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Peter & Jackie Main | all galleries >> World Galleries >> Oceania >> Australia > Australia Travelog (Part 2)
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Australia Travelog (Part 2)

Ayers Rock and King's Canyon

The next day we headed into the Northern Territories. We passed cattle ranches, wedgetailed eagles feasting on road kill kangaroos and the train line that now runs all the way from Adelaide to Darwin. Traffic is light and, now that we're in the NT, there's no speed limit on the highway. "Little Miss Lead foot" has to be warned not to burn out the engine on our 14-year-old car when she hits 160kph (100mph). We reached Yulara -- the resort town for visits to Ayers Rock in the late afternoon. After setting up our tent we headed out to see the most famous sight in Australia -- Ayers Rock at sunset. It was stunning to see this huge rock (actually the tip of an upturned layer of sandstone) turn from ochre brown to crimson to burgundy to purple to black. The next morning we were up at 6:00am to see the rock reverse its colour changing act from black to glowing red. After some breaky at the roadside we go for a close-up view of the rock and walk all the way around the base of it -- about 10km. This allowed us to see the many variations, caves, gorges, watering holes, aboriginal rock art and sacred sights. Just as we completed our circuit they opened the climbing route (it was closed due to high winds) and Peter makes the exhausting climb to the top for the stunning views. The aboriginal people 'ask' visitors not to climb because the rock is sacred to them so Jackie stayed at the bottom. Later, Jackie got her great views by taking a helicopter flight over the area -- an amazing experience and not nearly as tiring as the climb. We also visited the nearby outcrop called The Olgas. These are a bizarre collection of smaller, more rounded rocks (although, Mt. Olga is 546m, about 200m higher than Ayers Rock). We watched the sunset here as The Olgas glow red too.

The next day we headed to King's Canyon, about 300km away. This spectacular gorge has lots of great rock formations and cliffs. Protected from the harsh sun, lush palms grow at the bottom of the gorges in an area aptly named The Garden of Eden. Part way into our walk we came across a girl who had twisted her ankle. The rangers were already there strapping her to a stretcher. We helped carry her to the helicopter landing pad.

Alice Springs & the MacDonnell Ranges

It was then back to the Stuart Highway and north to Alice Springs. Along the way we saw feral camels. Camels had been introduced by the Afghans and, for many years before the roads and rail lines were built, provided the primary means of transport in the outback. In 1871/72 an overland telegraph line was built between Adelaide and Darwin. News from Britain could now be received in a matter of hours rather than months. Twelve repeater stations were built to relay the morse code messages along the 3000km long line. Because of the semi-permanent water hole in the Todd River, one of the stations was built nearby. The water hole was named after Alice Todd, the wife of the Superintendent of Telegraphs, Charles Todd. The town was officially called Stuart but everyone referred to the place as Alice Springs so the name was changed in 1933. Alice Todd never visited the town. For years it was a tiny place but with soldiers passing through during the Second World War and the sealing of the road between Darwin and Adelaide, the town has grown to a population of 26,000 people but it is still a very long way from anywhere.

When we visited the old telegraph station the .Morsecodians・ were there doing a demonstration so we sent a telegram to Jackie・s Mum. Actually, the dots and dashes were sent through a modem and a telephone line to Sydney then the telegram was posted to Scotland. She had seen a photo of the telegram on the Internet before it arrived. The station was closed in 1932 and was used as a welfare home for aboriginal children of mixed decent until 1963. The controversial government program was designed to give orphaned, abandoned and rejected mixed race children a chance to assimilate into white society and the hope of a better future. Unfortunately there was some over-enthusiastic indoctrination and some children were forcibly removed from their aboriginal parents on the basis that, if they were half-white they should be raised white. These children are now known as the .stolen generation・. It・s still a sensitive subject.

In Alice Springs we also visited The School of the Air. This school has the biggest classroom in the world - about 1.3 million sq.km. It started in the 1950・s and was the first of its kind. They broadcast lessons to children of pre-school and primary school age that live in the outback, often hundreds of miles from the nearest school. Currently there are 131 pupils. It was all done by UHF radio but now there・s a trial with computers and web cams so the pupils can see their teachers. Much of their schoolwork is done by correspondence with the help of a home tutor (usually their mother). The teachers travel to visit the children at least once a year and the children meet in Alice Springs several times a year so they can meet the classmates that they normally only hear on the radio.

Near Alice are the spectacular gorges, chasms and fresh water pools of the MacDonnell Ranges. Some of the gorges took 60 million years to be created in this dry climate. The mountain ranges were once as high as the Himalayas (10,000m) but have been worn down for so long they are now just big hills. In one gorge we saw the endangered blackfooted rock wallabies. Another red mini-chasm is similar to the gateway to Petra in Jordan.

