Australian Reflections Before Zeb and Eider Return to Colorado

So many stalagmites and stalagtites inside the Naracoorte Caves.

Inside cave

Inside Naracoorte Caves

We are near the Great Ocean Road on Australia’s southern coastline.   This arch commemorates the men that built The Great Ocean Road with only axes, shovels and picks.

Memorial Arch

Memorial Arch

No explosives were used building this road.    London Bridge is one of the famous rock formations.

London Bridge

London Bridge

The bridge collapsed in January 1990.   Fortunately no one was injured.   Our last stop was Sydney.   This photo, from a boat in Sydney Harbor, shows the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

These are possibly the most famous landmarks in Sydney.   This boat carried us to see the migrating Humpback Whales.

Tail of humpback whale

Tail of humpback whale

We love whales!   We believe we should show you a few of the Australian animals.   We saw so many that we admired, but here are a few of our favorites.   Emus were in several locations of Australia.

First emu sighting after crossing into the state of Victoria

First emu sighting after crossing into the state of Victoria

The females lay the eggs and the males care for the young.   Of course, koala visits are a necessity when visiting Australia.

Koala on the move

Koala on the move

The kangaroos and the smaller wallabies are just so cute.

Mom with her baby "joey"

Mom with her baby “joey”

These pink and gray galah were one of our first birds of Australia, and mom’s favorite.

Pink and Gray Galah. Wild and beautiful

Pink and Gray Galah.  Wild and beautiful

These white Sulphur Crested Cockatoos seem so exotic to us.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful. Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful.   Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

They have very strong beaks.   While eating out of mom’s hand, a cockatoo bit her finger.   No blood, but some pain.   Australia is an island, so spectacular sunsets are plentiful.   Some of the best were over the Indian Ocean.

Just beautiful

Just beautiful

We truly enjoyed our Australian adventures.   We hope you will visit there soon.   It is fun and the people we met were all very friendly.

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More Australian Reflections with Zeb and Eider Part II

Driving through Broome, we entered the Kimberley.   Derby is one of the major cities here.   We loved Derby but we were fascinated by the Boab Tree.   This is the Boab Prison Tree.

Prison Boab Tree

Prison Boab Tree

Legend says that prisoners we put inside this tree at night, while being transported to Derby.    That is rather scary.   Back in Broome, Cable Beach is a wonderful place.   A meal or snack at Zander’s on the beach and fabulous sunsets viewed from a camel create unforgettable memories.

So cool

So cool

At Broome’s Town Park we were fortunate to witness Stairway to the Moon.

Stairway to the Moon in Broome, Western Australia

Stairway to the Moon in Broome, Western Australia

This experience is also forever in our memory.   Australia has many beautiful national parks.  There are over 500 Australian national parks.   In Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory we gazed at Aboriginal Rock Art

Aboriginal rock art

Aboriginal rock art

and watched huge crocodiles.

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

Thankfully the crocodiles were more interested in the warm sun than tasting Colorado Traveling Ducks.  We rode the Ghan, Australia’s other main railroad, to the red center of Australia.   Another fascinating train ride.   We believe sunrise at Kata Tjuta was beautiful.

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

Sunrise over Kata Tjuta

Uluru, formerly called Ayers Rock, is huge.

Not just a smooth rock

Not just a smooth rock

Scientists say most of the rock, or monolith,  is still underground.   The above ground height is 863 meters or 1,141 feet.   More than that amount is still hidden underground.   Next we took a public bus to Coober Pedy.   This opal mining town celebrated its 100th anniversary.

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Coober Pedy celebrates 100 years

Inside an opal mine, the opal is beautiful in the rock.

Opal still in rock

Opal still in rock

Just waiting to be mined.     Much of this town is underground, living in cave live areas.   The Underground Serbian Orthodox Church was spectacular.

From church balcony

From church balcony

A short flight to Adelaide and we rode another bus into the wine country.   Here we saw beautiful countryside and, of course, tasted some good wine.

Wine was sampled at Henry's Drive Winery

Wine was sampled at Henry’s Drive Winery

Our time in Australia was so much fun.   Tomorrow we will finish our reflections of our wonderful vacation.

