We are still in Darwin and expect to be here until the end of December while Steven is doing some contract work for Airnorth.
Today we needed to get outside for a while so took a trip to nearby Channel Island.
Our first mission was to try and find the old Leper Colony on Channel Island. Apparently there are many historical artefacts that remain on the island.
The jetty, foundations of the original quarantine hospital, burial sites. We looked around near the boat ramp and further along the shore toward where some large pipes emerge into a creek but did not recognise any leper colony ruins. See further below for info on the first quarantine facility in the Northern Territory and the Conservation park.
After a quick look at google earth we saw that there was a beach on the island. Never knew there was a beach here so we parked the car near the end of the bridge and headed into the conservation park on foot to find the beach.
it was a pleasant 1.5k walk in on a formed track with a dry tidal creek crossing.
The beach was great there were only 3 other fishermen there. we spent the our time exploring and looking for a future picnic area. After watching the sunset we headed back to the car.
Well we were in for a surprise as the tidal creek was no longer dry!!
Trish was a bit concerned about crossing the creek (crocodiles mainly) but it was shallow less than a foot deep so Steven strode off into the water scared the crocs away and Trish quickly followed closely behind.
We reached the other side safe and sound and reached the car as the last light disappeared.
Channel Island leper Colony
Channel Island was the site of the first quarantine facility in the Northern Territory, with construction of the hospital and facilities completed in 1914. In 1931, it was converted to a leprosarium. The settlement was finally abandoned in 1955. Although many buildings were dismantled and removed following the closure, many historical artifacts remain on the island. The jetty, foundations of the original quarantine hospital, burial sites and associated artifacts provide evidence of a unique period in Australia’s history.
The Channel Island Conservation Reserve
The Channel Island Conservation Reserve also includes the reef between the mainland and the island containing many small colonies of coral. The Channel Island Reefs are significant due to its relatively diverse coral community which is not consistent with its location well inside a large ria (drowned river valley) system characterised by substantial depression of salinity during the wet season, high turbidity and deep, fine muds over much of its area.
Both the leprosarium and the reefs are Heritage Listed sites.
The island is now home to the Channel Island Power Station which generates electricity.