Travis Godfredson leaves the kids’ Beanie Boos behind to discover some real-life creatures in the Northern Territory
We’re sitting around the Parker family dinner table in our comfortable Northern Beaches home in Sydney. In the middle, I place a globe. I spin it and say to the kids: “Now, who can find Darwin? That’s where we’re going for our next holiday.” And so begins our trip to the Top End — a journey of new people and places, amazing creatures and other special things.
Nothing connects better with kids than furry creatures. Hell, if Mum ever has to buy another Beanie Boo, she will surely lose her mind! So imagine the kids’ surprise (and Mum’s relief) when they get to cuddle some real creatures of the wild. At the Territory Wildlife Park, just under an hour south of Darwin, the kids pat bush rats and a baby wallaby. A gorgeous spotted bush quoll gets cosy under six-year-old William’s T-shirt. Discovering quolls are endangered by habitat loss and cane toad poisoning, he wants to bring it home.
The Territory is a tapestry of ancient stories, but there are more recent tales to be told. Down at Darwin Wharf, we learn about the bombing of Darwin and the formation of the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS). The kids are captivated by interactive displays, theatrettes, holograms and virtual tours.
I’m uncertain about visiting the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin. “Just another museum,” I muse, but there is colour and movement everywhere. The displays are lifelike and there is a craft centre for the kids to play. All over Darwin we experience fun and informative learning centres. These places are practically theme parks — the perfect way to share some amazing Australian history with the kids.