Lewis' Exploring Oz

On and off the beaten track…………………….

Darwin oh Darwin how we love thee……..

Posted by lewisfamilyexploringoz on September 21, 2010

Stokes Wharf for lunch

We arrived in sunny Darwin on 13th August and have spent two and a half glorious weeks here, although by the time we left we were more than ready to go as the “build up” has started and it’s very hot and humid with almost no relief! We stayed at the Lee Point Village Resort for our time here and also stored our van here while we took a “holiday within our holiday” to Phuket for 2 weeks. Yep, I know the life of some, hey!;) It was a big caravan park, very dry, not much grass, a pool but it could be so much better if only the managers took a bit more care and fixed things up around the place.  Must say, won’t miss checking the toilet everytime i go, to see if the frogs have decided to make it their home again for the night!:)

Submarine at Stoke's Wharf

We headed out for lunch to Stokes Wharf to have lunch with our friend Glenn and his girlfriend Fabianna (Fabi). Hi Guys:))))))).

Glenn and Fabi

Sunset at beach

We’ve known Glenn since our early days of working together on a gold mine, all three of us and that was a looong time ago!  There was a tug docked at the wharf that immediately got Wade’s attention, then after a yummy seafood lunch, we walked down to the other end and saw a submarine that was docked there.  It was great to catch up with Glenn as we figured out it had been quite a while since we had seen him last and you look great too! (I know he will read this:))  He invited us down to the water ski club on Sunday to go paddling, we thought kayaks, but he had a different idea!

Outriggers and the boys

We went to the local flicks to watch Inception (which was great!) and then headed out to the water ski club in the arvo to catch up with Glenn.  Well the paddling was actually outriggers, not kayaks but it was great fun.  I was a bit unsure of how the kids would handle it (hell I wasn’t sure how I would handle it) and if the kids would be strong enough as each boat takes 6 people to paddle but they were brilliant.

Sunset from Water Ski Club

Wade stayed on for each session, not wanting a break.  What a champion!  It’s just paddle, paddle, paddle for 15-20 mins then back to shore to swap people in and out then back out again. The people at the club were very friendly and welcomed us warmly.   Then we watched a magical sunset as the Water Ski Club is right on the beach. Ah……this is the life!  Seriously we could live here, it’s a beautiful, laidback place!  We came back a few times to sample the beverages and food and have a swim in the pool.  Great place! We headed down to the Mindil Beach Markets to have a squiz and get some dinner.  What a wonderfully, colourful place it was. There are so many different types of food available it was amazing.  There are all sorts of stalls from air-brush paintings, sunnies, wooden crafts and jewellery.  We would definitely have to come back as it was getting a bit late and you need a few hours to see all there is to see.

Fire Show at Mindl Markets

Our second time back at the markets we grabbed an early dinner and sat down on a grassy area, which happened to be in front of the fire show.  It was AMAZING!  This guy has choreographed his routine to music and does juggling with flaming swords, chains, ropes and a whip!  Very entertaining and loads of fun and all for free, except for the donation we gave him because he was so good!

Red-clawed crab stealing thong

There is a boardwalk walkway between the Water Ski Club and the Mindil Beach Markets and it goes over some very marshy, muddy grounds.  We stopped to watch the red clawed crabs and wouldn’t you know it, Wade drops his thong over the side of the rail.  Then we watched in amusement as one of the red-clawed crabs grabbed his thong and was trying to drag it into his hole/home. Very ambitious crab!  Daniel managed to rescue the thong and the crab did not look happy! We made a third visit back to the Markets, this time with some Karratha friends of ours that had come to town.  We had drinks with Janice, Goldy and Isabelle then headed into the markets.  We grabbed a bite to eat, watched a different fire show and the kids went on the aero bungy (which was a rip-off) then they also went on the portable rock-climbing wall.  They had a blast there and the young lady there offered us 2 for 1 tickets to come and try rock-climbing in town at “The Rock“.

Dessert at Hogs Breath Cafe

We bid a fond farewell to our friends from Karratha – it was great to see them again.

