Posted by: travelrat | September 10, 2012


Darwin: 14th April 2012.

Yes, I know ‘Rex’ is short for ‘Regional Express’ … but I don’t think it’s really an appropriate name for an airline, especially when you say it out loud. But, we didn’t fly with them; we went up to Darwin with QANTAS, which everyone knows, stands for ‘Quite A Nice Trip: All Survived’

We were staying at the Botanic Gardens Apartments, which is as pleasant as it sounds. Our apartment was on the top floor, with a great view of the sea, especially around sunset. They claim, with some justification, that ‘The only things we overlook are the Botanic Gardens and the Arafura Sea’

However, the Botanic Gardens are extensive, so this means the apartments are some way out of town. Not to worry, there’ll be a bus, we said … but, could we find one? A boring, sweaty trudge along an anonymous highway lined with furniture shops and car dealerships doesn’t do much for my frame of mind, so my first impression of Darwin wasn’t all that favourable.

That highway is the only way in and out of Darwin, and we got to know it really well during our stay. It leads to a shady esplanade, unfortunately spoilt by the litter of empty beer bottles. A stairway leads down to Doctor’s Gully, once a naval facility and now a sort of marine thingy where you can watch fish being fed … at the advertised times, none of which coincided with our plans for the next couple of days.

So, back up the gully, and home through the Botanic Gardens, after which we just managed to summon the energy for the short walk to a nearby Chinese take-away for our evening meal.

At about midnight, I was awakened by what seemed like a series of loud explosions. I assumed a tropical storm was coming through. There was plenty of lightning, but the thunder seemed to be in the form of short, loud cracks, rather than the rumble I’m used to.

I’m not sure, though, whether or not the storm produced any rain; maybe it was just the noise of the air-conditioning?


  1. That sunset is stunning. I would love to stay in those apartments – it is the type of thing I enjoy…being surrounded by all that greenery. Bliss!

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