The traditional custodians of this very beautiful part of Australia, the Mirnang people, tell the following story about this place.
Two Mirnang brothers had their differences and were fighting over a young woman. The elders became tired of their squabbling and sent them to a place near The Gap.
They made one stand on one side of The Gap and one on the other side. One brother was good at throwing spears, while the other was good at throwing boomerangs. As the first brother threw a boomerang, the second threw his spear.
The first brother was struck by the spear. The other brother was struck in the back by the boomerang. Both warriors fell into the water.
The brother who was struck in the back by a boomerang turned into a shark. The fin on the shark is the boomerang. The brother who was hit by the spear turned into a stingray.
Dreamtime stories told by the Traditional Custodians are a wonderful way of gaining a better appreciation and understanding of our land and Janet and I seek them out wherever we travel in this great country of ours…
This story is recounted on a story board at The Gap and was made available by the sons of Norngen…
Photo’s: Baz – The Landy & Janet-Planet, South West, West Australia…
PS: And yes, it is a long way from our usual travel in the Australian Outback…!
Hamlin Bay, nestled south of the Margaret River, beautifully showcases the dramatic and beautiful southern West Australian coastline.
Today, Hamlin Bay is a mecca for holidaymakers who come to fish and surf in this picturesque area, perhaps in between visiting many of the wineries of the Margaret River Region.
In days gone by Hamlin Bay was a port from which Karri trees, harvested from the forests close by, were exported to destinations all over the world, including England, India, and South Africa. And it is worth mentioning that many streets of London are still paved with Karri from the forests in the area.
And the tall forests of Karri trees, standing proud, is a sight to behold as you tour the area.
One of the great things about Hamlin Bay are the stingray’s that abound. These gracious creatures of the sea swim alongside the waters edge as you stroll along the beach – truly a sight to behold…!
If you are ever in the area, this is a place not to be missed.
Photo’s: Baz-The Landy & Janet-Planet, Hamlin Bay, West Australia
Travelling around this great country we frequently come across great examples of the pioneering determination of our early European settlers.
The rabbit-proof fence, which was built in the early 1900s, showcases this pioneering spirit and determination and as we tour the wheat-belt region of West Australia we have seen a number of examples of the fence.
The fence was built in three-stages, commencing in 1901 and finished in 1907, and was once the longest fence in the world.
A farmer, in the State of Victoria, imported 24 rabbits from England in 1859 to breed on his property for hunting. Perhaps it seemed like a good idea at the time, but before long they had reached plague proportions – action was needed to stop the spread of the furry creatures.
Integral to the design of the fence were the “traps” that were erected approximately 5-miles apart along the fence line. They were 12 feet long, 7 feet wide and 3 feet high and entirely enclosed in rabbit netting.
At each end and up against the main fence wire netting funnels lead into the trap. Leading out from the funnels at each end of the trap – and at an angle of 45 degrees to the main fence were two wing fences.
The stray rabbits running along the fence would get caught in between the wing and the yard trap, move through the funnel of wire into the trap and couldn’t escape…!
Needless to say I suspect many of the trapped rabbits made their way into some very delicious stews!
Photos: Baz – The Landy, and Janet-Planet, on tour in West Australia
Last week we spent a few days at a Bush Heritage Australia conservation property, Scottsdale Reserve, which is located approximately 70-kilometres south of Canberra on the Monaro Highway.
And the weather was much warmer than the last time Baz was there in August when temperatures plummeted to minus 10 degrees. This time around the days were warm and the nights balmy…
Our assigned task was weed control, spraying fields of St John’s Wort that are now starting to flower. However, sporadic rain showers slowed this job down.
Mind you rain is most welcome on Scottsdale as it has been in drought for sometime.
So while Baz was out in the Polaris spraying weeds, I got to have a Master-class in propagating two types of Eucalyptus trees (Eucalyptus Bridge Siana and forgot the other one…oops)!
The propagation process entails looking under a microscope to see how many seeds are mixed in with the chaff, which in turn determines how big a scoop of seeds/chaff go into the potting tray.
I had no idea the seeds would be that microscopic, so it was a very small scoop…!
