
Adelaide River crocodile cruise.

30 April 2017

60th birthday evening at "The Jetty" Darwin Waterfront.
Crocosaurus Cove was ok today. Interesting but the place looked a little tired. It's like a crocodile aquarium so you can get up close and personal. Most of the large crocs there have been captured because they were posing a threat to humans, animals or machines. For example Axel, a 900kg salty was so named because he kept biting the wheels off boat trailers!
Crocosaurus Cove has fish, reptiles and turtles as well as crocs.

29 April 2017

Waterfront area at night.
Arrived in Darwin after a smooth 4 and a half hour flight to a balmy and sunny 30 degrees. The cabbie talked nonstop all the way from the airport. Waterfront apartment area is a good location. Lots of restaurants and bars and a nice swimming area. Also walked on the skywalk into the city to get supplies for the apartment.
Waterfront area, views from the skywalk, NT Parliament House and part of the Smith St. Mall.