On our way to Sydney

Today, January 25th 2018 we are in a suburb of Brisbane getting ready to end our stay in Australia and leave for Vietnam (29th). Tomorrow is Australia day, the national day of  Australia. It marks the arrival of the First Fleet of British ships in Port Jackson in 1788 and the raising of the British flag in Sydney Cove.

Flashback, on our last day in Victor Harbour, we made a beautiful sculpture walk (Wanderlust) on Granite Island. The combination of art and nature with blue skies is really top. You can visit the island by crossing a causeway or taking a horse-drawn tram (we walked).

Peter Lundberg, USA, Adam and Eve
Keizo Ushio, Japan, Oushi Zokei 2017
Britt Mikkelsen, WA, Ocean Lace
Greg Johns, SA, Horizon Figure. In the rear the causeway.

On our way to Cape Jervis we stayed at  Deep Creek Conservation Park and walked a part of the Heysen Trail. With its 1200km, The Heysen trail is one of the longest walking trail in Australia. We walked about 20km of it…

View of the coast along the Fleurieu Peninsula taken from the Tapanappa lookout at Deep Creek Conservation Park.
On our walk of the Heysen trail we finally saw a short beaked echidna. The echidna has a long snout and special tongue to catch insets really quickly. It is one of only two (the platypus is the other one) egg laying mammals. They lay one egg a year and the young stay 7 weeks in it’s pouch and till 6 months in the burrow of the mother. After 6 months they are on their own.The male is only around for the mating. Figures.
The beautiful Austral gras or Xanthorrhoea is endemic to Australia.
Stefan on our walk on the Heysen Trail.
One of the roads in Deep Creek conservation park.
Our first view after our arrival on Kangaroo Island. Kangaroo island is the 3rd largest island of Australia.
KIngscotte, Kangaroo Island, where the pelicans are waiting to be fed.
The Australian Pelican is a medium size pelican but their pink bill is enormous and the longest of any living bird. It mainly eats fish.
A quick walk on Kangaroo Island in the Kelly Hill Conservation Park before meeting with Katie, Karel and the girls.
Meeting with friends is like a celebration. We got some local oysters and Australian bubbles to celebrate. It was wonderful to meet again in a special place.
Relaxing and enjoying the latest news from Belgium.
Somebody else wanted to join in the fun, a curious Tammar wallaby.
Stefan and Karel at Remarkable Rocks.
It took 500 million years for rain, wind, and pounding waves to create these granite boulders which are now part of the Flinders Chase National Park.
A koala on the move in the campground. They become active around dusk but it is still rare to see them walk around as they sleep about 20 hours in a day. Needless to say this one got a lot of attention.
Stefan and Karel enjoying time together.
A koala with her baby, it took some time to find them and we took too many pictures :-)). The koala baby stays in the pouch the first 6 to 7 months. The young koala are called “joeys” and are fully weaned when they are about one year old.
The Rosenberg goanna, a monitor lizard. It is the only goanna specie living on Kangaroo Island. They were once common in South Australia but their numbers have declined drastically and therefore they are listed as vulnerable. They can live 30 years. I almost stepped on this one during one of our walks.
Getting ready for Christmas Eve.
Christmas Eve on Kangaroo Island, chilly but cozy together.
On our way to Cape Willoughby Lighthouse, the first to be built in South Australia (1852).
The New Holland honeyeater rarely sits still but somehow I did manage to get his picture. They mostly feed on nectar but also eat fruits and insects.
Cape Willoughby with the beautifull orange colour of the lichen.
Back on the main land, the Cape Jervis Lighthouse.
We had 4 days to cover the 1400km to arrive in Sydney on time for the New Year’s Eve celebrations. We made a quick visit to Mungo National Park to see “the Walls of China” at sunset. Mungo is part of UNESCO world heritage.
Mungo National Park is important for the archaeological remains discovered in the park. The remains of Mungo Man, the oldest human remains discovered in Australia, and Mungo Lady, the oldest known human to have been ritually cremated. Mungo man, whose remains were discovered in 1974, is believed to have lived between 40,000 and 68,000 years ago during the Pleiostene period. They were buried on the shore of Lake Mungo, beneath the ‘Walls of China’.
The female red-rumped parrot.
The male red-rumped parrot. The characteristic red rump is only found on the male. There are roughly 375 parrot species in the world and 56 species can be found in Australia.
We made a stop in Hay, about midway between Adelaide and Sydney and visited the Shear Outback museum. Sheep shearing is still an important activity in rural Australia. We saw how a big merino sheep was sheared.

At the start of the wool industry in the early 19th century, sheep were shorn with blade shears, similar to garden clippers. The first authenticated daily tally (amount of sheep shorn in a single day) was 30 sheep in 1835. By 1892, this had increased to 321. This record was broken in 1950 using machine shears. Today, a professional shearer, also called “gun”shearer, can shear a sheep in less than 2 minutes. The record stands at 37.9 seconds. In 2015 shearers could earn about 280 AUD per 100 sheep. An experienced shearer can shear about 400 sheep a day. The world record for the most number of sheep shorn in a day stands at 731, held by a shearer from New Zealand.

A first glimpse of the Blue Mountains. We will return after our visit to Sydney.
Celebrating New Year’s Eve at Kerry’s apartment with view of Harbour Bridge. We were sooooo lucky to be in good company for a special evening.
The first minutes of 2018 ! We will never forget these New Year celebrations.
On Christmas day we walked Harbour Bridge and visited the famous Opera House. It is one of the most popular visitor attractions in Australia, more than eight million people visit the site annually. On 28 June 2007, the Sydney Opera House became a UNESCO world heritage site. Construction began in 1958 and was formally opened in 1973.
View from Harbour Bridge towards Sydney.
View from one of the pylons of Harbour Bridge. Construction started in 1923 and in 1932 the bridge was opened.
The nickname of the bridge is “the Coathanger”. The bridge carries rail, car, bicycle and pedestrian traffic.
We also made a quick visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia in Sydney.

After being 6 days in Sydney, spoiled by the luxury of a nice apartment in a great location we felt it was time to explore more of the Australian nature and put Skippy back to use. We still had about a month to get to Brisbane. To be continued in my next blog :-).

4 thoughts on “On our way to Sydney

    1. Dank je wel Mieke, altijd leuk om te horen. De natuur is hier werkelijk prachtig en vaak is de realiteit mooier dan de fotos!
      Knuffel Ilse

  1. Ilse en Stefan, jullie foto’s zijn fantastisch mooi…. het is net of we erzelf bij zijn.
    geniet van jullie laatste dag in Australië
    liefs Justine

    1. Dank je wel. Het doet deugd zo een reactie te krijgen. We kijken uit naar de volgende maand in Vietnam.
      Knuffel Stefan en Ilse

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