Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Outback
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Outback
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Bush.
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Bush
Photo: Janet Planet – in the Australian bush!
This is actually a close up of the bark on a tree!
Photo: Janet-Planet in the Australian Bush
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian bush
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Outback
Photo: Janet-Planet, in the Australian Outback
I’m camped by a favourite waterhole of ours along the Bogan River as I head towards Milparinka which is situated in the Corner Country in the far northwest of New South Wales…
Hey. three weeks in the outback, where a deep blue sky gently blends to the red earth on a faraway horizon, and the night sky is laden with stars – how good is that, hey…!
Photo: Baz – The Landy, on the Bogan River
There is something very special about the Corner Country that has kept Janet and me coming back for as long as we can remember.
Perhaps it is the wide-open plains where the sunburnt land meets a deep blue sky on a far-away horizon, perhaps it is the golden sunsets as the sun slides below the western skyline, or maybe it is just the people and characters you meet out there…
In late May I will be acting caretaker at the Milparinka historical precinct and museum.
Milparinka is a tiny community located in far north-western New South Wales, about 40-kilometres south of Tibooburra and 300-kilometres north of Broken Hill. It is the oldest proclaimed township in the Corner Country, and is situated on the banks of the Evelyn Creek, named by Charles Sturt during his 1845 Inland Expedition.
Hey, be sure to drop into the museum and say g’day, if you’re out that way…!
Oh, don’t worry, if you can’t make it I’ll be sure to be capturing some of our spectacular outback in photo’s…
Photos: Baz – The Landy, Corner Country, Outback Australia…
Croajingolong National Park looks much the same today as when Captain Cook first sighted it in 1770…
“..With the first daylight this morn the land was seen, it made in sloping hill covered in part with trees and bushes, but interspersed with large tracts of sand… I have named it Point Hicks because Lieutenant (Zachariah) Hicks was the first to discover this land..” April 19th 1770.
Photo: Baz – The Landy, Point Hicks, Southern Australia…
One of Australia’s favourite birds, the Kookaburra, nature’s very own alarm clock “laughing” the day away…
I managed to photograph this beautiful pair as they sat on a rock looking over the ocean along Australia’s rugged southern coastline…
Photo: Baz – The Landy, Croajingolong National Park, Southern Australia
In the far west of New South Wales, some one thousand kilometres from Sydney, lies Lake Mungo and the Willandra Lakes World Heritage Area…
Now before you go strapping the kayak to the top of your vehicle or hitching the “tinnie” to the back of your four-wheel drive it is worth knowing that Lake Mungo has been dry for some 15,000 years.
But don’t be put off by that fact, this is a fabulous place to spend a few days exploring what is a very special place to three Aboriginal tribal groups, the Paakantji / Barkindji, Ngyiampaa and Mutthi people.
These people have walked this land for close to 50,000 years.
Yes, 50,000 years…!
To put some context to that, they only started building the pyramids about 5,000 years ago, and Christian’s celebrated the arrival of Jesus Christ just over 2,000 years ago.
And in more contemporary history of Australia, Captain Cook landed at Botany Bay less than 250 years ago.
Life would have been substantially different when the waters were teaming with fish and the land abundant with food sources. And remarkably, evidence of this era has been enshrined in the “Mungo Lunette” and uncovered by the moving sand dunes in this windswept land.
A Lunette is a crescent-shaped sand dune similar in outline to the first quarter of the Moon. The Mungo Lunette is also known as the “Walls of China”.
I visited the region recently with the hope of photographing the “Super Red Blue Moon” that rose in the skies on 31 January, the prospect of capturing a photograph of a remarkable event over the Walls of China proving irresistible to me.
The Walls of China is where the remains of “Mungo Lady” an aboriginal women of some 18 years of age was discovered in the late 1960s. Her discovery and subsequent removal from her “spiritual home” by archaeologists’ was not without controversy, especially for the aboriginal people from this region.
Mungo Woman was eventually returned home to rest in country by her people and similarly, Mungo Man, whose remains were removed from his resting place has also made the journey home to country.
Scientists’ estimated that Mungo Man walked this land over 40,000 years ago.
It was against this cultural backdrop that I stood alone at the Mungo Lunette, a number of camera’s at hand to capture this remarkable lunar event.
But it wasn’t too be as cloud cover “eclipsed” my view of the moon as it rose over this ancient land.
Looking to the west, the sky was ablaze as a fiery sun cast its final rays into a darkening night sky…
I closed my eyes and let my mind drift and wondered if the spirits of those who had walked this land were sitting around the glow of this eternal fire, breathing life to this place of Haunting Beauty…
Photo’s: Baz – The Landy, Mungo National Park, Outback Australia
Well I’ve left the “big smoke” behind and pointed myself westward towards Mungo National Park to watch the lunar eclipse in a couple of days.
