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.

Exmouth on the Ningaloo Reef with Zeb and Eider Duck

From Coral Bay we continued north to Exmouth.   We made it!

We are in Exmouth, Western Australia

We are in Exmouth, Western Australia

Turtles are born here.   However it was not turtle season when we were there, but this is the path to one of the nesting beaches.

Turtle Rookery

Turtle Rookery

Looks like a nice beach.

Turtle nesting beach

Turtle nesting beach

Further along the beach we liked this turtle sculpture.

Ceramic turtle

Turtle Sculpture

The small town was very nice and the people friendly.    This is the Koobooroo Oval, and sports field.

Koobooroo Oval in Exmouth

Koobooroo Oval in Exmouth

We liked the trees planted around the oval.   In Coral Bay we showed you the beaches, so today we will show you the Vlaming Head Lighthouse.

Vlaming Head Lighthouse

Vlaming Head Lighthouse

This lighthouse is 17 km from the town of Exmouth.   Since it is built on the northern most tip of Cape Range, it is one of the few places in Australia where you can watch the sun rise and also set.   Building the lighthouse had been under consideration for  few years, but in 1907 when the SS Mildura sank here and many good men were lost, the lighthouse building date was accelerated.   The lighthouse was completed in 1912 and was a welcome addition to this coast.   This is the anchor from the SS Mildura.

Anchor from SS Mildura ship

Anchor from SS Mildura ship

The view from the lighthouse is wonderful.   Many people report seeing the migrating whale shark from here.   The ocean current here made an unusual pattern on the Indian Ocean.

Unusual currents viewed from lighthouse

Unusual currents viewed from lighthouse

From the lighthouse 13 tall towers are visible.

13 tall towers

13 tall towers

During the 1960s the US Navy was granted permission from Australia to build these towers to aid in the US communication network.   During our visit to Australia, we learned about many joint military efforts between the United States and Australia.   We will show you more of these sites soon.   Leaving the Vlaming Head Lighthouse, we saw this friendly emu.

Friendly emu

Friendly emu

Emus are very common in and around Exmouth.   We are still enjoying our road trip up the western coast of Australia.   We hope you enjoy some of our explanations and photos also.

Australia’s Kalbarri National Park with Zeb and Eider Duck

Kalbarri National Park, in Western Australia, has coastal lookouts and look out points over the gulches of Murchison River.    After leaving the Principality of Hutt River, we drove to the Indian Ocean coast toward the town of Kalbarri.   Our first stop in the national park was Grandstand.

From Grandstand Lookout in Kalbarri National Park

From Grandstand Lookout in Kalbarri National Park

We, Zeb and Eider, were very careful because the wind was pretty strong.

We are here too, but it windy

We are here too, but it windy

We loved looking at these cliffs of the Indian Ocean.

Great cliffs to Indian Ocean

Great cliffs to Indian Ocean

Our next stop was at Island Rock.

Island Rock

Island Rock

It really is an island of rock.   Natural Bridge, a little further along the coast, was nice.

Natural Bridge

Natural Bridge

This bridge was formed by the force of the water, cutting through the rock.    Here at Eagle’s Gulch, we admired this beach.

A beach at Eagle's Gulch

A beach at Eagle’s Gulch

This would be a great place for a picnic.   More beautiful views of the Indian Ocean from Pot Alley.

We like Pot Alley. We feel safe here

We like Pot Alley. We feel safer here

As the weather changed, we saw this rainbow.

We love rainbows

We love rainbows

Next morning we drove a little inland to the entrance of Kalbarri National Park.

Kalbarri National Par

Kalbarri National Par

We were fascinated by this plant at the Park Headquarters Building.

Different plant

Different plant

The Murchison River flows through the park, so we had our choice of hiking trails and beautiful views of the gorge.

We hiked this trail

We hiked this trail

This was our first hiking trail.   We enjoyed this view from the trail.

Great view

Great view

After our hike, we drove a little further and saw this emu.

