Natural Selection

A quote by Charles Darwin sums up his namesake…
“There is grandeur in this view of things.”

D for… delightful

We put Darwin on our trip “up north” itinerary because the G.O. worked & lived there before Cyclone Tracy in 1974. I’d never been, and he wanted to see what had changed. Almost everything, it turns out.

I wish we’d spent more time in Darwin…like 6 months more time. We enjoyed our few days, and I fancy we could live there, in dry season, quite happily.

As I did with come fly with me I’ve taken an excerpt from my trip notes:

… Darwin was good, better in places locals go, rather than city and wharf areas which were both a little touristy for our taste but ‘good for a look’ which I guess was the point of the trip. We preferred the beach areas. Darwin’s public gardens are beautiful, and we had a great time at Nightcliff and Mindil Beach markets, and the Trailer Boat Club right on Fannie Bay was an evening highlight. I became addicted to mango lassi’s. We also liked it that the weather was so warm that 2pm beer o’clock was pretty well mandatory each day, and it was daylight until 7pm… …The B&B we stayed at in Darwin was a little odd so we hired our car and left a day early!…

By way of explanation, our B&B accommodation was one of several concrete bunkers painted white, in our host’s backyard. Breakfast was grabbing milk, tea/coffee, bread & condiments from the hosts’ own supply in the indoor/outdoor kitchen, and clearing a space at their table. I know Darwin has a reputation for casual but…

The B&B had good points. The hosts were friendly, if a little troppo… another thing Darwin has a reputation for. They love their city, and happily dropped us off at Nightcliff enroute to Saturday morning kids’ sport. The pool was nice, and necessary after a morning’s sweaty sightseeing. The house was located on the CBD fringe and within walking distance of almost everything.

Darwin also has a reputation for being ‘warm’. In June when southern states were freezing and rain-soaked, we were HOT. Night-time minimums were 22 degrees Celsius (71.6 F). Daytime got up to 33-35 C (91-95 F) with puissant humidity… winter weather. Walking around in the middle of the day was out of the question. We were quick to adopt beer o’clock, the local habit of wandering into a pub, grabbing a Styrofoam stubby holder from the dispenser and settling in for a couple of cold-ones.

Highlights included:

  • Darwin sky, wonderful 24/7.
  • Mindil Beach Sunset Markets,  eclectic and colourful. Browse diverse stalls then choose dinner from a world of cuisines, and wander down to the beach to dine.
  •  Nightcliff Market, a domestic Saturday morning market where locals shop for produce and wares. A taste of tropical lifestyle to which I could quickly become accustomed.
  •  Darwin Trailer Boat Club, fantastic sunset harbour views & great meals.
  •  flowers and gardens, the ordinary were extraordinary…
  •  local barramundi for lunch and dinner.
  •  our first experience of Exeloo’s.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

“I have called this principle, by which each slight variation, if useful, is preserved, by the term Natural Selection” Charles Darwin

10 thoughts on “Natural Selection

  1. My husband’s family were living in Darwin at the time of the cyclone, and his father was instrumental in the rebuild, but they moved away soon after. He regrets that they were in Sydney for Christmas when it hit, I think he regrets it because their house was the only one still standing after it. He has never wanted to go back, I think it is because the Darwin he knows is gone. Great post ElleDee, thanks


    1. Oh, thank you for the lovely comment. That would be a huge thing to deal with – not being there but the house surviving. The G.O. felt similarly that the Darwin he (& everyone else) knew was gone… Being a local your husband will probably know that the G.O.’s Darwin residence of Lameroo Beach was exactly that, along with many other workers Darwin couldn’t accommodate. We are planning to go back, as even though we are wedded to the east coast, a dry season in Darwin is calling us 🙂


  2. I’m solo at the mo, but when I get him back I will insist he reads this. He loved Darwin, worked there for some time on a new shopping centre – still rebuilding the place after Tracy years later. he stayed in some cheap hotel in the town centre, went skinny dipping on some local beach, and the construction site provided chilled beers all day because it was so hot. Bet that doesnt happen any more.

    I have been bored out of my head hearing about Fannie Bay and now I finally get to see pix of it!! Maybe I need to get back to Aus after all to visit north east, north and west. Sadly the smartarse has seen them all. I think the only ones I can score points on with him are Canberra and Adelaide. Great slideshow. A previous FB friends sent me some pix when her daughter went there but partner recognised nothing, will be interesting to see if yours bring back memories. Will let you know.


    1. When we went to Darwin, the G.O. was a little disconcerted because so much had changed, on the surface, but as we saw more it became apparent that old bones remain, and he enjoyed our time there, and the places we went. Darwin has a lovely pace and it’s easy to relax and feel at home. I’d like to spend some time working in Darwin and become a regular at the Trailer Boat Club at Fannie Bay, and the Nightcliff markets 🙂


Comments welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.