But hey, with time on my side what better way to wile away that time than being camped beside the mighty Murrumbidgee River at Gundagai reading poems and short stories by one of Australia’s greatest story tellers, Henry Lawson.
And of course, apart from the river the town is famous for the “Dog on the Tucker Box”…
Photos: Baz – The Landy, Gundagai…
I’m sure many are aware of a rare lunar phenomenon that is set to occur next week.
It is being billed as a “once-in-a-lifetime” lunar trifecta and Australian’s have one of the best vantage points around the globe to view what is being described as a “super red blue moon” as three lunar conditions converge.
Apparently, a super moon occurs when the moon reaches its closest point to earth and appears much larger than normal (some 30% they say). The red part happens during a lunar eclipse, and the blue moon is when there are two full moons in a month.
Some experts suggest that it is unlikely to see all three events converge again this century, although I have seen conflicting reports on this with suggestions there will be another one in 2028 – but given it last occurred in 1866 I’ll try and observe this one and leave it to the experts to argue over the timing of the next one.
I was pondering where to view it from away from the glare of city lights and decided on heading to the World Heritage listed Mungo National Park, south east of Broken Hill.
It has been at least two decades since I last visited the area so I am looking forward to it, although with daytime temperatures getting up to around the 45C mark I doubt I will linger there for too long afterwards. But it is a spectacular area, so I’ll play that one by ear and see how the weather is…
The phenomena is due to start on 31 January around 10:30pm (AEDT) and end just after 2:00AM (AEDT) on 1 February…
Photo: Baz – The Landy, Moreton Bay, Queensland
Australia is a remarkable country, with a remarkable history…
An island continent inhabited by our first nation people for ten’s of thousands of years, and more recently, through European settlement. At times, it can be an unforgiving place where water can be scarce.
Australian aboriginal people moved from water-hole to water-hole to survive in the harsh desert country relying on “dream-time stories” to guide them…
Stories told in song, carvings and engravings, and rock art.
For our early European explorers’ finding water was critical as they surveyed our vast sunburnt country. At times, it was a critical life and death situation and there are many tributes to these explorers’ dotted across Australia.
Two explorers, John and Alexander Forrest, both surveyors, travelled into the vast Western Australian desert region in 1874. One can only imagine what was in their thoughts as they stood atop Mt Allott looking back across the vast plains to Mt Worsnop in the distance…
Perhaps it was the need to find a water supply before thirst from the relentless heat of the desert claimed them.
Standing on Mt Allott I reflected on how you can only live in the moment you are in; the past is irrelevant and the future may never arrive – you can only survive one moment at a time…!
That’s a great way to live your life, one moment at a time. Hey, what do you reckon?
Photos: Baz, Outback Australia (somewhere…!)
Happy New Year to all…
Yes, it seems I’m a couple of weeks late, but hey, I’m working on leisure time these days…
Janet and I are gearing up for plenty of adventure travel into the Australian Bush and Outback this year and we’ve dusted the cameras’ off to photograph our magnificent country.
Photo’s: Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia.
The Australian Bush is full of unique experiences, especially when it comes to our wildlife, and sometimes you might just find something interesting in your own backyard…
Recently, I was fortunate to observe a magnificent looking ‘Powerful Owl’ whilst walking the Warimoo and Sphinx Tracks at Bobbin Head, in Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park.
Janet and I think of this area as our ‘backyard’ and over many years we have walked and kayaked through this area, which is little more than 20-kilometres north of the Sydney CBD. And yet, this was a first time spotting for us of the powerful owl, which is Australia’s largest, in this location.
Although, it is a familiar bird for us as we have visitations from one into the local park opposite our home. In fact, I heard our resident owl calling just a few nights ago…
Following my sighting of the bird last week I made contact with Beth Mott, Project Officer for the Powerful Owl Project with Birdlife Australia who was excited to review the area and to glean if there is a pair that might be raising a young chick.
So today, Janet, myself and Beth set off along the track to see if we could find any further signs of inhabitation.
Janet and I were on a steep learning curve when it came to bird observation, but Beth, who holds a Degree in Conservation Biology, and who has undertaken a PhD study on ‘Animal Community Dynamics’, enthusiastically showed us many of the ‘telltale’ signs to look for.
Um, that includes bird vomit and droppings, you know, poo!
Beth’s enthusiasm was infectious and on our walk she went on to explain…
“We aim to locate Powerful Owl breeding pairs within urban Greater Sydney, which also includes Newcastle in the north to Kiama in the south and west to the Blue Mountains.
We also aim to identify the location of nesting trees and record breeding behaviour and success.
