Mudgee to Darwin Day 25 plus some more, the Darwin cup, more crocs.

Saturday, Aug 10, 2013 at 09:55

Member - Lisa & Peter (NSW)

Mudgee to Darwin Day 25 plus some more, the Darwin cup, more crocs.

On Sunday the girls and I did a spot of shopping at Casuarina, while Peter, Cam and Adam did some sightseeing, we met up for lunch, back to camp for a while in the afternoon. Mindil beach markets for some great food, and another glorious sunset.

On Monday we girls got "frocked up" , and the boys scrubbed up very well too, and headed to cousin Katherine's place for a champagne breakfast - fruit platters, croissants, quiche, homemade scones, cheese. Then we drove to the track for the big day. The kids and us were in the "legends of the straight" marquee, nice and shady, beer and wine and food supplied. it was certainly the way to go, we could walk out the front door to watch the finish of each race and even had a view of the mounting yard. I did well with the betting, getting 4 wins from 5 races, though only one at great odds. We were all shocked and saddened by the death of jockey Simone Montgomerie in a fall not far from the finish line, a young mother who was a previous winner of the jockeys premiership for the NT. The Darwin Turf Club, in consultation with the jockeys and stewards, then decided to abandon the rest of the meeting, and later decided that the Darwin Cup would not be run this year, and the prize money donated to a fund set up for Simone's young daughter.

We were tucked up in bed pretty early that night, after an emotional day, and far too much champagne and sunshine. The kids went out for a bit with Katherine and others.

The next day was fairly quiet, collecting the car from its sleepover,swimming in the pool, lunch at the caravan park bistro, then to town in the afternoon for a lovely cruise aboard the Anniki, a historic pearl lugger, which appeared in several movies including Baz Luhrman's Australia. We cruised around Darwin Harbour, checked out the sailors exercising on board the navy ship in port, saw prawn trawlers, transport ships, tugboats, and all manner of smaller vessels. Then another brilliant sunset to cap off the day.Katherine joined us for dinner, a seafood smorgasbord in Cullen Bay. That night the kids were flying back to Sydney at 1.40am, and we also needed to drop the hire car back to the airport, so we said our goodbyes and headed back to camp, for another early start the next morning.

Wednesday we joined our Mudgee friends for a full day tour, to Adelaide river for a jumping crocs cruise, then to Litchfield, and back to Darwin later to admire another sunset. We were a bit unsure about the day, thinking it was maybe too much repetition of places we have been. However, we were pleasantly surprised. The tour was run by Wallaroo tours, and our tour guide Bill was informative and very helpful. The jumping crocs tour was different to the previous one, with much more information about the crocodiles, and we saw more bigger crocs together. They were not as active as on the other tour, probably due to the higher tide, and the earlier morning time, as they hadn't been out sunning themselves on the mudbanks. At times there were four or more crocs surrounding the boat, keeping a watchful eye on one another. Back on the bus, a stop at Humpty Doo for toilets and refreshments, then on to Litchfield. We had a stop to see the termite mounds, then to Wangi falls for a lovely swim and lunch of cold meats and salads. We had a look at Florence Falls, then went to Buley Rockholes for a great swim and soak in the cascades there. Bus ride back to Darwin, and went to a park for champagne, prawns and yet another sunset. I'm not sick of the sunsets here, not one little bit, they are just lovely. We had pizza with all the Mudgee crew, then back to camp, most people were going fishing the next day with an early start.

We woke up with a start in the morning at 5.45 am, the time Peter was supposed to get picked up at the caravan park gate. Luckily they were running a little behind, he had time to throw on some clothes, grab the carton of beer we bought last night, and walk up to the gate. I was very happy to turn over and go back to sleep, I had elected to stay home for the day, do some housework and washing, and sort out some of the photos. It's been a pretty hectic week here in Darwin, so I didn't regret missing the fishing trip. As it was, I think I had the better day, which included lots of tidying, but also a swim and a nap.

More about the fishing trip from hell in the next exciting episode...
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