Batchelor, Litchfield National Park and Darwin

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July 5th 2019
Published: July 10th 2019
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Adelaide River Railway Heritage Precinct
We're on the move again heading to Batchelor for the night so we could visit Litchfield National Park.

To continue our buff tour of the Northern Territory we spotted another Railway Museum. The Adelaide River Railway Heritage precinct displays much of the original equipment from the rail line built in the 1880 to service the Pine Creek Goldfields. Extensive work has been done to restore and document their rail history and it was very impressive. Unfortunately we had to keep moving so couldn't check out all of the buildings.

I'd read about a Butterfly House in Batchelor and thought we should check it out. The owner (a VERY strange and eccentric guy) had built the butterfly house and pet gardens from scratch. He's collection of butterflies were very impressive and we really enjoyed feeding the bunnies, not so impressed to be chased around by the chickens and fat turkeys. Thankfully his pet croc was locked into its pool area.

We were booked into the Batchelor Holiday Park and I'd treated ourselves to another en-suite powered site. The en-suite was large and included our own washing machine. The owner of the park feeds the birds twice a day and we were lucky to see the afternoon feeding. Birds came from everywhere to get a free feed.

Driving around Batchelor the following morning we discovered this lovely castle. Modeled on Karlstein Castle in Czechia, it was built by a retired mine worker from the Rum Jungle Uranium Mine. He was a volunteer gardener for the town and didn't like the rock foundation it stands on. The town has won the ' Tidy Town' award a number of times.

Heading into Litchfield National Park we noticed the termite mounds were getting bigger. We stopped to see the gigantic termite mounds. One even looked like a human figure from behind. Our next stop was Florence Falls. There was a lot of water flowing over Florence Falls. I don't know what possessed me to walk down all the stairs to look at the plunge pool for the falls ... going back up was a real work out 😬 Thankfully Buley Rock hole didn't involve to many stairs. That might explain why there was a lot of people in the pools.

Sadly it was time to return our travelling home. Mum and I have enjoyed travelling around in the campervan and have already discussed where and when we could do it again. I'd booked us into a hotel on the Darwin waterfront, the bathroom was as big as our campervan. It was nice to be able to spread out again and I'll admit to not being as organised or neat.

With two full days in Darwin before our next adventure we decided to do the hop on hop off bus to get around. After doing a lap to check everything out we opted to see the Cyclone Tracey exhibit at the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery. The Museum was well presented and had a large variety to look at. The Cyclone Tracey section was full of photos of Darwin before and after the cyclone. There was a sound room replicating the noise that cyclone Tracey made. The part of the exhibition that brought it home how powerful the cyclone was, was a metal railway signal pole that was bent over into a V shape by the force of the wind. If you are ever in Darwin it's a must see and it's free.

For the last couple of days I've been taping my sunglasses up as a screw had fallen out of one of the arms. I was calling them my Harry Potter glasses and was in desperate need of a Hermione Granger. Thankfully we found a OPSM in the mall.

After dropping a few things off at our hotel we were back on the bus heading to Mindil Beach for their famous markets. The markets were packed. There were a lot of different food options. We went in search of a spot on the beach to watch the sunset. Little did I know I was being bitten alive by midges. (similar to sandflies) and would suffer with multiple itchy bites. Dinner was a burger from the Road Kill Cafe, both having the snappy (crocodile) burger.

Next morning mum wanted to check out the War Tunnels. In 1942, 11 above ground oil storage tanks were built on Stokes Hill. Japanese air-raids destroyed 7 of the 11 tanks. Following the destruction of the above ground oil tanks, it was decided that a bomb proof option was needed for the storage of oil. The decision to build 11 secret tunnels to store oil With only manpower. 400 men worked on the tunnels only 6 of the planned 11 were completed. We toured number 5 and 6.

Our next stop was to Cullen Bay Marina, a man made marina and housing development. It has its own lock. after brunch by the water we were catching a ferry for a tour of Darwin Harbour. The water was a lovely emerald colour which made spotting a couple of dolphins easy.

Our next adventure - The Ghan

Additional photos below
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Bird feeding at the Batchelor Holiday Park

Bird feeding at the Batchelor Holiday Park

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