2017 Cairns and Northern Territory Adventure
Leaving Litchfield we had a day and half to fill in before we were due to check into the caravan park in Darwin. We decided on Berry Spring and set off early hoping we would be able to check into the caravan park at Berry Spring early. Luck was on our side, so as soon as checking in was completed, we were off to the Territory Wildlife Park. I had seen this park advertised and was in two minds whether it would be worth a visit - thinking it would be mainly crocodiles. How wrong I was! We had a fantastic day. We started off at the Flight Deck where they had eagles, kites, an owl, an emu and Jabiru, then the Aquarium where they show cased every type of fish and water plant from the start of the river system all the way to the ocean (a giant salt water crocodile – the only one I saw there). Next was a the Monsoon walk (where you sat in a tin shed, kinda, and listen to thunder and a giant sprinkler came on impersonating rain. It was very effective. Further along the walk were bird aviaries with all different types of birds that you find in the north. At the last aviary you walked into it at tree top height and there was a walkway that wound down to ground level. Next (and the last we had time for) was the Nocturnal House. It was brilliant. It was lit up with blue lights simulating a moonlit night so all the little critters were out and about in their displays doing what they normally do every night.
Next morning we decided to go to the Berry Springs Nature Reserve. It wasn’t until we got there that I realised it was actually the Berry Springs spring. We had been told that these springs weren’t hot springs but there was definitely warm water coming from somewhere. After a walk around the very well cared for gardens, with lots of barbecues and picnic tables, we decided to have a swim. Just as well we had the caravan with us. Then it was on to check into the caravan park at Darwin and a very busy week.
Whilst in Darwin we did the Mindel Markets (twice), had the car serviced, found our way around Darwin by bus, walked around the mall and city area, checked out Stokes Hill Jetty and Cullen Bay Jetty, had a sunset cruise on the harbour, visited East Point Reserve, walked around the Botanic Gardens, visited the Australian Aviation Heritage Museum, the WWII Oil Tunnels, did the Australia’s Frontline WWII Tour, the Hop-On Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour and the RFDS – Darwin Tourist Facility as well as a full day fishing tour.
The day we arrived in Darwin it was NT (Northern Territory) Day – the only day of the year that Territorians can legally possess fireworks. Believe me, it was a bit noisy that night. Because of NT Day falling on a Saturday they had a three-day festival and the Mindel Markets were open all day Sunday. They had some really good entertainment and was not really crowded until late in the afternoon and by that time we had had a good look around. We watched the sun set on the beach with about one thousand other people. I thought a lot of people went down to Cable Beach in Broome to watch the sunset – that was a small crowd compared to Darwin.
All the tours we did were very good. I was a little disappointed in the Hop-On Hop-off Double Decker Bus Tour. I think it was overpriced for what you got. The fishing trip was great. I couldn’t believe how calm the water was – like a mill pond.
From Darwin we headed out to Kakadu. On the way, we stopped overnight at the Corroboree Park Tavern and Camping where we caught a shuttle bus to Corroboree Billabong for a sunset cruise. It was great – we saw lots of different birds and a few crocodiles. Earlier in the day we did do a Jumping Crocodile Tour on the Adelaide River but we were a bit disappointed in it. The crocodiles we saw weren’t terribly interested in jumping for their food. I think that, with the number of tours operating at the moment and for this time of year, the crocodiles are just too overfed and therefore not interested in food.
We now start our Kakadu adventure.