Reflections of a Learning Journey and the Connections made along the way

Archive for April, 2015

Darwin

We flew to Darwin on 11th April 2015. We arrived to a very hot beautiful day – about 33 degrees.  Our apartment was just beautiful and very well appointed with plenty of room for the 7 of us and with a fantastic view of the harbour.  After getting stuck in the lift we went out for dinner at the Tap.

On our first full day in Darwin we paid a visit to the Tourist Information Centre and then went to the WWIII oil tunnels which was really interesting.  They were built to store fuel underground to prevent attacks on the supplies but were never used.  Then went to the wave pool which was great fun. We also swam in the sea at the Waterfront followed by a lovely lunch at Il Lido.

Next day we caught the bus to the Art Gallery and museum. This was very interesting particularly the Cyclone Tracey exhibit. We saw the famous croc, Sweetheart, which died when they were trying to relocate her.  Another feature was the aboriginal art exhibition.  That evening we went on a sunset cruise which left from Stokes Hill Wharf aboard the Streeter Pearl Lugger with Chris and Tania. It was a lovely evening and we drank champagne and ate nibbles as we watched a beautiful sunset. When we got back we had dinner at The Jetty restaurant which was very good.

The Military Museum was also very interesting and the information about the bombing of Darwin was enlightening.  Darwin was first bombed on 19th February 1942, when the Post Office was destroyed and around 90 people died.  We had lunch at Cullen Bay at the Boatshed Cafe overlooking the Marina.  That evening we went to Moorish for dinner. We had delicious tapas and sangria.

We got up early next morning and went for a walk around the Boulevard.  The walk is well set out with war memorials and other interesting information.  We also walked down onto Lameroo Beach.  We did some exploring of  the shopping centre and had a drink at the Darwin Hotel.  Then we had lunch at the Deck Bar.  After lunch we went to Parliament House which also housed the library.  It is a wonderful building.  Apparently the tops of the pillars at the four corners of the building are styled after bomb tails as this was originally the site of the Post Office which was destroyed in the first air raid and there was a bomb found on the site when it was being excavated for the building of Parliament House.

On Day 6 we went on a Crocodile cruise on the Adelaide River and a tour of Litchfield National Park. Our first stop was the crocodile cruise and we were amazed at being able to get so close to the crocs. The tour guide threw out chicken fat which attracted hundreds of beautiful hawks of several species.  Then back onto the bus with Joey our guide.  He was great and made the tour very interesting.  We headed out to Litchfield National Park with a quick stop at Humpty Doo on the way.  The first stop was Florence Falls where we swam under the waterfall.  It was just amazing and very beautiful.  Then we headed to Wangi Falls which was also beautiful but closed to swimming as it can be inhabited by crocs in the wet season.  We had cold meat and salad sandwiches which were delicious given that it was nearly 2 o’clock.  The next stop was Buley Rockpools.  Lots of little cascading pools.  Swimming there was quite different to Florence Falls and we all felt we could have spent a lot longer there.  A quick stop at the Termite mounds before heading back to Fannie Bay for the sunset with champagne and prawns.  Overall it was a fantastic tour.

Our last day was very quiet which was lovely and we went back to Moorish for a farewell Sangria.  We bought seafood and cooked it ourselves and it was delicious to celebrate our last evening.  We all flew back to cold Victoria on 18th April after a wonderful family holiday.

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Port Douglas

Our beautiful holiday in Port Douglas started on 2nd October 2014. Eric and I were up at 3:30am to catch 6:00am flight and landed at Cairns Airport at 9:20am to a beautiful warm day with temperature at 28 degrees.

Jeanette was our bus driver for the trip to Port Douglas. Our accommodation was at Oaks Lagoon Resort. The room was beautiful – very spacious, overlooking the pool.

We had lunch at Ramada Tree restaurant which was in the motel next door.   After catching the bus into town to do some shopping we went for walk to the beach. The ocean felt amazingly warm. After our walk we went for a swim in the beautiful pool at our motel.

On our second day we had a buffet breakfast at Ramada and then caught the bus to the Marina. We had coffee and cake overlooking the Marina. Did a bit of shopping and then header back for a swim at the Beach.  We then went for tapas and cocktails at the Beach Shark Bar and Grill. Eric had French martini and I had a mango daiquiri. Tapas was mushroom arancini balls and pork belly.

Next day we caught the bus to the Marina for lunch at the Inlet seafood restaurant. Lovely tempura seafood with views over the ocean. More shopping and then went back to the court house hotel for a drink. That evening we took a sunset cruise onboard the Lady Douglas up the inlet. We saw a crocodile lazing in the mangroves and also a beautiful sea eagle which followed the boat to be fed a salmon frame.

We got up early the next day to go to the market and have breaky.  After a rest back at our motel we were picked up for our Mossman Gorge and Daintree tour.  Kim was our guide.  We went on a cruise on the Daintree River first where we saw 7 crocodiles ranging from a tiny little one less than a metre long to Scar Face who is thought to be about 50 years old and nearly 5 metres long.  Then we boarded the bus again for the trip to Mossman Gorge. We had Afternoon tea at the Mossman Visitor Information Centre managed by the indigenous people.  Then we had our first look at the rain forest.  There are apparently no eucalypts apparently but 100’s of other plant species.  We went for a swim at Mossman Gorge in the clearest water I have ever seen.  We took photo of the many fish swimming around with us. It was beautiful but very cold – only about 17 degrees.

On our last day, the Quicksilver coach picked us up at 9:30 to take us to the Marina for our snorkeling tour of Agincourt Reef.  It was a really big tour with about 300 people on the boat.  Eric went in the submersible and I went snorkelling.