The Outback’s Marvelous Animals and Where to Find Them!

Welcome to Alice Springs and the Outback!

2016-05-25_0002.jpg

Two years ago, I was in Virginia, USA. Today, I am in the Central Australian outback.  I didn’t know what to expect as my husband and I planned our move here, but I was very excited and eager to get to Alice Springs.
I had always heard about Australia’s popular animals, like the kangaroo and koala, but I was also looking forward to seeing this country’s other animals.  As time has gone by, my goal of witnessing these well known iconic outback animals, has been reached.
As a traveler, you will see some of them locally, but others will be a bit harder to find. After all, it has taken me one and a half years . In this blog,  I am going to share where you can see some of them when you are short on time.   I can also point you in the right direction to see camels, donkeys, emus and brumbies, if you have more time to explore.

KANGAROOS
The first one is the kangaroo. There are a couple places where you should be pretty successful in seeing one or more. The first is Olive Pink Botanic Garden (opbg.com.au) in Alice Springs. Keep your eyes open, though!  They blend in with the scenery.  I brought some people from the U.S. here earlier this year, and they were so excited to see their first wild kangaroo. Not many can say they have seen that!

2016-05-16_0006.jpg
Telegraph Station – Alice Springs, NT  – take a walk before the sun rises or sets. It is the perfect time to see kangaroos and wallabies and to also watch the sun glisten on the grasses.  Trig Hill is located at Telegraph Station,  is a short hike and climb, a great place to see some kangaroos and nice place to watch the sun set over Mt. Gillen.
2016-05-25_0001
Telegraph Station – A great place to see kangaroos and wallabies!

If you find yourself with more time, visit the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs (www.kangaroosanctuary.com).  There, you will meet Brolga and his mob of kangaroos. You may even get to cuddle some joeys!

2016-05-29_0018.jpg
This handsome dude’s name is Bronco.  You can meet him, along with many other kangaroos,  at the Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, NT.

BIRDS

Birds are plentiful here!  Pictured below are 2 of Central Australia’s raptors:  the kite (top left) and the wedge-tailed eagle (right).  The red-tailed black cockatoo (bottom left), however, is a social bird seen in flocks.

You will see eagles alongside roads where there is roadkill.  Be careful, though, as the eagles take off slowly if they are full, and may fly towards your car. You can also find them perched high in bare branches.

Alice Springs Desert Park has a wonderful bird show 2 times each day if you would like to learn more about raptors, owls, the magpie, the curlew, the heron, the hobby, and the tawny frogmouth, to name a few.

2016-05-25_0004.jpg

Below is a honey-eater miner bird.  They are amusing to watch as they bully the other birds away from their territory.  Just look around;  you will see them looking for nectar on flowering trees.

2016-05-29_0014.jpg
Yellow-throated Miner bird

Below is a glossy ibis.  They are plentiful around areas that have water, such as Alice Springs Golf Club and Ellery Creek Big Hole.

2016-05-29_0015.jpg
Glossy Ibis

 

2016-05-31_0001.jpg
On the left is the bower bird. One of the most interesting things about this bird is its nest. Look it up and you’ll see!  On the right is another photo of a kite.  You will be able to see kites flying in Alice Springs,  near river beds, and over fields.

DONKEYS

The donkeys and camels are not close by.  If you have time to spare, take a ride to Chambers Pillar, and you may see a few!  If you are a camper, Chambers Pillar is a nice place to camp overnight or for a weekend.

2016-05-29_0013.jpg

2016-05-29_0017.jpg
These 2 were keeping a close eye on us.

CAMELS

2016-05-29_0002.jpg
This was one big camel!  I think he was the alpha male of the bunch! Not seen in these photos were the other 11 camels with him.

2016-05-29_0003.jpg

EMUS

Emus are not easy to find in the wilds around Alice Springs, but they can be seen at Alice Springs Desert Park – one of my favorite places to visit (check out http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au).  The photos below were taken close to the South Australia border and at one of the roadhouses along Stuart Highway south.

