The weather forecast was not good, showers and an afternoon storm. But my new friend and I decided to chance it anyway. A day trip. A chance to get out of the city with company. Female company what's more.
Berry Springs is about a 50 minute drive south of Darwin on good sealed roads. When we left it was hot, humid and about 40% cloud cover. No immediate threat of rain.
Arriving at Berry Springs we had been talking so much that we had missed all road signs. So we popped into the Sunday morning Market for directions. We wandered around the stalls and I bought a jar of honey. (What? You wanted something more substantial than that? Bad luck.)
|Berry Springs Pool. No Swimming today, but is that a mermaid?|
So no swimming. It is a pretty spot however.
Fortunately she had free entry. This is an offer extended to all visitors. A single entry allows repeat visits for the next 12 months, as long as you register. I paid my dues and registered for further visits.
Quite simply we had a lovely time. The entire park was open. The staff were very helpful. Arriving just before 11am we were encouraged to go to the "Flight Deck" and see the Birds of Prey show as our first item on the Agenda.
|A bird of prey. An eagle from memory|
|One of my favourites a Sulphur Crested Cockatoo|
From there we made our way to the Billabong. This has a walkway and viewing platforms but the Billabong itself is fenced off with a warning sign about an aggressive fresh water crocodile.
We took time out for lunch here. Mostly we could only see Pelicans, a few were getting a little bit amorous. A pretty spot.
|If you name this correctly I will pat you on the head.|
|A bird. In the tree tops. Type: forgotten. Big(ish)|
|A big bitey thing. Best avoided.|
The crocodiles seen this way are quite scary. They float almost totally submerged, with only their eyes above the water line, difficult to spot. However their powerful hind legs are resting on the bottom, ready at a moments notice to thrust the body forward and out of the water. A croc in this position is not relying on being able to swim fast, it is like a sprinter in the traps ready to leap forward. Having seen this I do not want a closer encounter with a croc, I was happy to have a layer of thick glass between me and it.
Incidentally, apparently, there are more crocs in the NT than people. Oh joy.
By this time Lei had expressed her delight at how much better the park was than her previous visit and was a convert to it being a good place. I was happy about that to know that she was not bored.
There are several attractions that we bypassed. Leave these for another visit. Our final place to visit was Goose Lagoon. This is a place where wild water birds visit. It has a large hide and an impressive pictorial display of what we may encounter. Unfortunately at this time of year we were treated to an almost empty lake. Our total "bag" was 2 ducks of some sort and possibly a Jabiru hidden in the trees.
|The wildlife at Goose Lagoon.|
A lovely day, the weather held off, it wasn't too hot due to cloud cover and plenty to see.
The Bludger recommends visiting the Territory Wildlife Park when in Darwin.