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.

BERRIMAH LINE

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

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.

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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.

TODAY’S “B” AUSSIE-ISMS

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.

Berry Springs swimming

Berry Springs is a delightful picnic area and nature reserve about 45 minutes south of Darwin. We used to go there regularly for an early morning swim on the weekends but hadn’t been for years. We popped in recently to have a look and find that it’s been made more visitor friendly. How lazy to be able to loll in the spring water and just drift down past the pandanus to another section of the pools. When you hop out it’s as if your hair has had a beauty treatment from the fresh water.

You can float through the pandanus on a li-lo from one pool to the other.

The water pools are only open during the Dry as they can’t guarantee there’ll be no crocs in there until after the Wet is finished and they’ve done some traps/checking.

Pick which pool you fancy.

Rainbow bee-eaters were swirling and dipping over this pool.