PORTS personages from across Australia descended on the Top End in late August for the 46th Ports Australia Biennial Conference, and the social program alongside the official presentations.
The conference offered a chance for those of us who do not have the fortune to live in the Northern Territory to enjoy Darwin during what locals say is the best time of year.
The conference sessions covered one and a half action-packed days, all kicked off with an evening cocktail party at the Northern Territory Parliament House, hosted by Territory minister for infrastructure, planning and logistics Eva Dina Lawler.
Conference delegates gleefully sipped on drinks and snacked on canapes, many of whom were undoubtedly enjoying the balmy NT weather after making the trip from the south-eastern reaches of the country.
In true Territory style, salt and pepper crocodile was served. Your correspondent can confirm that crocodile does indeed taste a little like chicken.
A gala dinner was held the following night, with tables arrayed outside the Darwin Convention Centre so delegates could dine beneath the stars and soaring bats. Diners were serenaded by a guitar and violin duo called Ten Strings, and later on were treated to a dance performance by the NT Dance Company.
As the conference wound down warships from various countries in the region began to arrive at Darwin Harbour for Exercise Kakadu, which involved 27 countries and more than 3000 personnel.
Overheard: “I enjoyed the AGM, it was nice to see everyone, nice to see they’re all still alive.”