Tag Archive | outdoors

Darwin: Howard Springs Nature Park

Howard Springs is a bushland oasis and family playground south of Darwin, just near Palmerston.  It is in a really tranquil setting off the Stuart Highway. They were assembling sails over the swimming pool when we were there. I was really surprised they haven’t had them in the past given it is so hot. As well as the pool there is a playground and BBQ area.

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Kakadu: Ubirr rock art

 

 

 

 

Ubirr is one of the best places to see the flora and fauna of Northern Territory.  There are more than 5,000 discovered rock art sites, containing some of the oldest rock art in the world.  It is believed there are many more thousands of sites that haven’t been discovered.  They may never be discovered by white man either.

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Northern Territory: Yellow Water and South Alligator Cruise

The cruise is a very relaxing way to take in the surroundings of the Yellow Water and South Alligator Rivers in Kakadu.  I didn’t know what to expect of this cruise.  I hadn’t done any research and just wanted to take what came. It turned out to be a great, informative tour.  We were lucky for this one and a half hour cruise to be extended to almost two hours. Although it didn’t please our driver.

We were able to see so much flora and fauna, it was incredible.  Many of my photos didn’t turn out as well as I wanted to because the birds were hiding on the banks of the rivers.  About one third of Australia’s bird species can be found in Kakadu. Whistling ducks and Magpie Geese were the birds we saw in most places. We also saw a lot of crocodiles, both in the water and on the banks of the rivers.

We were warned not to move around on the boat in case it toppled over.   It was a small boat so we certainly took heed of the warning.

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This was our boat.  It would be no match for a crocodile so we all had to be very careful not to move around much.

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It may look like this crocodile is about to attack but he was really just cooling himself down. Luckily for us.

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The scenery is so beautiful in one of the most remote areas of Australia.

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This is considered a ‘large’ crocodile.  We learned the body of a croc is seven times larger than the head.  Most of the body is hidden below the water.  He was just minding his own business.

The Otway Fly Treetop Walk and Adventure

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The Otway Fly treetop walk is in the rainforest of the Otway Ranges in southwest Victoria. I’ve been there a few times and love it. The carpark is in a clearing and you walk down the footpath and descend into the forest. The fly walk then takes you back up to be amongst the canopy provided by the trees. At it’s highest, the walkway is 30m above ground and there is a 17m tower you can walk up to get a view above the trees and into the distance. It’s the longest and tallest treetop walk of it’s type in the world and includes a cantilevered walkway to give you an extra thrill. From start to finish, the walk is approx. 2kms long and can take an hour. Or longer if you want to really take your time. If you look carefully you will also see some dinosaurs lurking amongst the undergrowth.

They have also included a 2.5 hour zipline tour in recent years. It is a fully guided experience, including training and simulation, 8 cloud stations, 6 flights and 2 suspension bridges. You also get free entry to the Walk.

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The tower gives you an extra view over the treetops.

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The cantilevered arm of the steel walkway. It’s fun to jump up and down. A lot of people get really scared though so it’s best not to do it with strangers around.

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Looking up to the tower.

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I love the shape of this tree trunk.

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Looking down to the fern gully.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Water

I took this photo a few days ago at Howard Springs in Darwin. They have made this part of the National Park into a great family-friendly area with a wading pool, fun playground, picnic facilities and bushwalks. Beside the play area is a beautiful waterhole where Barramundi, turtles and other fish swim. The water is so calm and provides beautiful reflections of the surrounding trees. This is truly an oasis in a broad area that is fast being developed with houses.

Howard Springs waterhole

Uluru: The Sounds of Silence Dinner

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The Sounds of Silence dinner is all about eating under the stars while watching the sun set on Uluru.

For one thing it’s a chance to dress up in more fancy clothes than your normal travelling clothes. On arrival we were served canapes and sparkling wine while we listened to a didgeridoo player. He was excellent. We were given time to mingle and watch the sun setting over Uluru before sitting down to eat. Although it was starting to get very dark (being several kilometres from any artificial light) we went up to the buffet to choose what we would like to eat. On offer were kangaroo, crocodile and emu. I’m not sure if there were any other meats but they were what I chose to eat. There was also pumpkin soup with lemon myrtle. Lemon Myrtle is a very strong-tasting native plant associated with native bush tucker. It has a very strong flavour so is used sparingly. The reason I’m telling you this is that I really hate pumpkin. However I do like lemon myrtle so I decided to try the soup. There is no way I would have known it was pumpkin because of the other flavours. It was really nice. I even texted one of my friends back in Melbourne and said “Guess what I’m eating”. It has now become an inside joke between us.

It was the first time I’d eaten kangaroo, crocodile and emu meat and I enjoyed them all. They were served with a variety of salads. We also ate dessert but I don’t remember what that was. The best part was being able to eat native foods. I hadn’t had much exposure to them at that stage.

After the sun sets we were treated to a talk by a star tracker. He pointed out different constellations. It was really interesting. You can see so much in the desert with no artificial light.

Below are a few photos showing how the colours change as the sun sets on Uluru.

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This photo gives you an idea of what it was like eating dinner under the stars.

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If you would like more information here is the website for the dinner. I’d recommend it for anyone visiting Uluru. http://www.ayersrockresort.com.au/sounds-of-silence/

Cape Schank Lighthouse

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Cape Schank is at the southernmost point of the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It overlooks Bass Strait which separates Victoria and Tasmania. The lighthouse was built in 1859 and is 21 metres tall.

The air felt so fresh and clear when I parked my car, gathered my camera bag and took off for a walk. There are two paths and I first took the one that lead away from the lighthouse but towards the cliffs. I wanted to be able to get some photos of how the lighthouse sits in its surrounding. There is a boardwalk that takes you out to the cliffs so you are looking back on to the lighthouse. I didn’t walk all the way out there because I did have some time restrictions so went to the first lookout and took some photos from there. I was really lucky to have a lot of blue sky. In Melbourne it was a very dull day but on the coastline it was beautiful and sunny with just a light breeze.

I retraced my steps to the carpark and kiosk where I bought a ticket to be able to go into the lighthouse compound. There’s not a lot to the compound; just the lighthouse, the keeper’s cottage and some other cottages which are let as self-catering accommodation. It is a great place to get away from everything and relax for a few days. The lighthouse keeper’s cottage also holds a museum. As well as the history of this lighthouse, it also details the history of lighthouses around the world. Although only a small museum, it’s really interesting.

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The below transcript is on the wall of the museum. I’ve read this before but still find it funny.

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