Into the Outback…Northern Territory Style

Australia’s northernmost city, blasted me with a wave of heat as I stepped off of the plane and walked across the tarmac into the airport. Darwin is the biggest settlement in the Northern Territory and has a distinctly different vibe compared to what I’ve seen in this massive country so far. With it’s close proximity to Asia, Darwin is closer to Singapore than it is to Sydney.

The Mindil Beach Sunset Markets are arguably the crown jewel of the city. Running every Thursday and Sunday in the dry season, it does a great job of summing up the city’s spirit. The food stalls are a mini tour through Asia – Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Timorese and Sri Lankan dishes are amongst those on the menu. Aussie meals… kangaroo kebabs, mud crabs and crocodile steaks, for example are available as well.  It’s possible to venture a bit through Europe with Dutch pancakes, French crepes and Greek yiros. The other stalls are generally hand-made crafts, art and jewelry. The action all breaks for the magical sunsets. It is a humbling experience to stand with your toes in the sand of Mindil Beach as reds, yellows and oranges fill the sky.

While traveling to Four Mile Hole on the Wild Man river billabong for a weekend of camping, fishing and crocodile spotting I was surprised at how lively the Australian Outback was. I originally imagined the desert and a lot of dried out, low lying bushes when I heard “Outback” but what I actually saw as
I traveled through the Northern Territory was a lot different. The landscape changed in the blink of an eye from desert to grasses, large shrubs to full out forests, filled with ivy or dotted with termite mounds. I saw wild dingos, kangaroos, donkeys, crocodiles…Each day has held beautiful sunrises and breath taking sunsets.

My butt cheeks finally got a little bit of feeling back in them after the four hour ride in the middle of the truck cabin. It was 11:30pm when we arrived to the campsite. With the full moon glowing we dropped the boat into the water and set out to go fishing. I saw 3 crocs within the first hour…what an eerie feeling to look out and see them swimming 15ft from our tiny metal vessel of a boat knowing we were only a few inches above water level.

I had the biggest catch of the night and the boys caught several Barra as well. We called it a night after filling the eski (cooler) headed back to camp to set up the beds and get a good nights rest. The following two days we woke as the sun beamed through our mozzie tents, loaded up the fishing gear, lunch and headed for the water. You’d think sitting in a little boat on the billabong all day would feel like an eternity, but time flew by, catching fish, laughing with new friends, seeing new places…nightfall came before we knew it…and so did the mosquitos!! They came in swarms and they were out for blood. We lit coils, thermocells, drenched ourselves in bug spray, but they’re resilient little buggers and nothing seemed to affect them. It didn’t stop us from having a good time around the campfire though. Roasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories and learning aboriginal dance moves from Nate, it was a weekend to be remembered.

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 0htheplacesyoullgo
    May 09, 2012 @ 16:35:39

    Gorgeous photos! What color!


  2. Trackback: Preparations For My Stall At Mindil Beach Markets! « PrefacMe
  3. Trackback: NEW! Poems That Dance At Mindil Beach Markets! « Poems That Dance

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