First up it's important to note that all flights to Darwin leave at stupid o'clock which at first we thought was really inconvenient, but actually worked out rather well! The kids and Scott got a full day of school in on Friday, we were able to finish packing and have some dinner at home, and left for the airport at 7:00. It was actually quite civilised!
Now arriving in Darwin at 1:30am with 2 kids was less than appealing, but the instant warmth we encountered stepping off the plane made it all worth it. We hurried over to our hotel and rolled into bed.
And we woke up to this:
We got the practicalities out of the way quick smart - hire car, groceries, and check-in at our first holiday park just outside of the city.
That left us plenty of time to check out the Parap Saturday Markets for some lunch and relax in the sunshine at the pool.
Well rested and following the sunshine, we headed out early the next morning.
Well of course not before we checked our messages! As it was explained to me, this was the only free outlet in the cabin lol!
First stop was Doctor's Gully a protected marine sanctuary where a number of different fish come in with the tide each day looking for a treat. They don't rely on the sanctuary for their diet and as the tide goes out they go with it to find the rest of their meals for the day. We saw and hand fed milkfish, diamondback mullets, catfish, batfish and barramundi. They were all very polite, no one nibbled on my feet and they let us pat them too!
It was such a lovely spot on the coast we almost forgot to continue on with our sightseeing!
We drove along the water towards the CBD taking in the sights along the way and discovered the WWII oil storage tunnels. In 1942 Darwin was bombed in 3 separate Japanese air-raids, destroying the majority of the military's above-ground storage tanks. Thus the decision was made to dig and construct underground storage tunnels where the oil could be safely stored. The tunnels were dug by hand in the heat and unfortunately the arrival of the wet season made them unstable and water poured in making them unusable in the end.
After a good dose of history we had earned a cold drink and some lunch on the wharf. The waterfront is a beautiful place to spend the afternoon, there is a man-made beach and a wave lagoon that boasts "a safe, stinger and crocodile-free wave and swimming lagoon". This will be an ever present theme on this holiday...
No much caring how thoroughly protected they were from hungry crocodiles, the kids dove into the wave lagoon and proceeded to spend several hours there!
I chose to stay under my umbrella and enjoy the view. There may have been a nap and a beverage involved.
Anyone who knows us well knows we love a good market. One of the best is the Mindil Sunset Beach Market. We actually extended our stay in Darwin by an extra day just so we wouldn't miss out.
We had some dinner ,
caught a show,
and finished off the night with a sunset.