Tag Archive | Western Australia

From On High

An Australian Point of View #5 Mountains

One of my most vivid memories of my first year of high school is the day my geography teacher, a European immigrant, made a scathing comment about Australia’s mountains. How dare we call our main mountain range “great” when, in comparison to the European alps it was nothing. I remember, even at the tender age of 12, feeling indignant that he should feel free to criticise my country.

Since then, I’ve seen much of this land and explored many of its mountain areas. I know now that Australia, once part of the supercontinent Gondwana, is the oldest and flattest continent on Earth.

Norseman, Western Australia

Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

Tectonic movement and volcanic activity have shaped the upland areas and erosion by wind and water has worn them away; instead of the rugged craggy peaks seen in Europe and the Americas, Australia’s mountain ranges are characterised by highland plateaus and deep canyons, wide valleys and rounded peaks.

Cradle Mountain and Dove Lake, Tasmania

Mount Wellington, Tasmania

Porongurups, Western Australia

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Katherine River and Katherine Gorge, Northern Territory

Australia’s highest mountain, Mount Kosciuszko, reaches an elevation of just 2,228 metres above sea level.

Mount Kosciuszko, New South Wales

The Great Dividing Range, so maligned by my teacher, is the third longest land-based mountain range on Earth. It is 3,500 kilometres long and stretches from the northernmost tip of Queensland, through New South wales and into Victoria. At its widest it is more than 300 kilometres across. The range dates from the Carboniferous Period, making it more than 300 million years old. Surely the term “great” is well-deserved.

Where the mountains meet the sea, Cape Tribulation, Far North Queensland

Daintree National Park, Far North Queensland

Kroombit Tops, Central Queensland

Glasshouse Mountains, South East Queensland

Bald Rock National Park, Northern New South Wales

Alpine National Park, Eastern Victoria

Perhaps that teacher needed to study his geography!

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Cityscape

An Australian Point of View #1 Capital Cities

Australia is the sixth largest country in the world with a land mass of 7,692,014 square kilometres. Despite its size, Australia is composed of just six states and two territories, all with their own capital city. Every capital has its own distinctive architecture; some buildings are more well-known than others, but each plays a part in the story of its city.

Brisbane, Queensland

The heritage-listed Albert Street Uniting Church, completed in 1889, is dwarfed by the surrounding city tower blocks. By the early 1900s it was the main Methodist Church in the city and is now the home of Wesley Mission Queensland. With its Victorian Gothic architecture and its inner city position, the church is a popular wedding venue.

Melbourne, Victoria

The Arts Centre Melbourne is Australia’s busiest Performing Arts complex. Construction began in 1973 and the buildings were completed in stages, the last being finished in 1984. The steel spire is 162 metres high and is surrounded at the base by a ruffle of steel mesh reminiscent of a ballerina’s tutu.

Adelaide, South Australia

The scoreboard at the Adelaide Oval has been keeping track of cricket matches since 3 November, 1911. The heritage-listed Edwardian scoreboard is the only one of its type in the Southern Hemisphere and is still manually operated.  A tour of Adelaide Oval includes a visit inside the four storey scoreboard.

Perth, Western Australia

The Bell Tower in Barracks Square houses the Swan Bells, a collection of 18 change ringing bells. Twelve of the bells come from St Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London and date from the 13th century. They were gifted to the city of Perth during Australia’s Bicentenary, while the Bell Tower was completed in time for Millennium celebrations.

Hobart, Tasmania

The Shot Tower at Taroona, just outside Hobart, was built in 1879 and was, for four years, Australia’s tallest building. Lead shot was produced in the tower for 35 years. Next door is the home of Joseph Moir, who constructed the tower and other landmark buildings in Hobart. The shot tower is still the tallest of its type in the Southern Hemisphere.

Darwin, Northern Territory

Government House, on the Esplanade in Darwin, is the oldest European building in the Northern Territory. Completed in 1871, the house is the official residence of the Administrator of the Northern Territory. The Victorian Gothic design is complemented by wide verandas, which help to cool the house in Darwin’s tropical climate.

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory

Parliament House is the meeting place of the Parliament of Australia. This is the second Parliament House and replaced Old Parliament House, which was in use from 1927 to 1988. This new building was opened in 1988 by Queen Elizabeth II during Australia’s Bicentenary celebrations. The Commonwealth Coat of Arms adorns the front façade, and an Australian flag the size of a half tennis court flies at the top of the 81 metre high flagpole.


Sydney, New South Wales

The Sydney Opera House, opened in 1973, overlooks Sydney Harbour at Bennelong Point. Every year, more than eight million people visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site and it hosts more than 1,500 events and performances. The Opera House becomes a focal point during Sydney’s Vivid Festival each June.


Participating in Becky’s #RoofSquares Challenge

Things I Learned

Round Australia Road Trip #33

When doing something completely different from your usual way of life, there are certain to be some moments of self-discovery; travelling vast distances with a caravan for seven weeks around our amazing country revealed some new aspects of my character. Here are ten things I learned about myself on the Round Australia Road Trip.

1. I enjoy flying – but only in big planes. Our flight over the Bungle Bungles was in a 6 seater Cessna C10 and our very enthusiastic pilot Sam made sure we all got the best possible view, by tipping the plane in all directions. I didn’t actually see everything because some of the time my eyes were closed, and by the time we landed I felt decidedly queer.

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2. Animals are not really my thing, especially when they are watching me. Finding evidence they’re around also gives me the creeps. (I knew this already, but seeing these creatures reinforced my lack of enthusiasm for living things other than humans.)

