Winter is the perfect time of year to visit friends in Darwin, especially when they own a boat.
No, not that one….this one.
We set off on a sea of glass from Cullen Bay Ferry Wharf
and rounded the headland,
before the hint of tropical houses in the suburb of Larrakeyah peeked at us through the trees.
In the distance, Darwin city cut the colour blue with a swathe of silver and green.
Larrakeyah was one of the first parts of the city to be developed, with the colony’s first hospital built in 1874. It is named after the Larrakia people, the traditional custodians of the land.
In 1869, Dr. Robert Peel, a surgeon with the first survey team, found water ‘…in a gully between Fort Point and Point Emery’. Aptly named Doctors Gully, it soon became a landing point. In the early 1950s, a nearby resident started throwing bread scraps to the fish that would gather at high tide and in 1981, Aquascene Fish Feeding was established. Visitors can now stand in the shallows and hand feed the fish in the waters of this official marine sanctuary.
The Esplanade runs the length of the waterfront overlooking Darwin Harbour and alongside, Bicentennial Park is home to monuments and memorials as part of the WWII walking trail. Lookout Point is a good place to start.
With calm waters and stupendous scenery, it was time to serve drinks and nibbles.
Continuing down the coast toward the end of the park,
the Deckchair Cinema operates seven nights a week in the dry season. Established in 1954, Darwin’s only independent cinema gives audiences the chance to watch a diverse range of movies that would otherwise go unseen on the big screen.
Adjacent to the cinema, Parliament House was opened in 1994 on the site of the Darwin Post Office that was bombed in February 1942.
On the other side of the cinema, Government House is well hidden from view. It is the oldest European building in the Northern Territory and has been home to Government Residents and Administrators since 1871.
At the end of the Esplanade, Jervois Park marked our point of return
as the evening sun cast the cityscape in a new light.
The occupants of this fishing boat should probably have looked behind them.
On the horizon, eight jet skiers resembled the riders of the Apocolypse, fortunately not close enough to shatter the serenity.
As Sol descended,
we returned to Cullen Bay
and another day came to a spectacular close.