Ligaya in Darwin, Australia

Darwin is perhaps a little more upmarket than Cairns, but it is still geared heavily towards the backpacker tourists. The developers did not see fit to make the most of the waterfront, and the city can hardly be said to be pretty.

On Christmas Eve in 1974, Darwin was all but leveled by Cyclone Tracy. It seems no building escaped unharmed, and few were left in a state that could be rebuilt. As a result, the whole town was rebuilt.

It seems to me that there was too much work for the architects and they hastily designed a whole series of boxes. Rarely have I seen so many ugly buildings in one location as there are in Darwin. What a missed opportunity to redesign the town as something a bit special.......

If I were an architect, I would be a bit ashamed to put my name to these buildings. They are in a very prominent place on the waterfront, and pretty much the first building that greet any visitors arriving by sea.
Because of the abundance of the saltwater crocodiles, not to mention the sea-snakes and potentially lethal Box-jellyfish, few people swim in the sea. They have built a large artificial lagoon, with a concrete beach and a wave-machine for people to swim in safety.
The town hall was just one of many buildings that got leveled in the cyclone. The ruins have been preserved as a monument to the cyclone and those who died or suffered in the disaster.
The Anglican Cathedral was also flattened. They managed to rebuild the facade with a typically Darwin-ugly new building on the back.

Darwin is not yacht friendly. We had to anchor out in the bay and come ashore at a very high wharf, which luckily had a floating dock so we could get on and off the tender. There are quite big tides in Darwin, as much as 6 or 7 meters on a big tide. There was nowhere that we could tie up alongside.

The harbour authorities made us take a pilot to enter the port and when we moved to and from the fuel dock. This cost over eleven hundred dollars. It seems pretty stupid to us, when we had been allowed to come in and out of Brisbane, a much busier port without a pilot.

Matt and Sebastian coming in the tender to collect me from the floating dock.

Crocodiles are a big part of life in Darwin. This amphibious bus was called the Croc, but in fact did just harbour tours, where you would be unlikely to see a crocodile.

I liked the name of the company: Duckabout tours.....

There is an aquarium in town that has some crocodiles, but it is small and very artificial. I managed to go to a bigger zoo/farm/research centre near the airport. Click here if you want to see some crocodile pictures.
Back to Ligaya main page
Back to John and Lana's home page