A2Z Challenge: B is for Berry Springs and the Berrimah Line

A2Z-2013-BADGE-001Small_zps669396f9 (1)Today’s A to Z takes us on a short excursion south of Darwin – a day’s outing for a bit of R&R.


Since much of this series will be about the Northern Territory I have to mention this in passing. At one time the Berrimah Line was roughly the end of the bitumen heading south out of Darwin. It’s now about half-way to the satellite town of Palmerston.

Totally artificial, the Berrimah Line is a psychological divide. Some people live in the Top End without ever travelling south of the Berrimah Line either for shopping, work or tourism. Always used disparagingly by those who live much further south to imply that Darwin’s residents, especially politicians and bureaucrats, don’t have a clue about their world.


Berry Springs is a delightful swimming spot about 45 minutes drive south of Darwin. Fresh water springs makes it so relaxing to swim, and when you get out you feel like your hair has had a beauty treatment. Overhanging pandanus trees shelter birds which flit across the water picking up insects. It’s rather like having your own tropical swimming paradise.


It’s closed during the Wet Season (about December to April) as the heavy rains mean flooding and a risk of crocodiles. Once the rains have passed the rangers check the water and place traps to ensure they’re croc-free before once again opening it to the public. You might want to see my earlier post about Berry Springs here. The park also has a great BBQ area if you also want to have a barbie as well as a swim.

Why visit: For a refreshing swim in a safe, croc-free zone, to watch the birds as you float along and just generally chill out.

FYI: There’s are a couple of maps on my A to Z planning post which will help you to pinpoint where today’s tourist spots are situated.


Bloody: Australia’s all-time favourite swear word used in an infinite variety of intonations and meanings, some strongly aggro and some indulgent.

Blow-in: This is very much a Territory expression, used for those who arrive in the Northern Territory (and quite probably the Kimberley) and aren’t expected to stay. Blow-in status is a hard one to shake: I used to say facetiously I didn’t have long enough to live to cease being one, but now after 16 years perhaps I’m slowly getting local status.

Bloke: a man. It used to be in constant use when I was growing up but has been replaced with “man” or the more polite “gentleman” and with the <40s  has been Americanised to “dude” which sets my teeth on edge.

Back of Bourke: Used to signify somewhere miles away but most particularly far away in the Australian outback. Bourke is a town in western New South Wales.

Bastard: It has to be said, this is another pervasive Aussie-ism with vast nuances of meaning. It generally isn’t a reflection on parentage (though occasionally may imply that). It can be meant as an insult or affectionately –it’s all in the tone of the sentence.

Bonzer*: no longer in use. Once used often to mean something was great.  Probably replaced by “fantastic”.

Barbie: a BBQ not the doll of the same name.

 Bludger: Someone who doesn’t do any work, a lazy person. A real Aussie insult! No one, but no one, likes a bludger.

 Blow me down: an expression of surprise.

 Blue arsed fly: rushing around like a “lunatic”. “She’ll never get it done on time..she’s running around like a blue arsed fly”.

 Brass razoo*: money/coin. eg I haven’t got a brass razoo to give you.

 Basket case: Mad/crazy/pretty weird person, or sometimes just very distressed by something.eg “she’s been a basket case since she lost her job”.

 Banana bender: A Queenslander, someone born or who comes from the state of Queensland (count me in!)

 Bagged: gain or get eg “we bagged a bargain on that” or Bagging, which on the other hand means to be rude, dismissive, “sledging” eg  “that movie got a bagging”

Back hander: a compliment that doesn’t sound like one OR a bribe, kick-back.

Bull-sh**: Not polite, but a phrase that is commonly used to indicate the person is telling a highly exaggerated story or talking rubbish.

Tomorrow we’re off to Cooinda in Kakadu National Park, one of Australia’s World Heritage Areas.

26 thoughts on “A2Z Challenge: B is for Berry Springs and the Berrimah Line

  1. Berry Springs looks so tempting… bloody bonzer, mate… Funny, I don’t think of that as swearing… I’ve heard it all my life and thought nothing of it. That’s about as bad as I go… I do use bloke and bludger.

  2. I am loving this theme! The moment I saw the relaxing water I thought crocs! We have a friend who always refers to hubby as dude, which I find really irritating. So now I always greet him with hi rude dude and he hasn’t caught on yet – hubbys hates it, but it amuses me!

    • I love your response Julie -definitely LOL! Dude is one that makes my teeth grind. I think our stories will be very complementary, and our comments complimentary.

  3. Your blog totally blew me down, haha–but in the most positive sense possible 🙂 I’m also blogging about my surroundings for the A-Z, although I’m–quite literally, if not precisely–across the world from you. I’ll be back for more Aussie inside info and slang–gotta *looove* Aussie slang 🙂

  4. What a fantastic idea to include the Aussie slang in your post. Slang is part of my husbands vocabulary and causes problems when we travel. He asked someone in Hong Kong “Do you need a hand?” (with getting shopping bags into a lift). He received the strangest look until he then said “Can I help you?”
    P.S. I have been to Berry Springs as my brother lives at Humpty Doo

    • I hadn’t thought of that expression for H 😉 You’ll also enjoy my H post …keep an eye out. We do have a bewildering array of expressions, don’t we….poor overseas visitors trying to make sense of it.

  5. I can’t remember how I stumbled on your blog but am loving it – I was born in Darwin, and after a few years at the 13-mile, my parents were one of the first to build in Howard Springs – we moved in three days before Cyclone Tracy. I actually went to preschool in Berrimah – no idea where the bitumen stopped – and while my parents have long since moved to FNQ, my brother returned to live his adult life in … Berry Springs. PS: they pulled a 4m croc out of a trap just a few metres up from one of the pools the week after my sweet brother LAUGHED at me for asking “so, you’re SURE there are no crocs here?”

    Finally, thanks for the inspiration. I’ve decided to try and gallop in an entire A-Z in the final two months of the year as a means of kickstarting a blog I never quite started to talk about my twins passions of travelling and archaeology. (Tracks through time and place on blogspot.)

    • hi Jaq, how great that you’re enjoying the stories of the Top End. You’d certainly have a wide repertoire of your own! We used to go into Berry Springs a lot but for various reasons we seem to have passed it by in recent times. Those wayward crocs…poor rangers do their best. All the best with your AtoZ challenge -I’ll pop over and have a look. Pauleen

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