Pommy Bob had a day to himself today – He went to have a round of golf.
We did some shopping and had lunch in the Casuarina Centre. We also visited Lee Point Beach (?). Like just about all of northern Australian beaches – it is a mud flat. Not very attractive, unless you are a crocodile and can hide in the mud. In a way it’s just as well they are not nice sandy beaches otherwise more folk might be tempted to go for a swim and become croc bait.
After a slow start today, we had lunch then went to visit Fanny Bay Gaol.
For about a century, Fannie Bay Gaol was the premiere detention centre or jail in Darwin. This correctional institution was built in 1882 and it depicts the most important social histories of Northern Territory. It is also known to be the former Labour Prison and Her Majesty's Gaol in the city from September 1883 to September 1979.
The original architecture of this historical gaol composes two blocks with 16 stone cells, a washhouse and a dirty kitchen. However, during the late 1920's, there came a need for a particular cell for women prisoners and so a structure for this purpose was built. Soon after, another area was established for the purpose of keeping Aboriginal detainees. Furthermore, a remand section, a watch tower and maximum security wings were erected in the 1950s.
It was only in 1887 when the infirmary at the Fannie Bay Gaol was constructed. This area was, in 1952, devoted to final execution activities. Two Romanian immigrants, namely Jonus Nopoty and Jerry Coci, were executed here because they were found guilty murdering a local taxi driver.
Now a Museum
Today, one can freely visit the gaol for it now operates as a museum. Fannie Bay Gaol discontinued its operation in 1979 because the detainees were sent to the penal institution at Berrimah.
The gaol also had a centre to house children.
We then went to see the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre which is one of the major aviation museums in Australia. The Centre has an impressive presentation of aircraft and displays depicting the Territory’s involvement in aviation, both civil and military, from the early pioneers and record breakers through World War II and the jet age.
The major display item is a massive B-52 bomber on permanent loan from the United States Air Force and is one of only two on public display in the world outside the USA.
Next stop was at the new Darwin Rail Passenger terminal where the Ghan train arrives. This station is quite a way out of the city.
Spent the morning having the car serviced and visiting Bunnings Hardware.
After lunch we drove Pommy Bob to the Auto Service Centre to pick up his car and then to the shopping centre so that Hiroe could have her hair cut. Looks good.
We went to Mindil markets late afternoon where we walked around the many stalls and had our evening meal there – Bob was amazed at the number of people and stalls.
There were quite a lot of people on the beach for sunset. We missed the actual event.
The last thing we did there was watch a performance of a didgeridoo player who attracted some local indigenous young folk who danced like you wouldn’t believe. It was wonderful to watch.
It was a great night out.
This morning we spent relaxing around the campsite then after lunch we went back into Darwin and visited the Art Gallery and Museum.
There is an excellent collection of Aboriginal paintings here and well worth a look at. There was also an exhibition (TELSTRA) of Indigenous and Torres Straight work.
An exhibition of digital photography based on China was absolutely great. It must have taken quite a long time to compile and manipulate these photos which were huge, maybe 3 metres by 2 metres.
The Ships and boat collection hasn’t changed but we had a look anyway.
We had afternoon tea overlooking the sea before returning to the vans to finish tidying up before we leave here tomorrow morning.