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Is this the cheapest hotel deal in the country? Elliott Hotel, NT.

A bargain at $45 bucks a night! The rooms at the Elliott Hotel might be a little rustic, but they are the cheapest beds in a town that the Territory, time, Tripadvisor, Trivago and the rest of the country forgot.

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Getting hot, sweaty and happy at the Rayella Band album launch at Elliott, NT

Mark Raymond is a deserved legend in these parts. He is an ex-copper and lead singer of the great and sadly retired Kulumindini Band, who made three great albums (one with the best title – “You’re Not Useless” – I’ve heard in a while) in the late eighties and mid-nineties. Kulumindini gave us a long “tuning-up-song” intro and then launched into their greatest hits and more. The crowd, as they say, went wild.

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The loudest bird in the world? The Blue-winged Kookaburra, Dacelo leachii

These guys just don’t give a shit, and have a great time doing it. I don’t know if this species is the loudest bird in the world but I reckon even the FA-18s from the nearby Tindal RAAF base would be hard-pressed to cut through the Blue-winged Kookaburra’s cacophonous clatter at close quarters.

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Rayella – angels whisper in my ear and send shivers up my spine

Ear-worm of the week: The song that has been on high rotation in my head for the past two weeks is the first track on Rayella’s eponymous debut album, “Wrong Kind of Man”, a love-gone-so-wrong-but-feels-oh-so-right kind of tale.

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Paul Kelly and the Merri Soul Sessions – Darwin, 10 February 2015

Paul Kelly and his fellow Merri Soul Sessions collaborators – including Dan Sultan, Clairy Browne, Kira Puru, Vika Bull and Linda Bull as well as his long-serving touring band rolled into Darwin for the last but one of their current tour.

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What to do with that leftover bottle of cheap champagne …

Welcome to the worst day of your life. The bottle-o is closed and all you have left is some cheap champagne that Aunt Betty left behind after one of her rare visits yesterday/last week/month/year and that no-one has dared to drink because it was crap. What to do? First, get a mango, then …

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A waterspout for Christmas …

A waterspout off Darwin, December 2014. Waterspouts can be dangerous for boaters and shoreline locations but are no threat farther inland since they collapse soon after they move onshore.

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Bird of the Week: Yilingkirrkkirr – the White Throated Grasswren

Applied ethno-biology at its best. This guest post from Peter Cooke examines the benefits that Aboriginal fire management regimes can have on fragile landscapes and vulnerable –literally — bird and mammal species.

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Vale Jangala Robertson

Jangala’s childhood memories consist of stories associated with the Coniston massacre of Aboriginal people and the shooting of families at Wantaparri, which is close to his birthplace at Jila. Jangala had virtually no contact with white fellas during his youth but remembers leaving Jila for Mt Theo ‘to hide’ from being shot. After his father died at Mt Theo, Jangala moved with his mother to Mt Doreen Station, and subsequently the new settlement of Yuendumu.

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Phonebooths of the remote Northern Territory

These phonebooths provide a place to record thoughts, alliances, wishes and important information. And despite the rise of mobiles and the internet — both enthusiastically adopted in the bush — phonebooths remain an important means of communication for those who’ve run out of credit or can’t afford or can’t access a mobile.

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