Spring Berries in winter

Everyone has at least one of these in their yards- pet termites

No it’s not food…  It’s a place called Berry Springs just south of Darwin, or as it will be known by the kids – that amazing place where you could watch television and have WiFi in air-conditioned comfort.  This story starts last year at Aunty Jo’s 90th birthday bash where I caught up with a number of long lost cousins. One of the longest and lostest was cousin Matthew. We talked to him and his partner Leigh at the party and they told us they lived near Darwin, but after ten years the heat was getting to them and they had their house up for sale. So as we left they said if they were there when we passed we should come and drop in. So we didn’t think they would still be there, but they were and a stop by for a cup of tea turned into a seven night sojourn. Oh my goodness how good was it to have such excellent company (they also had two other visitors who were most congenial) and feel so welcome into their spectacular house.  I cannot thank them enough for being so generous with their time, advice and space, which was totally invaded.

looking out from the back of the house.
Puce flowers everywhere in the Top End
Sunset colours
Matthew and Leigh’s pool with the guest house in the background

One of the first things we managed to do was go to a local market then follow up with a visit to the Darwin museum. The museum is not big but it has some really interesting exhibits. I also got some new shoes and we took a look around the city.

Beach near the museum
Real Family stuffed croc
Screens………………. ohhhhhhhh
car part art
new doo
There’s malls here …and so a change to lick the gravy from your chip packet .. that’s life skills these guy are gaining
Didn’t realise how cool I was before I saw this picture.

On Sunday we went to the Mindil beach markets. It was a very interesting, multicultural expedition and would be so cool to have near where you lived. We went from there to the Dinah Beach cruising yacht club where Matthew was playing a gig because, being a Lawless, he is a musically inclined type of guy

Pets etc for sale at the market
Daddy can we buy……… (this sentence is constantly heard but rarely finished with the word turtle). Am I a meany for saying no or am I simply not wanting to see an animal live in a bucket until we get home?
Matthew giving to the punters at Dinah Beach Yacht Club. You can see the place is full of toffs.

Not only is Berry Springs a location, it is also an actual spring (the watery type not the coily type).  It doesn’t spring berries but it was berry good to swim there. That reminds me of a joke I just made up— why did the two enemies throw currants at the small handled axe? Because they decided to berry the hatchet.

No actual berries

We went out to Crab Claw Island, only they had fixed the dirt road so it wasn’t an island. It had a idyllic bar and restaurant that overlooks the water. What a fantastic little place, and it looked so good for fishing. I threw a few lures around but I didn’t want to hang around near the waters edge too much and make myself a crocodile smorgasboard.

Great ambiance at the Crab Claw restaurant

Matt n Leigh knew the manager so we got to meet his guinea fowl, wallabies and emu.

The day before we left we went to the Tiwi Islands. We started the day by attending the smoking ceremony that is the welcome to country that the community puts on. Matt and Leigh have a building project going on over there and they know the people that run the gallery so we got to see what was happening and ended the day by doing some screen printing. So the kids now have a t-shirt each and I have another tea towel. It was a very interesting day for us as it was the first time we had been to a majority aboriginal community.

It was a two and a half hour trip in this ferry to Tiwi, so we started early.
Smoking ceremony/welcome to country on Tiwi.
Screen printing

We liked Darwin an it seems to be a laid back sort of town. The traffic never seemed to get to heavy the whole time we were there, so considering we were going to bypass it completely, I think we did unbelievably well. For our next trick we are dragging the kids (do you think they were happy to leave a place with a TV room and unlimited WiFi?) through Kakadu (another spot that we didn’t think we’d get to).

Elizabeth and Tim …….and someones foot

The caravan site that will soon be on wiki camps with rave reviews…..

4 comments

  1. This looked like a great stop over Danny. My brother Rob has lived in Darwin for over 30 years and has played drums in quite a few bands up there. Teaches as well. Matthew may know him. (Robbie Fletcher) Enjoy Kakadu!

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  2. So great to be able to bunk in with locals – especially ones with beautiful accommodation! Darwin certainly is an interesting place – I’ll be happy to hear more about your Tiwi experience as I’ve never even contemplated a visit. Don’t want to put the mokkas on ya but it seems that you’ve done a great job in vehicle research, reliability and maintenance. Good job!
    I guess that if you’re going to spend that much time (well spent!), that you’re coming back to Brissy inland and not heading to Cairns and the north? You could leave what you haven’t already seen of coastal Qld to other trips? Whatever you do, I’m sure it’s the right Martin fit. Happy trucking!

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  3. I’m glad you enjoyed Darwin. I am embarrassed now that I bag Darwin so much, but it is very different visiting somewhere than living somewhere. Oh and you dodged the ‘Build Up’ which starts in October which is called ‘Suicide Season’ for a reason. Great photos and fun you are having. I have very itchy feet to go travelling again.
    Kazza xxx

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