Monday 15th July
On a recommendation, we visited the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory today. It was really interesting! They have a space exhibit on, perfect timing for the 50th anniversary of landing on the moon! They also had displays featuring local animals, sea creatures, the difference between the wet and dry seasons, the history of the Northern Territory, a variety of boats and their stories, and a cyclone exhibit!
The cyclone exhibit stood out for me, as it showed the devastation which followed Cyclone Tracy – a cyclone that hit Darwin in 1974. There was footage, and pictures, as well as tributes to those who died. To get a feel for what it was like for the people who lived through it, there was a sound-booth where you could go in and listen to the noise created by the cyclone and the debris it carried.
After we’d finished exploring the exhibits, we had a yummy late lunch at the cafe, before heading to meet the seller of the van to pay him for our purchase. The deal was sealed!
Tuesday 16th July
We did our clothes washing today, and finished off the van paperwork, before heading to Berry Springs! This is the home of Tristan and Bri! Their house is awesome, filled with creatures from Basil the lorikeet, to Ed and Isla the baby bats; not forgetting the gliders and chickens outside! As well as being their own mini menagerie, they are only 30 seconds from the Northern Territory Wildlife Park!
After helping Bri feed the baby bats, we finished the evening with a lovely curry cooked by Tristan! Yum!
Wednesday 17th July
Waking up bright and early (for us!), we got ready and headed to the Wildlife Park. It’s home to lots of native animals; buffalo, gliders, bats, snakes, dingoes, fish, crocodiles, emus and birds. Our first stop was the flight deck to watch Tristan give his talk about some of the birds. It included an emu, osprey, wedge-tailed eagle, owl, lorikeets, and a curlew. It was a fun and interesting talk!
Later on in the park, we headed to the aquarium; it was feeding time! A diver got into the water above the tunnel with a variety of food and began handing it out to the different fish. Barramundi eat by shooting their head forward and, surprisingly quickly, snapping their jaws shut around their prey. Whiprays are also interesting to watch feed, as their mouths are on their underside, they pin their prey down before moving to get their mouth over it to chomp down.
We spent the evening all together, with food and drinks at the local pub – turns out pear cider is actually quite nice!
Thursday 18th July
Unfortunately, our van isn’t quite in working order – the coolant is leaking and we require a new thermostat housing. Turns out, this isn’t an easy part to get hold of.
Today was spent contacting mechanics, applying for jobs, and lounging around in the heat, as well as making friends with Basil!
Friday 19th July
Tom and I spent the day in almost the exact same way as yesterday, only this time, we added Netflix into the mix!
Bri and Tristan arrived home from work and we decided to visit Fogg Dam – the aim was to go bird watching but unfortunately it wasn’t light enough when we got there to see many birds. We did however see some cows, buffalo, a few birds on the way, some frogs, and a snake!
Saturday 20th July
After a lovely lie-in, we got up and went shopping for some snacks for the day ahead. The four of us jumped in the car and headed to Litchfield National Park – it was time to explore the local waterfalls!
We visited 3 waterfalls, 2 of which we were able to swim in – they were croc safe! Wooo! We took our snorkels and got in for a swim. It was awesome! It took some getting used to the water and to get rid of the fear of crocodiles but the waterfalls were beautiful and refreshing to swim in!
On our way home we saw some bats, wallabies, a bandicoot and a variety of snakes; snake-lizards, an olive python, a water snake, and a death adder!
We got our sandwiches ready for the next day and headed to bed – an early night ready for an early morning!
Sunday 21st July
No lie-in this morning; a bright and breezy 5am start! We were off to the Corroboree Billabong for a morning of sailing around and croc spotting!
We arrived at 6:45, which unfortunately was a tad early as we couldn’t get the boat until 7:30! But it gave us a chance to wake up.
As it was early morning, it was actually rather chilly, with an atmospheric fog covering the water. We loaded the boat with all our food, cameras and fishing stuff and sailed down the Billabong.
We stayed out for about 3 hours and saw a huge variety of wildlife! Sea eagles, darters, jabirus, a water monitor and over 20 crocodiles! We also attempted to do some fishing, good fun however none of us caught anything haha!
It was an epic day which completely wiped us out, so the afternoon was spent recovering in front of Netflix with snacks! Great end to a great weekend!
Next Week…Week 5
Van Troubles Afoot