2016-05-29_0004.jpg

2016-05-29_0016.jpg
These birds are so prehistoric looking and sounding. He makes a low, rumbling, drum-like sound and his feet look like they belong to a dinosaur.

BRUMBIES

Brumbies are free-roaming wild horses. A group of Brumbies is known as a “mob” or “band”.

2016-05-29_0005.jpg
This photo was taken as the sun was rising on Stuart Highway about 20 kilometers ( 12.5 miles) south of Alice Springs.  He was right by the side of the road.
2016-05-29_0011.jpg
Palm Valley – To see these horses was the icing on the cake!
2016-05-29_0012.jpg
Palm Valley

DINGOES

Alice Springs has a population of dingoes in and around town.  I have seen them in the dry Todd River near walking paths around Telegraph Station, and in the dry riverbed near Anzac Oval.

On one of our walks, my husband and I saw 2 dingoes chasing a kangaroo.  I love taking photos of animals and I know the dingoes have to eat, but… I didn’t want to see the up close and personal hunting.  I found myself yelling to the kangaroo, “Run!”  Phew – the kangaroo got away, but why did that kangaroo have to run right toward them!?

2016-05-29_0006.jpg
Having fun and relaxing in the sun!   –  Telegraph Station – Alice Springs

2016-05-29_0007.jpg

COWS

I know you can pretty much see cows anywhere, but they are a big part of our landscape and local fauna, and I wanted to include them.  Watch them for a little while and you will see their personalities.  Don’t get too close, though, or they will run away!  They are very skittish.

2016-05-29_0009.jpg
A great place for a morning ride is Arltunga – ruins of an old gold mining town about 110 km (68 miles) from Alice Springs off Ross Highway. You will travel through cattle stations, red sand roads, and see lots of cows.
2016-05-29_0010.jpg
Please be careful while driving!  Cows love to hang out by the side of the road; especially Ross Highway and Stuart Highway.  Also, Old South and Rainbow Valley are cow hang-outs, where they love to walk in the middle of the road.

I hope you have enjoyed this introduction to Central Australia’s animals. Maybe next time, I will write about reptiles to love, and the snakes and insects to avoid. 🙂

Here is a lizard to love, as a teaser…

2016-05-31_0002.jpg
This is the bearded dragon.  They love to sun themselves and have a friendly and calm disposition.  Hint:  you can see a bearded dragon and other reptiles and snakes at the Alice Springs Reptile Centre (www.reptilecentre.com.au)

 

Until next time!

Debra

 

ALICE SPRINGS’ OWN CAMEL CUP

There is always a first for everything and two weeks ago I attended my first camel cup races.  What a hoot!  Instead of writing about it, though, I thought I would let my photos tell the story.  As they say, a picture tells a thousand words.

So, here goes!

Hope you enjoy and smile!

2015-07-28_0015
Upon entrance there were helicopter rides for a fee and concession stands for food, drinks and beer.
2015-07-28_0016
Petting Zoo
2015-07-28_0017
Children’s rides
2015-07-28_0002
2015-07-28_0007 There was a parade before all the races began

2015-07-28_0020

2015-07-28_0021
The race track with a view of the scenery, concessions and stands
2015-07-28_0004
This is one of the boats that participates in the Henley on Todd – boat races without water. This particular boat is a Pirate. Check these websites out for a history of this iconic race – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henley-on-Todd_Regatta
2015-07-28_0019
Vikings! http://www.travelnt.com/en/alice-springs-and-surrounds/events/henley-on-todd-regatta
2015-07-28_0003
Say it again. I didn’t hear you!

2015-07-28_0005 2015-07-28_0006

2015-07-28_0023

2015-07-28_0014
Let the races begin!

2015-07-28_0024

2015-07-28_0013 2015-07-28_0012 2015-07-28_0011 2015-07-28_0010 2015-07-28_0009 2015-07-28_0008

Hope you enjoyed your first Camel Cup!

