Summer 1998 in Australia


Here is one of my first sights when I arrived in Sydney...the famed Sydney Opera House, which is situated right on the Harbor. The small white dot in the background is me standing at the base of one of the enormous buildings!

After spending the night in Sydney with friends, 4 of us were off on a plane northward into Queensland to Lammington National Park. Our stop was O'Reilly's Rainforest Guesthouse. The O'Reilly's have owned land here surrounded by the park for some 60 years. It is a most see place for anyone visiting Australia! You are treated like royalty, wth wonderful food and great accomodations. And the sights are something else. Here are a few of them. First...sunrise out our back sliding glass doors.

You never have far to go, if you want to see some of the wonderful flora and fauna. Here are some of the local birds who are always looking for a handout.Here I am feeding a few of the friendly parrots. The vibrant colors on the various parrots are incredible!

Here are some of the other residents roaming around on the grounds of O'Reilly's. In this case it is the miniature Kangaroo known as the red-necked pademelon. They were most common in the early morning hours, when they could be found on the grounds roaming around looking for something good to eat.  

Before I had visited Australia I had been delighted by two nature documentaries produced by David Attenborough shown on PBS. Upon arriving in Australia at O'Reilly's I was delighted to learn that these docmentaries had been filmed on the very grounds where I was staying! One of the animals featured in these productions was the story of a Satin Bower Bird. The Bower Birds have the peculiar habit of building an arched-shaped bower of twigs to attract a mate. The Satin Bower Bird in particular then carefully arranges articles he has collected that are all blue in color. I was pleased to see the very Satin Bower Bird named Jock shown in the documentaries. Jock was most obliging, he showed us how he would re-arrange his blue articles in front of his bower (after our guide moved one of the articles, putting it inside the bower--a no-no for Jock!). 

On some of our hikes we visited some of the numerous falls. Here is a view of the Morans Falls from the sides of the hills opposite it. The picture does not do justice to the great height of these falls, which I am told are even more spectacular when there has been a great deal of rainfall.

Another of our hikes through the rainforest brought us upon this "Strangler Fig Tree." These opportunistic trees can gradually encircle other trees using them for support and growing and eventually, as their name indicates, strangling the host tree it has surrounded. They can grow to great heights and circumferences. Here is a picture of my friend, Kirk (an American now living in Sydney), resting against the base of one of these giants.


More to follow....stayed tuned!

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Copyright © 1998 - Richard L. Hoover