Jabiru to Litchfield via Darwin 04/06/2011 - 10/06/2011 by Mrs Kanga

Saturday, Jun 04, 2011 at 00:00


Day 50 - 04/06/2011

Packed up at Jabiru and on the road by 8.45am only to get a few metres down the road and find that none of Gordon’s trailer lights were working. Trailer brakes still working though, but they are now on a new wire separate to all the others. Oh well, it will give Gordon something else to play with in Darwin. He is hoping to pick up the right sized belt for his compressor from a guy he spoke to yesterday. Checked in to Boomerang Caravan Park for four nights but when we went to our allocated sites, one of them was only about two metres wide and completely unsuitable so we got our money back and moved on. Next park we tried was a Big4, they kindly let us have a look around but couldn’t tell us which sites we would get so we moved on again. Finally settled in to Aurora Shady Glen Tourist Park, were given a few choices of two sites together and decided on some nice big shady sites down the back. Impressive clean, well lit facilities. Got talking to a couple camped nearby ( Peter & Gail) turned our that Jakob and his wife(our German friends from Jabiru) had just left the spot next to us that morning in their big Man truck. Went into Darwin, had a drive around then parked and walked down to the Wharf District where they were having second birthday celebrations. What a great little spot, restaurants, convention centre, wave pool, shops etc.
Day 51 - 05/06/2011

First plane went over at 6.30am so we were up and at it by seven. Put some washing on, had breakfast then Adriane and I were going to see the jumping crocs while Gordon and Andy went to the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre. Got on the 11am Adelaide River Croc Cruise on the double story boat, air-conditioned down the bottom with huge clean panoramic windows for viewing the jumping crocs. Upstairs is open air seating and this is where the pieces of pig is dangled from, for the crocs to jump at. Lost count of how many crocs we encountered. They also fed a sea eagle which came swooping down then near the end of the cruise, a dozen or more Whistling and Black Kite birds that had been circling above, swooped and plunged in the water to retrieve pieces of meat. All in all a great tour. Had some lunch at a Tavern in Humpty Doo on the way back to camp.Camp pool was shut today for renovations. Got the washing in while Adriane went an washed the Troopy then relaxed until it was time to go to the Mindil Beach Sunset Market (held on Sunday and Thursday nights). Parked at the Casino next door because our campsite neighbour (Chris) had warned us it would be busy. Not as good for crafty things as Port Douglas but much better for food (not fresh produce) and entertainment. Sunset was pretty good because of the smoke from the bush fires, beach was very busy. eMDee, a high energy didgeridoo and drum duo were drawing quite a crowd with their original music. Adriane enjoyed a few Chilli Mud Crab Rolls from Taste of Timor while the rest of us opted for Chinese. Great night, perfect climate for this sort of thing.

Day 52 - 06/06/2011

First plane today way 4.30am, bit rude. Up and off to Crocodylus Park for the 9am opening ($35pp), first tour at 10am so we had a bit of a wander around the park and gift shop. Never seen so many crocs. On the tour they feed some of the crocs and you can get a chance to feed or hold one. This is a working crocodile farm but also has a good selection of other animals on display. There is also a crocodile museum which is very comprehensive. We then went our separate ways, shopping and lunch then meeting back at camp.Gordon had got the new belt for his compressor and installed it. Spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing, computing, swimming, planning and the like. We had heard of a few complaints about the lack of water pressure in the showers and experienced it if more than two showers on at once. Saw plumbers about so looks like they are on to it. All in all a very nice well managed park in a great central location, easy drive in to Darwin.RAAF FA18 Hornets in sets of three at a time can be a bit deafening though, maybe because there was an American ship visiting and our guy wanted to show off. We have coverage on both Virgin and Telstra but haven’t been able to get hold of Shelley, our settlement agent, yet because it is a Public Holiday in WA.