The Stuart Highway

It was then another long day of driving up through the middle of Australia across the Tropic of Capricorn. We stopped briefly at the bizarre formation of rocks that have been worn by sand and wind to resemble a haphazard pile of giant spheres; hence the name The Devil・s Marbles. These old rocks are 1.7 billion years old. We passed through little settlements, watched for cattle wandering across the road and saw fires burning. The fires are a part of a program of controlled burning. If the undergrowth is not periodically burnt off by a .cool fire・ it will build up until there・s danger of a .hot fire・ that kills trees and wildlife. The aborigines regularly burnt areas to encourage the growth of new sprouts that would attract wildlife so they could hunt it. They have been doing this for so long that many species of plant now need fire to start the germination of their seeds.

Mataranka & Katherine Gorge

We stopped at a small place called Mataranka. We were now out of the dry centre and there・s a thermal pool here. In fact .The Wet・ had just finished and there had been some serious flooding (while much of the rest of Australia is in an extended drought). The river is popular with fishermen who are after the tasty and fighting barramundi. For us there was a bonus. When we checked into the campsite, the man suggested we walk up to the airstrip at dusk to see the kangaroos. What we saw instead was like the scene of the flying monkeys out of The Wizard of Oz. There were over 200,000 little red flying foxes (bats) flying over our heads, leaving the forest on their way to feed. As far as the eye could see in any direction the bats darkened the evening sky. They just kept going and going - it was an amazing sight. The next day we went for a dip in the thermal pool surrounded by thousands of noisy and restless bats hanging in the trees (they were supposed to be sleeping).

We continued north to Katherine and the nearby Nitmiluk N.P. This park has wonderful gorges to explore by boat or canoe. Here there was another huge colony of bats, this time the larger black flying foxes. These guys didn・t sleep much either and went on with a constant nattering and screeching. Some of the mums had cute little babies tucked under their wings (actually they are membranes of skin that connect their arms and fingers with their legs). They seemed to have trouble keeping cool in the sun and kept flapping. Little wallabies also visited our camp. The next day we took a boat trip along three of the gorges and saw 10,000-20,000 year old aboriginal rock art and swam in freshwater pools with waterfalls.

Litchfield NP & Darwin

We continued on north to another National Park - Litchfield. We had been seeing termite mounds by the roadside and the further north we went the bigger they got. However, in this park they have some extra clever termites. These guys have built what are called .magnetic・ termite mounds. Basically, they are narrow mounds and are always in a north-south orientation. The termites are not actually concerned with magnetism, they are aligned that way to help control the temperature in the mound. They look like huge flat gravestones. In a field of hundreds of them surrounded by tall speargrass it looks a little spooky. In other areas there are cathedral termite mounds, these can grow up to 6 metres high! The park also has waterfalls and pools in which we had a welcome dip, phew, it was hot.

Next stop, Darwin. We passed lots of WW II airstrips and sites along the way. In fact, it was WW II that put Darwin permanently on the map, when the town became an important base for allied action against the Japanese in the Pacific. Darwin was attacked 64 times during the war and 243 people lost their lives. The town has a great esplanade, some good restaurants and bars, immaculate gardens and historic buildings such as the governor's house, police station and courthouse. Many buildings are new, thanks to Cyclone Tracy which flattened the town on Christmas Day, 1974. We visited the interesting Northern Territory Museum and generally relaxed in the 35XC plus heat.

From Darwin we turned around and headed back south. We visited a crocodile farm just outside Darwin and learned that crocs have been around 240 million years and are related to dinosaurs. In Oz there are two types: one is the nice, fairly small, usually safe (unless provoked) freshwater crocodile (freshies) and the big, nasty saltwater (or estuarine) crocodile (salties). The salties are a real threat to humans and you have to pay attention to warning signs if you want to go swimming in the rivers, creeks, billabongs etc. After a century of being hunted, crocs are now a protected species in the Northern Territory - freshies since 1964 and salties since 1971. The croc farms, including the one we visited, usually house the crocs known to be dangerous; they are allowed some "wild" eggs and breed crocs for their skins and meat. We got to see some nasty characters up close, like 5 metre Errol who didn't like people but who also attacked 4 prospective female partners - he lives alone! We also see a 4.2m long albino croc called Snowy McArthur and hundreds of little baby crocs. Our next stop was at the Adelaide River Crossing. Here we took a boat trip along the river and went crocodile feeding. Our guide dangled pork chops (on the end of a very long pole) in the water. As the salties came alongside the boat he lifted the meat out of the water, the crocs then used their very strong tails to come out of the water vertically and grab the meat. This is "croc jumping". We saw some huge salties. Aggro is a 6-metre male who weighs about a ton; you don't want to mess with this guy. The boat trip was a bit touristy but worth doing to see these powerful animals up close in their natural habitat.

