Australia 2006 - Outback walkabout

   
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In 2006 I decided to visit Australia. Flew to Darwin in the Northern Territory in November and rented a campervan. Drove from Darwin to Cairns and then down the east coast to Sydney. The trip took about 3 1/2 week, and I covered a distance of 7500 km (4660 miles). A lot of outback driving with a worn Toyota Hiace. Filled with a fridge, a micro-oven, a gas stove, and sleeping accommodation. A bad car on the Australian outback dirtroads, and a gas-guzzler on paved roads.

First I visited Kakadu National Park, after attending a jumping croc cruise on Adelaide River. Although the massive saltwater crocodiles in Adelaide River are wild, they are accustomed to jumping out of the water in order to snatch a pork snack. Impressive. In Kakadu I took an evening cruise at Yellow Waters, which teems with wildlife. Definite a highlight. Next, after having spent some hours in Katherine Gorge and done some shopping in Katherine, I drove south on Stuart Highway to Tennant Creek and the Devils Marbles. Very nice desert colors in this area. Thereafter I headed east towards Mt. Isa. Before reaching Mt. Isa, I took a detour to Lawn Hill National Park. And experienced true wilderness, and did not see a car for hours driving on a partly bad dirtroad. Interesting, and a real outback experience. Lawn Hill was a very beautiful park. Next were Normanton and Karumba, and the Gulf of Carpentaria. Another day, and I reached Cairns, were I went to Fitzroy Island for snorkling. On my way south toward Sydney, I visited several national parks to look for wildlife. These included Paluma, Bowling and Eungella National Parks. I also took a day cruise to the Whitsunday Islands, and later visited Fraser Island for a two-day stay. After delivering an unharmed campervan, I spent the final week in Sydney.

It was a great journey, for sure. On this page I have posted some photos from the road trip.

 

A Saltwater Crocodile in Adelaide River in the Northern Territory

Darwin, Northern Territory

 

Mitchell Street, Darwin, Northern Territory

Mary River farmland, west of Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

 

Dry forest in Mary River National Park, Northern Territory

Bird Billabong in Mary River National Park, Kakadu National Park

 

Most likely Cycas armstrongii, Mary River National Park, Northern Territory

Cycas armstrongii, Mary River National Park, Northern Territory

 

Cycas plants belong to Cycadophyta, a very ancient lineage not closely related to palms, ferns, trees or any other modern group of plants. They are evergreen perennials which were common and had a worldwide distribution in the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods

Maybe Screw Palm (Pandanus spiralis) (not a true palm), Mary River National Park

 

Magpie Goose (Anserana ssemipalmata), Wandering Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna arcuata) and Plumed Whistling Duck (Dendrocygna eytoni), Mamukala wetlands, Kakadu National Park

Varied Triller (Lalage leucomela), Kakadu National Park

 

Crocodile bait, Adelaide River

Saltwater Crocodile, Adelaide River, Northern Territory. From a jumping crocodile cruise

 

Saltwater Crocodile

Termite mounds, Kakadu National Park

 

Ubirr rocks, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

Aboriginal art, Ubirr, East Alligator River, Kakadu National Park

 

Aboriginal art, Ubirr, East Alligator River, Kakadu National Park

East Alligator River, near Ubirr, Kakadu National Park

 

Billabong, Kakadu National Park

Yellow Waters, Kakadu National Park

 

A stand of Water Pandan (Pandanus aquaticus), Yellow Waters

Azure Kingfisher (Ceyx azureus), Yellow Waters

 

Forest Kingfisher (Todiramphus macleayii), Yellow Waters

Saltwater Crocodile, Yellow Waters

 

Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus), Yellow Waters

Australian Darter (Anhinga novaehollandiae), Yellow Waters

 

Phesant Coucal (Centropus phasianinus), Yellow Waters

White-bellied Sea-Eagle (Haliaeetus leucogaster), Yellow Waters, Kakadu NP

 

Collared Sparrowhawk (Accipiter cirrocephalus), Kakadu NP

Whistling Kite (Haliastur sphenurus), the most common roadside carrion-feeder down under

 

Whistling Kite, Kakadu NP

Kakadu forest

 

Roth's Tree Frog (Litoria rothii) hiding in the car, Kakadu NP

Australian Tiger (Ictinogomphus australis), Kakadu NP

 

Graphic Flutterer (Rhyothemis graphiptera), Kakadu NP

A Gilbert's Dragon (Amphibolurus gilberti), Daly Waters, I think.

 

Northern Territory riverine landscape

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory

 

Katherine Gorge, Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory

Daly Waters gas station

 

Daly Waters pub

Scorched earth, south of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

 

Paddy Melon (Cucumis myriocarpus), Northern Territory

Roadkill, the most common marsupial in Australia ...

 

Desert, central Northern Territory

Devils Marbles

 

Devils Marbles

Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

 

Devils Marbles

Devils marbles, south of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

 

Devils marbles area

More rocks at Devils Marbles

 

Desert termite moulds, Northern Territory

Probably a Two-lined Dragon (Diporiphora bilineata), south of Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

 

Eastern Galah (Eolophus roseicapilla roseicapillus), Northern Territory

Arid landscape, Central Northern Territory

 

Main Street, Tennant Creek, Northern Territory

Lonesome, somewhere in the outback

 

Australian Bustard (Ardeotis australis), north of Mt. Isa, Queensland

Outback, Thorntonia Yelvertoft Road south of Gregory Downs, Queensland

 

Campervan on the run. Zero traffic on this desolate dirtroad. Driving for 200 km, I met one car!

