Darwin Blog

The Dry
Friday, 30 March, 2007, 11:51 pm
Filed under: Observations

Today kinda feels like the Dry is coming, although I am sure it is a little teaser.  The sky is the most gorgeous blue without a cloud in sight.

The air is a little drier, the planes taking off are so loud and for some reason it just feels different.  This is hard to explain, but Territorians just know.

 Those of you around last year would remember that we encounter something similiar prior to the mega cyclone Monica forming and then threatening Darwin around Anzac Day last year.

Just remember that the cyclone season isn’t quite over and if the current world weather patterns are anything to go by, this taste of the Dry may just be a small sample prior to it actually arriving.


Ikea – Not in Darwin!
Friday, 30 March, 2007, 11:46 pm
Filed under: Observations

One thing, I wish someone had the foresight to encourage is the the opening of an Ikea store in Darwin.  I pour over their catalogues and salivate, of all the things I could buy.

 Well this week my husband and I decided to order some new home office furniture and to do so via the phone with Ikea in Perth.

Nothing was too much trouble – they were able to confirm they had the stock, the cost and even the exact cost of the freight, who the carrier was and when to expect it.  It was followed up by a call from Ikea’s security department the following day – just to make sure it was me and my credit card that did the shopping!

 Service is brilliant, will update when the goods arrive to ensure all is good prior to providing a fully-fledged recommendation.

Roast Noodle
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 8:26 am
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin, Dining

Okay, I don’t have a business card for this place but they are located right down the end of Anthony Plaza, where Celebrity Sandwiches used to be in the old days!

My favourite dish is roast pork with rice, Chinese greens, soup and chilli – I think they call it the “Roast Pork Combination” – $9.50 with a drink.

Whenever I feel poorly, or the girls want to catch up – this is food for the soul, you know comfort food and it fills you up.  The duck is fantastic here also.

I always say I am going to try something different, but I always return to the old faithful, Roast Pork Combination.

Goldfishbowl Swim School
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 8:20 am
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin


The lad has been attending this school since he was six months old.  A great facility for learning to swim and certainly recommend it for the young ones.  We do not havea swimming pool at home, but very aware of the fact that almost everyone else has a pool.  Also, the lad loved going in the pool on our first trip to Bali, that a deal was made that he had to take proper lessons and keep them up.  The lessons are definately paying off with his confidenece in the water improving dramatically.

 I know an older lady who has also been learning to swim at this facility and she is very happy. 

 What will strike you is the strong smell of cholrine when you walk in – the polol is under cover and heated which doesn’t help but I rather the pool be heavily chlorinated when you have so many children using it each day!

Golden Wattle Florist
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 8:15 am
Filed under: Best Kept Secrets - Darwin


I have been using this florist for years and to be honest, I wouldn’t use anyone else – they are best.

Flowers from florists in Darwin are an indulgence – if it it’s not tropical it just doesn’t last!  In saying that, these guys seem to have the freshest flowers and the best value for money, not to mention the excellent service they provide.

Watch out for the speciality pieces they get in at Christmas and if you see it, like it and want it – get it as it doesn’t last for long.

Learning Indonesian
Tuesday, 27 March, 2007, 8:08 am
Filed under: Observations

With our recent discovery of Bali – we only decided to go there after the bombings, as we were looking for a cheap holiday close by without relatives that could also handle a toddler – I have decided to learn Indonesian.

Hence, I signed up at Casuarina Night College for a semester of beginners Indonesian at the beginning of this year.  I also signed the lad up with the Open Learning Centre and he too, is learning to speak Indonesian.

 I have done a number of courses at Casuarina and am always impressed at how organised and friendly they are.  It is good value and the teachers are marvellous.  i totally recommend attending this institution – they have a huge diversity of courses on offer.

I wondered how I would go, as the lesson is for two and a half hours on a Monday night, but surprisingly I am going okay and loving it.  We are learning heaps and the best thing is the lad and I are learning the same things, so we practise together.  I always remind him that soon, we will be able to have whole conversations without his father knowing what we are talking about!

The plan is that I will have enough conversationalist Indonesian for when we return to Bali in September this year (our fifth trip in three years).  The best thing is we are learning to shop and bargain in the native tongue and what is a holiday, if it doesn’t include shopping – especially for me.

 And what motivated me?  We are seriously thinking of spending my long service leave living in Bali just to expose our son to a different way of life.

Parap Markets
Saturday, 24 March, 2007, 2:11 pm
Filed under: Observations

So, today my family and I decided to go to the Parap markets for something different to do on a Saturday morning!  I normally go on my own, as my husband normally laments about the parking and the crowds and my son goes on and on about wanting food and a drink.

 I mainly go to the markets to buyflowers, fruit and vegetables and of course, have something to eat.  I kinda of like the bohemian feel of the markets, but I am not big on ferals!

Although I did buy flowers, got some fruit and fed the anklebiter, we thought we would take the opportunity to look around.  I have a few favourite shops.

 Paraphernalia – this shop as heaps of great stuff.  I like buying jewellery here, as it is somewhat different to what you can buy elsewhere in town.  As much as I love this shop, you need to be careful.  They do stock items that can be bought at other establishments, at a much cheaper price – so keep this in mind when you think you have just got to have it!

 Chocolate Orange– another homewares store stocking a lot of the Rhubarb range and S&P.  Although we didn’t buy anything, I will be going back to purchase an interesting wall piece.  Mostly household items and not those of the “necessary” kind are what you will find.  In fact the shopping experience in this store was distracted by the never ending squeaky door – please dear god, oil the door!

Parap Fine Foods– whilst we didn’t go here today, I was here a couple of days ago looking for soy cheese.  No luck with  request, but did have a good look around.  Dream way of dying – being locked in this store overnight (by accident) and eating myself to death – what a way to go having tried everything possible!

My favourite food stall has now long gone and I am always a bit stuck for food, as once I have a favourite I am quite loyal for many, many years and I am always immensely disappointed when somewhere closes down or disappears – like the bakery at the RAAF gates!

Anyway, went to another favourite, the Malaysian roti and rendang stand and ordered a beef rendang roti with salad.  It looked as though there were new owners – not sure on this one and will start asking around.  I will say, that the roti was disgusting and nothing like I have had in the past.

 A dear friend of mine from Sydney came to visit prior to Christmas last year and wanted to check out the markets.  This was the best experience for me, as I was able to take someone who loves food as much as I.  We bought so much food and stuffed ourselves silly with so many things, that I just wouldn’t bother buying if on my own.  For me it was one of my favourite times of going to the market.  Funnily enough, we did the same thing the following day at Nightcliff and Rapid Creek.  My girlfriend couldn’t believe how close we lived to the markets and the convenience of getting great food all year round.

 Some further info on the markets follows:

 The Parap Village Market is one of Darwin ‘s longest running markets, and is considered by many as the ideal meeting place to meet or to have breakfast or a tasty snack together.This vibrant and colourful market place will enthrall you with its diverse food styles, arts and crafts and its busy but relaxed atmosphere.

Situated in the Parap Village Shopping Precinct off Parap Road , the market operates every Saturday of the year between 7.30 am – 1.30 pm .

Seating and on street parking is limited so be prepared for a walk and a good look around. Toilet facilities are available.