Australia Reflections with Zeb and Eider Duck Part 1

Zeb and Eider Duck spent a couple months in 2015 exploring Australia.   We have been showing you what we found during our time, but this week we want to share our favorite Australian memories with you.   We liked this post card from Australia showing a map of Australia on the map of the United States.

Australian map over US map and where we visited

Australian map over US map and where we visited

Gives a good idea of the distances involved.   The red yarn shows where we went.     After a couple days in Sydney, we flew to Hobart, Tasmania.   Such a beautiful island!   The Tasmanian Devil is now found in the wild only in Tasmania.

This Tasmanian Devil was running a lot. He has nice red ears.

This Tasmanian Devil was running a lot.  He has nice red ears.

We thought he was rather cute.   Another famous destination in Tasmania is the Bay of Fires.   These rocks gain color from the lichen on them, and the white sand was so soft and the water so blue.

Sitting in soft white sand, near orange boulders and blue water.

Sitting in soft white sand, near orange boulders and blue water.

There is only ocean between Antarctica and Tasmania, so the water is pretty cold.  Tasmania is perfect for camping, hiking and other outdoor activities.   The St. Columba Falls are spectacular.

St Columba Falls

St Columba Falls

From Tasmania, a short flight to Adelaide and a short boat trip took us to Kangaroo Island.   Of course, the kangaroos, white and brown, were the stars of the island.

Aren't they adorable. Our first white kangaroos

Aren’t they adorable.  Our first white kangaroos

There was much competition for top spot with the seals and sea lions and the breathtaking scenery.

Love the beach with sea lions

Love the beach with sea lions

These guys were so cute!   A few days later we took the boat to Adelaide.   While in Adelaide, we enjoyed the free city buses.   In the city park, the pelican was friendly and curious.

Anything for me?

Anything for me?

Black swans very plentiful.

Too close mom

Too close mom

We were told that black swans are only native to areas south of the equator.   Australia has great trains.   The Indian Pacific Railway took us across the Nullarbor Plain to Perth.

The Indian Pacific Railway

The Indian Pacific Railway connects the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.

From Perth a great boat trip took us to Rottnest Island, a pretty island and home to the quokkas.

The quokka is our new friend

The quokka is our new friend.  He is a marsupial and hops similar to a kangaroo.

Back in Perth, we again utilized free city buses to explore the city.  Obtaining a rental car, we drove up the west coast of Australia.   We highly recommending driving along the coast.   The roads are good, the scenery perfect and people very friendly and helpful.   Also free tourist information is available.   At Hamlin Pool, we went inside the telegraph station.   This is where an Australian lady, using Morse code, helped NASA when our communications system had problems during a space mission.

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station of 1884

Hamelin Pool Telegraph Station of 1884

The shell blocks were great to see.

Shell Blocks at Hamelin Pool

Shell Blocks at Hamelin Pool

This area of Australia was the only time we saw these shell blocks.   We visited the second and smallest country on the Australian continent, The Principality of Hutt River.   We needed and had our passports stamped here.

Stamped passports

Stamped passports

If you are in the area, visit Hutt River and learn about the establishment of this independent principality.   Continuing north along the Indian Ocean, we learned of several joint projects between Australia and the United States during World War II.   This is the monument to Operation Potshot, one of those cooperative missions.

Operation Potshot Monument

Operation Potshot Monument on the Indian Ocean

We will continue with our Australian memories this week.   We hope you will reminisce with us this week.

The Rocks of Sydney Harbor with Zeb and Eider

This is our last night in Australia.   Zeb and Eider are taking the humans to The Rocks.

Going to The Rocks

Going to The Rocks

This was Sydney’s first European settlement near Circular Quay at Sydney Harbor.   It has been renovated and now it is a “place to be”.   First stop is Cadman’s Cottage.

Cadmans Cottage Historic Site in Sydney

Cadmans Cottage Historic Site in Sydney

Cadman’s Cottage, built in 1816, is the oldest house in Sydney.   It once housed longboats and was the home of the last government coxswain, John Cadman.    The area, now known as The Rocks, is one street away from Sydney Harbor and Circular Quay.   These steps have been here for many years.

