Day 26- Litchfield to Darwin.
Our time in Litchfield was ending. Once breakfast was finished we cleaned up and packed up the van. Left just before 10:00 and drove to Howard Springs arriving just after 11:00. Checked in and set up our van on Site 227 not far from an amenities block and a BBQ. Ate lunch in the caravan. Then we drove into Darwin CBD. Even though we were staying 27kms from the city it took just half an hour to drive there. It wasn’t that hard to find a carpark as the city was very quiet for a Saturday afternoon. First of all we walked along the shoreline in a park area. Saw the Tourist Info Centre but it was shut. From there we walked through the pedestrian mall in Smith St. Karen bought two t-shirts and I bought an ice cream. Topped up money at ATM. From the mall we walked back to the park area and took the stairs down to the Avenue of Honour for NT women. Interesting. Saw the Deckchair Cinema but couldn’t find WW II tunnels. There was a massive cruise ship docked. Drove back to the caravan park for a BBQ dinner then watched World Cup soccer Australia vs France. Australia lost 2-1 but it was a fantastic game.
Day 27- Darwin
Went down to Humpty Doo to church at Living Waters Uniting. Made to feel welcome. Stayed for morning tea before driving back to the caravan park for lunch and a rest back at the caravan. Mid afternoon we drove into Darwin to the Mindil market carpark. Crossed the road and walked through the George Brown Darwin botanical gardens where we met some caravanning friends, Phil and Cheryl at the permaculture garden. Sat and chatted before wandering through the gardens some more. Headed over to the Mindil market about 16:45. Things were just warming up. We wandered along. There was a good mix of art, crafts and food. Also saw a whip cracking demo. Along the way there are spots for buskers too. We chatted with a family raising money for research for MND by cycling for a year around Australia. As dusk arrived we strolled down to the Mindil beach for a glowing yellow-orange ball sunset. We sat on the beach and chatted for a while then went back up to the market to buy some food. Sat to eat and chat near an Aussie poetry reciter. About 20:00 left the market. Drove Cheryl and Phil to their caravan park and continued home after a fun day.
Day 28- Darwin
Had a very relaxing morning. Prepared some food for a picnic before driving into Darwin to the NT Museum and Art Gallery. Before going in we sat on the grass near the beach and ate our picnic lunch. Outside the gallery there was a small colourful display of car doors turned into artworks by indigenous artist Michael Nelson Tjakamarra.
Once inside we started with the Indigenous art section before heading into the natural history museum where we saw lots of displays, none more impressive than the one displaying the largest croc, Sweetheart. Next we looked at the history of Cyclone Tracey section which included a room with recordings of the howling wind from the cyclone. After that we looked at the Land, Sea and Sky art display. Finally we went upstairs to a special exhibition, A Thousand Miles From Everywhere by pop artist, Franck Gogier. After that we drove to the Gateway shopping centre on the way back and bought a few things in readiness for our next destination, Kakadu National Park. We refuelled and drove back to Howard Springs. Barbecued again for dinner and looked at a bit of World Cup soccer before heading to bed.
Next stop – Jabiru in Kakadu National Park.