Bit of a cranky drive from Mataranka to Litchfield.  Cameron was worried about getting a campsite so “Captain Gotta Get There” came out to play. Sadly for us it was the Darwin show holiday so Litchfield was full to overflowing with shirtless,  beer drinking bogans out for the long weekend. Not exactly child friendly. At 3pm after driving through 3 campgrounds,  we gave up, had lunch on the side of the road and decided to go to Darwin  instead.

Fortunately for us our friends Barnaby and Maree came to the rescue and we’re happy to let us crash at their place even at such short notice. 🙂

We agreed to meet them at their local the Noonamah tavern. Unfortunately the bad luck for the day continued.  As we were doing a U turn at the pub we jack knifed the trailer and the spare wheel on the trailer put a big dent in one of the rear panels of the Pajero. Grrrrr! Fortunately we missed the brake lights and it was a panel I had slightly dented before. Guess there will be a visit to the panel beater when we get home . The day finished on a positive note with a lovely dinner with Barnaby and Maree.


It turns out that knowing some locals is a great thing. Our lovely hosts took us for a BBQ breakfast and swim at the nearby Berry Springs.



A magic place and we were fortunate that for most of the time we had the whole place to ourselves. Barnaby cooked an awesome breakfast and Maree was a fabulous tour guide! A trip to a local farm for homemade ice cream finished off the morning. We had a lazy afternoon which included cutting wood for the fire and preparing a camp oven stew and some damper. The kids really enjoyed the outdoor shower under the water tank and driving lessons from Maree.



Our last full day in Darwin was another magic day. We spent the morning at the free waterslides at Leaner park. Big thumbs up from Amy and Liam. We all think it would be awesome if they had a water park like this at South Bank in Brisbane. Pity about all the water restrictions there. NT Museum was another great place to visit. The kids really liked “Sweetheart” the giant preserved crocodile. Cameron and I really liked the Cyclone Tracy display. The sound  booth was amazing!!! I think Cyclone Tracy particularly resonates with me because it’s something I remember learning about in my childhood. Plus my middle name is Tracy.

Next we headed off to another of Amy’s trip choices – The Defense of Darwin. Earlier this year Amy read a book called “The Forgotten Pearl” which was based around the bombing of Darwin. The main character’s best friend was a girl called Iris who was actually a real person who was killed in one of the Japanese raids. Amy was very excited to find a whole section about her including her picture in one of the displays. The kids were also really impressed with the short movie about the bombings. The sound effects made you feel like you were really there.





We capped off the day by meeting up with Barnaby and Maree at the Mindil Markets.



We had dinner and drinks on the beach as we watched the sun set over the ocean. We’re from the east coast of Australia so that’s something we’ve never seen before.

DSCN1799The kids had fun running around a tea light mizmaze set up on the beach . All 6 of us enjoyed ice creams while watching a fire juggler at the markets. What a fabulous day!