Prince Philip, the crocodile hunters and a late-night hunt in the Northern Territory

Prince Philip once shot a Northern Territory crocodile “from a good distance” at night with a single shot, and a few years later returned the hospitality of his Top End tour guides by inviting them aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia.

As the world marks the death of the royal patriarch, a Northern Territory family’s encounter with the Queen’s consort and local wildlife has re-emerged.

Days before opening the Melbourne Olympic Games, the Duke of Edinburgh departed a function at Government House to nearby Stokes Hill Wharf in Darwin where he boarded the ex-RAAF launch Marlin about 10:30pm on Thursday, November 15, 1956.

His guides and the boat’s owners were the local seafaring Haritos brothers — George, also known as “Nundi”, Nicholas (“Ningle”), Jack and Michael.

Prince Philip on Stokes Hill Wharf before going croc hunting with the Haritos brothers, from left to right, Nicholas, Michael, and George.(

Supplied: Haritos family.


They braved a storm on Darwin Harbour en route to Pioneer Creek, where the croc met its fate.

Tour guide and crocodile hunter George spoke to NT Archives about Prince Philip’s gun skills in 1991, a year before George’s death.

“It was quite a shot — about 25 yards [23 metres],” Mr Haritos said of the Duke’s aim.

“The croc’s head is a very small target at night in the spotlight, so it was a very, very good shot.

The Duke was on the water looking for crocs until the wee hours, shooting the breeze with lifelong Australian friend and aide-de-camp Michael Parker before Mr Haritos steered the Marlin back to town about 4:30am.

“They were chiaking about the other hangers-on, and carrying on like that about their conquests,” a laughing Mr Haritos told NT Archives, according to a transcript.

Asked by the NT Archives interviewer if Mr Haritos would care to repeat anything, the transcript reads: “No, not really [laughs].”

A scan of a newspaper clipping with headline: 'The Duke bagged his croc".
NT News report from November 20, 1956 detailing the royal adventure four days earlier.(

Supplied: Library & Archives NT.


A beverage on the Britannia

When the Duke was next in Darwin, aboard the Britannia in 1963, he made it his business to catch up with the Haritos brothers.

“He looked at the guest list and saw our names weren’t on the list and he got someone to get on the phone and invite us on Britannia for a drink the next day,” George Haritos said.

Four well-dressed men outside a corrugated iron building with a 1950s car behind. Two have cigarettes in their hands.
The Haritos brothers, from left to right, Nicholas, Michael, George, and Jack outside their store on Cavenagh Street, Darwin, dressed to meet Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, on the royal yacht HMY Britannia in 1963.(

Supplied: Haritos family.


Mr Haritos’s daughter Helen was on the wharf as a four-year-old to see off the hunters.

“It was quite exciting,” she said.

“I think most of the family members were down there. There would have been wives of the brothers, and I guess, seven or eight children.

“We all felt very privileged and proud that the family was chosen.

Close-up of woman standing on a road above the water looking to the right of frame.
Helen Haritos says her uncles knew the sea like the back of their hands.(

ABC Radio Darwin: Conor Byrne


While there were rival croc hunters who would have been glad of the opportunity, the Haritos brothers were possibly picked because they were recommended by friend, regular crew and then-NT Administrator Frank Wise.

It’s unknown if the Haritos name resonated with the Greek-born Duke.

“They knew the sea like the back of their hands,” Ms Haritos said.

Front of a black ship moored against wharf. White superstructure. Union Jack on bow and dressed overall with signal flags.
The Haritos brothers were especially invited for a drink with Prince Philip aboard the Royal yacht Britannia at Stokes Hill Wharf, Darwin, 1963.(

Supplied: Gordon Gus Withnall


Kerfuffle over a cummerbund

Ms Haritos also remembers a panic preparing for cocktail hour on board Britannia in 1963.

“I can remember that it was a search for a cummerbund, that’s the thing that stuck in my mind,” she said.

Monochrome upright shot from above of three men holding a boat against a piling while the Duke of Edinburgh steps aboard.
The Duke of Edinburgh steps aboard the Marlin at Stokes Hill Wharf as George, Michael, and Nicholas Haritos hold the piling.(

Supplied: Haritos family.


But Mr Haritos almost did not meet the Duke.

The brothers were on a reconnaissance trip on the creek with some English officials three nights earlier to make sure there were crocs to shoot.

They wanted to ensure an opportunity at a kill for the Duke.

Mr Haritos threw a harpoon at a three-metre crocodile beside the boat — and fell on top of it.

