On this day back in 1985 I was experiencing the beauty and nature of the Northern Territory Outback, a year before “Crocodile Dundee” brought this version of Australian life to the big screen.
Darwin was a further four hours drive north, with a stop at Pine Creek which is a gold mine. There was not much to see though.
Darwin is a flat sprawling city. I stayed in a motel in the centre so I could join a day tour of Kakadu National Park. I splashed out $38 for an air conditioned room with my own bathroom and TV. Darwin seemed rather quiet as I explored the esplanade and harbour, the bay and beaches. I saw memorials to the first telegraph messages from Adelaide and from Australia to Britain.
Darwin was virtually destroyed by cyclone Tracy on Christmas Day 1974, so the few buildings that surveyed had pride of place. Sixty six people died in the cyclone.
The humidity was difficult to cope with and at night there were thunder storms and brilliant lightening and heavy rain for several hours.
Kakadu National Park is a very pretty part of the world, a vast area of tropical woodland, large rivers, wide plains that get flooded in the wet season, rocky hills with aborigine heritage. We saw numerous birds, flowers, cattle, buffalo, water buffalo, wild pigs, horses, salt water crocodiles, lizards. The crocodiles were small at only six feet long, they can grow to more than twenty five feet. There are two hundred and fifty species of birds in Kakadu and we saw about two per cent of these.
I was glad that I’d spent the day in Kakadu but it was just too hot and humid to work up any enthusiasm to stay in Darwin for long.