Long time no Blog!

It has been far too long between posts, and for that I do apologise! A lot of time has past since the last keyboard strokes…. it has simply been that hectic. Birthdays have been and gone, Christmas has flown past, more birthdays have popped up, the Easter bunny has dropped by, sports have swallowed away the Saturdays, functions have been attended, and more birthdays have been and gone! It hasn’t stopped!

Work has been very busy, and with the company going leaps and bounds ahead, it was only a matter of time before my passion for security, networks, and firewalls would see me migrate from a shared security and support role, into the new role of Senior Network Security Engineer. And with the new role, comes travel.

First stop…. Darwin.

Unfortunately the work planned for Darwin didn’t leave us (myself and a mate from work) much time to sight see, or even any spare time to visit my Sister & Brother in-law (and the girls of course!). Each day was pretty much the same…. start around 0800, finish around 0100-0200 the next morning. From the limited sights that we did see of Darwin however, I can honestly say that it is an outstanding part of this wonderful country! I have never been to Darwin, and had no real idea of what to expect. The stereotypical picture I had in my head of what I thought Darwin would be like went something like this; streets covered in bull dust, ‘locals’ wandering to and fro, blokes wearing ruggers and blue singlets to the office, people having siestas under lonely gum trees, crocodiles and emus in the car parks, and rivers of liquid gold (beer) flowing from north to south. How wrong and far from the truth could I have been! Well… all apart from the beer of course :) . Picture this: Peak hour traffic congestion involves, at most, five cars stopped at a traffic signal; traveling from the CBD to the outer suburbs is an easy fifteen minute drive; and last but not least, you can finish work and still have enough sunlight to unhitch the boat and go fishing! Need I say more?

I won’t bother going into details about work, let’s just move onto the little snippets of paradise we visited. All aboard, destination The Esplanade.


The Holiday Inn is where we called home. Situated right on The Esplanade, the hotel overlooks beautiful Bicentennial Park and the Darwin harbour. The rooms were clean and simple, the staff were courteous, and the restaurant’s food outstanding! The only down side was the bar fridge. Far far too small, and you can’t fit a carton of beer in it :) . I am still kicking myself for partaking in the various goodies inside the fridge and then seeing how much each beer cost on the final bill! A quick side note here.. and it should be included in a travel guide such as Lonely Planet. If you ‘pretend‘ you hadn’t drank your way through the mini bar when you speak to the clerk at the check out, you get a nice little letter in your home mailbox two days later with a very polite note letting you know exactly what you did drink, as well as a receipt for the charges which have already been charged to your credit card. :)

Prior to meandering to work on the second day, I went for a brief wander across the road to take a look at the harbour. As you all know, I’m a keen fisherman, and one thing I do know about the top end is that it is a fishing wonderland! In the space of only five minutes, and I kid you not, I can already see bait fish being balled up all of ten meters away from me, and large mackerel boiling on the surface enjoying an easy breakfast. If that is not enough of a tease, there was not a single boat or fisho to be seen! You have got to be kidding me! I swear you could throw a rock into the ocean there, and you would be able to hit a fish on the scone and score a feed from this piscatorial paradise. Darwin instantly made it’s way to the top of my list of places I must visit on holidays.

Next stop…Cullen Bay. You will have to excuse the quality of all the photos I took while I was in Darwin. Because of our packed work timetable, I only brought along a small point and shoot camera along. The next trip in a couple of weeks time I will be sure to take the real camera gear for a wander :) .

Cullen Bay is a nice little canal type estate, as well as an accommodation hot spot from what I could tell. First impressions were that it is very similar to Noosaville. What a tough place to live.



What really blows me away about this spot, as well as everywhere else around Darwin, is the tidal movement. From low to high tide is an average of around 8 meters!

There was one aspect of Darwin which I did not expect. Around home and all along the Queensland coast we are spoiled with fine white sand along the majority of the coastline. The further north you head, the whiter the sand generally becomes. With this in mind, you would expect Darwin to have sand similar to that of Whitehaven considering how north it is, wouldn’t you? Definitely not. The sand here is very course, and the majority of the coast line consists of rocky outcrops.


On the Sunday morning we had a couple of hours to spare before getting stuck back into work, so Shane and I both agreed that the war and air museums are a must. I love reading world war history, and it was good to traveling with someone who is just as interested in this stuff as me. There are two main museums here: The Australian Aviation Heritage Centre, and the East Point Military Museum. If you ever visit Darwin, these two museums are a must. For a few quid entry fee at each, it’s definitely worth the visit.

First up… East Point Military Museum. On the northern side of East Point Reserve is a series of WWII gun emplacements and the East Point Military Museum. I have always believed that I had a pretty good knowledge of WWII, but I have to admit that I had no idea about how heavily Darwin was involved in the war. Did you know that more bombs were dropped on Darwin by the Japanese then were dropped on Pearl Harbour? Did you know that at one time there were around 500,000 service men and women based around Darwin during the height of the war? The museum has a great collection of video footage of Darwin Harbour being bombed, as well as a very impressive collection of wartime weapons, photos and associated articles and propaganda posters. Whack it on your list of must see places.








While wandering around the general area, we came across quite a few gun placements, shelters, and bunkers. Perched right on the edge of a cliff was one such bunker that I couldn’t resist to pass by. Hidden away on the edge of the cliff, it was just crying out to be explored.


This particular viewing post was fairly run down, and the majority of the structure was no longer supported by the cliff underneath. But how could you resist…. you just have to crawl inside to take a look. Imagine sitting inside here, looking out over the beautiful seascape, and spotting the hundreds of enemy bombers coming towards the peninsula.




If ever I wanted to have a fishing rod with me, this was the time. The bommies alone in this area are teaming with fish life, and I can imagine it would only take a couple of casts of your favourite metal slug and you would be rewarded with a nice solid hookup.






Next on the list was the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre. With one of the only two B52 bombers on display outside of the US, the museum is worth the visit just to see this enormous beauty. Plenty of history, plenty of information, and lots of big boy toys.. you can’t go wrong.








With the blokey stuff out of the way, it was time to visit the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets. Make sure you are hungry, or have plenty of room to eat when you visit. There is Thai, Sri Lankan, Indian, Chinese, Malaysian, Greek, Portuguese and a thousand and one other types of food to fill yourself up with while you are there. And to top it off there are performers in every corner. The markets are held around dusk every Thursday and Sunday during the dry season, and are an absolute must to-do.

It was an absolute pleasure to be shown around here by one of the IT chaps up in Darwin. His family runs one of the food stalls, so if you are up that way, be sure to indulge in the profejes (wrong spelling unfortunately). However you spell them, they are outstanding!!!


And to cap off the trip, you cannot go past watching the sun set over the ocean.




Click for larger version
Click for larger version.

What a hard life, and what a cracker of a location!!! Ciao for now.

One Comment

  1. James wrote:


    Herro! Thanks for the great read. Definately some great photos in your collection there. Glad to see you enjoyed it here in lil ol’ isolated Darwin. All the best.