Friday, June 4, 2010

DAYS 34-36 FROM SOUTH TO NORTH - TOP END (NORTHERN TERRITORY) TRIP

28-30 May 2010

DARWIN


We’ve accepted the inevitable and have settled down to enjoy our stay and make the best of the situation. I just wish the weather was different. I don’t mind the temperature being in the 30s – lovely. It is the humidity that is unbearable. It must be in the high 90s. Our clothes are constantly drenched with sweat and clinging to our skin.


We’ve relaxed at the caravan park. Doing the washing is quite a feat here. You need to cue to get a washing machine and then there is the challenge of drying your clothes. There is no breeze and there is so much moisture in the air that nothing dries. As the day progresses the humidity increases and then there is a down pour. So you need to get the washing off the line before the rain hits. Well I got the washing off the line one day in time before the rain and hung some in the car and draped the rest over chairs and table in our eating/relaxation tent. We left the caravan park to go on a tour and when we came back everything in the tent was dripping wet. So we had to get the water out and try to dry it again.


I am told there are cane toads around but I have not seen them. But these quite little ones hang around each night.


We went on an interesting tour - The Spectacular Jumping Crocodile cruise. We were picked up from the caravan park and were driven in a mini bus out to Adelaide River. On the way the bus broke down so they organised a taxi mini bus to take us the rest of the way. Due to the delays we had a very short time at the Window on the Wetlands Visitor Centre. It did give us a good overview of the the wetlands.


Then we went onto the cruise on the Adelaide River. We had seen salt water crocodiles on the Lower Ord River. There they had been basically sitting on the bank of the river. Here though they were everywhere in the water.


You think that there is nothing in the water and then a croc appears swimming towards the boat.


Close up some had very distinct individual features. Some were throught to be about 100 years old.


One had lost part of it jaw and you could see its front teeth – very menacing look.


And did they jump!


This one jumped way above the open window that I was at.


I would not feel safe in a tinnie in these waters.


As we cruised on the river birds soared above.


Cruising along this beautiful river who would think that such dangerous creatures to man are in abundance swimming around here.


Another day we spent just catching up on chores, going to Bunnings to get a sheet of sunshade to be used as a large mat outside and a replacement fly screen for one of the windows. You use the shade cloth doubled over and all the muck falls between the openings and you have a lovely comfortable surface to walk on under the annex.

Sunday saw us going to the beautiful St Mary’s Star of the Sea Cathedral. It was nice and cool inside with lovely stained glass windows.

We dropped in on the information centre to get information on public bus services. The service again was appalling as we waited for 85 minutes to be served. They only had two people on. Being a weekend and tourist season this was appalling. Many people gave up waiting and just left. The only compensation is that Darwin is so lovely. There is lots of public art works throughout the city.


The walkway from the Waterfront towards the city is interesting.


Along the way there was the ruin of the Town Hall. Whilst it survived the bombing of Darwin, Cyclone Tracey wiped it out.


We went to Survivors Lookout.


The Watefront from here I think is imposing rather than impressive . To the left in front of the Convention Centre above is the wave pool. You look down on the waterfront and can then make your way down by lift.


We visited the World War 2 Oil Storage Tunnels nearby.  There was interesting story boards along the length of one tunnel.


We drove to Stokes Hill Wharf to join every other tourist it seems to feast on local barramundi and chips on. The setting was lovely and relaxing and the barra was delicious. The servings were huge.


After lunch we drove along the shoreline at low tide


on our way to East Point. Here we stopped to have a lok at the Military Museum. It is a very interesting museum covering the bombing of Darwin during World War 2.


I found that I knew so little before coming here about the events that unfolded up here in the north. There were 243 people killed and over 400 wounded during the bombing of this city. A long string of buoys was laid across the harbour to protect it from submarines.


We read stories of survival. In one case a pilot got back on ‚a wing and a prayer‘. He only had one wing left when he landed. Interesting artifacts from the period were on display. This mobile workshop captured by imagination.





In the evening we met up with the new owners of Oka 397 Phil and Lee. They very genereously invited us to spend the evening with them and even picked us up from our campsite. We had a most fabulous time, a delicious meal and I believe new friendsips have been forged.

1 comment:

Dee Soden said...

loved looking at your photos. Reminds me of our trip up to Darwin when our son was posted there a couple of years ago.
The crocs really impressed me. Scarey critters, eh?