Patricia Newell-Dunkley Photographs by Reginald J.Dunkley


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My Books “The Complete Guide to Painting and Decorating Porcelain, The Woman I Love, Letters of a Travelling Lady”, are available from Xlibris, Amazon and Crowood Publishers.



Greetings from down under where the weather is being totally unpredictable. Not much summer this year but lots of rain and floods. We have had everything, droughts, fires, and floods.

However, it is still a great place for holidays, especially the Northern Territories, which is huge and six times the size of France, Spain, and Italy combined. It is so big that it has different climates: Tropical and Rainforest in the Northern half, and semi-arid desert country towards the bottom. Known as the “Top End” and the “Red Centre”.

From April to September is the dry season and the best time to visit, when The Top End has a full calendar of festivals, and events.

Harbour cruises, fishing for Barramundi, rich Wetlands, wild Rainforests, cascading waterfalls, Kakadu and Litchfield National Parks. Birds congregate in their thousands around the wetlands, together with the iconic saltwater crocodile.

For the more adventurous, you can have a face-to-face encounter with the crocodiles, being carefully lowered in the water with a five-metre crocodile for fifteen minutes. Gaze into this modern-day dinosaurs’ eyes and watch him eat, as he is being fed by experienced trained, handlers.

“What a tale for the cocktail table, or the Dinner Party” that would make”

Explore the fashionable and very cosmopolitan Darwin that is today. You can make your visit as action-packed of as laid-back as you wish.



The famous Mindil Beach Sun-Set Markets have masses of stalls selling Art and Craft, and also those serving food from every corner of the earth. Thai, Indian, Brazilian, and Portuguese.

You can even watch a movie under the stars at the Deckchair Cinema.

Take a Dinner Cruise on Darwin’s massive harbour, or just experience the Hop-on, Hop-off, bus to take in the city’s sights.

Explore Darwin’s rich history and its Aboriginal Culture at the many art galleries and museums.

You can even take a light plane trip to the Tiwi Islands and meet Tiwi artists, explore the islands and make your own piece of art.

When the sun sets, Darwin comes alive with its nightclubs, casino, and fabulous restaurants, bars, pubs, and theatres.

Then there is Kakadu, a three-hour drive from Darwin and known as Australia’s best kept secret.

World Heritage listed for both its natural and cultural values. Kakadu is brimming with native wildlife, some two hundred and eighty species of birds, and giant crocodiles which you can experience on “Yellow Water” sunrise or sunset cruises. Kakadu’s Aboriginal Rock Art is the best-preserved in Australia.

Visit the Rock Galleries at Ubirr, Noulangie and Nanguluwur.

Kakadu has some of the best landscapes, with waterfalls, rugged escarpments, sandstone outcrops and rainforests.

The Northern Territories are exciting, exhilarating and a never to be forgotten experience.  Enjoy!

There have been some unusual sights at Shelly Beach, with any amount of furniture landing on the beach. Armchairs, sofas, even refrigerators, as the sea washes up the contents of houses that have been washed away.

We are fortunate here at Shelly Beach and all is fine in the garden, with masses of lorikeets flying in due to the wet weather.  There has also been Yellow Wattle Birds, and Honey Eaters, even some tiny coloured wrens. Everywhere has been bogged down with the rain. I have had to increase the morning feeds to cater for the influx.  All good.

A Joyous Easter to all.  Cheers.