Naracoorte Caves National Park in Australia with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans visited a World Heritage Site.

Naracoorte Caves National Park

Naracoorte Caves National Park

We entered the Naracoorte Caves.

Going into cave

Going into cave

There are many stalactites and stalagmites.

Inside cave

Inside cave

Stalactites come from the roof and stalagmites come from the floor.   They are created from dripping water, entering through openings in the ceiling.

Inside cave

Inside cave

There are many smaller cave areas within the cave system.

Inside cave

Inside cave

A flashlight placed on a thin shelf of the cave causes a glow in the rock.

Flashlight on thin shelf

Flashlight on thin shelf

More recently another part of the cave system was found and it contains great fossils.   This is believed to be an ancestor of today’s kangaroo.

Fossil inside cave

Fossil inside cave

Some people believe this was an ancestor of today’s wombat.

Fossil inside cave

Fossil inside cave

In the area of the caves, we saw The Australian Fossil Mammal Site.   The Wonambi Fossil Center shows how the caves acted a pitfall traps, dens and roost for more than 500,000 years leading to a vast accumulation of skeletal remains of reptiles, birds and mammals.

Wonambi Fossil Center

Wonambi Fossil Center

So far, about 130 species of animals have been recorded here.    Entering the Wonambi Fossil Center, we were greeted by this, now extinct, Tasmanian Tiger.

Tasmanian Tiger--extinct

Tasmanian Tiger–extinct

It is so sad that he is extinct.   We love tigers.   They are some of our favorite animals at any zoo.    We liked this display also.

Extinct

Extinct

Another great display.

Display in Wonambi Fossil Center

Display in Wonambi Fossil Center

 

This one is very large.   Scientists believe he evolved into much smaller animals today.

So big!

So big!

We love going into caves and seeing these fossils.   We hope  you visit these or any other caves soon.   But, beware.   Humans like these caves, and so do bats.

We like caves

We like caves

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Zeb and Eider Duck Begin Bus Tour from Adelaide to Melbourne, Australia

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans are going on a multi day bus tour.   Our guide and driver, Glenn, picked us up in Adelaide and will drive us through the wine country, along the Great Ocean Road and into Melbourne.   Leaving Adelaide, the scenery look like we are leaving Denver and heading to the mountains.   But, soon we were in green, hilly, pasture land.

Hilly pasture land east of Adelaide

Hilly pasture land east of Adelaide

Passing through small villages we admired old buildings such as this church in Keith.

Old church in Keith, Australia

Old church in Keith, Australia

We traveled the Limestone Coast and saw many vineyards.

Vineyards

Vineyards

In the Padthaway Wine Region, we visited Henry’s Drive Vignerons.

Henry's Drive Vignerons

Henry’s Drive Vignerons

As you can see, the humans sampled some wine.

Wine was sampled

Wine was sampled

All agreed it was very good.   This winery was named after the proprietor of a 19th century mail coach service that once ran through this property, Mr. Henry John Hill.   Thus, the symbol on the wine labels.

Label for Henry's Drive

Label for Henry’s Drive

We sampled wine and had lunch here.  They grow their own grapes.

Growing grapes at the vineyard

Growing grapes at the vineyard

and also raise sheep here.

Raising sheep at the vineyard

Raising sheep at the vineyard

Their first vines were planted in 1992.   We liked this winery.   For more information visit http://www.HenrysDrive.com  Further down the coast, we stopped to visit Father Woods Park.

Father Woods Park

Father Woods Park

The wood carving were made with chain saws.   The park honors Mary MacKillop.

Mary MacKillop

Mary MacKillop

Mary is Australia’s first and only saint.   She was honored by the Catholic Church for her work with children.   We liked these carvings.

Wood carvings made with chainsaws

Wood carvings made with chainsaws

We are all enjoying this bus tour.

Zeb the Duck has a new Christmas Hat

Mom was planning to have dinner with a friend.   Our friend specifically ask for me, Zeb the Duck, to come to dinner also.   Our friend made me a Christmas hat.

Zeb the Duck with a new Christmas hat

Zeb the Duck with a new Christmas hat

Isn’t this great?   I love it.   I told mom I wanted to go to the mountains where it is colder to wear my Christmas hat.   We went to Estes Park, one of our favorite places.   Here I am with Mr. and Mrs. Claus.

Mr and Mrs Claus in Estes Park, Colorado

Mr and Mrs Claus in Estes Park, Colorado

Christmas decorations and pretty and so much fun to see.   I like this toy soldier.

A big toy soldier in Estes Park

A big toy soldier in Estes Park

I bet he likes me with my new hat.   Of course, every trip to Estes Park means we get salt water taffy and fudge.   I love to watch the machine pulling taffy.