3. I can take great photos which look like I was much closer than I really was, because my camera has a fantastic zoom. Also, after taking many fuzzy photos, I finally mastered the macro setting on my camera.

4. I can drive a boat. I was being supervised, but the steering was all me!

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5. I can also tow a caravan. However, I cannot park it or reverse it and I will definitely never overtake one of these while towing it.

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6. I loved visiting the outback but I do not want to live there.

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7. I need to keep my day job because there are many jobs I don’t want to do. I would make a terrible deep sea diver or pioneering explorer. I like being comfortable far too much.

8. I am irresistible to flies. I am not unique in this, because flies aren’t fussy. (I know you have seen this photo before, but it is my best fly photo!)

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9. I can run faster than a sting ray can swim. I discovered this skill when a sting ray came past me in the water at Monkey Mia. I was out of there in no time. I don’t know if the sting ray even noticed me, but I did not go back in.

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10. I do not want to ride a bike across Australia. Many other people take on the challenge, but I don’t see the attraction. (Do you see this cyclist’s fly net? He’s irresistible to flies too.)

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While most of these revelations will probably not ever again be useful, some might come in handy one day. You never know when I might be called upon to race a stingray!

And so, after more than 14 ooo km, nine weeks on the road for Mr ET and seven weeks for me, the Round Australia Road Trip comes to an end. But stay tuned, because another adventure is just around the corner!

Too Good To Be True ~ Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Optimistic

After paying almost $2 a litre for fuel across inland Western Australia, the prices at this service station in Dampier caught our attention. Was the fuel really free? We indulged in some wishful thinking before deciding the tanks were probably empty.

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Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Optimistic

Ladies and Gents ~ Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Alphabet

Situated 166 km west of Broome and 230 km east of Fitzroy Crossing, the remote Willare Bridge Roadhouse is a welcome stop on Western Australia’s Great Northern Highway.

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Also much appreciated are the bathrooms, labelled with these unique handcrafted signs.

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Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Alphabet

A Loo with a View – The Road Trip Edition

Round Australia Road Trip#32

Bush loos, city loos,

Practical or pretty loos,

Loos with info,

Loos with style,

With views like this,

you’ll take a while!

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Victoria River, Northern Territory

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Lake Argyle, Western Australia

Lake Argyle, Western Australia

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Marlgu Billabong, Western Australia

Marlgu Billabong, Western Australia

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Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

Bungle Bungles, Western Australia

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Geikie Gorge, Western Australia

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Windjana Gorge, Western Australia

Windjana Gorge, Western Australia

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Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Western Australia

Shell Beach, Shark Bay, Western Australia

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Port Denison Fishing Fleet, Western Australia

Fishing Fleet, Port Denison, Western Australia

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Perth, Western Australia

Kings Park, Perth, Western Australia

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Cape Bauer, Great Australian Bight, South Australia

Cape Bauer, Great Australian Bight, South Australia

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Barrier Highway, New South Wales

Barrier Highway, New South Wales

Sometimes the view is on the loo.

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Kununurra, Western Australia

And when there’s no loo

A tree will do!

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De Grey River Free Camp, Great Northern Highway, Western Australia

Looking Out

Round Australia Road Trip #31

Mr ET tells me the optimum speed for best fuel consumption when towing our caravan is 100 km/hour. But 100km/hour is not great for taking photographs, and there’s no point in saying, “Stop! I want to take a photo of that!” because by the time we stop the subject of the photo is way back down the road.

So when we are travelling, I set my camera to sports mode. If I see something amazing, I point and shoot through the windscreen and hope for the best. Often the photos are blurred or crooked or I miss the subject altogether, but every now and then, I manage to get a decent photo.

Here are my favourite “Through the Windscreen” photos from our Round Australia Road Trip.

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Brumbies in the bush, Bullita Stock Route, Northern Territory

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Fire over the range, Old Telegraph Station, Parry’s Creek Road, Western Australia

Mirage, Great Northern Highway, Western Australia

Mirage, Great Northern Highway, Western Australia

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Peak Hour, North West Coastal Highway, Western Australia

Landing, Karratha, Western Australia

Smooth landing, Karratha, Western Australia

Solar powered street lights, North West Coastal Highway, Western Australia

Solar powered street lights, North West Coastal Highway, Western Australia

Which way? North West Coastal Highway, Western Australia

Which way? North West Coastal Highway, Western Australia

Windblown trees, Greenough, Western Australia

Windblown trees, Greenough, Western Australia

Renovator's Delight, New Norcia, Western Australia

Renovator’s Delight, New Norcia, Western Australia

Outback telecommunications powered by the sun, Eyre Highway, Western Australia

Outback telecommunications, powered by the sun, Eyre Highway, Western Australia

Someone has a sense of humour, Eyre Highway, Western Australia

A sense of humour, Eyre Highway, Western Australia

Overtaken on the Nullarbor, Eyre Highway, South Australia

Overtaken on the Nullarbor, Eyre Highway, South Australia

Travelling in style, Eyre Highway, South Australia

Travelling in style, Eyre Highway, South Australia

Been there, done that! Port Augusta, South Australia

Been there, done that! Port Augusta, South Australia

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Leave the mail at the front gate, Barrier Highway, New South Wales

Emu crossing, Barrier Highway, New South Wales

Emu crossing, Barrier Highway, New South Wales

Wide Load, Newell Highway, New South Wales

Wide Load, Newell Highway, New South Wales