Larrakia country, the city of Darwin

This is my third visit to Darwin, and I seem to experience a different area every time. We stayed at the top of Casuarina coastline and found the sand littered with coral bones. It dawned on me that the porcelain doll in a coral shell my father had found on a beach in Darwin in 1974 when he helped clean up after the cyclone must have been Casuarina! I had retraced his steps by accident as the caravan park turned out to be originally set up for workers after cyclone Tracy. It was very run down but pricey! We visited the exclusive suburb of Nightcliff with spectacular seaside ochre laden cliffs, a feature of Darwin’s Lammeroo Beach too where I swam last visit (to the horror of onlookers). We swam in the shallows at Nightcliff, but most people were still abstaining due to the risk of box jellyfish. I think it would be rare to see a crocodile in this area, but Casuarina looked a little more estaurine. There was chunks of ochre laying on the sand so I collected some of the amazing pigment from both beaches.

We spent a large part of a day captivated in the Darwin Gallery and Museum overlooking the ocean. A beautiful display of barks, fibre work, sculpture and canvases from around the top end, and the best natural history museum I’ve ever seen. There was even a ship museum with Indonesian carved longboats and Melanesian dugout canoes.

We enjoyed the Mindil Beach evening Markets (another beach where swimming is ok in the dry season). The foods on offer were the highlight, but the kids found plenty to want! Lovely diversity of people.

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