Boys on the waterslide

We ended up going to the rock-climbing place the next day and tried out the walls.  Luck the girl remembered us as we had left the tickets in the caravan – doh!  We spent a couple of hours trying different walls, with varying degrees of difficulty and had a blast. All of us had a go on the different walls.  Unfortunately we didn’t take any photos because one of us was either climbing or belaying (being the anchor and holding the ropes and shackles at the bottom) and when we did remember we had all taken off the harnesses.  What a great way to spend the afternoon and great for our fitness as well! They are a very friendly and helpful bunch at the rock-climbing place.  We dined out that night at the Hogs Breath cafe and took a picture of our dessert.  We got one between all of us and we still couldn’t quite finish it. We went to a place called Leanyer Water Park and couldn’t believe our eyes.

Water slides for free

It was a great park with a huge swimming pool, a water playground for younger children and three, huge water slides for the bigger kids and IT WAS ALL FOR FREE! Yep, you heard it right, FREE!  We spent a few days here while we were in Darwin as it was such good fun.  The boys expended a lot of energy (read = slept really well!) and there are large shade sails set up for shade and free BBQs as well.  It was a great setup.  There is also a skate park built right next to the pool area so the kids thought they had found heaven!:) Just couldn’t believe that the City of Darwin has a place like this for free – A place like this would go off in Karratha – hint, hint if anyone from the Shire is reading this!!!!

Wave Pool

We also paid a visit to the Wave Pool (part of the Waterfront) in the city next to the wharf. It was good fun and it only cost $16 for a family for the whole day (10am till 6pm) or $12 for a half day (10-2) or (2-6).  Great family value and there is a kiosk there for drinks and ice creams but we struggled to find anything except a really up-market restaurant and a fish and chip shop for lunch.  If we were to go again I’d be bringing the esky with all our food and drinks.  They have heaps of shade over the baby pool areas and lots of umbrellas and a bit of grass, all-in-all a great day!

Breeding pens at Crocodylus Park

We visited Crocodylus Park and Zoo to see yet more crocs and other animals they have in the zoo.  There were ostriches, lions, tigers, monkeys, baboons, geckos, wallabies, kangaroos, etc. They feed the crocs a few times a day and take you through the pens and let the public feed the big crocs too – very interesting to watch the faces of people who have never seen them before, hilarious in fact!

Boys hamming it up at Crocodylus Park

There are a few breeding pens and we couldn’t count the number of crocs in them, there was just too many! As interesting as it all was, I think we were a bit croc’d-out by this stage so went to see the other animals. The park is set in lush tropical gardens and we spent some time just wandering around.

While we have been here we have managed to get Daniel into Balance Podiatry as he needs an upgrade on his orthotics as he has grown so much in these last 6 months that he has outgrown the ones he got last October! They make such a difference as his feet ache so much that he struggles to do some of the walks with us, but the new orthotics seem to be doing the job okay!  Sheesh, he’s costing  us a fortune and he’s just turned 12!

On a lighter note, we have our passports with us and thought that if there are cheap flights overseas, we might just zip off for a little while. We found some and now we are off to Phuket for 2 weeks, with a stop over in Singapore.  Will let you all know how it goes when we get back. Yee ha.

Till next time

Ciao`

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2 Responses to “Darwin oh Darwin how we love thee……..”

  1. Glenn said

    Hey Guys,

    It was really good seeing you again and I’m glad that you enjoyed your time in Darwin. I would have liked to spend more time with you but unfortunately my sucky roster of 5&2 put paid to that 😦 I think you saw more of Darwin in your short stay than I have managed to do in the last year !! I will have to start hiring a car every once in a while and get out there !!

    Can’t wait to see how the major mods to your 4WD turn out !!!

    Fantastic blog Michelle !!!!

    Cheers
    Glenn

    • Thanks Glenny, It was gr8 to catch up with you and Fabi! Good luck with the games – hey i think we will still be in Brizzie when you have your games on over here! Hope you have been practising your volleyball……:) Will keep you updated with the photos of “The Beast” – we’re back in Brizzie on Wed and Joel will be around checking on the car asap.:)) Say hi to Fabi for us and maybe we’ll see you over here soon, Cheers Michelle

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