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Visiting Darwin

Ok full disclosure, I was supposed to go to Darwin on the weekend and take updated photos, however that didn't work out. A day trip involves over seven hours in the car, not always the most enjoyable or feasible. There's also the problem where money just flies out of your purse once you get  into real shopping centres. Kmart is my savings kryptonite.

People living in Katherine go up to Darwin for multiple reasons. My reasons are food, shopping and views of the water, all the things lacking in Katherine.

Food

There are so many food options in Darwin. If you are keen for fish and chips I recommend Frying Nemo. My all time favourite restaurant is The Oyster Bar on the Waterfront. AMAZING food at reasonable prices. There's a heap of restaurants on the Waterfront and while I haven't eaten at them all I have heard good things. The next on our list is the Mexican restaurant Hot Tamale, last time we went to eat there was a long wait and as it was already 9pm the kids were feral and we couldn't wait. Next time we'll be prepared and book.

Mitchell Street is another area that has great restaurants. For big, well priced delicious meals we like Tims Surf and Turf. The chicken schnitzels and steaks are HUGE! They also have a little pet crocodile chilling at the bar. There's something so interesting and wonderful about crocodiles so any time I see one I'm a mushy mess.

I've learnt not to underestimate food courts either. So many convenient, tasty choices! Casuarina has a whole bunch of food options, my favourite being Sushi Bay and Grill'd. I am known to spend up at KFC on the way home as a naughty treat that I usually regret but it tastes so bad it's good.

Shopping

Darwin has gotten a lot more shops over the past ten years. Casuarina used to be the only shopping centre, however now there's Gateway and Coolalinga. The Mall in Smith Street is another option for shopping, one that we don't really utilise as much as we should. Darwin has most of the shops found in other cities, however there's no Myer or David Jones and limited high end specialist shops. Put it this way, while Darwin is getting better shops it doesn't compare to other capital cities. In saying that though, I needed jeans (the worst clothing item to shop for my body) before we went to Melbourne earlier in the year and I managed to find two pairs in Darwin. Darwin shopping is what you make it.

Coolalinga is the closest to Katherine and their Kmart is pretty good for homewares so we seem to be going there a lot more than anywhere else. Mind you Casuarina is way bigger, with way more shops and food so if we need anything specific we head there.

Accommodation

Darwin is full of accommodation, just like restaurants. I've stayed at a few and my two favourites are;
- DoubleTree by Hilton for families and couples. We choose to stay here when we are going up for a weekend. The double rooms are well sized, clean and tidy. There's a huge new massive playground directly opposite the hotel, one that is built for kids and adults alike. The biggest reason we stay here though is the customer service, it is AMAZING. The staff really go out of their way to ensure you have a lovely stay with text messages, cookies and surveys. It honestly is the best customer service I have ever encountered.

Parap Village Apartments for families. The units are a bit outdated but well looked after and HUGE. We stayed in a proper unit with a lounge, dining, kitchen and two bedrooms. Parap is close to everything we seem to go to - the botanical gardens, Darwin city centre and Casuarina. We stay here for longer stays, more than one or two nights.
I have grown to love Darwin. It is a great escape from Katherine (although you will always run into someone you know). I would like to spend more time in Darwin discovering the hidden gems.

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Friday Favourites

 

Welcome to my first Friday Favourites, a post full awesome finds discovered this week.

Decor

I am lusting over this couch from Matt Blatt. I like to stalk their website and pretend that they ship to the Northern Territory (and that I can afford to buy everything on their website).

Pin

I am obsessing over anything wedding related and this bouquet is amazing. I especially love the macrame handle. I hope macrame is still a thing when we get married in 2020.

Fashion

Living Dead Clothing is my favourite brand. They are an Aussie brand and the quality is amazing!! My wardrobe is quickly being dominated by LDC.  I NEED this Daria dress to relive the 90's, early 2000's.

Food

One of the lovely ladies at work made this for morning tea and it was addictive. I could eat it everyday and it looks so easy to make. So easy that even I could make it and I do not bake.

Blog

Hellomoonies is a stunning, well designed blog with interesting content. I'm enjoying learning more about Becca and her beautiful blog.

Northern Territory Business

I posted about The Black Russian Caravan, a local Katherine cafe.

Quote

I'm all about letter boards at the moment. We have two in our house and the only reason we don't have more is because the soon-to-be mister won't let me. I might need to change one of ours to this or one of the other hilarious quotes here.

Home Life 

I've been unwell this week so in between naps and complaints I've been binge watching season four of UnREAL. I envy Quinn's wit, but not her willingness to play with people's lives. It does make for interesting television though. I wonder how much actually happens in real reality shows.

Podcast

I am obsessed with the complex horrifying story told in The Teacher's Pet. It blows my mind how someone could be so cruel to someone they had children with, a family, and apparently loved.