Flat landscape, somewhere north of Mt. Isa, Queensland

 

Outback Queensland

Frilled-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingi). It took off on two legs with the frill in full display. What a sight!

 

Frilled-necked Lizard (Chlamydosaurus kingi), north of Mt. Isa, Queensland

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Queensland

 

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

 

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

 

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

 

 

Maybe Sevenspot Archerfish (Toxotes chatareus), Lawn Hill National Park

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

 

Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Cluster Fig Tree (Ficus racemosa), Lawn Hill National Park. Saw a lot of fruit bats roosting at night in the park. Maybe they were feeding on figs?

 

Another lizard, most likely a Ring-tailed Dragon (Ctenophorus caudicinctus macropus), Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park

Outback camping at Lawn Hill, with an ice-cold Foster

 

Another outback waterhole ... Queensland

Dirt road road train, watch out for the dust!

 

Partly paved road. Typical countryside road in outback Australia

Bushfire, outback Queensland

 

Karumba tidal flats, Gulf of Carpentaria, Queensland

Brolga (Grus rubicunda), near Karumba, Gulf of Carpentaria

 

Mareeba Wetlands, Queensland

Wedge-tailed Eagle (Aquila audax), Queensland

 

Australian Brush-turkey (Alectura lathami), Queensland

Cairns

 

Party with some danish painters, Cairns. They loved Fernet Branca!

 

Fitzroy Island, outside Cairns

 

 

 

The curse of Queensland

 

Paradise Waterhole, Big Crystal Creek, near Paluma Range National Park, north of Townsville, Queensland

 

Paluma Range National Park, Queensland

Saw-shelled Turtle (Wollumbinia latisternum), Paluma Range National Park

 

Saw-shelled Turtle (Wollumbinia latisternum), Paluma Range National Park

Dubious Dtella / Northern Dtella (Gehyra dubia), Bowling Green Bay National Park, Queensland

 

Ulysses Butterfly (Papilio ulysses), Bowling Green Bay National Park

Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Bowling Green Bay National Park

 

Common Brushtail Possum (Trichosurus vulpecula), Bowling Green Bay National Park

Cane Toad (Rhinella marina), an invasive and unwanted species in Australia. At the Alligator Creek camping area in Bowling Green Bay National Park

 

Allied Rock Wallaby (Petrogale assimilis), Alligator Creek camping area in Bowling Green Bay National Park

Pale-headed Rosella (Platycercus adscitus), Eungella National Park, Queensland

 

Saw-shelled Turtle (Wollumbinia latisternum), Eungella National Park

The Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), Eungella National Park

 

River habitat of the Platypus in Eungella National Park

Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), Eungella National Park

 

Eastern Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii), Gold Coast

Queensland landscape

 

Whitehaven Beach area, Whitsunday Island, Queensland

White beach, Whitsunday Island

 

Wow! Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius), Whitsunday Island, Queensland

 

Lace Monitor (Varanus varius), Whitsunday Island

Camping at Hervey Bay (Beachfront Caravan Park), Queensland. Waiting for the trip to Fraser Island

 

Fraser Island wildfires in 2006, seen from Hervey Bay

Feeding the Rainbow Lorikeet (Trichoglossus moluccanus), Hervey Bay

 

Black Flying-Fox (Pteropus alecto), with a wingspan of more than 1 meter. Hervey Bay

Coloured sand cliffs along Fraser Island's eastern beach

 

Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island, a nice place for a swim

Central Valley fern, Fraser Island

 

Maybe Satinay (Syncarpia hillii), Central Valley

Maybe Piccabeen Palm (Archontophoenix cunninghamiana), Fraser Island

 

Dingo, Fraser Island

Our Fraser Island tour bus stuck in the sand

 

Driving on the beach, Fraser Island

Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

 

Koala from a Zoo (maybe David Fleay Wildlife Park?)

Byron Bay, New South Wales

 

Cape Byron lighthouse, New South Wales. Easternmost point in mainland Australia

Saw surprisingly few snakes on the trip. This is not a snake, but rather a Burton's Snake-Lizard (Lialis burtonis), Cape Byron, New South Wales

 

Byron Bay

Small-town Australia. Macksville (population 2.800), New South Wales

 

Drive In Bottle Shop, Macksville


Sand dunes at Hat Head National Park, New South Wales
 
Hat Head National Park

Sand dune erosion at Hat Head National Park
 
Sand dune vegetation at Hat Head National Park. Could be Angular Sea-fig/Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens)


Eastern Grey Kangaroo (Macropus giganteus), Hungry Gate campground, Hat Head National Park

 


Female Eastern Grey Kangaroo with joey, Hungry Gate campground

Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae), Hungry Gate campground

 

Laughing Kookaburra, Hungry Gate campground

And finally, Sydney

 

Sydney

Sydney

 

Sydney treet. View from hotel room

Manly Beach, Sydney

 

Bondi Beach, Sydney

Aboriginal Australian, Sydney

 

Aboriginal Australian