Robin's Adventures

Australia & New Zealand 2012
Robin & Steve's Adventures Down Under

Colorful Birds

Other than marsupials, there are not many animals in Australia. There are, however, an incredible number of beautiful birds. Shown here are the white-winged fairy wren, the dusky grasswren, the blue wren, the spotted pardalote, and the zebra finch.

Desert flora and fauna

The thorny devil lizard has some amazing adaptations to help it survive harsh desert conditions. In addition to camouflage and spines for protection, there are also a series of ridges on the lizard's back that allows all of the dew that condenses on the animal during the night to be channeled into its mouth for drinking.

We also saw a stick insect, some beautiful flowers, and the peeling bark on a native gum tree.

Next Stop - Ayers Rock

Ayers Rock, also called by its aboriginal name, Uluru, is a sandstone formation that stands about 1,150 feet above the desert floor. Over the next few days we would take several hikes around the base and into small caves and canyons of Ayers Rock.

We would also watch the colors change the appearance of the rock from a variety of viewing points at sunrise and sunset. In between, we enjoyed our tenting experience at Longitude 131, including dining one evening under the stars.

Sunrise, Sunset

We saw some amazing sunrises and sunsets over the desert. The colors were spectacular.

A Piece of the Rock

From a distance, Ayers Rock is a large block of red sandstone. As we walked the trails and got a closer look, we could see all sorts of interesting features. There were caves, gorges, bowl-like depressions carved out by erosion, cracks, and a variety of interesting textures and colors.

Cave Paintings

As we hiked, our guide told us many aboriginal stories that related to the rock features. In several of the caves, we saw ancient aboriginal paintings.

On the Trail

Hiking trails took us all around the rock. Some trails were made of dry dusty red soil, others were rough uneven rocks. All of the trails led us to unusual and unexpected sights.

Sometimes, when we were ready to stop and watch the sunset, we would turn a corner to find a small table set up with appetizers and beverages.

Sunny Side Up

The colors of the rock are beautiful when the sun hits it just right.

Floral Displays

There were lots of colorful flowers along the trail.

Next Stop - Daintree

Our visit to the rainforest at Daintree began at Silky Oaks Lodge. We were surrounded by rainforest, even in the open walled dining room.