Joined November 2018 Message
  • Day8

    Last day in Darwin

    November 14, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

    Tried to make the most of our last day here in Darwin before flying home tonight. A 12pm checkout time at the hotel certainly helped.

    Slept really well again and struggled to get out of bed on time, which meant a slightly shorter workout routine than I’d hoped (especially after last nights indulgence). Still, we got something in before doing a small amount of shopping back in the mall. It was really just to get us heated up a bit really as next up was one last swim in the pool.

    Shower then checkout and it was time to waste a few more hours. Plan was to walk down to the fish and chip place (frying nemos) that had supposedly won many awards like best in Australia etc. The walk was boring, hot and with very little shade, but we got there eventually and found quite a nice little marina. Had some decent fish and chips (certainly not best in the world standard tho) then walked through the burbs towards our last stop - the Botanic Gardens. Our plan was to check these out before finding a scooter to take back to the hotel. The gardens we saw were meh and it was partially fenced off which prevented us from getting to where the scooters were which meant a whole lot more walking in the heat than we’d planned. We found some eventually though and scootered our way back home to pick up our bags.
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  • Day7

    Kakadu

    November 13, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Woke up early this morning to meet the tour bus which was to take us out to Kakadu for the day. Knew it was going to be a long day as it took over 3 hours to get there, and wasn’t really sure what to expect. Would it just be more of the same as what we’d seen in the NT already?

    Turned out the answer was no.

    Our first stop was a quick coffee break where they also had a couple of buffalo and rather shy crocodiles. Then onto the town of Jabiru where we hung out at the hotel (croc shaped!) for a bit and looked at some overpriced aboriginal artwork. A few people left us here temporarily as they got sucked into taking a massively expensive plane trip over Kakadu (it was clear when comparing with the prices listed at the resort that the tour driver was taking a massive commission).

    Then it was onto the wetland cruise - easily the highlight of the day. We were told it would be around an hour and a half to two hours and honestly I thought we’d be a bit bored. Far from it though - it was non stop interesting stuff to see. An amazing amount of wildlife, birds, crocs! Etc. and unlike the Adelaide River cruise this was in no way staged. Being in the national park meant the crocs couldn’t be fed, so they didn’t just swim up to the boat expecting meat off the side. Nope, these guys were catching fish in front of our eyes and snagging wallabies off the riverbank right in front of us. We waited a few minutes for it to start thrashing the prey around in its mouth in an attempt to tear small bits off to eat and we were well rewarded. Amazing stuff. Also I’m not a birdwatcher but I still had a great time spotting all the different birds - geese, brolgas, kingfishers, ducks. It was fantastic.

    Next stop was a pretty reasonable buffet lunch at a resort in the middle of nowhere. Then onto a short walk into the bush to see a heap of aboriginal rock art from a 1000 or so years ago.

    Long trip home but we made it in around 8. Headed out straight away for some well earned dinner and an ice cream (decided to go all out on our last official night knowing the diet would need to resume very shortly). Quick walk around the block and we came home and crashed.
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  • Day6

    Around Darwin

    November 12, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Another day spent around Darwin. The heat was starting to get to us a little so we took this one a bit easier. Usual routine of gym and breakfast to start the day, then had a bit of a look around the main shopping mall. Not a whole heap to see there. Went to the local camping store to find a small towel to use when we shower at the airport on Saturday.

    Went down to the waterfront and had a look inside one of the oil tunnels they built in the cliffs just after the bombing of Darwin in 1942. Was kind of interesting but nothing which blew me away.

    Getting hot and bothered by this stage so we spent a bit of time lazing by the water at the waterfront. Eventually prized ourselves off the chairs and grabbed some lunch by the wave pool before heading back to the hotel for a well earned swim.

    Another rest then walked towards Mindil Beach where we sat for about an hour waiting for the sun to set. So more lazing about really! Instead of walking back to town we decided to hire some electric scooters which was great fun.
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  • Day5

    Around Darwin

    November 11, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 33 °C

    Woke up this morning and did the right thing by heading straight for the gym. Did a pretty good cardio workout there before venturing downstairs for breakfast.

