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Saturday, October 9, 2010
Today's tour was not as dramatic as the billabong tour, but I found it very interesting ans a great way to spend a quiet day. We drove south of Darwin to the Cox Peninsula and the Territory Wildlife Park. This is modelled very much along the same lines as the Singapore Zoo and has been built and maintained by the Northern Territory Government. It is lovely and well planned out and there are very few people there. It is a wonderful way to learn about the wildlife in all the various climactic areas in the Northern Territory.
Visiting the Nocturnal Animal display is rather like playing Where's Waldo. There is a sense of satisfaction in being able to locate the various animals in their dark display cases.
There is a little electric train to transport you from one exhibit area to the next, but it is faster and easier to walk (better exercise as well).
I particularly enjoyed the monsoon forest with its thunder and lightning and rainstorm. There were about eight pods showing different plant and animal communities at various levels of the rainforest.
The most dramatic display was at the Birds of Prey pavilion. Guides displayed raptors very close at hand and allowed them to fly in the superstructure of the viewing area.
This owl loved to perch just above the audience's heads.
This raptor had an annoying habit (from the trainer's point of view) of protecting its territory by spreading its wings.
Even a young Jabiru made an appearance. You can tell it is a young one by its smaller size and its peach-coloured legs.
We had planned also to vist Litchfield Park with its many beautiful waterfalls and pools and its large magnetic termite nests. However, we seemed to run out of time and energy. The termites in the Northern Territory are very interesting. They help with cleaning up rotting debris. Their gigantic nests (like anthills on steroids) are everywhere and are so strong dynamite is necessary to destroy them The Magnetic Termites do not build the castle-like structures one finds elsewhere, but rather pinnacles with four distinct ridges on the sides- one pointing in each cardinal direction- North, South, East and West.
After our rally briefing on Monday the 11th of October, we, along with most of the fleet, will be leaving Tipperary Waters marina for Kupang, West Timor, Indonesia. We plan to have to motor the entire way and to arrive on Friday, October 15.