His brothers “couldn’t care less” and were trying to bag the croc while Mr Haritos panicked.

“I couldn’t get back on the boat because it was a bit high,” he said.

One of the Englishmen helped him up.

“Then he said, ‘I thought it was part of the act until I saw the look in your eyes,'” Mr Haritos said.

Mr Haritos had both skins tanned and mailed to the Duke.

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St George Illawarra Dragons star Ben Hunt on the pain of playing 71 minutes with a broken leg

“The doctor put some numbing cream on it, then I got on the bike and sat on that nearly all of half-time to keep the legs ticking over. It wasn’t much fun running around in the second half.”

Hunt picked up the impact fracture in his right leg when tackled by Queensland Origin teammate Daly Cherry-Evans and Jack Gosiewski in the eighth minute. Replays show him feeling for his leg before playing on.

He received a knock on the same spot a week earlier in Townsville, a performance some good judges hailed as his best to date in the Red V.

“Trying to sleep on Friday night was rough, and when I went to recovery on Saturday morning all the boys were into me because they thought it was just a cork and I was on crutches,” Hunt said.

“Once I went for the scans they found the fracture. I’m in a moonboot now for a couple of weeks and basically have to keep the weight off.

“But I don’t need surgery and the timeframe they’ve given me to return is four to six weeks. There’s nothing we can do and we have to let it heal itself.

“It’s definitely a bugger because personally I felt like I was hitting my straps, and the boys were coming together really well, but that’s the way footy goes. Every team has their share of injuries. It’s my turn at the moment.”


Hunt said a return for the Anzac Day clash against the Roosters would be the best-case scenario. Two Sunday games follow against the Wests Tigers and Bulldogs, before the Magic Round weekend against Melbourne.

The 31-year-old is desperate to get back for the Dragons. They were considered wooden-spoon contenders just a few weeks ago, but are now coming off wins over the Cowboys and Sea Eagles and head to Newcastle on Sunday brimming with confidence.

Hunt also knows if he can quickly regain his form it will not be lost on new Maroons coach Paul Green.

In the meantime, Hunt has backed Adam Clune to again do his Dragons’ No.7 jersey justice, especially with his excellent organisational skills.

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The Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal: The 2700-year-old ‘fake news’

Williams captures the fantastical quality of the reliefs, how they portray an eternal instant when an arrow is at once yet-to-be-unleashed (“with drawn bow”) while at the same time forever striking its target (“bristling in their necks!”). Here, time collapses. So too, in a sense, does the enmity between the slayer and the slain. It’s almost as if the king and the lions he perpetually quells – antagonists who are depicted by the ancient sculptor with at least as much heroism and sympathy as the august protagonist of the hunt – occupy a realm outside of the here-and-now (or there-and-then) and are, in essence, less mortal adversaries than spiritual reflexes of each other, pulsations of the same mythic heart.

This is where the significance of Ashurbanipal’s radiant earring reveals itself and becomes a crucial puzzle piece not merely in comprehending the complex relationship between these two complementary forces, the hunter and hunted, but in rescuing Ashurbanipal himself from eternal futility. After all, if the king is truly as mighty as the alabaster reliefs suggest, why do the lions keep coming back, panel after panel, year after year, reign after reign? The sculptor who conceived the aesthetic strategy for the carvings, in other words, faced a monumental conundrum in explaining how it is that an all-powerful ruler is incapable of defeating his foe once and for all – a dilemma that the earring, and it alone in the iconography of the works, helps him overcome.

A symbol of lion and king

At first glance, the piece of jewellery appears to be little more than a deceptively simple solar symbol blossoming with barbed flares, an ornament accenting the king’s incontestable brilliance. Look closer, and the beaming petals that shoot pointedly from the earring’s centre echoes not just the sharpened arrowheads on which the king’s power is conditioned but also the claws and teeth that threaten to overwhelm him. The earring is a kind of compound emblem, one that absorbs into itself the eternity of the refulgent sun, the invincibility of the king, and the formidableness of the forces that he and he alone is powerful enough to keep at bay.

There is every reason to suspect that contemporary observers of the gypsum reliefs would have recognised immediately the earring’s double entendre – its reference both to the weaponry of the hunt and that of its ferocious target. In Mesopotamian mythologies of the era, the sun was synonymous with the archer god Ashur, from whom the king’s very name derives. Surviving stone medallions that predate the Lion Hunt panels portray a winged Ashur, bow in hand, encircled by and enthroned in the sun. Blurring into this connection between the sun and the archer and complicating it is an age-old association too between the sun and the lion, a link that dates back to the very inception of astrological signs millennia before Ashurbanipal’s reign. “The ancient connection of the sun god with the lion,” according to the folklorist Alexander Krappe, who was the first to translate the collected tales of the Brothers Grimm, “is reflected in the lore of the zodiac, unquestionably of Mesopotamian origin”. The sun is read in arrows and claws.

