Tag Archives: Northern Territory

365 Places: Nightcliff Markets

Day 53: Nightcliff Markets, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

When I first moved to Nightcliff in 1977, there was only one market – at Rapid Creek on a Sunday. Over the years, many other markets have popped up: Mindil Beach, Parap and then one opened in my home suburb of Nightcliff about ten years ago. The Nightcliff Market is situated at the Progress Road shops, nestled under the trees, making it a cool respite from the midday heat.

It is a slightly smaller market than Parap, with more emphasis on craft, as well as a few food stalls and some plants and fresh fruit and vegetables. While we were there, we had another lovely juice from the same stall as the one from Parap Market (a lot of stallholders do Parap Markets on Saturday and Nightcliff on Sunday). We also bought a gorgeous painting, from an artist from Utopia, whose work I had admired last time I went to Darwin. I will write about her work in a later post. I also bought some beautiful Frangipani Oil perfume from Viva la Body, a local skincare and fashion house. They make beautiful things and also do wonderful gift packs, which they will send on your behalf.

Here are some random pics from the market on Sunday. I just love seeing so many different varieties of orchids, they are so beautiful and a feast for my eyes as they do not grow very well in the cold Canberra climate.

365 Places: Christ Church Cathedral

Day 51: Christ Church Cathedral, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia

Today, my post is about a place that had a significant impact on me as a young person: my family’s church in Darwin, Christ Church Cathedral.

Every Sunday (or sometimes even more) we would attend services here, with many others, who over the years become our friends and a significant part of our community. It was a place of worship, fun and friendship, a place that impacted on my spiritual life and understandings of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Through this community, I learnt compassion, acceptance and the belief that everyone deserves to be treated equally. Lessons of the spirit that are not bound by religion per se.

As a matter of interest, I was one of the first girls to be a ‘server’, assisting the clergy with the communion.

Christ Church was devastated in Cyclone Tracy, and all that remained of the original church was the sandstone facade. What was rebuilt was a beautiful modernist building that is still striking, particularly the stained glass window.

To find out more about the history of the Cathedral, check out the Christ Church Cathedral website.

365 Places: Nhulunbuy

Day 40: Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, Australia

Image Credit: http://www.goveonline.com/
Image Credit: http://www.goveonline.com/

I have only visited Nhulunbuy once, when I was invited to take part in a workshop with the Northern Territory Library, where for two days, a range of skills in technology were shared with some of the local Yolgnu people.

The RIPIA (Remote Indigenous Public Internet Access) workshop explored a range of skills and tools including, documenting artefacts, video, iPad educational tools, online conferencing and more.

Nhulunbuy is on the Gove Peninsula of the Northern Territory, and located at the far north of Northeast Arnhem Land, also being home to the Yolngu Aboriginal people for at least 40,000 years.

The region has a complicated history, which is worth learning about. One very interesting fact is the Maccassans were trading with the Yolgnu people for many centuries as was discovered by Matthew Flinders when he circumnavigated the Australian mainland in 1803. Another very interesting fact was that in 1963, a government decision excised part of the land for a bauxite mine. The Yolngu people at Yirrkala were strongly opposed, and forwarded a bark petition to the Australian House of Representatives, which attracted national and international attention and which now hangs in Parliament House, Canberra.

This article Journey goes full circle from Bark Petition to Blue Mud Bay by one of the signatories, Wali Wunungmurra is testimony to the strength, commitment and passion of the Yolgnu people.

Dancers from the Blue Mud Bay region of north-east Arnhem Land sing in celebration at the annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture. Image Credit: ABC https://i1.wp.com/www.abc.net.au/news/image/475930-3x2-940x627.jpg
Dancers from the Blue Mud Bay region of north-east Arnhem Land sing in celebration at the annual Garma Festival of Traditional Culture. Image Credit: ABC http://www.abc.net.au/news/image/475930-3×2-940×627.jpg

Here is a photo of one of the petitions, from an article on the ABC website titled The seed for land rights: Yirrkala Bark Petitions

Bark Petitions: Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2013/07/05/3797036.htm
Bark Petitions: Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2013/07/05/3797036.htm

It is a place of great natural beauty, and one that is high on my list as a place I would like to see again. Perhaps next year I will head up to the Garma Festival, which would be amazing.