This Weekend

We have a bunch of family activities planned this weekend and I'm off for a girl's trip to Darwin aka civilisation. I hope you all have a great weekend!
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50 Questions About Me

New blog, new introduction. I'm a nosey bitch and love to know more about people and I'm also not (totally) crazy so I figure other people like the same. Hopefully I don't bore anyone.
1. Were you named after anyone?
Not really. Mum had a friend called Amy in school and I think she liked the name more than I she liked the girl.
2. When was the last time you cried?
During Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The dinosaurs in pain especially the Brachiosaurus got me good. PMS may have also got me good.
3. Do you like your handwriting?
When I take my time and don't compare to others. To be honest, that never happens.
4. What is your favourite lunch meat?
Ham. Ham, cheese and tomato toasties are the bomb.
5. Do you have kids?
Yep, my two devils in disguise.
6. If you were another person, would you be friends with you?
Well I'm hilarious and I enjoy my company so probably not.
7. Do you use sarcasm a lot?
Let's just say that the kids learnt what sarcasm was at a very early age. They may have trust issues when they older...
8. Do you still have your tonsils?
Nope, got those suckers out when I was twelve. 
9. Would you bungee jump?
Yep for sure if I talk myself into it and after watching others jump before I take the plunge. You know just to make sure I won't die or anything.
10. What is your favourite cereal?
Coco Pops and Rice Bubbles. Full of sugar and deliciousness. I pretty much lived on them growing up. Plus both make delicious desserts.  
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Depends on the shoes. Boots, yes. Sneakers, no. If I can get away with not untying them I'll make it happen.
12. Do you think you are strong?
I have my moments. Usually three weeks a month I am psychologically strong. Physically, I'm stronger than my six and nine year old - that counts as something right?
13. What is your favourite ice cream?
Magnum Egos. I could have one daily if my stomach and weight agreed.
14. What is the first thing you notice about people?
A feature I really like or really dislike depending on the feeling/vibe I get from them. If I haven't met them it'll be their height. 
15. Red or pink?
Pink. Pink is life. 
16. What is the least favourite thing about yourself?
My lack of motivation and straight up procrastinating skills.
17. Who do you miss the most?
My family, we live so far away from everyone. I miss my Opa and cat Wall-E who are no longer Earthside.
18. What is your favourite drink?
Malibu and pineapple juice.
19. What colour shoes are you wearing?
Invisible shoes aka barefoot. I don't wear shoes when I'm chilling at home.
20. What was the last thing you ate?
ANZAC cookie x2.
21. What are you listening to right now?
Season 4 Episode 1 of UnREAL. Binge watching like a boss.
22. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?
Pink. Pink is life.
23. Favourite smells?
Rain, vanilla, coconut, lavender. 
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?
Soon-to-be-mister. He was at Woolies buying dinner. 
25. Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Beach house next to the mountains. Booyah.
26. Favourite sports to watch?
Formula 1. I happily stay up till 3am watching the boys race. Dan, Kimi and Alonso are my winners.
27. Hair colour?
Blonde. Ice at the moment. Gotta keep that yellow out.
28. Eye colour?
Blue.
29. Do you wear contacts?
Only when I wear false lashes. 
30. Favourite food?
If it's not spicy or gross I'm a fan. 
31. Scary movies or happy endings?
Depending on my mood but mostly happy endings.
32. Last movie you watched?
Lego Batman. Hilarious movie and a must see.
33. What colour shirt are you wearing?
I think it's a watermelon colour. Also, it's a dress. 
34. Summer or winter?
I live in the desert so you'd think I'd choose summer but I love the cold. 10 degrees Celsius is my perfect temperature.
35. Hugs or kisses?
Hugs. I'm a hugger.
36. Favourite dessert?
Chocolate mousse. Cake. Cheesecake. 
37. Strength training or cardio?
Rollerskating. I guess that's cardio? I do not do running. I do not do sweating unless it's due to skating fast.
38. Computer or television?
Computer. It can become television. Easy as.
39. What book are you reading right now?
I hate to say it but I'm not currently reading a book. It's a very rare occasion and it needs to be rectified. 
40. What is on your mouse pad?
Mouse pad? I don't need no mouse pad on a laptop. At work it's boring black but it has a really nice wrist pad. It's comfy.
41. Any tattoos?
Clean skin because the soon-to-be-mister and I cannot save for the life of us. I swear we need Afterpay or a payment plan for everything.
42. Favourite sound?
Rain on a tin roof. Especially Territory rain. No drizzling up here, it's straight torrential.
43. Rolling Stones or Beatles?
The Beatles. We named our kids after Beatles songs. I am a mad Beatles fan, especially George.
44. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?
The F1 in Melbourne while living here in Katherine, NT. About 3420kms from home.
45. Do you have a special talent?
People open up to me for some reason. People tell me their life story within minutes of meeting them. It scares some people, especially those that are closed, but I'm used to it. I take it as a huge compliment.
46. Where were you born?
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
47. Where are you living now?
Katherine, Northern Territory, Australia.
48. What colour is your house?
Red and white brick and concrete. I don't really look too hard at the outside.
49. What colour is your car?
Black with a lovely dusting of red dirt.
50. Any pets?
Two - a cattle dog x kelpie called Bowie and a feral snow tabby called John Snow Lennon or Meow Meow. 

