Nothing speaks Australia more than these wonderful animals…
I never tire of watching, observing, and photographing them…
Photograph: Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia
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
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
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…!)
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.