Emu wandering

Emu wandering

This was a pretty view of the Murchison River from Hawks Head Walk.

Murchison River

Murchison River

Since Western Australia is known for wildflowers, so we wanted you to see these flowers near the building.

Everybody loves bright flowers

Everybody loves bright flowers

As we were leaving the park, we enjoyed watching this flock of emu.

Are they sad we are leaving the park?

Are they sad we are leaving the park?

We are really enjoying our drive in Western Australia.   You would enjoy time here also.

Zeb and Eider Duck Drive in Southwestern Australia

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans rented a car in Perth, Australia.   We are heading north, along the Indian Ocean coastline.   We want to show you some of what we saw the first couple days of driving.   We are meandering up the west coast of Australia, beginning in Perth but our final driving destination is Broome, Australia, on the northwest coast.    We stopped to admire this roadside park overlooking the water.

Picnic area along Indian Ocean

Picnic area along Indian Ocean

The seed pods on this tree were new to us.

Unusual seed pods

Unusual seed pods

These trucks, with more than one trailer, are called road trains.

Road Train

Road Train

We write more about them another day.   These were our first sightings of wild emu.

Our first wild emus

Our first wild emu

It was exciting for us to see them.   Of course, we do not see wild emus in Colorado nor in Alaska.   Driving into the town of Dongara, we stopped at this navigation beacon,

Navigation Beacon at Dongara

Navigation Beacon at Dongara

built commemorate the loss of the Brigantine Leander near this point on November 11, 1853.   The rugged coastline is a reminder of the importance of navigation beacons.

Rocky coast can be treacherous

Rocky coast can be treacherous

Even the water is rather rough here.

Coast at Dongara

Coast at Dongara

Continuing north, we visited Oakabella Homestead, located between Chapman Valley and Northampton.   This is an 1860s heritage-listed beautiful restored homestead.   This is arguably Western Australia’s most haunted house.   Here we met Loretta, formerly of Nova Scotia, Canada.   Loretta took us through the 13 room homestead.   This is the bedroom where the owner, George, accidentally shot himself while cleaning his shotgun.

Bedroom where owner, George, accidentally shot himself

Bedroom where owner, George, accidentally shot himself

Loretta says his spirit, or ghost is often here.

This bedroom belongs to a young woman.   She had a great hat collection.  Her spirit, or ghost is also a frequent visitor.

Former lady's bedroom with hat collection

Former lady’s bedroom with hat collection

This stove still works in the kitchen.   The spirits or ghosts did not like any of the new appliances that were brought in. The all broke within a few days or weeks of their arrival.   The new appliances have been removed and the old ones function very well.

Kitchen. This stove still works.

Kitchen. This stove still works.

This museum building was a former school.

Former school, now museum

Former school, now museum

Mom was fascinated with this collection of ink wells.

Collection of ink wells

Collection of ink wells

This view toward the Oakabella Creek is really nice.

Oakabella Creek behind homestead

Oakabella Creek behind homestead

While walking around in this area, we saw these plants that look like small watermelon.

Maybe wild watermelons

Maybe wild watermelons

Inside the fruit looks like a watermelon, but the fruit is green.

Green inside

Green inside

We also enjoyed seeing this herd of cattle grazing near the Indian Ocean.

Cows grazing near Indian Ocean

Cows grazing near Indian Ocean

This is a Banksia tree.   Here is a variety showing various stages of the pod developing.

Seed pods of various colors and various stages of maturity

Seed pods of various colors and various stages of maturity

First the pods seem to be brown, then turning salmon color.   Then the seeds come off and the pod is white and has a very smooth feel.

After seeds fall, this white part is very soft and smooth

After seeds fall, this white part is very soft and smooth

These really are interesting trees.   These kangaroos were grazing near a housing subdivision.

Kangaroos in field near subdivision

Kangaroos in field near subdivision

We love seeing kangaroos.   We will show you more of the scenery along our west coast drive later, as we continue our northern route.