Cheers!

A VISIT TO WASHINGTON, D.C. – the CAPITOL BUILDING

Our trip to the U.S. was crazy.  You know the saying, “Don’t have a baby, move, get married, and buy a house all at the same time.  Well we sorta’ did that – all in the month of June, 2015.  We traveled back to Virginia from Central Australia, we didn’t have a baby but our son and his wife did and we became Grandparents for the first time (woo hoo) , we did ship more belongings back to Australia and stored much more, no one got married, and finally,  we didn’t buy a house but closed ours up so our new tenants could move in July 1st.  So, when the opportunity came for a personal tour of the Capitol Building by a close family friend who works on Capitol Hill, we jumped on it.  It provided the break from the routine we needed.

We left Berryville, VA at 6:30 am and traveled with the rest of the hoards of commuters to DC.  My Mom, myself and son got dropped off in front of the Capitol while my husband found parking.  As an aside, he parked at Union Station which was perfect and cost a reasonable $20 for the day.

He was about to meet up with us when everyone waiting for tours was asked to walk toward the Supreme Court.  It turned out the building was being evacuated.  It made national news.  Of all the days!  Anyway, John, our special tour guide, was able to reunite us all again and we visited the Cannon Building where some of our elected officials have their offices.

Once we got the go-ahead our tour began.  What a phenomenal tour!  John knows that building inside and out and all the history behind everything we saw!  And photos are allowed; so bring your camera.