Seen through the lens of the multivalent earring, the alabaster Lion Hunt is more than merely a chronicle of a single campaign to cull a persistent pest. It is the stuff of timeless myth, turning a failure to entirely defeat the lions into a glorious victory. Suddenly, easily overlooked flourishes introduced by the ancient sculptor into his masterpiece begin to make sense: the elegant little lion head whittled into the tip of Ashurbanipal’s bow; the leonine armlets that clench the muscles of his attendants. The hunter and hunted define each other; they are coeternal cogs in the endless engine of existence. To exalt the king, the lion too must be apotheosised. However brutal the beastly battle between them, life itself relies on the struggle. The reliefs are making it clear that the king and the lion are one.

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Darwin businesses hunt for staff before tourists arrive for dry season

One year on from the mass closure of hospitality businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic, some Darwin venues are facing an odd problem: They’re too busy.

With Australia’s border still closed, migrants and travellers have not taken up their usual jobs to fill the gaps in rosters ahead of the peak dry season.

Many people believe this dry season will be a make-or-break moment for many NT businesses.

Like every other restaurant in Australia, Darren Lynch and wife Pina Somerville shut the doors of their 300-capacity Wharf One restaurant a year ago today in response to federal government orders in a bid to curb COVID-19 cases.

Between Wharf One and their other businesses they had 100 staff on the books.

Pina Somerville says the pasta machine has been working overtime to keep up with demand.(

ABC Radio Darwin: Conor Byrne


Pivot business

While many restaurants turned to takeaway, the couple brainstormed and had an idea 20 minutes later.

They had already been making pasta in-house, and supermarkets had just sold out.

Their pasta maker has been running overtime ever since.

“A lot of the team got on board and they ate a lot of pasta testing,” Ms Somerville said.

They soon had their new pasta brand on the shelves of local corner stores and they were distributing it on a borrowed scooter.

The idea evolved into the Bella Fresh Pasta restaurant and three other shopfronts.

Man smiling wearing a buoyancy aid standing on a dock beside a fleet of jetskis.
Darwin entrepreneur Darren Lynch has branched out into jet ski tours.(

ABC Radio Darwin: Conor Byrne


Harbour from another angle

Mr Lynch also embarked on his passion project and began jetski tours of the harbour.

“There’s Darwin people not leaving town to go to Bali or other places,” he said.

“Now we’re gearing up for the interstaters to come up this dry season.”

Business is booming and the bank manager is happy, but the couple are down about 20 staff for the busy tourist season.

“It means we have to look at our structure,” Ms Somerville said.

Begging friends to work

Also suffering are the owners of Moorish Cafe, Gertrude Knight and Marc Wagnon.

Despite advertising, they’re down to about eight staff after having a roster of 14.

“We’re begging friends and family to come and help, and we’re working ridiculous hours ourselves,” Ms Knight said.

“Mark and I probably work two full-time jobs.

“It’s long hours for chefs as well.

“In terms of sustaining that kind of work level and sustaining a healthy family life and mental health and general physical health, that’s a big ask for two people that are close to 50.”

Man and woman smiling sitting at a restaurant table after-hours.
Husband and wife restaurateurs Marc Wagnon and Gertrude Knight are asking friends and family to work for them because they can’t find staff.(

ABC Radio Darwin: Conor Byrne


They are calling for migration initiatives to bring workers to the NT, such as covering quarantine costs.

“My greatest fear is that we’re going to invite people [to the NT], they’re going to have great experiences, and then when they want to go for dinner, they’re going to be refused at every doorway that they get to, which is really, really poor service,” Ms Knight said.

The Home Affairs Department has said while hospitality workers are included in the skilled migration program, they are not on the priority list of 18 occupations in the pandemic, nor are quarantine fees covered.

NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade; NT Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles, and small Business Minister Paul Kirby were also asked if quarantine costs could be covered by the NT government, but all failed to answer that question.

How about working two jobs?

Alex Bruce, from Hospitality NT, said despite interstate campaigns, this shortage has been brewing.

“There’s absolutely a gap right now and it’s getting acute,” he said.

