Posted tagged ‘Darwin’

On Top Of Australia

November 29, 2018

From Komodo Island we sailed down to the Top End of Australia. It was a bit of a shock to be back in an English-speaking land, especially since the weather was just as equatorial as what we’d experienced in Indonesia, and they still drive on the left. 

Our first Australian port was sleepy little Darwin, where the community chorale was out in force to serenade us. Speaking as a former chorale singer, I was very pleasantly surprised by their excellent performance.

Darwin is known for being the epicenter of Australia’s aboriginal culture. I hate to be crass and put shopping first,  but in truth I was looking forward to finding some pretty bits to bring home with me. And then, I wanted to go to the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, and see the exhibit of aboriginal art. I took the city bus to get there, which surprised me by being free for seniors. 

The spider exhibit wasn’t open yet, but I’m sure that it would have been suitably scary, since there are apparently over 500 species of spiders in Australia, many or even most of them poisonous, depending on who you believe.

I did wander, jaw dropped, through several rooms of amazing stuffed mammals, reptiles, birds, and fish, all completely foreign to me. That’s when the reality of being in the southern hemisphere struck me: in Australia you’re definitely not in Kansas anymore and they’ve got the wildlife to prove it. Just one example is this grouper, which weighed over 500 pounds when it was caught.

The art there was wonderful. And the museum is free, although it accepts donations. It’s quite a treasure and I feel lucky to have been able to visit there.

When in Australia, eat barramundi and drink sauvignon blanc. And so I did. The crunchy fried capers really made this dish.

Australians are very inventive about things to do in the water. These folks were having a blast, giggling and screaming as their giant water toy tossed and turned them.

And that was Darwin, a tiny visit, but a very rewarding one. And now, on to Cairns, which, for your edification and mystification, is pronounced Cans. 

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