DSC_6374
the WASHINGTON MONUMENT – any time we drive in from Virginia we see this magnificent monument. *It is located almost due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial *It stands 554 feet 7 11/32 inches (169.046 m) tall *It is made of marble, granite and bluestone gneiss *It is both the world’s tallest stone structure and the world’s tallest obelisk – credit Wikipedia
2015-07-10_0001
The UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDING East Capitol St NE & First St SE Washington, DC 20004 United States http://www.nps.gov search US Capitol
2015-07-10_0003
CAPITOL DOME RESTORATION- “The United States Capitol Dome, symbol of American democracy and world-renowned architectural icon, was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago. The Dome has not undergone a complete restoration since 1959-1960 and due to age and weather is now plagued by more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies. The Architect of the Capitol recently began a multi-year project to repair these deficiencies, restoring the Dome to its original, inspiring splendor and ensuring it can safely serve future generations of visitors and employees as the roof of the Capitol. “As stewards of the Capitol for the Congress and the American people, we must conduct this critical work to save the Dome,” said Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP. “From a distance the Dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees. On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome.” Following a full and open competitive bidding process, a contractor was selected to perform the Dome Restoration Project. The AOC will supervise the project to ensure it remains on time and on budget. The project was awarded in November 2013 and preparation work began in January 2014. To protect the public during this project, a canopy system in the shape of a doughnut will be installed in the Capitol Rotunda. The configuration allows the Apotheosis of Washington mural, in the eye of the Rotunda, to be visible during the restoration process. To facilitate the installation of the canopy system, the Rotunda was closed from April 12 to April 28, 2014. Following installation of the safety netting, a scaffold system that will surround the exterior of the Dome will be installed. Scaffold towers and scaffold bridging will also be constructed on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol Building (the National Mall side) to help move materials to the work areas.” – credit Architect of the Capitol website http://www.aoc.gov
DSC_6422
One of the many beautiful GARDENS of the U.S. Capitol
2015-07-10_0004
The United States Capitol CRYPT is the large circular room filled with forty neoclassical Doric columns directly beneath the United States Capitol rotunda. It was built originally to support the rotunda as well as offer an entrance to Washington’s Tomb. It currently serves as a museum and a repository for thirteen statues of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The crypt originated with the initial designs drawn up for the United States Capitol by William Thornton, which called for a rotunda to be placed between the two wings of the building.[1] The room beneath the rotunda was therefore required to support the large space above it. However, construction did not begin on the central part of the Capitol, where the rotunda and the room beneath it were located, until after the War of 1812. Construction on the Capitol itself began in 1793, when the first American President, George Washington, laid down the cornerstone to the north wing of the building.[2] Upon the death of Washington in 1799, the designers of the Capitol went to Martha Washington and requested permission to build a tomb for her husband in the Capitol. She acquiesced to this request and plans were made to construct the tomb underneath the floor that supported the rotunda. This area was designated the crypt, as it would serve as the entry to the tomb.[citation needed] Delays wracked the construction efforts of the Capitol’s builders, notably the interruption by the War of 1812, when all construction came to a halt. In August 1814, the British captured the city of Washington and set fire to the Capitol, nearly destroying the entire building. Thus, when construction recommenced after the war ended in 1815, it was initially to rebuild what had been lost to the fire.[3] The central section of the Capitol comprising the rotunda and the crypt was not completed until 1827 under the oversight of Architect of the Capitol Charles Bulfinch.[4] However, plans to re-inter Washington in the Capitol fell apart when attempts were made to retrieve his body from Mount Vernon, the President’s home, due to restrictions of Washington’s will and refusal of the plantation’s then owner, John Washington.[5] A marble compass was set into the floor of the chamber to mark the point where the four quadrants of the District of Columbia meet.[6] Present-day usage[edit] The crypt serves as the main thoroughfare of the ground floor of the Capitol and is a stop for all Capitol Tours provided through the Capitol Visitor Center. The crypt also contains the Magna Carta Case, a gold case which held one of the versions of the Magna Carta when it was on loan to the United States for the Bicentennial celebration. -credit Wikipedia
DSC_6456
