The Grandeur of Australia

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The start of our 24 hour travel day, Nov. 30, 2014!

I am going to start from the beginning, but try not to repeat anything I wrote in previous posts or replicate photos. I did post some good pics in previous posts, but I wont repeat them here. Thus, if you want to read more or see more pictures, refer to my previous blog entries. Cypress is just 14 months old and looks so little in his big orange backpack!

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Airport

The famous Botany Bay — our first view of Australia from the plane and first stop (besides the food market) after picking up the rental van. I was deliriously tired, dazed and confused from the 36 hour day we just endured with no sleep (Aus. is a half a day ahead of us). I was bursting with excitement and loved the hot air but sweating in my jeans and didn’t have the energy to find my shorts. Everything was buried in a mountainous heap in the van and my bag was on the bottom…I sweated in my hiking boots, thick socks, jeans and long sleeve shirt while Ryne gleefully skipped around in his flip flops and shorts! A memorable short stop.

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A few hours after we landed in Sydney…at Botany Bay Dec. 2, 2014.

We drove through the hustle and bustle of Sydney and in just 45 minutes we were at Royal National Park, where we booked a campsite for two nights. After the first night in our new house on wheels, we decided that we love our new bed and mobile home! It was very comfy and cozy! The next day we hiked a beautiful trail that paralleled the rocky coast line and swam in gorgeous waters!
Just some of the flora…
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We hiked and explored…Cy was always ready for adventures!
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High cliffs of Royal National Park (Cy is conked out)
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Red-Rumped Parrot

had some eggs and veggies with a squadron of cheeky Sulpher-Crested Cockatoos!
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Then headed inland for some spectacular eye candy of the Blue Mountains!
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Gorgeous waterfall
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Side-necked Turtle (Chelodia expansa)

Mailboxes were awesome in Australia! Some skillfully crafted from recycled junk like metal oil drums, milk jugs or even…microwaves?!
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Some flora and fauna of Girraween National Park…

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Red Wattlebird
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skink
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Cunningham Skink
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Granite boulders
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Junction of Ramsey and Rock Bald Creek.
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Eastern Grey Kangaroo in freshly burnt eucalypt woodland.

We drove to Main Range National Park (southeast Queensland, Aus), a World Heritage Site,  in pouring rain. The gravel road turned into a river! There were several creek crossings and no bridges! I forgot about how flooded most of the roads were on the east coast or even 100 km from the coast! It was a bit hairy at times, but luckily we never got stuck! The slow hazardous drive was soooo worth it though because the ancient rainforest we explored was stunning and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, the most extensive subtropical rainforest in the world! This is a special place because according to the fossil record, some of the same species exist today as they did when Gondwanaland existed 200 million years ago! I think this is probably the coolest place we went, I LOVED traveling back in time to the Triassic Period! (Gondwanaland was a supercontinent that broke up into Australia, India, Africa, Madagascar, South America and Antarctica).

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Relic Rainforest
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Cycads, my favorite! And I think Cy is sleeping again.
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Dragon
Awesome catch with Cy on his back!
Awesome catch with Cy on his back!
...And Cy's love of lizards begins!
…And Cy’s love of lizards begins!
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Night walk for nocturnal critters–a gecko

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We also went to Lamington National Park, another awesome subtropical rainforest mountain range with impressive GIANT trees!

Red-necked Pandomelon
Red-necked Pandomelon

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King Parrot and female Regent Bowerbird.
King Parrot and female Regent Bowerbird.

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Male Regent Bowerbird!
Male Regent Bowerbird!
And this is why I love this man! Pure joy! Carpet Python!
And this is why I love this man! Pure joy! Carpet Python!

 

Bower made by a male Regent Bowerbird to attract a female, who apparently love the color blue, just like Cypress!! ;)
Bower made by a male Regent Bowerbird to attract a female, who apparently loves the color blue, just like Cypress!! 😉

After some rugged-mountain jungle fun, we headed back to the sweaty coast. To date, the worst night sleep of my life was in Townsville, Queensland! The tropical heat would continue to keep us awake sweating all night and swatting mosquitoes! I don’t know why we wasted our time trying to sleep! We should of went road cruising for snakes instead! Cypress slept, at least!
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Royal Spoonbills
Royal Spoonbills
Frilled Lizard, an impressive find by Ryne.
Frilled Lizard, an impressive find by Ryne.
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Red-Tailed Black Cockatoo
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In the sleepy, I-dream-of-living-here town, Mission Beach! The town motto: Be Cass-o-wary!! These dinosaurs are rare and hitting one would be devastating!
Cassowary, pretty much a living dinosaur. This is a male taking care of his 4 babies.
Cassowary, pretty much a living dinosaur. This is a male taking care of his 4 babies.

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Michaelmas Cay on the Great Barrier Reef.
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A bird nesting meca!
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Sooty Terns and Common Noddy on eggs or chicks.
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Common Noddy with egg.

 

30 minutes of snorkelling by myself while Ryne and Cy went in the submarine!
DSC_1002 30 minutes of snorkeling by myself while Ryne and Cy went in the submarine!
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Cypress adored the reef from the submarine!

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Reef go-ers.
Reef go-ers.
Bliss!
Bliss!
Chinese friend.
Chinese friend.
Gorgeous Michaelmas Cay!
Gorgeous Michaelmas Cay!
Port of Cairns. This is jumping off point for the reef!
Port of Cairns. This is jumping off point for the reef!
Cairns
Cairns
Noooo! Take me back to the turquoise water!
Noooo! Take me back to the turquoise water!
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My little sailor on the esplanade in Cairns.
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Cairns playground.
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Mangroves use to line the shoreline in Cairns, in some places they still do, but not along the 3km esplanade in downtown Cairns. Instead, there are extensive mudflats where the shorebirds are numerous!
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Esplanade park in Cairns.

More pictures to come soon!

4 thoughts on “The Grandeur of Australia”

  1. Beautiful family in a beautiful place! Love the photo journaling. Thrilled you could experience your dream adventure.

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