We arrived in Darwin on Wednesday the 25th August. They said it's Australia's most modern city due to the '74 cyclone. Not many buildings are here from before Tracy. We didn't realise how much you could miss real civilisation with all the shops and restaurants and features that Darwin has to offer. To see the sea again but at the far North end was like a fresh breath (Timor sea) and Darwin harbour is a beautiful azure color and is very inviting but it's not as friendly as it looks as it has crocs and stingers and only a few small areas set aside for a swiming. There is very little sand around the Harbour and what there is is still a bit reddy ,not at all white , mostly rocks and mud with some Mangroves. Stokes Wharf and Cullen Bay are the tourist areas here and I could spend all my time just there with plenty of good eateries from casual all day cafes to top class resaurants and plenty of harbour cruises available from both areas. We tried some fishing off the Wharf and it was great but the tide was massive ( over 7 metres) and was going out way too fast to catch much.
The airforce here has a very obvious presence , most days Hornet fighters and F111 Bombers are flying overhead and let me tell you they are much louder than the commercial planes. The feeling of the '42 Bombing of Darwin is still here and there is an awareness of the defence lines of Australia.
Karen and Margaret arrived on Friday so we have enjoyed trying to fit in all the highlights of Darwin and to get a real feel for the type of city it is. It has a touch of the "country towns" about it and it is a very welcoming place with a freindly feel and I get the impression it's not big on rules or regulation which gives it an easy going type of feel. There is a greater Asian population and Indians mainly working in the eating areas ,lots of Europeans, but Aboriginies would be a minority I think.
So far we have taken a harbour cruise , the ferry to Mandorah for lunch, gone to the Tracy Museam , Fannie bay Gaol, water parks and the big beach side Wave pool, Mindil beach Markets, Crocosaurus cove (croc theme park) , good and bad restaurants ( but a different place every time).... .Andrew
It is very hot here in Darwin I have to tell you, it sits on about 33 degrees and is very humid. We try to get out to see things in the morning and then take the kids to one of the water parks in the arfternoons to keep cool, even I have been in the water a lot!!!! I really enjoyed having Karen and Mum here to visit. We got them a cabin in the caravan park and loved using their shower!!!!
This caravan park is very big, we have been used to small ones and being right next to the pool and playgrounds but this one we have to take a walk to both. This caravan park also has tht resorty feel with 3 pools and a bistro right next to the biggest pool, which Andrew loves because it means he can buy a beer whilst the kids frolic in the water.
My highlight of Darwin so far, apart from having mum and Karen here, has been the Cyclone Tracy section at the museum. I vaguely remember it happening in 74 so it was very interesting seeing and reading about what happend again. There is personal film and sound of the cyclone, it freaked Jen out, it must have been very scary to have been in it. Very little remained standing in Darwin after it, so that is why it is know at Australias most modern city.