GENIUS OF AMERICA “The sculptural pediment over the east central entrance of the U.S. Capitol is called Genius of America. The entire pediment is 81 feet 6 inches in length and the figures are 9 feet high.” “Luigi Persico, Copied by Bruno Mankowski Artist Sandstone, 1825-1828 Marble, 1959-1960 East central entrance of the U.S. Capitol” The central figure represents America, who rests her right arm on a shield inscribed “USA”; the shield is supported by an altar bearing the inscription “July 4, 1776.” America points to Justice, who lifts scales in her left hand and in her right hand holds a scroll inscribed “Constitution, 17 September 1787.” To America’s left are an Eagle and the figure of Hope, who rests her arm on an anchor. “Italian sculptor Luigi Persico’s original design for the sculpture included figures of Peace, Plenty, and Hercules; these were replaced at the suggestion of President John Quincy Adams with the figure of Hope. Adams wished the design to “represent the American Union founded on the Declaration of Independence and consummated by the organization of the general government under the Federal Constitution, supported by Justice in the past, and relying upon Hope in Providence for the future.” “Persico created the original sandstone figures in 1825-1828. When the Capitol’s east central front was extended in 1958-1962, the badly deteriorated figures were removed and restored and plaster models were made of them. From these models the reproductions seen today on the pediment were carved in Georgia White marble by Bruno Mankowski.” “The plaster models are displayed in the basement rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building, on the subway level. The original sandstone figures are in storage.” -credit  Architect of the Capitol website: http://www.aoc.gov
DSC_6520
JUSTICE and HISTORY Artist: Thomas Crawford  “The sculpture Justice and History is located above the Senate bronze doors on the Capitol’s East Front. The draped female figures of Justice and History recline against a globe. Justice holds a book inscribed “Justice / Law / Order” in her left hand; her right hand rests on a pair of scales. History holds a scroll inscribed “History / July / 1776.” “American sculptor Thomas Crawford, working in his studio in Rome, created Justice and History for the extension of the U.S. Capitol. The sculpture arrived at the Capitol in early 1860 and was kept in the former Hall of the House of Representatives until the exterior of the Senate extension was ready to receive it.” “Placed above the Senate doors in 1863, the sculpture deteriorated over the following century. In 1974 the original was removed, restored with plaster to its appearance as documented in early photographs, and then used as a model for the carving of a new marble replica, which was installed at the U.S. Capitol later that year. The restored original figures may be seen in the Capitol terminal of the Senate subway.” “Sculptor Thomas Crawford (1814-1857) also created the Statue of Freedom atop the dome, the designs of bronze Senate and House doors, and the pediment sculpture Progress of Civilization over the east entrance to the Senate wing.” – credit Architect of the Capitol website: http://www.aoc.gov
DSC_6555
the APOTHEOSIS OF WASHINGTON – “Painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi, the Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the U.S. Capitol Building’s Rotunda depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame and surrounded by six groups of figures. The fresco is suspended 180 feet above the Rotunda floor and covers an area of 4,664 square feet.In the central group of the fresco, Brumidi depicted George Washington rising to the heavens in glory, flanked by female figures representing Liberty and Victory/Fame. A rainbow arches at his feet, and thirteen maidens symbolizing the original states flank the three central figures. (The word “apotheosis” in the title means literally the raising of a person to the rank of a god, or the glorification of a person as an ideal; George Washington was honored as a national icon in the nineteenth century.)” – credit Architect of the Capitol http://www.aoc.gov
DSC_6489
A PAINTING on an archway depicting the Old House Chamber, 1838
DSC_6578
One of the many beautiful and ornate CHANDELIERS and DOMES located in the U.S. Capitol
DSC_6624
NATIONAL STATUARY HALL ” is a chamber in the United States Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans. The hall, also known as the Old Hall of the House, is a large, two-story, semicircular room with a second story gallery along the curved perimeter. It is located immediately south of the Rotunda. The meeting place of the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 50 years (1807–1857), it is now the main exhibition space for the National Statuary Hall Collection. The Hall is built in the shape of an ancient amphitheater and is one of the earliest examples of Neoclassical architecture in America. While most wall surfaces are painted plaster, the low gallery walls and pilasters are sandstone. Around the room’s perimeter stand colossal columns of variegated breccia marble quarried along the Potomac River. The Corinthian capitals of white marble were carved in Carrara, Italy. A lantern in the fireproof cast-steel ceiling admits natural light into the Hall. The chamber floor is laid with black and white marble tiles; the black marble was purchased specifically for the chamber, while the white marble was scrap material from the Capitol extension project.