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’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.