20 Aug 2014
|Darwin August 20 to September 4
We finally arrived in Darwin, collected a key from my friend Sue and parked the van at her place and parked ourselves inside as we are staying in her unit with her for our stay (yippie). The van was full of dust but I felt we had plenty of time to give it a good clean.
On our last trip we camped in the backyard of Sue's house and this time our van is parked in the front yard of the block of flats where Sue lives. The suburb of Parap is ideally located, close to everything and there doesn't seem to be anywhere near the amount of biting midges compared to where we stayed four years ago. We both loved Darwin and the weather was fantastic for us and didn't knock us about like last trip. We still got bitten by midges but all in all we handled it ok with some potions we picked up.
Mindil Beach Markets are still fantastic and we went three times whilst in Darwin. The entertainment was fantastic with fire-dancers, whip-crackers, didgeridoo players, bands and singers plus all the food and market stalls. I was in paradise. The sunset was outstanding over the ocean and lots of market goers flock to the beach to watch. Pete and I were very brave and got tattoos whilst at the markets, they only lasted a week before being washed off. (a bit of fun)
Parap markets are held every Saturday and is a great markets with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Pete and I walked from Sues and really enjoyed looking around. It's a mini market compared to Mindil markets.
The Darwin Festival was just about finished when we arrived in Darwin however we did get to see a couple of things, including the Vietnamese Water Puppets held down on the waterfront. We thought we had a great spot until all the people down the front stood up blocking out everyone behinds view, it was a real shame, anyway it was a lovely evening out. Sue and I went and saw the Soweto Gospel Choir which was fantastic, Pete didn't go and missed a great show.
I enjoyed doing Tai Chi on the waterfront with Sue and a group of people. It's free every Saturday. The waterfront has a wave pool and there were lots of people swimming and enjoying themselves. It looked very inviting however we didn't go swimming.
We did lots of sight seeing, shopping and exploring whilst in Darwin, we visited the Darwin Museum again and still found it very interesting. Fannie Bay Prison was worth a visit and we saw the gallows used in the last executions carried out in the Northern Territory. Two men were hung for murdering a taxi driver.
We visited Crocosaurus Cove and saw the croc used in Crocodile Dundee, apparently he has bad attitude and is destined to be a bachelor as he isn't very friendly. Pete fed the baby crocs under strict supervision.
The three of us went camping in Kakadu National Park. We roughed it camping in Sue's tent and stayed in a great camping area at Jabiru. We went into Jim Jim Falls and travelled on a gravel road for 55 kilometres and another 9 kilometres on a 4WD road. That was then followed by us having to hike to the water falls which was a task in itself. There was no water going over the falls and the route became rather challenging over very big (smooth) slippery boulders. We didn't get to the base of the falls and since there was no water coming over decided it wasn't worth the risk of hurting ourselves. We saw everything except for the water at the base. The scenery was lovely and we can only imagine how spectacular it would look like with water flowing over the falls.
We had a look at the Uranium mine (open cut) in Kakadu which I saw four years ago, its a big concern.
After our adventure into Jim Jim Falls we went and called in at Cahill Crossing and saw crocs in the river in their natural environment, there was a causeway with water going over part of it and people fishing from the causeway with a croc there watching. Pete went down and chatted to the couple fishing and was informed that the croc had been there each day they had been there fishing (Silly people).
We ended the day by watching the sunset from the plateau at Ubirr. It's a very interesting place with aboriginal rock art to look at and a breathtaking view from the top of the plateau over the surrounding wetlands. We had to climb up the rocks but it was worth it.
On our final day we visited another site with more Aboriginal Rock Art, Nourlangie Rock which was in good condition and did some more walking on rugged terrain, it was worth every step. On the way back towards Darwin we called in at some billabongs and watched the wildlife but no crocs. It was a great weekend of camping and adventuring.
We spent just over two weeks in Darwin and enjoyed it very much and a big thank you to Sue for her hospitality.