I keep thinking that I am coming to the end of my photographs from Australia, but here is one more from Uluru, or Ayers Rock, in the Northern Territory. Uluru, the largest rock monolith in the world, has special, spiritual significance for the Aboriginal people, to whom it now belongs.
In this closer view of an Australian eucalyptus tree you can see dark black branches that have died even though the tree is still healthy. These hardy trees can cut off the supply of water to certain branches in times of drought, allowing the main body of the tree to remain alive. These sacrificed branches can fall off without warning, hence the nickname “Widow Maker”. Knowing about the eucalyptus’s tendency to drop branches might be handy if you are wandering in the outback.
Karijini, the subject of my last two posts, is only a small part of the Pilbara, a dry outback region in Western Australia. The Pilbara has huge expanses of gum trees, spinifex grasses, and other desert plants.
The area pictured here is rich in ire ore. Miners fly in from other parts of Australia and work for an allotted period, then return home temporarily. Everyone we saw at the local airport where we flew out wore a miner’s uniform and was headed for work. We took a wrong turn one night and ended up at a huge mine that was all lit up like a big city. It could have been an interesting photo, but a sign said, “STOP! Do not proceed!” So we turned around. We saw trains and big rigs, much longer than the ones we have in the U.S., filled with iron ore.
The descent into Weano Gorge, in Western Australia, was steep. But at least the endeavor did not require climbing down a vertical ladder, as some did, which would have been very hard to do with a camera and tripod.
I have read that seen from space, Australia’s prominent features are low-lying plains and basins covering millions of square miles. But the continent’s deep river gorges are spotted everywhere with extraordinary waterfalls. Tolmer and Wangi Falls are situated close to each other in Western Australia’s Litchfield National Park.
It is always nice to have something in the foreground of your photos. The pilings in the Docklands are perfect for this!
Also in the Docklands, are a marina and Webb Bridge, an artistic walking bridge across the Yarra River.
If you tire of walking, trains are going in, out, and around the city at all times. In this image taken from a bridge over the tracks at Flinders Station, some trains are moving fast enough to become mere streaks in my exposure while in others you can see the people.
I could call this shot “up a creek without a motor or a paddle” because that is really what happened! The Western Australian tour leader and captain of our tiny craft could not restart the engine after many, many tries over at least forty minutes. He begged some passers-by to lend us one of their oars (“just one, please”), but they declined. Meanwhile, I took this shot and the one below and eventually the motor started.
The agile rock wallaby, which lives in small colonies on rocky cliffs and ledges, is in a different genus from other wallabies more closely related to the kangaroos. There are many types of rock wallabies, and while technically not endangered, many populations have declined and are the subject of scientific study. Rock wallabies are nocturnal so it was a treat to see this one peeking out in broad daylight.
This coastal gorge along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia, is named after the English clipper ship Loch Ard that sank nearby in 1878. Of the 54 people aboard the clipper, only two nineteen-year-olds survived. Both of them floated in through the narrow opening in the distance.
To the right of the gorge opening and protected from the sea by its high walls, is this quiet cove with its waters lapping gently against the rock face and spilling silently onto shore.