Greetings from Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. This is the tropical north, looking across the Timor Sea toward Indonesia and New Guinea. This is the only place in Australia that was bombed by Japanese planes in World War II. The feeling is Hawaii-like, although the "tropicality" isn't quite so lush. They are just wrapping up the dry season and heading into "the wet," which begins in a month.
The Ghan cross-country passenger train was great. We recommend it to you. Exotic food (e.g., kangaroo, emu, camel) and an amazing amount of empty land covered in considerable style. The scenery isn't spectacular, but we didn't expect it to be. We did take a helicopter ride in Alice Springs and that was fantastic.
Our next stop is Cairns, which in Oz you pronounce like "cans." The Great Barrier Reef is what you see there. We'll be home in CA in 5 days, jet-lagged out of our minds.