We took Ann out for lunch in Alice on Sunday, then popped round to say goodbye to Damian & Julie. After a very enjoyable afternoon playing cards we stuffed our ever increasing luggage back into Ann’s poor little Polo and set off through Heavitree Gap towards the Airport. As our plane taxied down the runway we passed the RFDS hangers.
Rachel & Pete have a tree removal and pruning business, and run a small garden centre. Their lovely house and both businesses are all on the one site and they very kindly put us in their annex; our own self-sufficient pad for three nights, just what we needed to sort all our stuff out for the flight home.
On Monday they’d both taken a day off to show us around Darwin. The city played a major role in Australia’s military involvement in World War II and there is still plenty of evidence. We drove round what is now the Charles Darwin National Park. This used to be a huge munitions storage facility; hundreds of buried Nissen huts are amazingly well hidden among the gum and palm trees; there is one open to the public with a very informative display inside, explaining Darwin’s military past.
Our next stop was Doctors Gulley. For two hours every Monday around high tide, this former boat ramp becomes a fish feeding frenzy.
Kakadu National Park. An Australian Pacific Tours coach picked us up at 7 and throughout the 3 hour drive out to the park the driver proved to be a bottomless mine of information about everything concerning Darwin and the “Top End”, the tropical northern part of NT.
We had a breakfast break, visited the cultural centre then the coach stopped at the Yellow River.
Rachel and Pete lent us their Ute to get around in while we were there.
Our last full day down under was spent strolling along Darwin beach, paddling in the warm sea and picking up a few final souvenirs.
Rachel dropped us off at the airport. We were really sad to go; they’d been so welcoming and generous. We’ll never be able to thank all these wonderful Aussies enough for all they’ve done for us. We get very emotional and feel very special.
This was our last glimpse of Australia.
But it's good to be home!