Day 53 - 07/06/2011

Warm fine day, headed in to town, first stop Aquascene where you get to hand feed a variety of sea fish that come in with the tide. They also have an amazing collection of huge marble statues from Marble Mountain Vietnam. Could see the American warship in the bay. We then parked along the Esplanade and walked in to the city for a coffee then down to the WWII Oil Storage Tunnels ($6pp) and then the Wharf area again. Heard from settlement agent Carol, Shelley is having a day off, she will email what we need to sign to the caravan park. Had a nice lunch in the city before going our separate ways again. Adriane and I went to BCF in search of a new chair for me, because the arm broke off the other day, but they didn’t have the one we were after so we had a quick shop in the Rivers store.Gordon and Andrea went to the East Point Military Museum then we all met back up at camp. Sorted out the paperwork for posting back to the settlement agent. After dinner Fats Thommo was the nights entertainment in the caravan park. Quite comical impersonator that gets the crowd quite involved in the show. Drunk guy in the audience was just as funny at times and annoyingly embarrassing at others. I think I won the booby prise in the raffle, a Fats Thommo CD of his Elvis Impersonation.

Day 54 - 08/06/2011

Just loving this weather, fine and warm(but not too warm) again. First stop Fannie Bay Gaol for a look around, self guided tour, entry by donation. Seems like a waste of a prime piece of real estate. Next we went to the Art Gallery and Museum of NT (Free entry). Excellent quality displays of many preserved animal specimens including Sweetheart the crocodile. There is also a very good Cyclone Tracy display and some good Aboriginal art. We had a nice lunch at the Café restaurant there which has lovely views of the ocean. Went our separate ways again, Adriane and I had a look at some of the posh houses at Fannie Bay, East Point, Rapid Creek and Nightcliff then on to Camping World for a new chair.Gordon and Andrea picked up a Mud Crab for us for tea and Gordon had a large Blue Manna crab for himself.

Day 55 - 09/06/2011

Bit overcast today but still warm. Had a bit of an audience for the packing up of the campers. Bid farewell to neighbours Kelvin and Marteen and other fellow campers Peter and Gail who had all gone on a half day fishing charter yesterday. Gail caught the biggest fish between them and Peter caught the most, being the first fish he had ever caught.We were on the road by 9.20am and stopped for a bit of shopping at Coolalinga and found we were parked next to a guy from Mandurah. They have a Woolworths supermarket and petrol station that you can get your 4c per litre discount at. The centre also provides special parking spots for caravans and the like, nice touch. We then headed off to Litchfield National Park. Were soon caught in a traffic jam consisting of two houses being transported. They turned down the road we had intended taking to Litchfield so we decided to push on and take an alternative route as there was no way we would be able to pass them. Pulled in to look at the Magnetic Termite Mounds which look like huge tombstones. Then Florence Falls on our way to eventually camp at Litchfield Safari Park ($20pn unpowered), booked two nights.Set up in a lovely spot under some shady trees and another Tvan set up nearby. Had a relaxing afternoon, grabbed an ice cream from the shop (shipping container with glass shop doors and air conditioning),Adriane cooled off in the pool (basically a water tank with milk crates for steps). Chatted with other campers and tried to master a cryptic crossword. No phone coverage here.

Day 56 - 10/06/2011

Had an unwelcome guest trying to share my cereals for breakfast, gave me quiet a fright. First stop today, had a cuppa at the Litchfield Cafe round the corner that is for sale then off to Wangi Falls. Water was too high for swimming at present and light wasn’t the best for photos, pretty spot though. Next stop Green Ant Creek for a walk to Tjaetaba Falls.Gordon, Andrea and I went on ahead walked to top where there was a swimming hole, small though deep, nice view.Gordon & I tried our hand at stripping some pandanas. Adriane eventually caught up with us after having to shoo a snake out of the toilet only to find there was no paper. He went back to the car to get some paper and by the time he got back to the toilet the snake was back there again. Adriane had a chat with a freelance photographer at the top of the Tjaetaba Falls who said he had come to take some photos of the area because it was quite possible the falls area will be within the boundaries of a proposed new five star resort. If approved, this area would only be accessible to guests of the resort. On to Tolmer Falls, easy paved walk to a high lookout platform where we bumped into Jason and Susan (our neighbours when we were at Gunlom Falls camp). Back to camp, Adriane had a swim and I had a bit of a nanna nap before we sorted out a camp fire for some spuds and corn with all the trimmings. Finally got out the chess set I bought Adriane for his birthday and he thrashed me in four moves, I’ll stick to the cards I think .
Tempus Fugit

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