Blogs from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia, Oceania


Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » Cullen Bay July 23rd 2021

Today’s our last day in Darwin. This also means that it’s our last day with ready access to a washing machine for quite a while, so I decide to put on a load. The machine tells me that this will take two and a half hours. I ask Issy why it takes so long to wash clothes in a machine when I could have washed them in the sink in a fraction of the time. The look I get suggests that maybe I should have kept my mouth shut. We head off down to the Darwin Waterfront Precinct. First stop is the World War 2 oil storage tunnels. Well first stop for me. Issy decides that maybe tunnels aren’t for for her and heads off instead to get her nails done. The first Darwin air raid ... read more
World War 2 oil storage tunnel
Darwin Waterfront Precinct
World War 2 oil storage tunnel

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin July 22nd 2021

Today we’ll be heading thirty or so kilometres south down the highway to Berry Springs. We pass a turn off to the Howard Springs Holiday Park. The only reference we've heard to Howard Springs since we arrived up here is as the home of a quarantine facility - the one they'll lock us up in if anyone suspects we've been in contact with a COVID case. We hope the Holiday Park and the quarantine facility aren’t the same thing and that the name's not just a feeble attempt to make the inmates feel a bit better about themselves. I think if I was running a holiday park in Howard Springs I’d move it somewhere else, or at very least give it a different name. First stop is the Government owned and operated Territory Wildlife Park. We’re ... read more
Feeding the stingrays - Territory Wildlife Park
Territory Wildlife Park
Berry Springs Nature Reserve

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin July 20th 2021

First stop this morning is the Darwin Museum and Art Gallery, well the museum at least. It seems that the art gallery bit is temporarily closed while they get it set up for a major exhibition. The Museum includes a large section on Cyclone Tracy which hit Darwin on Christmas Eve in 1974. The residents didn't take warnings about Tracy all that seriously as they'd been warned about another cyclone a few weeks earlier which ended up more or less bypassing the town and not really affecting anyone. Tracy virtually wiped Darwin out. Seventy one people died, few buildings were left standing, and the damage bill was close to seven billion dollars in today's money. A lot of the buildings effectively exploded as they weren't designed to withstand cyclone force winds. The town was largely evacuated ... read more
Darwin Botanic Gardens
Mindil Beach sunset
Darwin Botanic Gardens

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » Mindil Beach July 18th 2021

We wake to a text from our friends Peter and Teresa telling us that they've been watching a news report saying that we, yes, Issy and me, have brought COVID to Darwin. We're not quite sure why squads of heavily armed guards haven't broken down our door yet. Issy rings Teresa in a panic. It seems that Peter saw something on the TV about COVID fragments in the local wastewater and thought it might be amusing to give us a scare. If we weren't properly awake before we certainly are now. I start planning an appropriate level of revenge. Letting down the tyres on his van wouldn't seem to be even close to cutting it.... We head off to the Darwin Military Museum out at East Point. There's a heavy emphasis here on the World War ... read more
Darwin Military Museum
Darwin Military Museum
Darwin Military Museum

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » City of Darwin July 16th 2021

We're still keeping a very nervous eye on the list of COVID exposure sites back home. I wonder what‘ll happen if anywhere we’ve been to does pop up on the list. I’m starting to have nightmarish visions of squads of heavily armed guards breaking down our door and carting us off to the local Howard Springs quarantine facility. I then make the mistake of Googling “Howard Springs” to find out a bit more about what we're in for if we do end up there. It doesn't sound all that appealing. We're not allowed to take any grog there with us for starters, so there go any plans we might have had for spending the two weeks in a drunken haze. I know my imagination might be starting to play tricks on me, but if the aerial ... read more
Northern Territory Parliament Building
Darwin bombing raid reminder
Sunset over Fannie Bay

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » Mindil Beach July 15th 2021

We wake up in a cold sweat and check the local COVID exposure site list yet again. We also found ourselves checking it nervously about every ten minutes as we sat in front of the TV last night. We're supposed to be flying out to Darwin this morning, but if we've been to any of the listed sites while they were active that'll quickly get swapped for the not quite so attractive alternative of being imprisoned at home in the dark and cold of mid-winter Melbourne for the next two weeks; or longer. All was looking good here in Victoria until a few days ago when cases suddenly started appearing again, and then climbing steadily. The first case was imported by some rogue furniture removalists from COVID-ravaged Sydney. They apparently thought it would be a good ... read more

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin September 7th 2020

After a week of busy days we were glad to take it more slowly on Saturday morning. Nevertheless we went down for breakfast at 8-30am. Our first try, last Wednesday, had not boded well. Again we had to wait for a table and then they took a while to serve us. Because they cannot have a buffet because of COVID-19 we had to order from the menu. There was nothing simple on it, no cereals, fruit or yogurt or toast. The big breakfast had such things as kale and baked beans and the rest was not very appealing. We both had French Toast which was very nice but a large serve with berries, pear and icecream. Again it was over 30 minutes until we received what we ordered. We decided we wouldn't bother in the future. ... read more
Plaque outside the Military museum
The entrance to the Museum
One of the displays

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin September 6th 2020

Lucy, Rowan , Sam and Tracey had bought us a trip out to the Tiwi Islands as my birthday and Fletcher's Father's Day present. This was planned for Friday morning. I was sure that the ferry left at 8-30am so we planned to have a taxi collect us from the hotel at 8 and it was only a 5 minute drive to Cullen Bay where the terminal is situated. We went down to the lobby at 7-55 and the taxi was waiting so we set out. I got out the ticket to check and suddenly read that the departure time was 8am! We arrived at the Terminal about 8-02 and while Fletcher paid the taxi driver I ran up the steps and along the quay and could see the ferry just pulling out from the dock. ... read more
Welcome to country
Smoking ceremony

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » City of Darwin September 1st 2020

After another magnificent lunch we arrived into Alice Springs at 1pm. There are excursions included in the fare and we had opted for the Alice Explorer. There was another out to Simpson's Gap but Ken and Edna had taken us there last year. We were the second to last group off the train and had to wear masks for about 100 metres until we had given our border entry forms to the police on the platform. Then it was into the bus and off. Our driver was very glad to see us as this was his first job for four months.We drove around the town and our first stop was at a Reptile Park. This turned out to be suprisingly good ad the presenter was an enthusiast who knew his stuff. Inside there were many, various ... read more
snake in the reptile park
Black snake

Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Darwin » City of Darwin August 31st 2019

Having left Komodo Island, we had more sea days as we cruised east to Darwin, our next port of call. We were to arrive around 4.00pm, but we were delayed as another vessel was berthed at our wharf. There are many things that happen along the way while at sea, most are enjoyable and entertaining, but for some, a perfectly good cruise can turn into a nightmare. This cruise was no different. One passenger took very seriously ill about 7 hours after departure from Singapore. Another tripped on the deck and broke an arm. Closer to Darwin, another passenger took ill and the care flight helicopter met Pacific Dawn at sea to winch up a patient and take them to Darwin's Hospital. The evacuation is a slow and precise flight process in co-ordination with the ship's ... read more
Pacific Dawn all lit up
Rescue at sea
Rescue at sea

Tot: 0.043s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 10; qc: 63; dbt: 0.0094s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.5mb