“We are putting together a local campaign encouraging Territorians to consider taking up a second job.”

posed headshot of man standing on a pub veranda smiling. Top button open
Alex Bruce says the staff shortage across the city is now acute.(

ABC News: Terry McDonald


Hotelier Michael Anthony said staff would be in more demand as more hotels reopened.

“Jobseeker has made it easier for people to stay at home than to work,” he said.

Ramada Zen Hotel assistant manager Michael Anthony
Hotelier Michael Anthony says he changed the menu to suit the staffing levels.(

ABC News: Alan Dowler


What are the authorities doing?

A spokesperson said the NT Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade had been involved in the following initiatives:

  • Targeting skilled and semi-skilled workers in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and New Zealand.
  • JobMaker Booster to assist small businesses with hiring needs.
  • JobTrainer to provide access to courses to support young people and jobseekers.
  • The Australian Government Boosting Apprentices Commencement wage subsidy program, supporting businesses and Group Training Organisations take on new apprentices and trainees.
Natasha Fyles wearing a pink shirt.
NT Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles.(

ABC News


NT Tourism and Hospitality Minister Natasha Fyles said the government had connected international students with hospitality employers.

“We are working closely with the federal government around opportunities to attract skilled workers, international students and working holiday makers when it is safe to do so,” she said.

NT Small Business Minister Paul Kirby said an increase in job ads and low unemployment was an indicator of the economy was turning around.

“One of the challenges of a strong economy is businesses being able to find skilled staff to meet their needs,” he said.

A view of the city from the sea with sunset light reflecting off the high-rise. Yachts are moored in the foreground.
Some Darwin businesses may have dodged a bullet with COVID-19, but hard times may be on the horizon.(

Supplied: Geoff Whalan/Flickr


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Bethania Easter Hunt

Child friendly Easter egg hunt @ Bethania Community Centre

Tickets are going fast for the Bethania Easter Hunt on Saturday 3rd April 2021. So, best ask Mum and Dad to get onto Eventbrite website and register for the second session commencing at 1.00pm at the Bethania Community Centre, 88-118 Station Road, Bethania.

Easter, Fun for Children, Bethania, Logan, Near Brisbane, Family, Child Friendly, Free

Photo courtesy of Bethania Easter Hunt

Hosted by the Bethania Community Centre Inc, a free barbeque and the Easter hunt will be held in the Centre’s gardens, where there will be plenty of hiding places for Easter eggs to be found.

To attend, all members of the family must register and all children will receive an egg before the days’ end at 3.00pm.

To add fun to the day, a jelly bean number guessing game will also be taking place. Have a go and guess the number of colour sugar lollies in the jar.

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Easter Egg Hunt – Warratina Lavender Farm

Easter Egg Hunt – Warratina Lavender Farm

Easter Egg Hunt - Warratina Lavender FarmEaster Egg Hunt - Warratina Lavender Farm

Each child gets an Easter Bunny stamped on their hand on arrival and handed a map of our farm to go hunting!

There are 4 egg tokens to search for, and once all are found, kids will receive a bunch of chocolate eggs, of all sizes to enjoy.

Whilst the kids go hunting, parents can enjoy browsing through our gardens.

Our tearoom will also be open serving our famous lavender scones and ice-cream, as well as, delicious sweet and savoury dishes, even including a lavender twist!

Tickets for participating in the Easter Egg Hunt are $10, and suitable for kids 12 and under. Entry for adults is free.

Dogs are welcome on leads as always, however, cannot participate in the egg hunt!

Easter Egg Hunt

April 3 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

April 3 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

April 4 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

April 4 @ 11:30 am – 2:00 pm

❊ When & Where ❊

Date/s: Saturday 3rd April 2021 – Sunday 4th April 2021

❊ Venue ❊

 Warratina Lavender Farm  Events 4
⊜ 105 Quayle Road Wandin Yallock | Map

Warratina Lavender Farm105 Quayle Road, Wandin Yallock, , 3139

✆ Event: 03 5964 4650 | Venue: 5964 4650

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❊ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update ❊

As Victoria takes action to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), events may be cancelled at short notice. Please confirm details before making plans | Disclaimer

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Easter Egg Hunt – Warratina Lavender Farm


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Eat Street Easter Egg Hunt

Eat Street Northshore

Hop along to Eat Street Northshore on Easter Sunday, April 4th and join in the mammoth Easter Egg Hunt with prizes to be won!

Eat Street Northshore will be hiding 20 Chocolate Easter Eggs around the venue, with 19 containing delicious consolation prizes and one a grand prize of $1,000 CASH.