This information will help determine the critical roosting and breeding requirements of urban Powerful Owls. We are collecting data on diet and foraging habitat to gain a greater understanding of their urban ecology, as well as look at threats (causes of injury and mortality) within the urban landscape.”
We were surprised to learn that there is estimated to be only around 400 Powerful Owls in the Greater Sydney Region and around 5,000 in Australia, and that puts them only one notch above being an “endangered species”.
Powerful Owls have a slow; double-note ‘whoo-hoo’ call that is soft, but very strong and resonant, and which can be heard more than 1-kilometre away. And the most common time to hear them is when they “wake” to a new day, at least for them, around dusk…
So if you hear that sound, take the time to look around your ‘backyard’ you might just find a special visitor, and if you do observe one, be sure to let the good people at Birdlife Australia know…
Photos: Baz – The Landy, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, Bobbin Head.
If there is something other than the gorgeous colours that draws me deep into the Australian Outback, it is our unique and diverse birdlife.
I never tire of sitting in the bush observing the many varieties of birds of all shapes and sizes and colour.
Recently, I was contacted by a researcher from Germany who is doing a thesis on a bird that I grew up with in Northern Australia and one that will be familiar too many, the Zebra Finch, and they were keen to use this photograph in their paper.
It is a favourite photograph of mine that showcases this wonderful bird in all its splendour…!
Photo: Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia
ps: I had about one-second to get this shot away before they flittered away – the wonders of continuous shooting…!
Situated in the Gulf Savannah country of northern Australia, with its deep gorges and craggy rocky outcrops, is the rugged and spectacularly beautiful Boodjamulla National Park…
This is an ancient, sunburnt land, and archaeological evidence suggests the area has been continuously occupied for at least 30,000-years, possibly longer than anywhere else in Australia.
The attraction is the permanent water source of Lawn Hill Creek. During arid times, when other sites where abandoned, this area was like an oasis in the desert for aboriginal people, Australia’s first people, who gathered here to camp, fish, and hunt.
Janet, TomO, and I have explored this region previously, but it has drawn us back like a magnet on many occasions, and being in North Queensland I could not resist the lure of another visit, to walk through the country and swim in Lawn Hill Creek.
In the Dreamtime stories of the Waanyi people, “Boodjamulla” is a spiritual person, the creator of all animals.
In the words of the Waanyi people…
“He made all the animals in the Lawn Hill area, and all the billabongs such as the green swamp, and all the bush tucker. Boodjamulla’s dreamtime travels started in Waanyi country at Cabbage Tree Spring, up above Riversleigh, giving water to O’Shanassy Creek, Lawn Hill Creek, the Gregory River, Louie Creek and Lilydale Springs.
Waanyi believe that Boodjamulla created these rivers as healing waters – known in Waanyi language as Bougli Water”…
Perhaps for the Waanyi people, the “Bougli Waters” has a different interpretation, but I certainly found the cool spring fed water of Lawn Hill Creek soothing after a day of walking in the gorges and climbing the Constance Range.
As a base for this trip I stayed just outside of the national park at Adels Grove, a private campground that we first visited in the early 1990s. Not much has changed over the years, and that is a good thing.
Adels Grove was declared a ’Miner’s Homestead Perpetual Lease’ in 1920, being within the Burketown Mineral Field at that time.
According to the history provided by the current owners, Adels Grove lease was purchased by Albert De Lestang, a French botanist, who experimented with the growing of tropical trees and fruits and had in excess of 1,000 trees and sold the fruit to supplement his income.
Tragically, in the early 1950s the ‘Grove’ and buildings were accidently burnt down. By this time Albert was in his seventies and after loosing everything, including all of his written records, he succumbed to depression and died age 75 at Charters Towers in 1959.
‘The Grove’ has certainly provided shade and comfort from the heat of the winter sun during my stay, with temperatures reaching up to 36 degrees throughout the day and around 15 degrees at night…
Apart from the rugged and rocky outcrops surrounding the gorge, the country has a prolific amount of wildlife. This includes the Johnstone’s crocodile or Freshie as it is usually known, turtles, the olive python, a large variety of birds, and a favourite of ours, the Gilbert Dragon, or Ta-Ta lizard due to the peculiar little wave it gives with its front legs before scampering away.
I managed to photograph some of the wildlife on my walks and at other times, simply sat back and enjoyed the calls of the birds flittering through the trees, and of the birds of prey soaring overhead.
And yes, I did swim with the Freshwater Crocs. Unlike their Saltwater cousins, the Freshie’s are generally timid and will leave you alone, if you stay out of their way…!
Boodjamulla National Park, truly an Oasis in the Desert in Australia’s Gulf Savannah.