Well worn steps

Well worn steps

The stones have certainly been worn over the past couple hundred years.   Crossing to the older area, we see the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the narrow streets.

Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Rocks

Sydney Harbor Bridge from the Rocks

The bridge crosses from the harbor from the western side to the North Shore.   Here is the Observer Hotel.

Observer Hotel

Observer Hotel

The historical Rawson Institute for Seaman is in great shape.   Built in 1859, it was formerly Mariner’s Church.

Rawson Institute for Seamen

Rawson Institute for Seamen

Then the Rawson Institute for Seamen.   Then it was an art gallery.    Since 2011, the building houses a bar and night club.   There are several cafes and restaurants here with outside seating.   We liked this one with the heaters.

Eat outside with heat towers

Eat outside with heat towers

It was a cool evening.    These old buildings have been carefully maintained.

Great building. Love the red phone booth!

Great building. Love the red phone booth!

Check out the bright red telephone booth.   In the late 1800’s this area was a bustling business center.   Steel shod horses and carriages put much dirt and dust into the air, causing problems for pedestrians and shopkeepers.   They needed streets with a firm, stable surface and good traction, that wouldn’t make too much noise.    The solution was woodblocks.

Streets made of woodblocks

Streets made of woodblocks

Australian class 1 hardwoods, including blue gum, red gum, ironbark, blackbutt, tallowwood, mahogany and turpentine worked best.   They were durable, looked good and minimized noise and dust.   There was an ample local supply of wood and the streets were washed every night.   We really liked the silhouettes of blue lights in the alley.

Great silhouettes

Great silhouettes

The old buildings are just great.

Great old buildings

Great old buildings

We liked The Rocks, but if it had been a warm evening, we would have spent more time here.   Maybe we can come back in the spring or summer??

Whale Watching in Sydney with Zeb and Eider Duck

We are back in Sydney, Australia.   We really like the Sydney Opera House.

Zeb and Eider by the Sydney Opera House

Zeb and Eider by the Sydney Opera House

Wow!   Look at this.   If we didn’t already love Sydney, this would do it.

A Chocolate Bar!

A Chocolate Bar!

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar.   And it is very close to our hotel.   Since we don’t have much time left in Australia, and Sydney is our last stop before the airport and our flight back to the United States, we wanted to do something special today.   We are going on a short cruise to watch whales.   The people at Sydney Harbor say we should see some humpback whales.   We are on the boat, leaving Sydney Harbor.

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Leaving Sydney Harbor, we look back at the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge

Behind us we are leaving the Sydney Harbor Bridge.   There are people walking on top of the bridge.   To the left is the Sydney Opera House.   The tall building behind the Opera House has a revolving restaurant on the top.   The humans ate there when they were in Sydney 10 years ago.   We are so amazed by these steep cliffs, so close to Sydney.

Steep cliffs as we leave Sydney Harbor

Steep cliffs as we leave Sydney Harbor

The humans on our boat are wandering around, hoping to spot whales.

Humans looking for whales

Humans looking for whales

We ducks also want to see the whales.   There are whales here!

Humpback whales here 6

Humpback whales here

This shooting water is from a humpback whale.   Look!   More than one whale is here.

Shooting water is from a whale 15

Shooting water is from a whale

We see the whale frolicking in the water.

Humpback whale 2

Humpback whale

He jumped in the water and his tail is beautiful.

Tail of humpback whale 11

Tail of humpback whale

We love these whales.

Humpback whales 4

Humpback whales

They seem to be putting on a show just for us.   Look at that perfect tail.

Tail of humpback whale 9

Tail of humpback whale

The lady on the boat is helping us find whales.   There are more than whales here.   She said this bird is an albatross.

An albatross

An albatross

It is time now to head back to Sydney Harbor.   We see more rock cliffs on the way back.

More steep cliffs are we return to Sydney

More steep cliffs are we return to Sydney

Back in Sydney, we head to the shopping area to purchase a few last minute souvenirs.

Last minute shopping at Circular Quay at Sydney Harbor

Last minute shopping at Circular Quay at Sydney Harbor

Our time in Australia is almost over, but we still some more things to show.   See you next time.

