Tuggerah Lake surfer

Tuggerah Lake surfer

Patricia Newell-Dunkley, photographs Reginald J. Dunkley

Greetings from down under where the winter weather has been glorious, we have even had some good rain in areas where it was needed.  Our bucket list grows but fortunately some states have opened their borders, and this month a trip to the Northern Territories is on the list.

Without doubt the Northern Territories is an incredible place to visit, offering wide open stretches of rich red outback, clear waterholes, ancient Aboriginal culture, and charming tropical towns.

Alice Springs lies in the heart of Australia, and regardless of its remoteness, this fascinating town is brimming over with arts, culture and history.  It is also one of the largest towns in the Northern Territory, affectionately known as ‘Alice” it is an ideal place to base yourself while adventuring in the splendours of the outback.

The famous Uluru/Ayers Rock is definitely the spiritual heart of Australia, with its natural wonders, iconic wildlife, and the glowing red colour that surrounds you. This is the ideal place for that romantic camel ride in the sunset. which are readily available.

Kata Tjuta/The Olgas meaning many heads, is another natural wonder of soaring rock domes, which glow at sunrise and sunset. Sacred to the local Aboriginal Anangli People, and forms an important focus of their spiritual life. Visitors can join a cultural tour and learn about the sacred history and Dreamtime Stories.

Arnhem Land is a vast, unspoiled wilderness area of more than thirty-seven square miles, bordered by Kakadu National Park, the Arafura Sea, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Rich in aboriginal culture it offers unique indigenous experiences, rock art, and some of the best fishing in the world.

This is the original home of the Didgeridoo, Australia’s most famous musical instrument.

Tuggerah Lake pelicans at sunset

Tuggerah Lake pelicans at sunset

Wildlife is abundant, with lots of saltwater crocodiles, and conservatory habitat for dugongs, nesting turtles and migratory birds. You can also hire fishing lodges, and take safari tours.

Darwin is the Northern Territories tropical capital city. From a sparkling harbour and WW11 History to the city ‘s Asian influenced food and tropical outdoor lifestyle. Darwin is an adventurer’s paradise.

Darwin is flanked by two stunning National Parks. Mary River and Litchfield National Park. Both have fantastic landscapes, wondrous wildlife and are just a short drive from the city.

Mary River is a haven for anglers and wildlife watchers. The parks river, wetlands and billabongs are famous for their abundant birdlife, and also the largest population of saltwater crocodiles, and after rains are brimming with barramundi.

Litchfield abounds with spring-fed waterfalls, and water holes where you can bath to your heart’s content.  Fascinating scenery with wonderful magnetic termite mounds, and excellent walking tracks.  Campsites are available, so pitch your tent and look at the stars.

There is no end of things to do and places to go in the Northern Territories. So, plan your trip and see the very heart of Australia.

Here at Shelly Beach all is well, at this time of year with the winter sunshine everywhere sparkles even more.  The tides are high and the surf is spectacular, with plenty of surfers in their wet suits.  The beach is relatively empty with the occasional jogger and his dog.

Prince Charlie the Pomeranian is an extremely well-behaved dog, and loves going for a walk with his friend Tammy.

My books “Letters of a Travelling Lady, Wallis the Woman I Love,” seem to be in the limelight at the moment with offers of talk shows on American Radio.  Available on Amazon and Xlibris, with “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain” from Crowood Publishers.       Cheers.  Patricia.