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Judy’s Travel Diary

Monday, 02 Jul 2007

Location: Litchfield National Park, Australia

MapWe left Douglas Daly and drove onto to Batchelor - for our visit to Litchfield National Park. The park was lovely but we were very pleased we had our ensuite as they had only 4 showers and toilets each for men and women for the whole park of 190 sites and also the 80 school kids who came in and stayed in tents. The park is about 30k, from Litchfield so we drove in to the national park for both days. There was masses to see but on the first day we had camera trouble and we only took one photo - the one of the tin mine at Bamboo creek. The mine was still there, and the life they led must have been so hard and lonely. The saddest thing is that the 3 men who started the mine died of lung disease from the silica in the stone they mine to get the tin. It is a pity there are no photos as the falls we saw that day were the best and we spent a lot of time offroad - crossing creeks and driving narrow sandy tracks to get to the places.

Next day, we went to the more popular sites - Florence falls, Buley waterholes etc The park is really worth the effort.

Monday 2nd July, we drive into Darwin stopping of at the hot springs Berry Springs. We both enjoyed a dip - there are 2 waterholes which join up and you can float down between them. Water was not hot, just tepid - nice on a hot day.

We are staying at Hidden Springs, and spent the first day just driving around, looking at the sites, and getting ourselves set up. Next day, we started sightseeing, and started at the Aviation Museum. The war history here is amazing, and I found out so much about the war here, I knew Darwin was bombed, but not that it was hit 64 times, and that the Japs bombed Darwin 4 days after Pearl Harbour, and they dropped twice as many bombs on Darwin as Pearl Harbour. They built about 30-40 airstrips all over the Northern Territory, and into WA, and there were 250000 personnel here. We then went to the Oil storage tunnels built after the bombing. There are 5 tunnels, built in 14months by miners from Aus and Ireland, and just one of them was 5m high,, 171metres long, and held 3,847million litres. Do I get a job as a tour guide??

We then visited more sights, not war related. The city is quite unusual, the harbour is huge, the water an unusual colour light blue, not aqua. Lovely parks follow the waterfront. The city is small as you can imagine, and the rest of the town is sprawling, and confusing. We spent the late afternoon driving down to Shoal Bay to check out the crabbing spots and organised to go there on Saturday. Hopefully, the sandflys wont be too hungry.

4th July, Mikes birthday, Mike stayed in bed and enjoyed getting phone calls. We then went and did some more sightseeing. We are getting to know this town much better. How would we manage without the sat nav system. It has paid for itself getting us around this town.

Dinner at Buzz Café, at Cullen Wharf, and Marina. We booked the restaurant the day before and were promised the best table for the birthday boy. They kept their word. The restaurant has a 30s Singapore feel, and has tables over a couple of levels over the water. Our table was in the best spot and we faced the Marina, instead of the other diners. Great night,

5th July, More sightseeing, but we were lazy and ended up at the find of the holiday, the Darwin Sailing Club. Talk about the position, just beautiful, We had a couple of drinks and stayed for dinner. The sunset is amazing, the photos do not do the colours of the sky justice.

6th July, We had a catch up day, boring stuff - defrosting fridge, washing etc. Then shopping for a new water filter and a screen house for Shoal Bay - we have bought one with sandfly mesh and hopefully we will be able to survive the place so we can crab. Ended up back at the Sailing club for a few drinks and then home for the end of the football.