Darwin, 21st February 2014

Saltwater Croc - Trevor
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Day 25 of our cruise and we’ve arrived at Darwin.

Darwin is the capital city of the Northern Territory. Its proximity to Indonesia (it is closer to Indonesia than most major Australian cities) made it a target for the Japanese in World War II.  Around 10,000 Allied troops arrived in Darwin in the early 1940s at the outset of World War II, in order to defend Australia’s northern coastline. On 19 February 1942 at 0957, 188 Japanese warplanes attacked Darwin in two waves. It was the same fleet that had bombed Pearl Harbor, though a considerably larger number of bombs were dropped on Darwin than on Pearl Harbor. The attack killed at least 243 people; at least 12 ships in the harbor were sank, and caused immense damage to the town. These were by far the most serious attacks on Australia in time of war, in terms of fatalities and damage. They were the first of many raids on Darwin.

On 25 December 1974, Darwin was struck by Cyclone Tracy, which
killed 71 people and destroyed over 70% of the town’s buildings. After the disaster, 30,000 people of a then population of 43,000 were evacuated, in what turned out to be the biggest airlift in Australia’s history. The town was subsequently rebuilt with newer materials and techniques during the late 1970s.

Saltwater crocodiles are very common in all waterways surrounding Darwin and are even occasionally found swimming in Darwin Harbour and on local beaches. The Adelaide River is home to 1,600 deadly crocodiles and – according to the brochures – offers some of the best crocodile viewing in the world. It is one of eight rivers that have large floodplains in their catchments; these floodplains create a great expanse of coastal wetlands that is home to unique animal and plant life. This was out destination for our “Jumping Crocodile Cruise” that we embarked on during the afternoon of our visit.

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but suffice to say, what with the crocodiles (and especially “Trevor”, an immense saltwater crocodile of around 4.5 metres, which was not far short of the total length of our little boat) and the Kites that followed our boat looking for scraps of buffalo meat our return journey, it was one of the highlights of our holiday so far.

After our river cruise we had a brief stop at the Window on the Wetlands Visitors Centre located on one of the highest points on the Adelaide River floodplain with a magnificent panorama across the Marrakai Plains.

Altogether, a truly memorable visit to Darwin.

Bombing of Darwin, 1942
Bombing of Darwin, 1942
Adelaide River, crocodile far ahead (Northern ...
Adelaide River,  (Northern Territory, Australia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saltwater crocodile jumping up at Adelaide River
Saltwater crocodile jumping up at Adelaide River

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saltwater Croc - Adelaide River, Darwin
Saltwater Croc (Trevor) – Adelaide River, Darwin
Saltwater Croc - Trevor
Saltwater Croc – Trevor
Kite, Adelaide River
Kite, following our boat on the Adelaide River

 

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About Post Author

Stephen Dale

I’m a life-long learner with an insatiable curiosity about life. I love travel, good food, and good company. I’m happy to share what I know with others….even the interesting stuff! My outlook on life is pretty well captured in this quote from a book about the legend of King Arthur: “The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.” ― T.H. White, The Once and Future King So much to learn, so little time!
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