Feeding and eating fish
After a bit of a sleep in we set off for a walk through Bicentennial Park which runs along the foreshore cliff tops fronting Darwin Harbour. First stop though was at Doctors Gully, named ‘Doctor’ after surgeon Peel, He was a member of the Goyder surveying team that in 1869 surveyed the site of Palmerston, to later become Darwin in 1911. There are the remnants of an old water well here that was the source of Palmerston’s water supply in the early years. A creek flows from this area down to the harbour, the whole area was originally given over to agricultural pursuits. During WW11 the Catalina flying boats were moored here.
Now, there is a tourist attraction here. Aquascene, it is focused on a fish feeding frenzy that happens here every high tide. There are also some pieces of rusting wartime relics on display. Fish in their hundreds arrive here to be fed by milling tourists of all ages tossing in pieces of bread. Big mullet seem to be the main species, cat fish and milk fish (large salmon like fish) also prevalent. Allthego could not resist the temptation of doing some bread tossing.
After an hour or so at Acquascene, we climbed the stairs back up to the walkway and continued along the cliff line. There are a number of lookouts with great views of the harbour. Memorials pin point various historical events, particularly Darwin’s experience of Japanese bombing in WW11. On one high point Darwin’s Cenotaph stands backed by stone work commemorating the involvement of Australian defence forces in all the theatres of war since the Crimean war through to Afghanistan. Ominously, 3 or 4 slots on the wall following Afghanistan have been left empty. There is also quite a display of memorial plaques to the various defence units taking part in the campaign. They overlook Darwin Harbour where all the action took place back on 19 February 1942 when Japan conducted the first of many bombing raids on Darwin and the Top End. But more about that another time.
Time was getting on and the feet weary so it was lunch time at the Waterfront. An Irish pub where we consumed a rather large portion of beer battered Barramundi and chips. It was very meaty and could have done with a little longer in the oil to fully crisp up the batter, it was a little soggy in parts. The chips were excellent. Now my readers might recall that on our trips we normally select a ‘food’ and see if we can find the ‘best one’ along the way. But we are not doing that this time, trip not long enough to good a big enough sample!
The walkers felt that we had done enough for the day and wandered back to Capitanos to recover.