    Breakfast over and it was time to go for a walk in the heat. We started along the boardwalk and noticed a whole bunch of military people setting something up, we then realised it’s remeberance day today so figured that’s what it was all about. We decided to stick around and watch the service, mainly because Rob wanted to see the guns fired off.

    After sweltering in the heat there we kept waking along the esplanade then continued on to Cullin Bay. We eventually arrived to find a bunch of shops and restaurants which didn’t seem open. It was pretty dead. We stayed and watched a boat pass through the lock then had a coffee before making our way back home.

    Had a dip in the pool which was nice although a took a bit of a stack getting in as it was really slippery. After the pool it was time for a rest then we had to get ready for our sunset cruise on the harbour. This turned out to be pretty good - a couple of hours on the water, we enjoyed it.
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  • Day4

    Last Train Day

    November 10, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 38 °C

    Had a better night sleep last night but still woke up quite tired. Had breakfast and got ready to get off the train for our Katherine tour of Nitmiluk Gorge. We were told the heat would be as bad as in Alice but with the added benefit of humidity, but it didn’t actually seem quite as bad.

    We caught the bus out to the Gorge and boarded the boat for the cruise. We were told pretty quickly that we probably wouldn’t see any crocs because it was too hot. The gorge was worth seeing. We had a short walk between gorges - on the second boat we were stuck at the front in the heat but once it got going it wasn’t too bad. We didn’t see much wildlife but Rob did spot a ‘turtle’ (aka logodile). After the boat trip I went to the toilet and told Rob I’d meet him on the bus, but by the time I got there someone was being sick on the bus and I couldn’t get on! I was told to get on a different bus and even after telling the guy that my “husband” was on the other one he’s like “don’t worry we will tell him what’s happening”. Not really good enough! Rob saw me get on and came across to that one instead so I was happy with that. But pretty annoyed that they’d just separate you like that and think it’s acceptable.

    Back in the train and it was another lunch and easy afternoon as we travelled into Darwin. Was a bit sad to be getting off but by the same token we were ready for the next part of the holiday.
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  • Day3

    On the train

    November 9, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

    After a bit of a rough night, mostly caused by the super thin walls and the old guys next door who wouldn’t shut up at 4am, we woke up early to get out and see the sunrise. We’d stopped at a place called Marla which wasn’t much but a platform and a water tower. It was quite cloudy but we still managed to see a reasonable sunrise across the desert. We were hoping we’d be able to do a bit of walking to try and walk off yesterday’s food but no such luck, we could only walk up and down (part of) the train which we did a couple of times.

    By the time we got back on the train I was absolutely shattered. We had a shower, a quick drink then I crashed for a bit before we crossed the border into the NT.

    Just after lunch we made it to Alice Springs. Had to go through the rigmarole of filling out the border COVID paperwork before being able to go on a tour. We got off the train when we were told to, lined up in the 6 billion degree heat then were told that because we were on the tour we were we had to move to the back of the line. The guy was really rude and I was less than impressed.

    The actual tour itself wasn’t bad. We drove around the town for a bit and visiting Anzac lookout then the Royal flying Doctor service museum which was quite interesting. Then a reptile park where we learnt a few things about lizards, snakes and crocodiles (no point trying to poke them in the eye if they’ve got hold of you apparently). Then last stop was this old telegraph museum but by this stage it was just getting too hot and I think we were all a bit over it. Because we came back to the bus quicker than expected the driver had time to drive us through the city before taking us back to the train. Really feel like we’ve seen Alice now and don’t feel like I need to come back and visit anytime soon.

    Dinner was pleasant enough - I decided to have a couple of drinks to try and get my money’s worth. Just a bit paranoid that I’d struggle in the heat the next day with a headache.
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  • Day2

    Boarding the Ghan

    November 8, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ☀️ 12 °C

    After a bit of a rough night with a load of yelling and noise around 4am we woke up pretty early to go and grab some breakfast before we needed to board the train. We walked up to Montefiore Hill in North Adelaide before finding the bakery on OConnell street and grabbing some food and coffee. Walked back to the hotel really enjoying the weather and atmosphere - it’s funny how you can dislike a place then realise it’s not so bad when you return years later. Don’t get me wrong I wouldn’t ever want to come back to live but it’s not bad to visit.

