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Darwin: Howard Springs Nature Park

Howard Springs is a bushland oasis and family playground south of Darwin, just near Palmerston.  It is in a really tranquil setting off the Stuart Highway. They were assembling sails over the swimming pool when we were there. I was really surprised they haven’t had them in the past given it is so hot. As well as the pool there is a playground and BBQ area.

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Darwin: Berry Springs

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This beautiful, quiet waterhole would be the perfect place for a swim. If there weren’t crocodiles around. It was our last full day in Darwin and after spending two fun but busy days at Kakadu I was looking forward to doing something not so full-on. We were told it was a popular picnic spot for the residents of Darwin. It took a while for us to find it because it wasn’t well signposted but once we got there we found it to be deserted. We soon found out why. The waterhole was closed because they were still testing to make sure there were no crocodiles in there. To do that they set traps and check them regularly. There was a small waterfall nearby that was gushing but that didn’t turn out very well in my photos.

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Darwin: Termite mounds in Litchfield NP

On our tour of Litchfield National Park I learned that there are two types of termite mounds: Cathedral and Magnetic.

As the name suggests, the Cathedral mounds sort of look like a cathedral.  They are tall and sort of rounded and grow very tall. They can last up to 50 years.

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You can see how tall they are compared to these people.

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The Magnetic termite mounds are called that because they grow north to south to minimise the amount of sunlight during the day.  They are amazing structures.  The have arches, tunnels, chimneys and even insulation.

There seemed to be a lot more of the magnetic mounds that we saw but because they just seem to ‘pop’ out of the ground they can be found anywhere.  Another thing I noticed is the they are not mixed. The cathedral mounds seemed to grow in one part of the park and the magnetic mounds in another part.

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A cross-section of one of the mounds.

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Darwin: Charles Darwin NP military bunker

The bunker was built during WW2 to hold ammunition. It was deemed far enough inland to avoid being a target for the Japanese.  The bunker has been transformed into a museum which details Darwin’s role in the war.  During World War II, this area was part of a network of military sites that formed Australia’s front line of defence.

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The Bombing of Darwin memorial plaque

Before we went to Darwin I knew little about the bombing in 1942 during WW2.  It happened soon after the bombing of Pearl Harbour and was organised by the same Commander.  It was a strategic bombing rather than an invasion as I had been taught in school.  The Japanese were preparing to invade Timor.  With Darwin being so close to Timor they could easily have helped defend Timor from the military bases protecting the northern coast of Australia. The information on these plaques provides a lot of really interesting information.

http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/fact-sheets/fs195.aspx

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