365 Places: Howard Springs

Day 36: Howard Springs, Northern Territory, Australia

Howard Springs is about 1/2 an hours drive from Darwin and a place where many Darwin people go to relax, have picnics, go swimming and explore nature. It has swimming holes, bush walks and lots of lovely areas to just sit and relax.

The main swimming pool was formed by a low weir across the natural spring, constructed in WWII. The Enjoy Darwin website says:

The weir for the main pool was built in 1944 by the Royal Australian Engineers to improve the swimming hole to provide a recreation area for Australian and US servicemen.

Image Credit: Enjoy Darwin http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/howard-springs-reserve.html
Image Credit: Enjoy Darwin http://www.enjoy-darwin.com/howard-springs-reserve.html

It is a place of many happy memories, as when we lived in Darwin in the late 1970s and early 1980s, we would often go there with friends to relax and have fun. It was a lovely place to go swimming, relatively safe with no Salty’s (Salt Water Crocodiles), expect perhaps in the Wet Season when all of the waterholes are overflowing. One thing I remember about swimming at Howard Springs were the gorgeous water lilies that grew there. We could feel their long roots brushing against our legs, at times making me nervous that there were crocodiles. Another very clear memory was of a massive Goanna running across our picnic blanket and running up a tree.

Goanna. Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au
Goanna. Image Credit http://www.abc.net.au

Howard Springs also has the honour of being the first recreational park in the Northern Territory, in 1957 under the NT Reserves Board, now the Parks and Wildlife Service. It is home to many species of plants and animals including barramundi, turtles, wallabies and lizards. I have not been to Howard Springs for many years, but I understand there has been a lot of work done to improve the park as a recreation area.

Cycads on the walking track. Image Credit: http://www.enjoy-darwin.com
Cycads on the walking track. Image Credit: http://www.enjoy-darwin.com

Many people internationally are familiar with Kakadu and Uluru as being parts of Australia’s Northern Territory, but the NT is rich with beautiful parks with all manner of wildlife, vegetation, activities and stories. Howard Springs is just one small example.

365 Places: Mandorah

Day 11: Mandorah, Northern Territory, Australia

Today we will be travelling to Mandorah, a seaside village located across Darwin Harbour, about 20 minutes (8 nautical miles) from Cullen Bay.

Map of Mandorah
Map of Mandorah, Image credit: Mandorah Beach Hotel

Mandorah holds many happy memories for me, as I often would escape there for the weekend when I was living in Darwin as an art student. Darwin and the Top End of Australia is very remote and it is difficult to find places close by for weekends: unless you go down the track (Stuart Highway) for camping at Litchfield Park or Kakadu.

When I was living in Darwin in the 1990s, the ferry would leave from Darwin Wharf, not from Cullen Bay. Cullen Bay in those days was only just being established as an affluent bay side community.

On the peninsula there is one hotel – the Mandorah Beach Hotel. It’s website states that it is “Darwin’s own Sea-side Beach-side Hotel Resort”. These images come from the website.

What I love about Mandorah, is that when you sit outside at night, you can see the twinkling lights of Darwin from across the harbour – a very pretty sight indeed.

Sadly the pub closed in September 2013 and it is uncertain if anything else will open in its place.

Mandorah Beach Hotel http://www.mandorahbeachhotel.bigpondhosting.com/location.htm (accessed 30 April 2014)

Era ends as Mandorah pub calls last drinks http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-27/mandorah-hotel-closes-katherine-gregory-feature/4984960 (accessed 30 April 2014)