Watching taffy being pulled

Watching taffy being pulled

When we left Estes Park this time, we drove through Big Thompson Canyon.   The road, US Highway 34 follows the Big Thompson River.   There is some ice on the river and some moving water also.

Big Thompson River

Big Thompson River

We love this canyon.

Big Thompson River

Big Thompson River

It is so pretty.   I am not in this photo, but we thought it was pretty and shows the Rocky Mountains with partial sun.

Beautiful Rocky Moutains.

Beautiful Rocky Moutains.

This is another picture of me, with my new Christmas hat, and a beautiful Colorado canyon.

Big Thompson River

Big Thompson River

The road crosses the Big Thompson River several times, and people live in this canyon.   Some bridges from the road to the houses are like this one.

Bridge to cross river in canyon

Bridge to cross river in canyon

Some bridges are higher above the water like this one.

Higher bridge to cross river

Higher bridge to cross river

Some people raft and kayak on the Big Thompson River in places with the higher bridges.   Along the river there are several homes, smaller cabins, and  few small lodges.

Homes, cabins and lodges on Big Thompson River in Big Thompson Canyon

Homes, cabins and lodges on Big Thompson River in Big Thompson Canyon

Highway US 34 connects the towns of Loveland and Estes Park through Big Thompson Canyon.   Many other parts of the highway are also pretty, but this is our favorite part.   I am so happy I went to Estes Park and through the Big Thompson Canyon.   And thank you, Verna, for my new Christmas hat.   My head was nice and warm.

Big Thompson River through the canyon

Big Thompson River through the canyon

Coober Pedy and Nearby with Zeb and Eider

We walked around this little town and we have never seen so many opal stores.

One of several small opal shops lining the street in Coober Pedy

One of several small opal shops lining the street in Coober Pedy

We went inside some, but the human already have some opals, and Zeb and Eider don’t think any new opals will be coming home with us.   We liked this car, the Opal Bug, at the Opal Beetle.

Car at Opal Beetle Shop

Opal Bug at Opal Beetle Shop

We entered the Umoona Opal Mine and Museum.

Umoona Mine

Umoona Mine

Into the mine.

Entering the mine

Entering the mine

Through the tunnels.

Walking through mine tunnel

Walking through mine tunnel

A layer of opal still in the rock.

Opal still in rock

Opal still in rock

This opal is great and they had a wonderful gift shop.   But still no opals going home with us.    These rock formations are known as The Breakaways.

The Breakaways

The Breakaways

Look at this sky.  Love the clouds.

The Breakaways

The Breakaways

Nearby is the dingo fence, or the dog fence.

We are at the Dingo Fence

We are at the Dingo Fence

This dingo fence is the longest structure in the world.   It is even longer than the Great Wall of China.   This fence now extends for 5,300 kilometers.     At one time it extended 9,600 kilometers.

Longest structure in the world

Longest structure in the world

The fence was built by ranchers to prevent the wild dingos from the north from killing the stock   The dingo fence was built in 1946.   We then visited the Underground Serbian Orthodox Church of Saint Elijah Parish.

Underground Serbian Orthodox Church

Underground Serbian Orthodox Church

We are entering the tunnel leading to the interior of the church.

Tunnel to underground church

Tunnel to underground church

The altar is beautiful.

Altar of underground Serbian Orthodox Church

Altar of underground Serbian Orthodox Church

This is the view from the church balcony.

From church balcony

From church balcony

The church is built into the mountain, like a cave, so they can have these beautiful windows on one side

Dugout allows one side with beautiful windows

Dugout allows one side with beautiful windows

We really enjoyed our visit to Coober Pedy.   We hope you visit also.

Zeb and Eider Visit the Opal Capital of the World: Coober Pedy

Zeb and Eider Duck and the human are now in the opal capital of the world.

Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the World

Coober Pedy is the Opal Capital of the World

We are in Coober Pedy, South Australia.   Coober Pedy is in the southern outback desert.   In the heat of summer, temperatures of 50 degrees Celsius have been recorded.   For those of us using Fahrenheit temperatures, that is about 124 degrees.   The first opal was discovered by Willie Hutchison in 1915, and the town was born.

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

95% of the world’s opals come from Australia and Coober Pedy produces more than any other area of Australia.

Beautiful opals

Beautiful opals

When World War I ended, returning soldiers came to find opals.   There was very little wood to build homes and the soldiers had lived in underground fox holes during the war.   With no wood and extreme heat, living underground was the best solution.   The home were called dugouts, as most were dug out of the side of a hill.

