After a day of touring Litchfield park, we spent today touring Darwin itself. The day was due to start with a visit to Aquascene. This is a closed off bay where (for $7 each) we get to feed hundreds of large fish that virtually beach themselves in order to get fed. The only problem is that it is dependent on what time the tide comes in, for example the other day it was a very unreasonable 5:45am. Today however, it was at a much more acceptable 9am; as if we were going to drag ourselves out of bed at that time. As such, we missed out on Aquascene
Instead we did the coastal walk to the WW2 oil storage tunnels, which were constructed when a Japanese attack destroyed a number of the overland tanks in 1942 (they were never used though, as they took 2 1/2 years to build by which time the war was thankfully over). Within the tunnels they have photos taken around Darwin during the war, and it was both interesting to see the "homes" the servicemen made for themselves in limited conditions and saddening to know that governments will constantly call on servicemen to expose themselves to danger on a regular basis. Two months of growing my hair and I am already sounding like a hippy...
After the tunnels, we bimbled to the local marina, where we split a fish & chips for lunch (doing things on the cheap and tried spotting a crocodile in the harbour, to no avail. This was followed by us wandering around the town centre for a couple of hours as Heather decided she needed a shopping fix - she only got a singlet though.
The weather in Darwin is much more akin to SE Asia, than say Sydney. As such, the temperature gets to around 35° but the humidity is through the roof. In short, this means the average tourist walks around drenched in sweat, looking as if they had been out in a monsoon. However, every shop seems to have the desire to try and have frost form on the shelves, as they have the air-conditioning set to about -5° or so. The effect of which is that walking in and out of shops is like plunging into alternate hot and cold baths, albeit without the water.
The evening was spent at a marina, eating at a reasonably priced Italian restaurant. Getting there was a bit a bit of a challenge though, as we were doing a coastal walk, which ran close to mangrove swamps. We were on the sharp lookout for drop crocs and saltwater crocs, breaking into runs whenever we heard or saw something dodgy. Heather's sandal strap broke at one point while running, and I am pretty sure her scream was only just audible to humans (dogs & bats wouldn't have had any problems though). Added to this, we couldn't go in the sea due to it being the season for lethal box jelly fish. Such friendly wildlife in these parts.
We had to wrap the night up early as we have a 4am start, and as this is for our flight to Cairns, there's no sleeping through.