Questions from - Hellomoonies.

Please link in the comments if you've done a similar or same post. As I said I'm a nosey bitch.
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The Black Russian Caravan - Katherine


The Black Russian is an amazing little cafe in Katherine in the courtyard of the Information Centre.

While our food choices are limited here in Katherine, the Black Russian brings the big city taste with the country service.
The lovely girls sell amazing toasties, baked goods, coffee and other delicious drinks.

Their baked goods are out of this world, the glaze on the banana cakes are worth every cent.

As for drinks the soon-to-be mister is fussy with his coffee and he goes out of his way to get coffee from the Caravan. I highly recommend the Iced Almond Chai - it's addictive! Sesame is also addicted to the Iced Almond Chai, she'd drink it all day if she was allowed.

If you like toasties (let's be real who doesn't?) the Black Russian also do delicious toasties. My favourites are the Reuben and the Mexican Chicken.

Not only is the food amazing but the atmosphere and courtyard are too. On any given day you'll find tourists, families, couples, dogs and single people sitting around on the provided seats, rugs, tables or on the rocks.

The courtyard is full of the wonderful community vibe Katherine has to offer. Kids play safely with friends, their own toys, the chalkboard, or the cubby houses while their parents socialise.

The girls who work in the caravan have the best customer service. If you are a regular you can bet they will remember you and your order. They become what feels like friends catching up on each others' lives.

We love spending our Saturday mornings as a family at the Black Russian eating flavourful food, drinking delicious drinks while catching up with friendly faces (before 11am as they can run out of the good stuff).

This post is not sponsored in any way. Just an appreciation post of a Katherine business.
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Kakadu - Gunlom Falls


Gunlom Falls is about a three hour drive (199kms) from Katherine. It's definitely worth the trip if you are up this way.

Once you are off the Kakadu Highway you'll be on dirt roads. We were in a four wheeled drive, however we did pass lots of caravans and small hatchbacks along the dirt roads and it didn't appear they were having any problems. In saying that though I was quite happy we had a big car.

Mary River Roadhouse is along the way and is a great little place to stop for any forgotten supplies.  Sesame got dried crocodile to try and declared it delicious. It is a bit expensive but that's expected being in the middle of nowhere. There's also accommodation there if camping isn't your thing. We didn't stay overnight so I can't vouch for the accommodation.

There's camping spots all around so plenty of places to set up and stay as long as you want.
The hike up to the lookout was killer. No exaggeration I thought we were all going to fall off the edge and die. Especially walking back down. It's all natural so some of the rocks were a bit shaky and I managed to slip a couple of times but it's all well kept and quite beautiful.

We are so lucky there are natural beauties like this around. The only artificial section was a rail at the top, I'm assuming so unfit people like me can lean on it so they don't fall to their death.

If we did a walk like that every week we'd be the fittest people on the planet. The kids managed it though so maybe I'm just extremely unfit and need to move more.

Once we got to the top (and back down a bit again) it was all worth it. The view was amazing. We climbed over a rock and walked to the edge of the waterfall.

It's not quite on the edge so there were no concerns of anyone going over the edge. It was amazing though. I didn't take any good photos because I needed two hands due to being a klutz. Next time we go I'll make sure we take the Go-Pro as it's well worth it.

We all spotted our car way down the bottom but if you take a set of binoculars I'm sure you'd be able to see lots of Territory wildlife.

The kids were disappointed they couldn't see a crocodile, however we were not especially as we were going to the plunge pool next.

One warning - the wet rocks are very slippery. I managed to take the mister and myself out while trying to take a photo under a mini waterfall. It was hilarious but cold.
After we all swam a bit and admired the view we made the trek back down (the scary part of the hike) and went to the plunge pool. That was an easy walk especially compared to the hike. I'm not even calling it a walk anymore, it was a hike.

The plunge pool was beautiful. There were families everywhere fishing, swimming, playing games while laughter filled the air. Lufflump enjoyed making canals for his leaf boats while Sesame climbed logs while looking for crocodiles (she didn't find any). 

The ground around the pool was covered in tiny little rocks so thongs were necessary for those without Territory feet (it's a real thing - everything is tougher up here).
I highly recommend going to Gunlom and doing both the hike and walk during the dry season (roughly April to October). It's well worth it to see the amazing natural beauty Kakadu has to offer.


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Welcome!

Most of our family photos are taken in the car.

Welcome to my new blog.

This blog will be about our life in the Northern Territory. We are unsure how long we have to live up here so we are making the most of it. I wish I had started this blog when we first moved here in 2016 but to be honest there wasn't much sight seeing, more drinking at people's houses. This is the year to see the beautiful land we live in.

There'll also be wedding planning, juggling study with work and family, and the typical mundaneness of life you get anywhere regardless of postcode.

Please join us on our journey in the top end!
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