[citation needed] Carlo Franzoni’s 1810 sculptural chariot clock, the Car of History depicting Clio, muse of history, recording the proceedings of the house Only two of the many statues presently in the room were commissioned for display in the original Hall of the House. Enrico Causici’s neoclassical plaster Liberty and the Eagle looks out over the Hall from a niche above the colonnade behind what was once the Speaker’s rostrum. The sandstone relief eagle in the frieze of the entablature below was carved by Giuseppe Valaperta. Above the door leading into the Rotunda is the Car of History by Carlo Franzoni. This neoclassical marble sculpture depicts Clio, the Muse of History, riding in the chariot of Time and recording events in the chamber below. The wheel of the chariot contains the chamber clock; the works are by Simon Willard.[1] It has been said that John Quincy Adams took advantage of the Hall’s acoustics to eavesdrop on other members conversing on the opposite side of the room. To test the acoustics today, one party should stand near the floor plaque marking Adams’ desk on the West side of the Hall while the other party stands at the corresponding spot on the East side. However, this is only a myth, as the current half dome, which creates the effect, was not installed until 1902. The Adams story began long after Adams’ death as a tourist gimmick, according to Capitol historian William C. Allen. Though echoes were a significant problem, there is no documentation of a “whisper spot” prior to the early twentieth century.” – credit Wikipedia
DSC_6564
The UNITED STATES CAPITOL ROTUNDA “is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. Located below the Capitol dome, it is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its “symbolic and physical heart.” The rotunda is surrounded by corridors connecting the House of Representatives and Senate sides of the Capitol. To the south of the rotunda is the semi-circular National Statuary Hall, which until 1857 was the House of Representatives chamber. To the northeast of the rotunda is the Old Senate Chamber, used by the Senate until 1859 and by the Supreme Court of the United States until 1935. The rotunda is 96 feet (29 m) in diameter and rises 180 feet 3 inches (54.94 m) to the canopy, and is visited by thousands of people each day. It is surmounted by the American Statue of Freedom. And it is also used for ceremonial events authorized by concurrent resolution, including the lying in state of honored people.” – credit Wikipedia
DSC_6583
The OLD SENATE CHAMBER is a room in the United States Capitol that was the legislative chamber of the United States Senate from 1810 to 1859 and served as the Supreme Court chamber from 1860 until 1935. It was designed in Neoclassical style and is elaborately decorated.[1] Restored in 1976 as part of United States Bicentennial celebrations, it is preserved as a museum and for the Senate’s use Many noted events that occurred in the chamber. Among them are the passage of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, the 1830 Webster–Hayne debate, and the Webster-Clay-Calhoun debates over the Compromise of 1850.[1] In 1856, Representative Preston Brooks beat Senator Charles Sumner nearly to death with a cane in the chamber. The attack occurred three days after Sumner, a strident abolitionist, attacked pro-slavery politicians, including Brooks’ relative Senator Andrew Butler, in a speech. Brooks attacked Sumner as a matter of honor, beating him with a cane and injuring him so badly that he was absent from the Senate for nearly three years as he recovered. Until 1976, the room was used for meetings,[1] irregular congressional committee hearings, and as temporary quarters while the modern Senate chamber was being repaired in 1940, 1949, and 1950.- credit Wikipedia
2015-07-10_0005
The OLD SUPREME COURT CHAMBER “is the room on the ground floor of the North Wing of the United States Capitol. From 1800 to 1806, the room was the lower half of the first United States Senate chamber, and from 1810 to 1860, the courtroom for the Supreme Court of the United States. Construction on the North Wing began in 1793 with the laying of the cornerstone by President George Washington. Although interior work was unfinished, the Senate relocated from Philadelphia in November 1800. The interior of the chamber, including an upper level public gallery, was finally completed early in 1805, just in time for the start of the Samuel Chase impeachment trial. Its completion allowed the Federal government to move to Washington, D.C.. The North Wing, as the only completed section of the Capitol, originally hosted both houses of the United States Congress, the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court. In addition to the Chase trial, the chamber was the location of President Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801. However, by 1806, the North Wing was already deteriorating from heavy use and required repairs. The Architect of the Capitol at the time, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, decided that the repairs would provide an opportunity to expand room space in the Capitol by dividing the chamber in half. The upper half would serve as a new chamber for the Senate (that area is now known as the Old Senate Chamber), and the lower half would be used for the Supreme Court. In 1844, Samuel Morse sent the first Morse coded message, which read, “What hath God wrought?”, from this room.” credit Wikipedia
DSC_6439
Another view of the UNITED STATES CAPITOL BUILDING

