30 June 2014

Glen Helen Gorge, Northern Territory - part one

...continuing on with posts from my recent visit to Alice Springs and beyond

 taken from a lookout, vantage point, when nearing our end of day destination at Glen Helen Gorge.  The West MacDonnell Ranges forming a majestic backdrop.

 it's now 4.49 pm., and our tour group have just arrived.  Left luggage in my room so's to take a walk down by the Finke River waterhole, to get these photos before end of day.  The following COLD morning, we would be leaving at 7 a.m. for 4WD experience to Palm Valley.

I could hear budgerigars in these trees; I guess they were making the most of the sun up high and starting to roost too.  I walked under these trees then, and yes I could see them, but small birds as they are, and up so high; too much branches/leaves to pick up any photos of.  Close, but not close enough ...still, I was really pleased to see budgerigars in the wild for the very first time.

 at the base of the tree, a termite nest

Just incredible to witness scenes like this, during this journey.  I constantly had the camera to my face so I'd have the memories recorded to take home with me.  I could've easily sat there for hours though with a cuppa in hands, just taking it all in, everywhere we travelled to.

There's more from Glen Helen Gorge to come.

29 June 2014

...let's head out for a sunset over Uluru shall we?

It's now 5.45 pm, and our coach comes to a standstill, while picking up 24 passenger tickets for three day pass/entry to Uluru's Kata Tjuta National Park ($25 pp).

Just outside though, through the coach window and in the long shadow, lower centre of photo, you can make out rear end of a feral dingo.  

It casually turned back to look at us too, and later walked across the wide road ahead and strolled with some intent right up the middle of for a while, before crossing over to the far side.  Our coach driver Ray, suggested this isn't a true dingo since it hasn't a white tip on its tail.

We weren't first; we weren't the only ones ...others were here already, and as minutes rolled by, a larger contingent of tour buses arrived.  Note long-stemmed, plastic wine-glasses on table, ready for champers or other.

Our own group were spoilt too, with pre-dinner nibblies, cheeses, fruits, crackers and dips; and alchoholic beverages.  It was kind of a surreal experience, standing in red dirt with such a treat, and the 'big rock' Uluru standing proud in the distance.  

Thinking of 'sunset over Uluru' I had envisaged it would be that the sun set behind the rock i.e. see the sun slowly decending on the rock.  No, instead - the sun was behind US, and the 'sunset over Uluru' is the light from the sun OPPOSITE, which hopefully will cast good colour.  However, apparently that can depend on how hot the rock is (from the day's weather) too.  If it is hotter - then the colour is potentially, more intense.

Since it is now winter - and the days much cooler, with just one degree celcius evening and morning temperatures; may be that the sunset over Uluru this day is not as brilliant as at other times.  So what --- we'll just wait and see.  We're still enjoying every moment, and we have dinner to go to after this, back at the resort :).

it's now 6.14 pm.  Please visit this site to read more on Uluru, from where it is quoted rising 348 metres above the plain, more than 860 metres above sea level; that's higher than the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

and at 6.36 pm, this was pretty much the grand finale' to our sunet over Uluru experience.

 One of our tour group loved taking people photos for us.  Thanks Sue :)

Now, back at home, almost 3,000 kms away on the east coast of N.S.W., I still think of sunsets, and sunrises over Uluru, and the huge numbers of visitors that are witnessing them.  Our tour did also make it to the sunrise viewing platforms the next morning - so I will share those images at some time too.

ps - My Red Heart/red-dirt from the Northern Territory header photo, will remain up top until I slowly share photos from all locations visited.

28 June 2014

Hermannsburg Mission, Northern Territory

For the Arrernte Aboriginals of the Northern Territory during the 1880's, a Lutheran mission was built . Come 1982, it was handed over to the traditional owners and, is listed on the National Heritage register.

 A well known and talented Aboriginal water-colour artist was born here; his name, Albert Namatjira.

unique fencing from yesteryear, creates a rustic boundary for the now tourist tea-rooms

 the tea rooms are inside building at centre of photograph now, set behind the palm trees each side of  pathway. 

a $10 admission when visiting the mission

 the old church building still has the bell hanging from the tree/post.  

 water tank

they're sure to have had a hard life on dusty, corrugated roads

22 June 2014

Standley Chasm, Northern Territory

Almost 3,000 kms from home, Standley Chasm was another of the wonderful destinations visited recently.

It's not easy choosing which photos to share here, being mindful of offering too much information, or 'overload'.  Though, I still want to impart the real feeling or essence of the location too.  Hope you can enjoy this virtual walk with me. Shame you missed out though, on the hot cuppa and cherry slice with chocolate layered top, before the group started out.

let's step through here...

 looking up for a moment,(again), at those awesome Ghost Gums thriving as they do, on the ridge tops

and the hillside, dotted with Cycads

over this...looking like 'steps' on the right, let's take those...

Tour coach driver Ray, (left), dwarfed by the gigantic chasm walls over the dry river bed

Danger - do not pass this point

Linking up with Our World Tuesday

21 June 2014

a little from my recent trip to Alice Springs, Northern Territory, and beyond

Ten days tripping about Alice Springs and Uluru was nothing short of spectacular. My expectations were pretty high and I wasn't dissapointed.   The scenery was majestic, with many contrasts in between.

A 2.50 hr flight from Sydney, had the tour group arriving in Alice Springs, a distance of 2022 km.

I'm going to find it much easier to share snippets from various days, in no real sequence especially.  I'm like that when I pick up a magazine or newspaper too - somehow I want to know what's near the back end, or in the middle. before I read from the very beginning.

So this post, a little smorgasbord from here, and there ...

Oh, and early mornings, and evening temperatures, sat at a crispy 1 degree celcius!

 Simpsons Gap, West MacDonnell National Park, an early morning stop here, in the shadows

and looking up in one section, there were sighted two Wedge-tail Eagles eating what was thought to be a Rock Wallaby.  Later a lone Rock Wallaby was seen sitting on a rock shelf too.  

By the dry creek-bed of the Todd River, near to the Overland Telegraph Station

Lesser Wanderer, there were many on these gum blossoms.  Information sheet quotes "this butterfly contains alkaloids in it's body which induces vomiting in predators when eaten."  

the Ghost Gums stood proud, their roots wedged between the ochre-coloured rocks at great heights

sunset over Glen Helen Gorge at one end ...

while at the other, was this!

Yes, I have a host of photos to share, not only views like these, but also botanical, and some birds too. The birds will be shared over on Snap Happy Birdingas I settle back in to my blogging routine again.  

Oh, and maybe one last one, of final destination ....

Uluru sunrise, before breakfast back at the resort, and then returning for a 9.4 km Base Walk. Remember, it was just 1 degree celcius standing out on the viewing platforms waiting for this to happen.  Even though rugged up in layers; tips of fingers were frozen, as were my toes - just plain numb!  It took quite some time to thaw out.

07 June 2014

making it to the Moss Garden in the Gorge

Last post we stepped across the river stones at Carnarvon Creek, and have walked way beyond.  The group has been trekking towards the Moss Garden.

 You can just make out more steps to the right of the rock pillar

 this is promising

 it was so lovely and cool