This means that tourism needs to be close to home and have options to avoid storms that are common at this time of year.
Mandorah Beach Resort.
Darwin has a huge natural harbour and Mandorah is a short ferry ride across the Harbour. It is on Cox Peninsula and is part of the mainland. Getting there by road is a 190Km drive, around the harbour and estuaries and rivers. A good couple of hours. Getting there by passenger ferry is barely 15 minutes. I and my companion had decided to take the ferry.
I called the day before to check that the resort was open, that they were serving meals and that day trippers could use the pool. A very friendly yes to all three questions. The only unknown was the weather so final decision was deferred until the next day.
The day was typical for this time of the year, mainly overcast, but occasional patches of sunshine. Hot and humid.
Arriving at the ferry terminal early we took a stroll around the marina. Coming to an open bit we could see a storm coming in so returned to the shelter of the terminal. The ferry was now open so we boarded just in time to avoid a drenching.
We were on the ferry run by Sea Cat ferries. This was one of their last days of operation as a new operator takes over from January 1. The staff were friendly and helpful, assisting people with prams and and elderly man with mobility problems and generally making the trip enjoyable. The trip was short and before the trip had ended the rain was gone and we were back to the heat and humidity.
Being almost low tide there was a rather long climb from the boat to the jetty, which is set high above any potential tides and storm waves. Not a difficult climb. From there we walked a few hundred metres to the resort.
|The Ferry with Darwin CBD in the background|
The pub wasn't all that bad. It is an open bar consisting of a large outdoor area under shelter. Overhead fans churn the air for a semblance of cooling. Music - aussie pub rock - was playing but at a level not to be intrusive or prevent conversation. Tables and chairs to seat a fair crowd and a nice view of the harbour if you selected your seating carefully.
We settled in and had a drink. Then another. I ordered lunch next to a sign that proudly proclaimed that it was the only place that didn't serve greasy chips with every meal. In fact they didn't seem to serve chips at all. I settled on a "freshly made" hamburger. Dissapointing. A frozen bun that had been grilled to dryness, not burnt, just desiccated. A meat patty that looked like the frozen ones that you get in supermarkets in brightly coloured boxes at premium price. You know from experience that the patty is tasteless and the meat so finely ground that it has no texture. It was all of that. Drowning it in tomato sauce and washing down with beer was the only option to make it palatable.
Overall though I like the pub and could easily kick back there with a few beers and friends and enjoy a quiet session.
|View of Mandorah Beach and Resort from the Jetty|
The Bludger was pleased with the day out and recommends it to visitors.