    Checked out of the hotel and decided to walk the couple of kms to the train station. Quite an easy pleasant walk, wasn’t too hot yet which was good. Found the station in good time, checked in and eventually boarded the train!

    Hung out in the room for a bit while the train left Adelaide. All seemed pretty comfortable so happy so far! Checked out the lounge just before lunch, really started to solidify the fact that we were the youngest ones on here by about 30 years.

    Eventually it was our time to have lunch and we were treated to the most delicious meal - so amazing I somehow ended up with some of it in my hair (!) so I continued to enjoy it for the rest of the afternoon.

    Hung around on the train enjoying the scenery and trying not to drift off to sleep before eventually it was time for dinner - another great meal! Back to the room too enjoy some tv before it was time for bed.
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  • Day5

    The Last Day

    October 18, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Took the car back first thing this morning before checking out. We were excited to find out that there was a shower facility downstairs which we were ok to use in the afternoon so this was very exciting, as we were going to get very sweaty and wet after a swim.

    We had a couple of hours to kill before lunch so we took the scooters down to the gardens along the water. Thought the kids could have a kick and it was about 2 minutes before they started fighting. We split them up for 10 minutes or so and that seemed to work wonders, everyone was happy after that.

    We scootered down to the Stokes Bay Wharf for lunch which wasn’t too bad. Took the scooters back to the hotel and swapped them for some bathers. Back to the wave pool which was a bit busier than during the week but not too bad. After I got out I thought I’d have a look to see what food options there were at the airport but it looked like most if not all were closed! So I did a mad dash to woolies for something to eat, and I’m glad I did because there really was nothing open at the airport.

    And that was the end of our Darwin holiday! Had a good time, will be good to go back in a few weeks though and see some of the things we didn’t quite get to with the kids.
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  • Day4

    Litchfield

    October 17, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    Slept in until 8 this morning (!) way later than I’d hoped. Quick breakfast then a run/walk around to the pier then through town for some exercise. I found the street where we’d planned to have dinner tonight and it seemed like it was the touristy/nightclub part of town - pretty sure that’s where I went last time I was here and is what I remember of Darwin.

    Rounded up the kids and jumped in the car for our drive to Litchfield. Plan was that once we hit the national park kids were t get off their iPads and this turned into a bit of a disaster as they immediately became unbearable winding each other up etc.

    Managed to distract them enough to make it to the Termite Mounds. These were a little underwhelming compared to what I remember. It was hot and there were loads of flies and Hamish was just about having a meltdown!

    Drove a bit further taking us to the Buley Rockholes for a swim. This was a highlight. So many people there but we still managed to find space to have a nice swim. Kids enjoyed jumping in while I sat and stressed that they’d slip on the rocks and hit their head. Thankfully no one did.

    For dinner tonight we went down to the pub and enjoyed a nice meal watching the other prelim final. That one too ended up with a disappointing result - it’s going to be a boring grand final next week! Highlight of the evening was watching Hamish attempt to parkour all the way home, which he thought was hilarious until he discovered he was forced to have another shower when he got home ..
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  • Day3

    Crocodiles

    October 16, 2020 in Australia ⋅ ⛅ 32 °C

    We all slept in a little longer than usual this morning after a big day yesterday. Rob and I went to pick up the car shortly after breakfast, took a little longer than expected due to firstly not being as full of petrol as promised and secondly noticing bits falling off said car as we drove off. We went back and the guy just went full Territory and ripped off the entire panel that was faulty.

    We headed out towards Humpty Doo then the Adelaide River where we boarded our croc cruise. Being terrified of crocs, especially salties, this was a big deal for me! Within moments of leaving the jetty there were a couple of crocs heading towards the boat. We saw quite a few, it was really good! Always felt safe. Started smashing down with rain but was mostly undercover so wasn’t too bad. All just part of the territory experience really!

    After the tour we headed back home and Rob and I went and did a spot of shopping. Followed by dinner then time to watch the footy. A good tough close game which Port ended up losing by a goal. Disappointing but still good to make it as far as a prelim.
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