We had a mammoth day driving from the boarder of WA/NT. Once again the kids were absolute legends and we arrived in Katherine by 2pm!
We had planned to stay at our friends place, who live on the Tindal RAAF base. Jimmy and Tamara have three kids and have recently been posted from Newcastle to Katherine for three years, as Jimmy works in the Air Force. They were kind enough to offer us their front yard, which was the largest, grassy site we’ve seen since Perth!
The kids hit it off immediately and lapped up all the new toys and space to play. I caught them kicking back in the lounge chairs a few times and I wondered whether we would struggle to get them to leave this spacious house! I, on the other hand, tried to refrain myself from getting to cozy in the lounge room and even kept to prepping food in the caravan as the enormity of Jim and Tams bench space was something I would certainly struggle to leave if I got to used to it.
It was so awesome to see some friends again! Lots of laughter and chatting over dinners. I don’t think I even felt the kids touch me once when I was there.. Don’t get me wrong! We love them dearly but it was soooo nice to see them running and playing in places that were out of view and outside the 18squares of our caravan. Bliss!
Jimmy and Tamara were keen to hang with us on the Sunday. We decided to visit the Katherine hot springs.
It was the first hot springs we’ve ever been to before and we weren’t disappointed. The water was so balmy! It was turquoise in colour and ridiculously clear! Amongst the natural setting of the NT bush it was almost unbelievable how it even existed.
The kids would have stayed in there all day playing in the natural water flow that was gushing over the root systems of the surrounding trees.
I was amazed at the amount of butterflies that were flying about, I later read somewhere that they live in the banks of these habitats.. It made it all the more wondrous and beautiful. We have also enjoyed spotting bright red and blue dragon flies that hang about. They stand out in these natural settings and look so cool!
After working up an appetite we picnicked in the park and enjoyed a yummy coffee from a super cool shipping container cafe whilst the kids made up games and binged on food.
It was a great couple of nights spent with friends. The kids were sad to leave each other but it was time to head north to Darwin!
We drove a few hours with a short stop halfway in Pine Creek for lunch with Ted and Monica ( our friend/ builder -Pete Stallards parents) who are also traveling the country. We were crossing paths and planned to catch up over lunch at the old railway cafe. Once again, the sheer joy of a familiar face is so enjoyable after 6 months on the road. We enjoyed all the tips they gave us for Darwin and laughed at the common caravanning problems and issues we both face. It was a nice stop!
Typical for us we hadn’t booked ahead and were extremely lucky to get into a caravan park near the city. We snagged the lucky last site in at hidden valley, which also happened to be an ensuite site for $60 a night ( standard city fees) it was $1 more then the big 4 standard site so we jumped on it. It was so lux!!
The pool was nice and refreshing considering we had mid 30’s every day.
The only wave you’ll get in Northern Terriory is at the Darwin wave pool, so that’s where we went first. It was pretty cool for the kids and nothing like what I was hoping for! Nix was in the water for three solid hours, he loved catching the wedgy waves in the corner and caught some right to the hard (fake) sandy shore. Raff however wanted to stick to the flat waves until the very last half hour, when he warmed up enough to tackle some waves in knee deep water.
We ventured through the city with the kids on scooters- bad idea! I forgot how people walk with their heads down in cities. The kids were constantly in the way of fast paced city goers and it proved to be much more stressful keeping them out of the way of people then it would have been, if they winged that their legs were tired!
We got home and we’re stoked to see the Degos!! We only had to mention the ensuite site and they were there in a flash!!
The kids were happy to have their buddies back after a short separation!
We all ventured out to yet another free water park that was amazing! Kids heaven! It was a nice treat for them after all the long hot days spent driving across the Kimberly!
To reward ourselves for supervising so efficiently, Pon and I searched Bean hunter to find top rated coffee in Darwin. We weren’t let down. Campos double shot bliss. Worth every cent. The kids shared an extreme milk shake.. Just look at the picture and you’ll see why it was $9 worth of Extremeness!
The Annual Darwin Festival was on. It had some cool things on offer for everyone, parents enjoyed a beer on the grass watching live music whilst kids participated in some story time and graffiti art with their very own spray cans and masks. It was a nice night out!
We hung out by the harbour in the sun, swimming in the netted off (croc free) zone, watching a large screen of Olympic action and the occasional circus trick happening behind us, before enjoying some Asian food for lunch and a coconut slushy!
On the way home we were lucky to watch 20 RAAF fighter jet planes fly over the top of us before landing on the runway strip. They were all different shapes and sizes and were coming in loud, fast and frighteningly close! It was pretty entertaining to say the least!
That night we went to the sunset Mindel markets and were blown away to see some of the same RAAF planes putting on a show for the hundreds of people watching the sunset! They flew for the crowd before making a sharp turn again and deafening you as they blasted off in front of the gigantic setting sun! We couldn’t have timed it better! It was pretty awesome to watch!
The markets were jammed packed with people! So busy, you could barely move.
You could buy all sorts of real life cane toad handbags and coin purses, kangaroo ballbag bottle openers, croc claw back scratchers. Any thing you wanted in crocodile you could buy!
Nixon had his heart set on a new crystal, of the “stickyup” variety. Raff brought a glass giraffe statue that lasted maybe an hour before I had the super glue out.
We watched fire twirling and dogs jump through hoops! A great Darwin experience had by all.