Djewk season! “the full wet season” Not this year

Djewk season (December-March) was a non-event this year. Not many rainy days and the river only got to 9m once.  We have had lots of blue skies and sunshine. Alex and I went on a holiday to Tasmania because we have had lots of tourists up our way from there.  Loved it and we must go back as there is so much to see and do.  I wore a cardigan and coat all the time we were there.  It was a nice change. Melbourne was next, to catch up with the grand kids.  Manuel went back to his country and went fishing and relaxed. 2015 is looking to be a good year for Top Didj with lots of forward bookings throughout the year.  Our times this year fits in with the official tourist months opening on the 1st May closing 31st October.  We did have 31 RAAF personal from Canberra for a Cultural Experience in February.  A good time was had by all.  Manuel took them for a walk down to the creek showing them bush tucker growing.  The wet season is the best time to see this.

Sadly our last trip adviser review was not the best.  The writer has not recommended our business.  They did say they attended in November which is weird as we were not open.  After 25 excellent, 7 very good and 1 poor is it upsetting that the last one was so negative and possibly it was not us. ANYWAY we realize the weather is getting hotter so we are preparing for this year.  Sprinklers are being put on the roof this week and we purchased two small mist fans.  That should keep everyone cool.  Two wallabies have just been released recently and will still be around when we open as well as a few from last year that like to still get some sweet potato to break the monotony of grass!!!!!  So if you have already been to see us come in again to say hello or book a time with Manuel or tell your friends and family.  Manuel is very excited about starting work again.

2. Brad

Sweetie who came to us over a month ago has now joined the group at Top Didj

1. Sweetie

Brad who we have had since he was a pinky found on the Katherine River bank by our helpxers is now running around at Top Didj


Our lush grass after lots of organic fertiliser and sadly not very much rain.  thats Oscar on the left having a hop around.


Manuel showing the RAAF group how to use the woomera


Manuel showing the finer points of spear throwing

Bush tucker garden

Our lush Bush Tucker Garden


Me ready to go on a ghost tour at Port Arthur


The Katherine river only got to 9 metres once this wet season


Wren our grand daughter with Ki Ki our other atilopine kangaroo when she was little at Christmas time


Manuel painting didgeridoos for this season


Picking up mulch for the gardens at Top Didj


Oscar our Atilopine kangaroo the day before we sent him off to be with his own kind. Sadly they don’t come from around our area so we will not be able to see him grow up like we do with the Agile wallabies.


Jakarta International School

While everyone (well some) were off celebrating the Melbourne Cup Top Didj crew were entertaining a great group of students from the Jakarta International School. Even though it was hot everyone enjoyed their time with us. Following are some comments from the students. Kedin ” Thank you so much, it was so enjoyable. I really loved learning about your life story. The spear throwing was also a plus.” Bjorn “Great listening to the stories and fire and painting was fun.” Julie ” Really nice experience and stories and the fire lighting and painting was fun. Thank you so much for sharing.” Kristine ” I liked learning how to make a fire and throw a spear.”

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Last for October

We had another happy couple from the Netherlands come in, Micke and Gerardus to do a CE along with Mike and Jill from Toorawenah NSW. Micke wrote ” Manuel, beautiful stories, interesting to hear all this, nice working on the paintings.” Mike and Jill wrote ” Wonderful experince, loved it all. Thankyou!”

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Travel Agent Visit

Saturday afternoon we had a  large famil group (41) of domestic travel agents come into Top Didj.  We decided to have everyone at tables from the beginning and have the canvas paint etc set out to save time because of having so many and the heat of the day.  Well just as we finished setting everything up we had the biggest wurly wurly come through and blew all that we had done out into the garden!!! never mind out with the blower and we started again.  It was a bit hot for some of the participates but they all enjoyed learning how to do a rarrk painting and see the magic of a fire bursting from a small ember.  We had two agents hit big red.  We at Top Didj are looking forward to welcoming the tourists these agents send to the Top End next year.

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Good start to the week

Melinda, Bob and Nick came in this morning as Melinda wanted to do her own painting.  What a good job she did painting an Echidna.  Melinda wrote. ” Thanks Manuel for all your teaching.  Very fun.  We enjoyed ourselves and wish I could do it again.”  The afternoon group was Way Outback Tours.  Chizo the tour guide, “Great knowledge and stories from Manuel, will bring more people here.” Zoerg from Germany wrote “great experience, very interesting. thanks.  Joke from Belgium wrote “Thanks for sharing your knowledge about your culture Manuel.  I learned alot.  Sue and Brent from the Central Coast of NSW wrote. ” Manuel, wonderful at telling us his history.  Thankyou for sharing and your patience with my painting.

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Old and new friends

John and Sue Kent who met Manuel 5 years ago at the Barunga Festival came and did a CE with their family also with Amber and Walter another couple from Holland.  Sue and John wrote. ” Thankyou Manuel for a most enjoyable morning.  It was so nice to see you again.  Best wishes and thanks to Alex and Petrena.”  Katryna their daughter wrote. “Thank you so very much it was such a great experience.  The kids had so much fun learning how to paint, make fire and throw a spear.  Will definitley recommend.”  Amber and Walter wrote” What  a nice, relaxing and educational way to spend a very hot day in Katherine.  Thanks Manuel for your interesting lessons. The guys all got the fire lit and Sue hit big red.

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Q Sunday

Alex and I attended the October Business Month dinner on Saturday night which was informative.  All about social media.  We were lucky enough to be sitting with Clare Maradani, who runs a series of workshops in Darwin through the year called Little Black Book.  Interested?  Checkout the lastest Territory Q with Mark Bouris on the front cover to find out more.  Bula our Agile wallaby thought he would take a look!!  Clare came on Sunday morning with her kids Duke and Indira and sister Andrea.  Clare wrote. ” Thank you Manuel. Best day ever-goes perfectly with cruise at the Katherine Gorge”. Andrea wrote. “Petrena, Alex  and Manuel thank you for your great hospitality…Great Experience.  We also had Peter and Ingrid all the way from Holland on their honeymoon who said. ” Great Experience.  You are beautiful persons.  We are Dalabon now!!!! xx  Oooh Thank you Peter and Ingrid.  We hope you enjoy the rest of your honeymoon in the Territory.

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Good start to the weekend

Saturday morning we had Nigel, Michelle, Grace and Jade turn up to do a CE. They wrote. “Thank you for a great experience. Manuel was very friendly and taught us and the kids a great lot about his culture. Highly recommed”. In the afternoon we had Elisa and Nathan and the Hayes Family. ” Wonderful experience-so much fun and hugley educational. Thank You Manuel” Sarah Hayes wrote. ” Amazing, never seen anything as incredible. Thankyou. Charlotte wrote. ” Cute wallabies” and added lots of smiley faces.
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Firelighting with Manuel

Check out the link on YouTube highlighting the firelighting technique, Dalabon way, with Manuel at Top Didj Cultural Experience.




Great morning

Another couple from the Netherlands did the CE today with an Aussie family travelling half way around Australia. Tim and Anita wrote. ” Thank you for your warm and wonderful wlecome. This is a great experinece! We wish you all the best. The Clough family wrote. ” Thanyou so much for assisting us create special memories as well as special artwork. Teaching our kids about all of our country is made easier with you helping”

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