The trees will be planted on the property sometime over the next couple of years…
Late in the day, just around dusk, we made our way to a beautiful spot on the Murrumbidgee River, which the property fronts, to see if we could spot a Platypus, or two, but to no avail on this occasion, they didn’t want to come out and play. But we saw turtles, water rats and some big Murray Cod!
A great and fun time to spend a few days helping out the environment!
And hey, you can read some more about the work Bush Heritage Australia does, here.
Photos: Janet-Planet & Baz – The Landy, in Australia’s Alpine Region…
Now let me repent for just a moment, we haven’t disappeared into the wilderness over these past couple of months, although you might be forgiven thinking so given our absence from these pages.
TomO, the Crown Prince, has been finishing his final year of High School and sitting his High School Certificate (HSC) and University entrance exams, (oh please, don’t start me on that topic) so that’s where our focus has been. Mind you he has managed this intense period extremely well and hasn’t been too stressed about it.
TomO – First day of school
TomO – the Diver
TomO – The Army Cadet
TomO – Final day of school
Maybe he has been a little too relaxed, but hey, that’s not a bad way to live your life…!
Anyway, that is all behind us, and importantly, behind TomO as he sets his sights on a “gap year” before commencing his Undergraduate Degree at University; a Bachelor of Arts majoring in History, his favourite topic.
And rest assured, we haven’t wasted too much time getting (back) Out and About in this great country of ours, and last week we took the opportunity to spend some time on Sydney’s northern beaches, kayaking, hiking, and cycling…
Whilst we are quite accustomed to travelling many thousand’s of kilometres exploring our fabulous country, this trip was about 40-kilometres each way – mind you, we’ve always said there is plenty to see in your own backyard if you just take the time to look, so we lived to that motto as we enjoyed a camp lakeside at Narrabeen Lagoon.
Next week we are off to Scottsdale Reserve, situated south of Canberra, to do some volunteer work on this conservation property owned and managed by Bush Heritage Australia…
But hey, about this graduation from work thing I embarked on early last year. Crikey, let me tell you, do it if you can, life’s too short to contemplate what could have been…
One of the things I have come to appreciate is time – you don’t need to do everything at a break-neck speed, no work deadlines to be met, sleep in, if that’s what is needed or get up for a walk or a row up in the “shed” in the pre-dawn magic.
No rules, and strewth, you’re right, wouldn’t be “dead for quids”.
And Janet is itching to be Out and About, and she put the call out for me to “pack the TVAN Baz” and let’s head off down the driveway for some adventure in the Aussie Outback – yep, no encouragement needed on that one from me.
Speaking of which, we will cross the Australian Continent in December as we head to the West Coast for a couple of months…
We’ll have cameras at the ready to capture the landscapes of this great country of ours and we’ll be sure to share them..
Yeah, this “graduation from work” thing is working out swimmingly.
Isn’t that the beauty of life, ever evolving as we weave our own tapestry; a mosaic of our lives taking turns that one could not even imagine just a few years ago…
This week I am heading down to Scottsdale Reserve, a property owned by the conservation group Bush Heritage Australia to assist in a scientific study. Situated about 80 kilometres south of Canberra, Scottsdale borders Australia’s Alpine region and the mighty Murrumbidgee River runs through the reserve.
Each year a count is undertaken of the platypus population on this stretch of the river and involves sitting on the riverbank at dawn and dusk to “spy” this shy and unique mammal. And yes, it will be cold with minimum temperatures forecast to be as low as -7 degrees next week so I’ll be sure to pack my Driz-a-bone to keep me warm and the frost at bay…
So what took me from currency trader to counting platypus?
Well a love of the bush, the outdoors has always been my thing so it is no surprise that like a vortex the bush sucked me in once I“graduated from work”.
And hey, you’ll hear no complaints from me on how my tapestry; my mosaic is working out.
Sitting on a river bank counting platypus is timeless and without a doubt better for the soul than sitting in a trading room where fortunes are won and lost in the blink of an eye as currencies flirt with each other on world markets.
That isn’t to say trading currencies wasn’t fun, after all I did it with some great people who have become lifelong friends, but counting platypus is more appealing and far less stressful than staring at a computer monitor with one eye on the clock, counting down the hours, minutes to the end of the trading session.
By the way, what day did you say it was…?
(Just kidding, of course I know what day it is – a great one!)