Well final for Dad. He has survived 6 weeks locked in a van with the 5 of us – medal required I think! But now we are on our final week or so before he jets back to the land of stable houses and evenings without mozzies and bugs dive bombing you.

After Kakadu we hit Point Stuart for 2 nights for Jamie’s fishing bug – and got to wander through a rainforest where I become lunch to a couple of leeches, followed by terrifying some water buffalo who ran and hide when we came to say hello. The best part was the mozzies, which had apparently calmed down in the last week or so. The buggers were everywhere. We lived in a haze of deet for 2 days. At night we would hang out in the bar – air con and no mozzies. Then we would brave the way home and use a light to find and spray all the mozzies hiding in our van. At night every time someone went to the loo I had to haul out of bed, and debug the van once they returned. They were ninja mozzies riding shadows to get inside. Worse in the morning there were always new bites and 4 or 5 fat mozzies bobbing drunkenly around the van, every time they went into sunlight you could their bodies glow red with the night’s feast. Outside every window were thousands of others waiting for us to emerge. So basically it was lovely, would have stayed a week. Balls, we high tailed it out of there after putting down the van while slapping ourselves continuously.

The only light through the mass of mozzies was a lovely family we had met at Cooinda Lodge in Kakadu- Simon and Indi. Simon and Jamie hit it off over fishing and brought home a 71cm barramundi for us all to feast on the second night. To cement the friendship we decided the most sensible course was to go and watch massive crocodiles jumping for food. It was both terrifying and amazing. You drive down a long dirt road that looks like it goes no where and stumble over a jetty onto the river. The guide was fabulous, confident and full of information, only slightly freaking out when someone (me) leant an arm out of the boat. Jack was over the moon, Abi sensibly terrified and Zachary was unfortunately running a temp so fell asleep half way.

We waved goodbye at Humpty Doo, restocked and headed to Tumbling Waters. We had great plans to spend time in Litchfield and buzz around for the last 10 days but honestly once we arrived we all crashed. Zachary spent the rest of the day watching Looney Tunes and sleeping, Jamie cleared out every surviving mozzie and I washed the sheets clean of bodies and blood!

Now we are settled down in a fab park, we’re in a small space surrounded by palms. They have a little enclosure with freshies (freshwater crocodiles) you can walk through – from a raised bridge – and the boys and I visited a couple of times a day. A little pool for swimming, fab meals very cheap and friendly neighbours. I have found my oasis for the next week. Better yet, we then bumped back into Simon and Indi, so Jamie has his fishing mate back again.

We took a look at Litchfield for the day, and decided it was too lovely not to spend a few nights so we’ll be back after we drop Dad to spend a few days in the falls, while Jack is desperate to check out the Lost City. We did stop for a quick dip in the Wangi Falls followed by a wander through the termite mounds – always time for a termite mound!

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Zachary has been struggling with his cough for the last fews, very chesty and coughs until he almost throws up. The first night he did throw up, so I stripped sheets and pillowcases and made a new bed out of towels and the duvet cover the other 2 sleep under. Unfortunately at 4am he then wet the newly created bed, so in the morning I had to strip the foam covers off the sofa as well as everything else. Those things are a bugger to get on and off, and worse still I discovered the seam had split on both so had to rather rubbishy hand patch it back together. But after the first few days he does seem to be recovering, still coughing loads but no more puking. The other 2 are also snotting and I am popping vitamin c tablets like they are going out of fashion. Probably a good thing we have sat still.

On Saturday, after Litchfield, we came back to watch them feeding their freshies and then since it was NT day Jamie couldn’t resist the lure of fireworks. Apparently he and Simon are cut from the same cloth when it comes to fireworks.

Despite coughing and feeling crap the kids all piled in for a trip to the nearby river bank where we set the sky alight, or Simon attempted to set Jamie alight buy throwing firecrackers at him. It was apparently the best night of the trip so far according to Jack, and furthermore he doubts we can top it!

NT Day Fireworks

Sunday was a day of rest and swimming, Jamie and Simon attempted some fishing but apparently caught nothing but full beer bottles – strange that. The next day we hit the Territory Wildlife Park for the day, the weather has gotten a little hot and humid with the next few nights not dropping below 22. So it’s entirely sensible to spend this 36 degree trekking around a wildlife park.  We began with some pelican feeding!

The park was pretty amazing, the birds of prey show was fabulous, every time she started to talk about a bird it would swoop out, do its show and then disappear back stage. Apart from one kite who took to the skies and refused to come down for 10 mins apparently because he wasn’t sure it was safe.

We have also decided to invest some time in building boxes for barn owls in the hopes of them dealing with the mice and rat plague at home – and also because they are just cool.

Our final day was at Berry Springs down the road. It has 3 pools, with a current drifting between them. The water is warm which starts off lovely but as the mercury rises you kind of wish it was a little colder. We brought the noodles and floated between pools, although when I say floated the first stretch is pretty rocky so Jamie really just crashed into one rock pile under the water after another while cursing and trying to keep Zachary on his back. The kids found more heart stopping things to jump off before we called it a day and celebrated our final night with dinner at Tumbling Waters with Simon and Indi. Meals were $15 each no matter that you ordered and the kids were $5. Amazingly yummy pad thai. Perfect end to a great week.

Now onto Darwin with it’s wave lagoon, sunset markets and a sad goodbye. 😦