Zeb and Eider Continue Touring Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans loved this view from our hotel, Beacon Point Ocean View Villas near Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia.

First view of the day

First view of the day

Just before we left, we admired this rainbow.

Morning rainbow

Morning rainbow

Isn’t that a great sight first thing in the morning?   Driving to the Great Ocean Road, Fabian spotted this koala.

Koala. This is not his face

Koala. This is not his face

He is sleeping with his back toward us.   Walking at the marina at Apollo Bay,

Going on this pier

Going on this pier

we admired this clear water.

Really clear water here

Really clear water here

We also admired the boats.

Love boats

Love boats

We loved the waves breaking.

Crashing waves are beautiful

Crashing waves are beautiful

Driving on the Great Ocean Road, the views were beautiful.   This was from Cape Patton.

Great coastline from Cape Patton

Great coastline from Cape Patton

At the next stop, the humans fed colorful tropical birds.   Humans were given a handful of bird seed and this King Parrot knew what to do.

Feeding King Parrot

Feeding King Parrot

This Crimson Rosella was also happy to have a snack.

Crimson Rosella also having a snack

Crimson Rosella also having a snack

The Sulphur Crested Cockatoo were eager to get a share also.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos want some also

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos want some also

This King Parrot found a new place to sit.

Found a new place to sit while eating

Found a new place to sit while eating

Along The Great Ocean Road, we saw many of these Sulphur Crested Cockatoos.   We love them, but not everyone is a fan of these beautiful birds.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful. Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos are plentiful.   Considered exotic birds in US and farmers pest here.

They have very strong beaks and cause much damage in a farmer’s field.     Along the Great Ocean Road, we stopped at Memorial Arch.

Memorial Arch

Memorial Arch

The Great Ocean Road was begun in 1918 with 3,000 workers, many returning veterans from World War I, and the project was completed in 1932.  The road was built with axes and picks; no explosives were used.   This statue commemorates the men that built The Great Ocean Road.

Commemorating men who built The Great Ocean Road

Commemorating men who built The Great Ocean Road

Our last stop of the day was the Anglesea Golf Course where we were greeted y this kangaroo.

Is he saying welcome to our golf course?

Is he saying welcome to our golf course?

Several kangaroos were grazing on the edge of the fairways, but this young kangaroo wasn’t interested in grazing.

Mom is still the best!

Mom is still the best!

Mom is still the favorite.   We really enjoyed our tour with Australian Natural Treasures Touring, and the Great Ocean Road is breathtaking.   Visit them at http://www.anttouring.com.au   Thanks Glenn and Jeremy.

Rainforest Walk in Australia’s Great Otway National Park with Zeb and Eider

Temperate Rainforest in Great Otway National Park is visited by Zeb and Eider Duck.   We stopped at Maits Rest to experience the 800 meter rainforest walk.

Let's walk

Let’s walk

The trees are tall and the path is clear.

Boardwalk through rainforest

Boardwalk through rainforest

The trunk on this tree is huge!

Huge tree trunk

Huge tree trunk

Great Otway National Park consists of 103,185 hectares and is located 162 km southwest of Melbourne.  There is prolific plant growth throughout the dense rain forest.

Dense ferns

Dense ferns

The trees and tropical ferns are beautiful and create a peaceful environment.

Boardwalk

Boardwalk

Even fallen tree trunks are huge.

Inside the tree trunk

Inside the tree trunk

The Mountain Ash (Eucalyptus regnans) grow over 100 meters, making them the tallest flowering plants in the world.

Story of Mountain Ash

Story of Mountain Ash

The rare carnivorous, Otway Black Snail, is found only in the Otways where it feeds on insects and other snails and worms.

Otway Black Snail

Otway Black Snail

We did not see a real Otway Black Snail, but maybe that was a good thing.   We really loved our time in this temperate rainforest.

Otway Temperate Rainforest

Otway Temperate Rainforest

Wow!   This tree trunk is huge.   Fabian can stand inside the tree!

Trunk large enough for Fabian to stand inside

Trunk large enough for Fabian to stand inside

Even the road leading out of Maits Rest was pretty.

Leaving the rainforest

Leaving the rainforest

We hope you visit a rainforest.   They are fascinating.