Kakadu, crocs and cyclones
Meet Karyn Reimann, the third of our Jetstar Escape Challenge winners to put pen to paper. The low-fares airline and Escape teamed up to send her to Darwin
Having left Melbourne’s miserly 6C behind, stepping out of the plane into Darwin’s warm night air was fabulous and exciting. Our flight attendants had been amazingly happy and attentive and once we hit our spotless and comfy Holiday Inn rooms, we set our alarms. We did not want to waste a second.
The next morning, we grabbed a map and great advice from the girls at the information centre and spent Friday morning at the Darwin Waterfront Wave Lagoon and the NT Museum and Art Gallery.
After absorbing the wonderful exhibits there, we caught a taxi back to town, where we did a bit of window shopping and looked for lunch. Our walk was broken up by interesting artworks and ruins left as reminders of the ferocity of Cyclone Tracy.
Friday afternoon was spent walking along the Esplanade waterfront, wishing we could swim in the emerald-green water without getting munched on by bull sharks or crocodiles. We did take a dip in the pool at the Holiday Inn – no salties there. To cap a magical Friday, we treated ourselves to an exquisite dinner at Char Restaurant.
Our Kakadu tour filled the next day and began with bus driver Ben sharing his knowledge of the area and its history as we travelled. Our first stop was Nourlangie Rock, where we viewed Aboriginal rock art thought to be up to 6000 years old. The paintings were incredible, and the holes in the rocks where ochre was ground for paint could still be seen.
After lunch, we cruised on Yellow Water Billabong – an amazing wetland filled with incredible flora and fauna. Our guide’s ancestors had lived in the area for thousands of years, and he pointed out an incredible array of fish, birds and plants and, of course, crocodiles. Big territorial males and smaller females sunned themselves and swam quite near our boat.