Dugout is dug out of side of mountain or hill

Dugout is dug out of side of mountain or hill

The name of the town came from the aboriginal phrase, Kupa Piti,which means “white fellows in a hole.”   Today over half of Coober Pedy’s population lives in dugouts, underground.   The underground temperature remains a comfortable 24 degrees Celsius (about 73 degrees F) all year.   We stayed at the Desert Cave

Desert Cave Hotel. We stayed in underground part in the back

Desert Cave Hotel. We stayed in underground part in the back

in an underground room.   This is the hotel’s underground hall to our room.

Underground hall to our room

Underground hall to our room

Since we are underground, the emergency exit must be a staircase leading up to the outdoors.   Here we are on the emergency exit.

Climb up for emergency exit

Climb up for emergency exit

Our hotel has a bar and game room that is underground.

Underground Bar in our hotel

Underground Bar in our hotel

We like this place.

First underground bar for Zeb and Eider

First underground bar for Zeb and Eider

Our breakfast restaurant, the Crystal Cafe, is also underground, as is the gift shop and the opal store, Opal World.    Our hotel, the Desert Cave, has a tunnel from the reception to the restaurant and shops.   We are going down the stairs and into the tunnel.

Down the stairs to our hotel tunnel

Down the stairs to our hotel tunnel

In the tunnel we discovered an opal mine and museum.   Here is a pretend miner using the mine shaft to enter and exit.

A fake miner using ropes to enter and exit the mine

A fake miner using ropes to enter and exit the mine

There is a photographic history of Coober Pedy in the tunnel.   We are on some mining machinery in the tunnel.

We are on old mining equipment

We are on old mining equipment

We really liked our hotel and we like visiting Coober Pedy.   If you visit here, be sure to arrange transportation to your hotel before you arrive.   There are no taxis in Coober Pedy.   Next time we will show you some of Coober Pedy.   We like it here.

Australia’s Ayers Rock or Uluru and Kata Tjuta with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider and the humans visited Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park.

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

We arrived in the afternoon and immediately arranged to view Uluru, previously called Ayers Rock, at sunset.   The rock seems to change color as the sun begins to set.

Uluru as sun begins to set

Uluru as sun begins to set

This is one of our favorite sunset photos.

Uluru at sunset

Uluru at sunset

The next morning we returned to view the sunrise.   The sun is hitting Uluru now, creating light and great shadows.

Sunrise at Uluru

Sunrise at Uluru

The rock is so large that photographs are difficult.   From Uluru, we could see the rising sun reflect on the Kata Tjuta formation.

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

The entire scene of sunrise and huge rocks is very impressive.   Later we drove around Uluru.   You can see the rock is not smooth.

Not just a smooth rock

Not just a smooth rock

The uneven surface and holes or small caves, make the rock more interesting and mysterious to us.   Many humans walk round the rock,and many climb Uluru.

Some tourists climb Uluru

Some tourists climb Uluru

Climbing Uluru can be dangerous and the native aboriginal people ask you not to climb their sacred sites.   We sat here close to the ground, but we did not climb Uluru.

We did not climb. Just sat at bottom of rock. Aboriginals request no climbing.

We did not climb. Just sat at bottom of rock. Aboriginals request no climbing.

It is very impressive to walk round the area, gazing at the 1,150 feet, or 350 meters of the giant monolith that is above ground.

Uluru. Best appreciated from a distance to see whole thing

Uluru. Best appreciated from a distance to see whole thing

Geologists say that Uluru is the summit of a massive underground chunk of sandstone, about 600 million years old.    About 10% of the rock is visible.   Next we drove 20 miles (32km) west to Kata Tjuta, or the Olgas.   Kata Tjuta is  a cluster of 36 sandstone and arkose (sedimentary rock formed from granite sands).

Kata Tjuta is cluster of several rocks

Kata Tjuta is cluster of 36 sandstone rocks

The largest, Mount Olga, rises 1,800 feet (549 meters) above the ground.

Mount Olga

Mount Olga

Scientists believe Kata Tjuta was part of a giant monolith about 10 times the size of Uluru.   Kata Tjuta has fewer visitors than Uluru and there are no facilities or water available.    Also, no climbing on the rocks is permitted   There are several hikes around the rocks, but visitors must stay on the trails.    The winds were pretty strong when we were there.    This is the trail to the Olga Gorge.

Trail to Olga Gorge

Trail to Olga Gorge

We are getting closer.

Getting higher

Getting higher

It is quite windy now.   People can hike to the gorge, but not climb on the rocks.

Really windy now

Really windy now

We liked Kata Tjuta,

Kata Tjuta

Kata Tjuta

and Uluru.

Uluru

Uluru

When you visit, we think you will really enjoy the park.   We also think you will take hundreds of photos of the rocks.   Our humans did.