Darwin, Northern Territory: How Scary Is It?

It’s time to wrap up Darwin week which has turned into Darwin fortnight. We really loved our 10 day holiday there and apart from when we went crocodile hunting…

Hannibal the Adelaide River Croc

…we didn’t see any creatures, critters or killers from the animal kingdom whatsoever that could really be regarded as dangerous.

So, Darwin then, not as scary as all that?

Don’t be so sure. I have said to one or two people around this website in the comments that I believe Darwin “is not for the faint hearted” and although we didn’t see anything too dangerous, I’m not about to change my opinion.

Why?

Here’s the news, Darwin style.

I didn’t buy any newspapers whilst I was in Darwin, but whilst I was out and about three headlines in particular caught my eye as the newspapers sat in piles on the newsstands.

Today I went online to NT News to search for those news items so that I could bring them to you. The first thing I saw was a story fresh out today; let’s call this one a warmup…

15th July 2013 – Blue-ringed octopus…

A WOMAN got the fright of her life when a deadly blue-ringed octopus swam past her family as they played in the shallows of a Darwin city beach.

This incident took place at Dripstone Cliffs in Darwin’s northern suburbs; that’s along the same stretch of beach as Casuarina and Nightcliff which get mentioned here a little later.

The woman took a fantastic picture of the blue-ringed octopus, check it out here along with the full article.

Now for those three articles that caught my eye…

9 July 2013 – Crocodile attack caught on video

A GROUP of hunters had a lucky escape after a 4.5m crocodile lunged at one of them in a Darwin creek and took one of their pigging dogs – all captured on video.

Ah, yes, that’s another thing. There are a lot of wild pigs out in the surrounding bush, and these experienced bush hunters went out there a hunting with their hunting dogs.

Also hunting on the same day was a rather large crocodile. Read more here.

8 July 2013 – Dingo hunting prey in Darwin suburb

A DINGO stalking a Darwin city suburb has torn a small white dog in two, leaving residents fearing for the safety of their pets – and their children.

This incident took place in a suburb called Leanyer, which, if it’s any comfort, is an outer suburb that backs onto a rather large nature park. You can read more here.

5 July 2013 – Croc attack?

The most disturbing article of all during my time there was this.

RELATIVES of a tourist missing at Croker Island since Tuesday fear a crocodile may have taken her.

Sadly, as at today’s date there is still no news of the woman, she is still missing. Here’s the full article.

Four scary articles in a matter of just 10 days.

So how dangerous is it?

If you watched the video from my post Crocodile Hunting in Darwin, you will notice I have some footage on there of somebody swimming in the sea. I saw quite a few people on different days swimming in different parts of the sea. This confused me a bit.

There are crocodiles in there, why would anybody do that? I found an older news article that both proves there are crocodiles in that sea and also answers the question of exactly why people ARE prepared to take the risk.

10 June 2010 – Mindil Beach croc….

This is the same Mindil Beach where we saw a glorious sunset…

Sunset at Mindil Beach

As the article says “A woman was swimming at Mindil Beach on Tuesday when a 3m saltie was spotted heading for her.

Fortunately some bystanders saw the crocodile approaching and yelled out and the woman was lucky enough to escape with just about 1 metre to spare before the croc had caught up.

From the same article, Tommy Nichols, a Parks and Wildlife ranger explained that the last time a person was taken by a croc at a Darwin beach was a “long, long time” ago – in the 1800s at Dinah Beach.

I find this an amazing statistic especially as the article also tells us that “Rangers pull more than 200 salties from Darwin Harbour every year – to get there, most of them would have to swim past Casuarina Beach, Nightcliff and Mindil.

My advice to anyone up that way would still be DON’T SWIM IN THE SEA though; I will definitely stick to the swimming pools. Summer would be an even more ridiculous time to attempt to swim there, with the even more dangerous jellyfish to contend with.

Read more here.

And finally on the news…

Anyway, as is tradition, let’s end the news on a lighter note.

While we were in Darwin, on Saturday 7 July, there was another event taking place on Mindil Beach. It was the 40th anniversary of the Darwin Lions Beer Can Regatta. We were going to go, but somehow we managed to…….. forget.

Here’s a YouTube to explain what we missed; these guys don’t seem too concerned about jumping into the sea…

I’m only guessing, but I expect the news where you live doesn’t, generally speaking, have articles like these. My thanks to NT News for these articles, and if ever you want to see exactly how different Darwin news is, maybe you should use the search function in their Archives page.

I also suspect that for those living in Darwin and the Northern Territory, these news items just represent everyday life for them and for the most part they are fully aware of how best to stay safe.

For tourists and visitors though, best advice is “be aware”.

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