I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Until next time – Cheers!

Debra

A VISIT BACK IN TIME: Alice Springs Telegraph Station in the 1870’s

I am an expat living in the Northern Territory of Australia.  As a benefit I am able to walk about the actual Telegraph Station, within the fence, at no cost.  Amazingly, I just took advantage of that a week ago, for the first time.

My first stop was the Stationmaster’s Residence.  As I peaked through the first window I was thrown back in time.   It actually caught me off guard  for a few seconds.  It was then I realized that there were people who actually lived here, in a time long ago.  I saw tea cups and a tea pot, a clock on the wall,  tablecloths, and children’s books, and a washing bowl and pitcher.  There were photos on walls and children’s toys, a piano, and baked bread on the table.

Life was not easy, nor simple.  It required true grit and sheer determination. I believe, it took a frontier spirit and an explorer’s heart to persevere;  a life of fortitude, mental and emotional strength, resilience and endurance.

Following is a pictorial essay from this bygone era.  I hope you grow to appreciate the history of this special place as I have.  And if you are ever in Alice Springs please make this a stop on your list.  There is much more to see than pictured here.

Until next time,

Cheers!

2015-03-22_0001
The Stationmaster’s Residence – “constructed in 1888 and considered the grandest house in Central Australia.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station
DSC_1156
The Stationmaster’s Residence
DSC_1154
The Stationmaster’s Residence
DSC_1166
The Stationmaster’s Residence
2015-03-22_0002
The Stationmaster’s Residence
The Stationmaster's Residence
The Stationmaster’s Residence
2015-03-22_0003
The Stationmaster’s Kitchen – “the kitchen was a separate building next to the Residence. The building was constructed in 1877 but was not originally the kitchen. It was Central Australia’s first post office, opening January, 1878.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station
2015-03-22_0004
The Post and Telegraph Office – Just past the Stationmaster’s Residence – “In the 1870’s the Overland Telegraph Line was Australia’s only communication link with the rest of the world. Every word of world news passed through the Alice Springs Telegraph Station.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station
2015-03-22_0005
Two photos located in the Post and Telegraph Office
DSC_1174
A mantle inside the Post and Telegraph Office
2015-03-22_0006
The Blacksmith’s Shop – “This is one of the oldest buildings at the station. The foundation stone was laid by Frank Gillen, in the year 1876, then a young telegraph operator” and “George Hablett was a blacksmith and handyman.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station.
DSC_1261
“Camels carted most goods from the railhead at Oodnadatta to Alice Springs. This took two weeks. Lines of 50 camels were a regular sight, with each one carrying about 250 kg. Buggies and wagons also travelled the track but heavy ones had trouble getting through sandhills.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station
DSC_1260
Buggies in the Buggie Shed
2015-03-22_0007
Store and Buggie Shed and A Year’s Supplies on the Back of a Camel ”                 “The Store and Buggy Shed was on of the first building constructed at the telegraph station.  It was built in the early 1870’s to store the station’s supplies and buggies. ”                                                                                                        ” Thomas Elder imported 120 camels to South Australia in 1866. They were the forerunners of the Afghan camel trains that faithfully served the people of the Outback for more than 50 years.” source – Alice Springs Telegraph Station
DSC_1223
A partial view of the Telegraph Station property
DSC_1305
The Stationmaster’s Residence and its veranda on a nice sunny day.

AUSTRALIA’S FIRST EVER “HYPERMEET”

I was privileged to have been invited to Australia’s first ever “HyperMeet” – visit the App Store for “HyperLapse” – on Anzac Hill in Alice Springs, NT on 16 March 2015.  It was an Instagram InstaMeet and was hosted by Northern Territory Tourism @AusOutbackNT (instagram).

I remember the first time #AusOutbackNT featured one of my instagram photos.  It was this photo:

IMG_1635
My very first instagram feature in Australia

And I remember where I was.  We had just arrived in Alice Springs earlier that month in November, 2014 and we were eating dinner with some friends at the Juicy Rump, one of Lasseters Resort’s restaurants.  It was a Tuesday because it was their Tuesday special of half off steaks.  I looked down at my phone and it said, “ausoutbacknt took one of your photos.”  Huh?  Then I realized that that was the lingo when an instagram hub uses one of your tagged photos to share on their feed.  I was very excited, to say the least.  Since then #ausoutbacknt has shared several of my photos with the Northern Territory and beyond.  And even one, the wallaby at sunset, has reached one of the world’s largest instagram hubs, #Australia.

I had the greatest time meeting, for the first time, Cory Gale – the mastermind behind the HyperMeet InstaMeet.  Cory and the staff did a fantastic job and the evening was thoroughly enjoyed by all.  Thank you!

Cory Gale and fellow instagrammers
Cory Gale and fellow instagrammers

I also met digital influencers:  Matt and Mia Glastonbury (@mattglastonbury and @miaglastonbury on IG),  Matthew Vandeputte (@mattjoez on IG)  and Caz and Craig of yTravelBlog (@ytravelblog on IG).   Matthew Vandeputte is on the far right sitting on the ground, camera in hand.  Caz, in the blue dress, and her two girls are in the photo, also.

