Territory Day is on the 1st of July every year in the Northern Territory and celebrates the anniversary of the start of the Territory’s self-governance in 1978. While it isn’t a public holiday, the main attraction is the professional fireworks show at Mindil Beach. Almost every inch of sand is covered with picnic blankets or camping chairs as people flock to see the pyro-show spectacular.
Territory Day is also the one day of the year when civilians are allowed to buy and light their own fireworks. For days prior to July 1st, all sorts of shops and outlets advertise that they are selling the best fireworks in town. Buy your fireworks at the supermarket, the bakery, the pool cleaning shop or the tackle shop!
We spent Territory Day 2013 with our Darwin mates Dan, Lindsay and Kaitie. After we had dinner and watched the fireworks at Mindil Beach, we drove down to the wharf to let off our own fireworks. Darwin had become a warzone. People were letting off fireworks on the street, in their front yards, in parks and on the beach! There was an uncontrolled fire burning about 50 metres from where we were, and 50 metres quickly turned into 25 metres and before we knew it, the fire was ripping through some shade cloth on a chain link fence and we were surrounded by smoke.
It was our first time lighting fireworks and while Dave was happy to get stuck into it, Juz spent the first 20 minutes shitting her pants and refusing to light even a little cherry bomb. After a few cups of wine though, things changed and Juz was lighting two wicks at the same time before running away screaming to a safe viewing point.
During the night, we met some US naval officers who invited us to come back tomorrow at 1400 for a tour of the USS Blue Ridge. We promised we’d be there before returning back to Kaitie and Lindsay’s place for more drinks and sleepy time.
In the morning, we listened to the news and learnt about cars that had been blown up, uncontrolled fires sweeping through bushland and dogs and cats that had run away from home during the mayhem before heading to work with smoky hair and sore heads.
Happy Territory Day!