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.

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Riding The Ghan in Australia with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck are on another train.

Comfortable in our seat with a water bottle

Comfortable in our seat with a water bottle

We had our first long train ride on Australia’s Indian Pacific, and now we are going on another one.   This is the Ghan.   The Indian Pacific travels east and west, between the Indian and Pacific Oceans.   The Ghan travels north and south, connecting Darwin with Adelaide.

The Ghan. Our second Australian train

The Ghan. Our second Australian train

We are getting on the train in Darwin, in Australia’s Northern Territory.   The Ghan is named for the Afghan camel drivers that worked in Australia building the telegraph system.   That is why we have a camel emblem on the side of our train car.   People are still getting on the train.

Many people boarding the Ghan

Many people boarding the Ghan

People are loading our luggage on the train.

The luggage goes on the train. We can only have hand luggage with us.

The luggage goes on the train.   We can only have hand luggage with us.

Larry, the safety manager, said that we have about 36 cars on our train.   We also have train cars with automobiles.   Some people are bringing their personal vehicles with them.   We, of course, retuned our rental car and our personal vehicles are in Colorado and Alaska, so no car for us.   Soon we crossed the Elizabeth River.

Elizabeth River

Elizabeth River

This is one of Australia’s most important rivers.   This is a view as we approach the town of Adelaide River.

Approaching town of Adelaide River

Approaching town of Adelaide River.   Much open space and many trees.

The Ghan stops in Katherine.

Stopping in Katherine

Stopping in Katherine

We stay here for a couple hours.   Eider’s dad took a shuttle into Katherine.   Zeb’s mom took Zeb and Eider into Nitmiluk Park again.   We were here before, but it is very pretty.

Nitmiluk National Park is beautiful

Nitmiluk National Park is beautiful

As we approached the Visitor’s Center, this wallaby was busy and did not pay attention to the tourists taking her photo.

Wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park

Wallaby at Nitmiluk National Park

Wallabies look like small kangaroos.   We like this wallaby.   Some passengers on the Ghan took a short version of the cruise we enjoyed through the gorges.    We did a little hiking.

Hiking in Nitmiluk National Park

Hiking in Nitmiluk National Park

Back on the Ghan, we wanted to show you the inside of  train passenger car.

Inside our car on The Ghan

Inside our car on The Ghan

The dining car looked like the one we showed you on the Indian Pacific train.    In the morning the landscape had changed.

Earth is red approaching Alice Springs this morning. Blurry since train is moving quickly

Earth is red approaching Alice Springs this morning.   Blurry since train is moving quickly

As we approached Alice Springs, in the center of Australia, the dirt is red and we are entering desert areas.   We arrive in Alice Springs.

The Ghan arrives at Alice Springs

The Ghan arrives at Alice Springs

This camel statue is here to welcome all the passengers to Alice Springs.

Camel statue at Alice Springs Ghan station

Camel statue at Alice Springs Ghan station

We are leaving the train here and flying to Ayers Rock Airport where we will see Uluru, or Ayers Rock.   In the airport, we visited the restroom.   This was a new sign for us.

In the airport. This was an unfamiliar sign for us

In the airport. This was an unfamiliar sign for us

We liked our Australian train trips.   We hope you travel by train there, too.

Kakadu National Park in Australia’s Northern Territory

Zeb and Eider are in Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory of Australia.   This park is huge.   It is 20,000 square kilometers, or 8,000 square miles of varied Australia landscape.   First we walked

Hiking in Kakadu National Park

Hiking in Kakadu National Park

to see some Aboriginal Rock Art.

Aboriginal rock art

Aboriginal rock art

Our National Geographic guide book says humans were here more than 20,000 years ago.   This sign explains what we are seeing.

With a yam?

With a yam?

Here is some art.

We admire this aboriginal rock art

We admire this aboriginal rock art

This one is also interesting.

Aboriginal rock are

Aboriginal rock art

Now we are getting on another boat.

We love river boat rides

We love river boat rides

We love these boat rides.   There are so many of these brown, wood ducks.

So many ducks along the river bank

So many ducks along the river bank

Aren’t these flowers in the lily pads beautiful?

We like lily pads and bright flowers

We like lily pads and bright flowers

We really like them.   Kakadu National Park is home to both salt water and fresh water crocodiles.   We believe this is a fresh water crocodile.

A really big crocodile at Kakadu

A really big crocodile at Kakadu enjoying the sun.

This bird seems to be looking for a snack.

Bird seems to want a snack

Bird seems to want a snack

He caught a fish and is trying to position the fish so he can eat now.

Now, how to eat this fish

Now, how to eat this fish

Kakadu National Park has 290 species of birds and 74 species of reptiles.   There are also more than 1,600 species of plants and over 52 different types of fish.   Today we saw so many birds.   These white birds are great.

Pretty white birds

Pretty white birds

These white and grayish blue birds are also wonderful.

The beaks match the wings

The beaks match the wings

We really like their beaks.   This looks like a type of eagle.

Type of eagle?

Type of eagle?

After our boat trip, we visited the Warradjan Aboriginal Culture Center.

Cultural Center at Kakadu

Cultural Center at Kakadu

The aboriginal calendar at Kakadu shows 6 seasons.

Six seasons here. We are enjoying the dry season.

Six seasons here. We are enjoying the dry season.

The cultural center was very interesting, but photos were not allowed in many exhibits.   If you go, we think you would enjoy the center.    Before we leave Kakadu National Park, we want to remind you that no boat ride here would be complete without a pelican.

