Karen flew off to the MOPS Conference on the Sunshine Coast for one week, while the rest of us remained in Darwin. We developed a routine that would allow us to both work, and play. Each morning, the children would do as much school work as they could cram in, with the promise that we would do something fun for the afternoon. By lunchtime, the temperatures in the tent were reaching 36-39 degrees, so it was time to go somewhere cool anyway.
We discovered Darwin’s new wave pool one day…. It’s a reasonably big pool with a wave generator at one end that produces surges about 1/2 a metre high. The pool is run by the council and they charge $12 for the family to stay 1/2 a day. It would be difficult to last longer than this anyway, as it can be exhausting! Too much fun! We did return with Karen when she came back from the Sunshine Coast, as she felt like she had missed out. Here is a video I took of the kids playing in the pool:
We also realised that the HMB Bark Endeavour was in town until the weekend, and it just happened that Josie was completing an assignment on an early Australian shipwreck, so we considered our visit to be a research assignment. There are tour guides posted throughout the vessel that tell you all about their section, and add stories of what life was like on board. There was one part, where the officers quarters are, that we had to crawl through on our hands and knees. It was a bit uncomfortable for the 15 minutes we were there, but the sailors in 1788 lives like this for 3 years. The other particularly interesting facility was the toilet (At least it was interesting to the kids!). A hole was provided just above the deck that you sat in to do your business, and then there was a rope for cleaning up……..
The visit ship fired their imaginations, and much of their play and stories since has been consumed with pirates, sailors and various ships. I can highly recommend a visit, if the boat ever comes your way.
We cannot always afford the normal touristy things in the towns we visit, so are constantly on the lookout for free activities, especially when they are as excellent as the slides and pool at the Leanyer Water Park. While Karen was away, we visited twice and again once she returned. The water park has three sections:
- Three large water slides – Red, Yellow and Blue – of varying speeds and scariness.
- A water spurting playground with a large bucket at the top that empties itself every 8 minutes to the waiting crowds below.
- A very large swimming pool with a small waterfall-like area at one end, featuring several smaller pools.
We discovered Leanyer during our 2010 Darwin visit, and it has become a family favourite.
Situated right beside the wave pool is a free beach area built by the council, with a fountain in the middle and nets to keep the stingers out. It is a great idea, because there is limited beach swimming in Darwin due to the threat of crocodiles. The council also provide swimming rings to play about with, and lifeguards to keep everyone safe. Leisl decided that she was a pool swimmer and didn’t like water where she can’t see the bottom, but Josie and Connor made the most of it, exploring every inch.
Whilst we had a great time while Karen was away, we were all looking forward to her return. Then we can continue our journey towards Western Australia.