Be in the audience of any of the 3 stages at Eat Street on Easter Sunday to get the clues as to where to look for your chance at walking away with $1,000 CASH.

Be in the audience of any of the 3 stages at Eat Street on Easter Sunday to get the clues as to where to look for your chance at walking away with $1,000 CASH.

Eat Street Northshore

221D Macarthur Ave


Apr 4, 2021


$5 entry (12 yrs & over)

Under 12 years free

Family of 4 adults – $15


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St George Illawarra Dragons captain Ben Hunt produces vintage showing against North Queensland Cowboys

In one of his best performances for the Red V, captain Ben Hunt proved the difference for the Dragons as they surged past the Cowboys 25-18 in a high-octane clash in Townsville.

While the rest of the round was largely played in torrential rain, Townsville served up a dry track that produced a lightning encounter as both sides traded blows throughout the 80 minutes.

There were simple errors from both sides but that seemed only to add to an end-to-end encounter where momentum shifted time and again. Neither side recorded a win in week one and the desperation to get off the mark in 2021 was clear.

Corey Norman almost produced the first two-point field goal in the game’s history on the stroke of half-time but he wandered just inside the 40m line as it sailed over the crossbar. That gave them an important buffer but it was man of the match Hunt who stepped up to the plate when it mattered.

Hunt has been on the end of rolling criticism since his big-money move from the Broncos and has admitted he struggles with the pressure of the spotlight. But he had no such trouble on Saturday night, playing an assured hand and scoring a key try as the Dragons clung on to return from the tropics with a vital victory.

Hunt said he had been challenged to take control of matches and the captaincy was sitting well with him.

Ben Hunt battles his way to the line for a try.Credit:Getty

“Hook [Dragons coach Anthony Griffin] really challenged me and Corey [Norman] to take the game on tonight. It’s just made me really sit back and think about other players in the team rather than looking after myself every week. I feel like I did that a bit already but I really wanted to take it to another level,” Hunt said.

The Dragons led 13-6 at the break as Mikaele Ravalawa and Josh Kerr returned fire after Coen Hess scored for the Cowboys after just a few minutes of play.

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Cadbury’s Worldwide Easter Hunt

Cadbury’s Worldwide Easter Hunt

Cadbury's Worldwide Easter HuntCadbury's Worldwide Easter Hunt

CADBURY is putting a virtual twist on the traditional Easter Egg hunt giving chocolate lovers across Australia the chance to join its first-ever Worldwide Easter Hunt.

The innovative Worldwide Hunt utilises Google Maps technology to deliver this virtual Easter hunt experience.

From the world map to Street View you’ll be able to pinpoint exactly where your egg is positioned.

Participants hiding eggs for recipients within Australia can also take it one step further nominating to deliver a real-life bespoke CADBURY gift to the seeker’s doorstep or there is a free-to-play option to enjoy.

❊ When & Where ❊

Date/s: Monday 15th March 2021 – Sunday 4th April 2021



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❊ Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update ❊

As Victoria takes action to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), events may be cancelled at short notice. Please confirm details before making plans | Disclaimer

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Cadbury’s Worldwide Easter Hunt


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Police find Nissan Patrol in hunt for hit-run driver

Police searching for a hit-run driver who ran over a six-year-old boy in Melbourne have found his abandoned SUV.The boy was struck by an olive-green Nissan Patrol as he walked around a parked car in Epping on Tuesday at 8.30pm.The driver got out and left his details but left before police arrived.READ MORE: Manhunt for driver who left fake detailsPolice are searching for a driver who allegedly hit a six-year-old boy and provided fake contact details before leaving the scene. (Victoria Police)But officers later discovered his details were false and the number plates on the Nissan Patrol belonged to a different vehicle.”He's pulled over, he's given details … from there he's said he was unlicensed, his car was displaying false plates and he's driven off before police have arrived,” Greensborough Highway Patrol Acting Sergeant Eric Harrison said earlier this week.”He's obviously had the decency to stop there, but he's given false details which is of poor character.”I don't think there is much more to it than the fact that he's unlicensed and I think that's probably why he's driven off without remaining.”After a three-day search, Greensborough Highway Patrol members found the Nissan Patrol on a private property in Eden Park, north of Melbourne.The driver is yet to be found.Victoria Police said the driver was Caucasian, appeared to be in his late 20s, with scruffy hair and a short beard.The six-year-old was taken to hospital with minor injuries but has since been released.Anyone who witnessed the collision or who has dashcam footage from nearby is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or submit a confidential report at

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