DSC_1016

My fellow instagrammers and some Anzac Hill visitors, taking in the sunset.

DSC_1051-2
Sunset Instagramming

Alice Springs Desert Park’s favorites entertained the crowd:  Digger the Dingo, Sonder the Wedge-tailed Eagle, and a python – I didn’t catch the name though I am sure it has one.

Digger the Dingo
Digger the Dingo
A Python
A Python
Sonder, the Wedge-tailed Eagle
Sonder, the Wedge-tailed Eagle
Sonder, the Wedge-tailed Eagle
Sonder, the Wedge-tailed Eagle

Andrew Langford, internationally recognized didgeridoo extraordinaire,  brought his show to Anzac Hill for all to enjoy.  He is phenomenal.  My son, Troy, has aspirations of playing like him.  It is not an easy instrument to learn or play and Andrew does it with such ease and beauty.

Andrew Langford
Andrew Langford
Andrew Langford
Andrew Langford

There were a couple drones flying around, local cuisine served, and a cameraman filming.  There were visitors to Alice Springs visiting Anzac Hill that night and watched the evening unfold.

What they experienced, first hand, though they may not realize it, is some of Alice Springs’ and the Northern Territory’s people, story and history and the exotic wildness called the Outback.

I hope you have enjoyed today’s blog.

Until next time.

Cheers!

THE OUTBACK DESERT

The Outback of Australia is beautiful and exotic.  It is full of contrasts and colours, and the diversity of wildlife is unimaginable and magnificent.   Did you ever think that there would be flowers, bright colours, and evergreens in a desert?  How about the varieties of birds?  And I have never seen so many different kinds of grasshoppers!  But my favorite is the long-nosed dragon – a small lizard that runs really fast on its back legs.   The desert is alive with all kinds of wonderful things to discover and respect.

The following photographs are just a bit of what I have seen at one of my favorite places to visit,  Alice Springs Desert Park (http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au) located on Larapinta Drive.  I hope you can visit, too!

Until next time…

Cheers!

2015-03-03_0001
Top: Boobook Owl Bottom Left: Whistling Kite Bottom Right: Australian Bush Turkey (Bustard)

2015-03-03_0002

Emu

2015-03-03_0003
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

2015-03-03_0005

2015-03-03_0006

2015-03-03_0007

2015-03-03_0008
Black-winged Stilt

2015-03-03_0009

2015-03-03_0004

DSC_0504
Magpie
DSC_0618
Dingo

 

DSC_8791
Kangaroo

 

DSC_0491

THE OUTBACK DESERT

The Outback of Australia is beautiful and exotic.  It is full of contrasts and colours, and the diversity of wildlife is unimaginable and magnificent.   Did you ever think that there would be flowers, bright colours, and evergreens in a desert?  How about the varieties of birds?  And I have never seen so many different kinds of grasshoppers!  But my favorite is the long-nosed dragon – a small lizard that runs really fast on its back legs.   The desert is alive with all kinds of wonderful things to discover and respect.

The following photographs are just a bit of what I have seen at one of my favorite places to visit,  Alice Springs Desert Park (http://www.alicespringsdesertpark.com.au) located on Larapinta Drive.  I hope you can visit, too!

Until next time…

Cheers!

2015-03-03_0001
Top: Boobook Owl Bottom Left: Whistling Kite Bottom Right: Australian Bush Turkey (Bustard)

2015-03-03_0002

Emu

2015-03-03_0003
Red-tailed Black Cockatoo

2015-03-03_0005

2015-03-03_0006

2015-03-03_0007

2015-03-03_0008
Black-winged Stilt

2015-03-03_0009

2015-03-03_0004

DSC_0504
Magpie
DSC_0618
Dingo

 

DSC_8791
Kangaroo

 

DSC_0491

Life of an Expat Living in the Outback