Cook, Australia with Zeb and Eider Duck

Zeb and Eider Duck and the humans are still on the Indian Pacific Railroad.   The train is slowing down.

We approaching the town of Cook

We approaching the town of Cook

We stopped at Cook.

This is Cook

This is Cook

When we, ducks and our 2 humans, entered the town, we doubled the population of Cook, Australia   Yes, there are only 4 permanent residents of Cook.   Cook was established in 1917 to support the Trans Australian Railway.   That was the fist name of our train   Cook formerly had 200 residents.   This was the school in Cook, Australia.

School

School

We like the painting on this tower at the school.

Painting

Painting

More Cook art to see.

More mural painting

More mural painting

There was a swimming pool near the school.

Swimming pool--not used now

Swimming pool–not used now

Doesn’t look like we could swim here now.   Here is the train station.

Train Station

Train Station

These buildings are not outhouses; they are jail cells,or gaol cells.

Gaol Cells

Gaol Cells

One is for females and one is for males.   The prisoners did not stay here long; they were sent out of town on the next train.

Our train in Cook, Australia

Our train in Cook, Australia

Being in jail in these metal cells was like being in prison in a cooking pot.   The city of Cook was built on the Nullarbor Plain, which is known for the lack or absence of trees.   This rock with the plaque, commemorates the effort of men trying to defy this idea.    These were the Men of the Trees.

Plaque to Men of the Trees

Plaque to Men of the Trees

In 2006, 100 trees were planted in Cook.   The surviving trees are the tallest on the Nullarbor Plain.   When the railroad was privatized, most people left town,  and now with only 4 permanent residents, Cook, Australia is almost a ghost town.

Cook A ghost town

Cook A ghost town

We, Zeb and Eider Duck, and our humans are glad we were able to visit Cook.

Residence in Cook

Residence in Cook

If you travel on the Indian Pacific Railway, you may visit Cook also.   Back on the Indian Pacific Railway, we are still crossing the Nullarbor Plain.   This is called the Southern Outback.   Although at times we see water holding ponds,

Water storage ponds

Water storage ponds

and some spots of green landscape,

Approaching Perth

Approaching Perth

do not be fooled.   We are still on the Nullarbor Plain, a huge limestone plateau and desert.

Desert outback terrain

Desert outback terrain

Now we are nearing the end of our ride and we see these sheep and that pipe is for transporting water.

Sheep by pipe to transport valuable water

Sheep by pipe to transport valuable water

All this riding on the train makes humans hungry, so they snacked on Snickers.   The candy bar tasted just like the Snickers at home, but the writing on the package was a little different.

Tastes the same, just described a little differently

Tastes the same, just described a little differently

SnickersWe are almost at Perth, so it is about the end of our train ride.   This is a great train and we hope you will ride it soon.

Australia’s Indian Pacific Railway with Zeb and Eider Duck

We, the Colorado Traveling Ducks, and humans are going on a train.   Today we will leave Adelaide and stay on the train until we arrive in Perth, Western Australia, on the Indian Ocean.   This sign explains a little about this train.

Explanation of train

Explanation of train

We are in the Adelaide train station and we like this eagle with the sign about our train.   Choo Choo’s Cafe is also great.

Statue in Adelaide train station Australian Wedge Tail Eagle

Statue in Adelaide train station Australian Wedge Tail Eagle

If you take the train, this Adelaide train station has the best amenities.   We loved the Train Shop.

Of course we bought some souvenirs here

Of course we bought some souvenirs here

The other train stations we visited in Australia were nice, but not as nice as this one.   It is time to get on our train.

The Indian Pacific Railway

The Indian Pacific Railway

We are settling in our seats.   Very big and comfortable.   The seats recline flat, but there is no foot rest.

Our train seat

Our train seat

The humans use their carry on bags as a foot rest.   We do not have a sleeping compartment.   The humans did not want to make early reservations, but these seats are very comfortable.   And all the seats were not sold, so we had plenty of room to move around.      Looking out the window we see the Southern Outback of Australia.

We like looking out the window

We like looking out the window

The sun is going down, so soon we will sleep.

Sun going down on Nullarbor Plain

Sun going down on Nullarbor Plain

Wow!   The sunset and sunrise in the desert on the Nullarbor Plain is really bright.

Vivid sun

Vivid sun

Now that morning has arrived, we see the Outback desert with the red ground.

Red ground on the Nullarbor Plain

Red ground on the Nullarbor Plain

There are a few trees in some places.

There are a few trees out there

There are a few trees out there

The train is fairly close to the Eyre Highway and there are a few camping places, or caravan parks.

Camping

Camping

The Nullarbor Plain, is a limestone plateau, mostly a vast waterless, treeless expanse.   Nullarbor is corrupt Latin for “no trees”.   Our National Geographic travel guide describes the Nullarbor this way.   For sheer size and scale, no place is like it–an 80,000 square mile limestone plateau, scoured by desert winds and scorched by temperatures that can easily exceed 120 degrees F beneath a pitiless summer sun.   The plateau has no surface water at all, although an extensive system of flooded caves lies deep underground.   Out here lies the world’s longest stretch of straight railroad track–more than 300 miles.   From our train window, we saw a variety of landscapes.

Red dirt

Red dirt

Now would be a good time to tell you that although it was cold in Tasmania and cool on Kangaroo Island, we decided to travel to Australia during the Australian winter.   We did not want to be in such extreme heat while trying to see many new places.   But, we are getting hungry, so we go to our dining car.

Our place for food and views

Our place for food and views

This is the Matilda Cafe.  It is our restaurant and our observation car.   The huge windows are great and it was never crowded.   We spent much of our train time here, looking out the windows and snacking.   This is our breakfast.

Let's eat!

Let’s eat!

Time to eat now.   From our windows we saw a few kangaroos and sheep.

Sheep even here

Sheep even here

There are a lot of sheep in Australia.   Soon we will be stopping at a very small settlement.   We will show you what we see next time.   This is our first long train ride and it is fascinating.   The scenery is desert, but it changes constantly.