28th May 2016
This morning we explore Darwin. We notice that Darwin has developed, spread out dramatically and many areas have become quite sophisticated and quirky in the last 13 years. We visit the Parap Markets, it a mix of hawker style food stores, fruits and veg and a bit of clothing, hats etc.
We visit the Tunnels built back in WWII, originally built to secure oil during the war. There were 6 tunnels built, labelled tunnels 1,2,3,4,5, 10 & 11. Today tourists are able to explore tunnels 5 and 6 which run under Parliament house. We learn the Government has control of tunnels 10 & 11 to use in the event of a future war.
We explore the waterfront; this was not here before either. The man made beach is very similar to South Bank in Brisbane. There is a blow up water obstacle course the boys want to come back and try before we leave.
We are not really enjoying the humidity (90%) and heat of Darwin (days of mid 30's and nights in the mid 20's and commonly no breeze at all). The locals say their winter has not yet kicked in yet. The boy's car DVD players have just died; we search numerous shops trying to find them. We enjoy the coolness of the shopping centres, obviously this is also the way many Darwinite's pass their Saturday afternoon, the shops are packed!
Back at camp we enjoy a swim before dinner.
29th May 2016
This morning we quickly visit the Nightcliff morning market and head back to Darwin's waterfront. The boys have a very generous 1 hour on the floating water obstacle course. They have an awesome time clambering around, sliding off, doing back flips into the water and trying to climb up the rock wall out of the water. I get some good action shots.
Today it's not quite so hot. Clouds are building in the sky, resulting in some rain in the afternoon, it eliminates some of the humidity.
Later afternoon we visit the Mindili Beach Sunset Market. This market is famous for the hawker styled food, arts and crafts. We expected it to be much bigger and despite food being a big focus, there are no seating areas to eat your meal. You either eat standing up or sit on the edge of one of the few garden beds or a car barrier rail. The boys got to crack a whip.
30th May 2016
This morning we have some quiet time around camp and do a bit of preparation for moving on tomorrow. The boys have sore muscles from their work out on the obstacle course yesterday.
Late afternoon we take the sunset tour of the Corroboree Billabong, a section of the Mary River. We are there early and secure front row seats at the bow. On the cruise we see enormous Lotus Lilies and flowers. We spot a few lizards in the trees, a snake curled around a branch. We also see many birds, sea eagles and their enormous nest, kingfishers, Jabiru's, there were lot more (we can't remember all their names). We also spot three crocs, 2 sitting on the banks. The first one is clearly visible in short grass, its approx. 2.5 meters. As the boat pulls in close, we get a very clear view, it then slowly crawls down the bank into the water, sits on the surface of the water a bit before submerging into the murky water. The next croc is huge, its head and top half of the body is hidden behind long grass, however we can see that this one is far more solid, probably twice as solid as the earlier one. This could be the 5-6 meter croc that has been spotted in the area. We watch the sunset, then as we cruise back, we cruise past a croc swimming on the surface.
We get back to the car just as its starting to get dark before the mozzies are really out in force. On dusk is not a great time to be driving, we take it easy, but still manage to collect a Kangaroo. Thankfully for us it causes no damage, as it hits the lower section of our bull bar.