Always admire pelicans

Always admire pelicans

Australia’s Northern Territory is so wild and seems to be as it was thousands of years ago.   When you go, you will feel the difference in the Northern Territory.   We did.

Katherine Gorge in Nitmiluk National Park with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck are going to another Australian National Park   We are going to Nitmiluk National Park.   Nitmiluk National Park was formerly called Katherine Gorge National Park.   First we go to Edith Falls

Beautiful Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park

Beautiful Edith Falls in Nitmiluk National Park

Several humans are swimming in the water.

Swimming in Edith Falls pool

Swimming in Edith Falls pool

It is so refreshing.   The water from the falls flows under the bridge and becomes a peaceful river.

Edith Falls feeds this serene river

Edith Falls feeds this serene river

Near Edith Falls, we enjoyed this grassy area.

Would be great picnic place if we had more time

Is a great picnic place

Now we are getting on a boat on the Katherine River.

On the boat to tour Katherine Gorge

On the boat to tour Katherine Gorge

Heading through the first gorge.

Boating on first gorge

Boating on first gorge

Pretty steep rock walls, really sandstone walls,  here.

Steep rock walls of gorge

Steep sandstone walls of gorge

People can rent canoes here also.

Canoes are available

Canoes are available

We get out of our boat and walk toward this narrower gorge.

Walking to second gorge

Walking to second gorge

Now we are on the second boat,

Riding on boat on the second gorge

Riding on boat on the second gorge

cruising again.   But, we are not alone here.

Big crocodile. They SAY fresh water crocodiles will not bother us. But stay clear!!

Big crocodile!   They SAY fresh water crocodiles will not bother us.  But stay clear!!

This is the famous view in Katherine Gorge.

Postcard view in Katherine Gorge

Postcard view in Katherine Gorge

There are many postcards with this picture.   Heading into a small cave,

Into the cave

Into the cave

we see these mud nest made by migrating birds and bats.

Mud nests on roof of cave

Mud nests on roof of cave

We dock, get off the boat, and walk along the path to where our first boat left us.

Pathway between two gorges

Pathway between two gorges

Back on the first boat, we are heading back to our starting point.

Enjoying boat ride in Katherine Gorge

Enjoying boat ride in Katherine Gorge

This is a beautiful river and an incredible gorge.   Some of the people that helped us today in this national park are Jawoyn, the local people.   They were here first and are now the custodians of Nitmiluk National Park.   We loved our cruise.   We hope you go on it soon, too.

The Kimberley by Bus with Zeb and Eider Duck

There are two major roads through the Kimberley of Australia.   This part of Australia has little or no access during The Wet, or rainy season.   Flooding frequently closes the roads.   We drove to Derby earlier and took a couple day tour in the Kimberley, but we wanted to see more.   We took a Greyhound Bus from Broome, Western Australia, to Darwin, in the Northern Territory.

Grayhound Bus was great transportation. Large, clean windows and not crowded

Grayhound Bus was great transportation. Large, clean windows and not crowded

We also took bus tours to Nitmiluk National Park and to Kakadu National Park.   Today we will show you some of what we saw from the bus.   We already showed you Derby, and our Kimberley Wild Tour.   Soon we will show you parts of Nitmiluk National Park and also Kakadu National Park.   Through the Kimberley, we crossed several rivers.

Beautiful rivers

Beautiful rivers

We also stopped at the Ord River Roadhouse.

Ord River Roadhouse was one of our stops

Ord River Roadhouse was one of our stops

Of course we needed a snack after our meal, and this satisfied us.

Perfect for out dessert

Perfect for out dessert

These rock cliffs were beautiful.

Rock wall

Rock wall

We decided to ride the Greyhound Bus because we have seen much of the world from 30,000 feet.   Of course, at that altitude, we saw nothing.   Also, we were the only foreign tourists on the bus, so we were able to talk to many Australian natives, many of them aboriginals.   Everyone was very nice to us.   Even when mom got stuck in a restroom stall.   One of the beautiful young girls that sat across from us on the bus, helped her get out.   Mom was very grateful for the help.   Getting stuck in the bathroom was not fun and not part of our travel plans.   So thank you again to that very nice girl.   On another bus to Nitmiluk National Park, we stopped in the town of Adelaide River to visit the War Cemetery.

Adelaide River War Cemetery

Adelaide River War Cemetery

This monument with a white cross was very nice.

Monument in War Cemetery

Monument in War Cemetery

Many of those buried here were killed February 19, 1942 during air raids on Darwin.   We loved this tree.

Great tree

Great tree

Further down the road, we stopped for a break near Emerald Springs Roadhouse.

Rest stop near Emerald Springs Roadhouse. Heading to Nitmiluk National Park

Rest stop near Emerald Springs Roadhouse. Heading to Nitmiluk National Park

Another bus to Kakadu National Park stopped for our break at Bark Hut.

A stop at Bark Hut driving to Kakadu National Park

A stop at Bark Hut driving to Kakadu National Park

This is where we saw an early model Toyota Landcruiser station wagon.

Modified Toyota Land Cruiser

Modified Toyota Land Cruiser

This vehicle has been modified as a “Yard Truck” or “Push up Truck” to push, or herd, buffalo into yards and pens.   The door panels were re-enforced after a man, sitting in the truck, was gored through his thigh.   The buffalo horn came right through the door.   There are still wild buffalo in the Northern Territory.

Native Australian Buffalo

Native Australian Buffalo

When we drove past a buffalo herd, the humans did not have their cameras ready.   We hope you experience foreign travel in a public bus.   You will see so much more and we learned so much from the local people sharing the bus.