Lodge of Dundee: My home away from home.

Dundee. Northern Territory, not that cold place in Scotland. The land of incredible sunsets, fishing, and sunset ciders.

When I first set out on my travelling adventure I made a pact with myself that I'd loosen the strings a little bit and introduce a little more spontaneity in my life. I'm not saying that I didn't decide to do things on a whim before, more that I seemed to live a life of check-lists and scripts which really isn't all that good and often set me up for failure... nine times out of ten.

When I left Cairns for Townsville and then Darwin the next day (seems like many moons ago now, I've been really slack on the update front – sorry) I had it in my head that I would work for 5 weeks in the job I'd found, save all of my wages and treat those weeks as a little body detox from all of the hard partying it had endured since the November (yikes). Then, following those short few weeks of employment I had dreams of travelling through the Northern Territory, checking out the national parks of Litchfield and Kakadu via car either by tagging along with other groups found on Gumtree Australia (fab website) or just by hiring my own car and trying to get people to come along with me. I'd go down to Katherine Gorge, spend a few days or so with my ex-boss' brother's place, hire a canoe and go down the Gorge, then find myself going down to Alice Springs checking out Devil's Marbles along the way... Wow. How that all changed.

So, four weeks into working at The Lodge of Dundee I KNEW I wasn't going to be leaving when I'd originally planned. In fact, within probably a few hours of starting work I KNEW I didn't want to leave. I became attached to the bar, the staff, my bosses, my colleagues, the weather, the locals, the beach, everything. I built up a family and sense of security that I hadn't really felt anywhere else before. Don't get me wrong, I've thoroughly enjoyed my travels and everywhere that I've been, but asides from The Lodge I hadn't really found anywhere I enjoyed working. They didn't exploit me, they gave me some awesome hours, and I had insane amounts of fun behind the bar.
I left The Lodge of Dundee a little longer than 8 weeks after I first arrived and it actually broke my heart to leave. The intense hangover actually kept the sadness at bay until I realised I was waving goodbye to some really lovely people and I actually managed to hold it altogether until I hugged goodbye the mother, Col the Doll. Then it hit. Just like that. 

So, my big aspirations to travel around the Territory didn't really materialise since I spent my time working. In between working the afternoon shifts and lounging by the pool, lazily soaking up the sun's rays and praying for a bit of a tan before heading home (most of which has disappeared now – thanks Melbourne/Tasmania) I did manage a few little outings although they were far and few between! 

One of the trips I did (which unfortunately was done before I started work at 6pm) was a little drive and swim in a creek nearby Dundee Beach. I can't remember what it was called (typical) but it was beautiful. Little pools left behind when the tide went out were beautiful and warm to sit in but I was always conscious about the salty that resides in the area. Anyway. We lounged about for a bit in the beautiful sunshine, saw the boss later on who told me I didn't need to go into work for another hour or so (so I could spend more time at the creek) and then it was back to work, ho hum. It takes a 4WD to get to the creek I believe (unless there are suitable roads you  can take, we took the beach route).

Another little trip which I was actually so excited to do was the Territory Wildlife Park by Berry Springs. Utterly disappointing, sorry guys. Wildlife parks are kind of my thing, but when I came across old mate salty cooped up in a tiny enclosure I just wanted to pull the cord because that poor thing should not have been in those conditions. Anyway. We did have about 15 minutes of entertainment in one of the bird enclosures but other than that it was pretty much a waste of time and money (and it was bloody hot when we went too which doesn't help). It cost $26 for entry I believe and that allowed you to use the hop on/hop off shuttle around the park. The shuttle runs every 10-15 minutes without fail, it doesn't matter whether there are people on it or not, so I question it's claims of helping to reduce carbon footprints and all that. Anyway...

The highlight - for sure - was the trip on board the Dundee Explorer fishing boat on a half-day charter that happened that day after my last day of work - sob. As soon as I got to the Lodge I knew that before I left I had to get on that boat. I know I know, marine conservationist with a desire to go out and go fishing probably sounds a little odd - I understand that - but I also thought it would give me a greater understanding of the methods of fishing used by recreational fisherman and to see how companies went about educating the guests about their catches etc. I was actually really impressed - fish that were too small were released, fish weren't reeled in too quickly in order to try and limit the chance of barotrauma (or at least reduce the extent of it). The idea is that reeling the bite in too quick means that the swim bladder doesn't have chance to adjust to the new water pressure so by reeling it in slowly (when targeting fish further down the water column) should aim to reduce this effect. Of course it's still going to happen... Anyway.

We had a really good day - I thought so anyway but apparently the fish weren't biting quite as readily as they should've been and we certainly didn't catch any barramundi or Spanish mackeral which was a shame. We caught plenty of Tricky Snapper or Sweetlip as they're also called. Beautiful tasting fish (left), I took two back with me to share with my work mates as well as the beautiful Red Emperor that I caught (I was the only one to catch it!)

I really did have the time of my life there which seems silly since all I seemed to do was work, sunbathe, read, and indulge in some Reef & Beef (uhh... surf & turf) and a few alcohol drinks every so often (cough, more often than not). It gave me time to reflect on my year travelling, save some well needed dollar (which incidentally has pretty much disappeared now), and remember to love and laugh by the beautiful beach...



Post a Comment


Blogger news



Follow on Bloglovin