2011 April 1 – Day 86 – Darwin, Australia

We were glad to hear, the night before, that the cyclone warning for Darwin had been lifted.  By the time we finished breakfast there were patches of sunlight breaking up the clouds.  We returned our rental car to the airport and took a cab back to town.  Darwin has an Historic Walking Tour so, in the absence of rain, we set off to check it out.  Although it was a nice easy walk the humidity was so high that the normally warm temperature felt very, very hot.

We walked through the park along the Esplanade to the War Memorial. Parliament House and Government House were next.

                                   I love the kangaroos on the coat of arms.

The old police station and courthouse from 1884 have been restored after sustaining damage during Cyclone Tracy in 1974.  The cyclone leveled 95% of the buildings in Darwin.  This church was an interesting juxtaposition of the old brick colonial style and a modern glass/concrete style. Brown’s Mart was built in 1885 during the gold boom.  It was once a mining exchange and is now home to an intimate theatre.Across the street from Brown’s Mart are the ruins of the old town hall.  The original limestone block council chambers, built in 1883, became a naval workshop during WWII.  It later became a bank and then a museum before being destroyed by Cyclone Tracy. The building below belongs to a Pearl Company.  Pearl harvesting is a big business in Darwin.  They even have a Pearling Museum.Second only to my fascination of the Australian Outback, is the Flying Doctor Service.  There was a TV show (in black and white) way back in the olden days of my childhood.  I loved that show.  Every episode was about a medical emergency in a far-flung sheep station or small community in the middle of nowhere.  I was hoping to be able to go to a museum or center but it is located in Alice Springs and we had not had a ‘tourist’ day there.  We just flew in for the start of the camping trip and flew out again when it was done.  Error on my part. The service began in 1939, based in Alice Springs.  All of Australia is now served by the The Royal Flying Doctor Service so the waiting room is 7.13 million square miles.  The service is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organizations in the world. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, they deliver extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia.

We did a bit of shopping for some camera stuff we needed, had dinner at a restaurant near our hotel, spent the early evening reading and sorting photos and were not late going to bed as we had to be up at 4:30 am to get to the airport for our flight to Cairns.




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