Northern Territory- Pine Creek
Pine Creek, is basically the bottom corner of “The Triangle” (an hour north of Katherine and about 2 hours south of Darwin), and is a historic mining town. It has housed and currently houses migrant mining populations for the last 100+ years as world markets for Gold and other precious metals rise and fall. The town itself is worth a gas stop at least and even a night or two to explore the area and look into some of the historical sights. I must say to me the funniest bit, as well as most intriguing in this dry country- is the “Water Garden” that is right in the middle of town. Standing at the sign denoting the Garden’s boundry- the area looks still, dry, and barren- at closer inspection- there is actually a series of lagoons and wildlife hidden away in plain sight.
Sue and Tracy- who run the local Servo (gas station) and Caravan Park filled me in on the history of the area and the town. A little know fact from the area centers on their Mango production. For travellers this is important for two reasons. If you are a migrant worker- the Mango season comes early in Pine Creek- early September. Also- each year the first box of Mangos is auctioned off in Sydney for charity. That first box of Mangos to officially open Mango season- always comes from Pine Creek. This year the Mangos raised $25,000 for the Sydney Children’s Hospital.
I also found the COOLEST stubby holder for a bottle of wine with… a HUGE “Barra” (Barramundi- a local white fish- widely served in Australia) on the front. Nothing but class folks! Fish mug shot aside- It finally cured that age old question of how to keep a bottle of white cool on a hot Sydney summer eve. Of course some say the answer to that question is to drink it…