Kakadu NP

Next we stopped in Kakadu National Park. This park stretches for more than 200km south from the coast and 100km from east to west. To quote our guidebook, " it has a variety of superb landscapes, swarms with wildlife and has some of Oz's best Aboriginal rock art". We saw huge escarpments, amazing 20,000-year-old rock art, wetlands, forests, swamps and grasslands. However, we were there not long after the wet season and the water level was too high for us to reach some of the waterfalls that the park is famous for. We did take a cruise on the Yellow Water. From this billabong we saw egrets, jabirus and corellas. We turned onto the South Alligator River (the Europeans didn't know about crocs back then so they called them alligators) and saw some salties. Then we negotiated a paperbark swamp and watched jacanas gingerly step on lily pads, darters protect their chicks from sea eagles and kites, there was grebes, magpie geese and loads more. The water is covered in white lilies, lotus lilies (whose huge green leaves follow the sun) and fringed lilies. First thing in the morning it really was a magical place.

Mt. Isa

So, it's on south. 1100 kilometres back all the way to Three Ways before turning east and the city of Mt Isa. This city is a big mining place. It's among the world's top 3 producers of silver and top 10 for copper and zinc (lead is also extracted). The mine is right in town and the smelter stacks dominant the skyline. Underground, the mine is 5km long; one way there's 2km of zinc/lead/silver ore and the other 3km of copper ore. It's 32 levels deep (1.8km). We went on a tour and they explained the process from the extraction of the ore to smelting and then to the market place. Currently they backfill the holes (stopes) dug underground. However, the ore is so rich that they are just completing a feasibility study (it looks 99% certain) to change to open cut mining. This means eventually a 5km long, 2km wide and 800m hole in the ground - that's a big canyon. The tour showed us around all of the working areas except underground itself. This is no longer allowed, thanks to a tourist who sued after being injured, despite having signed a disclaimer. We also got to see the end products - copper anodes and iron/lead/silver ingots.

Beyond Mt. Isa you really know you・re in the Outback because the main highway is only one lane wide. This means that when you meet an oncoming vehicle, you both have to pull half way off the road and drive with two wheels on the dirt. Unless, of course, that oncoming vehicle is one of those huge road trains in which case he completely ignores you and you get the hell out of his way. Unfortunately this semi-dirt driving resulted in three cracks in our windscreen. With all the wandering cattle, cattle grids, dips into dry riverbeds, flood damage, and of course, those scary road trains, you have to be alert and it・s tiring driving. We drove through Cloncurry, home of the Royal Flying Doctor Service and stopped at the little outback town of Normanton for lunch. This is the Gulf of Carpentaria・s main town. It・s population is only 1300 and with its dusty main street it felt pretty remote.

Undara Volcanic NP

After 10 hours or so of driving we reached Undara Volcanic National Park. Here we went on a tour of the world・s biggest lava tube system. The massive lava tubes were formed 190,000 years ago after the eruption of a single volcano. The huge flows followed riverbeds and land contours towards the sea forming a surface crust as they went. Meanwhile, molten lava continued to flow under the crust and formed lava tubes. When the volcano finally stopped erupting, the hot lava drained out leaving long empty tubes. The tubes have very thick roofs and walls because the lava flowed for such a long time -- almost a year. The dry climate didn・t cause much erosion and, because they weren・t discovered until quite recently, tourists haven't done any damage. Compared to most other lava tube systems, these are in excellent condition, especially for such old tubes. The longest tubes are as much as 160km long. This length is due to the fact that the lava was extremely hot (1200XC) compared to other volcanoes (900XC) so it was much more fluid. That also meant that the volcano itself never built up high like others, it's barely a hill.

We visited just a few of the hundreds of tubes. Inside it・s damp and there・s an unmistakable odour of bat guano (poo). Alongside the bats there are snakes, lizards, spiders and cockroaches. The tube entrances hold moisture so they support small pockets of ancient rainforest. There is so little air movement that in some tubes the air is poisonous and scientists need to take oxygen with them. We were offered a two-for-one deal on a helicopter ride and just couldn・t resist. From up there you can see the long lines of rainforest that follow the underground lava tubes.

Around Cairns

After many weeks in the dry and dusty outback, one day・s drive took us into the wet tropics; what a contrast. It was so nice to see lush green forests. The road twisted and wound down from the tableland to the sea and the city of Cairns. The first thing we did was sort out a dive trip to the Great Barrier Reef. So much choice. Fortunately it was not yet into high season so there were deals to be had. We picked a 5 day/4 night trip to the northern reef that included a flight back over it. As it was a few days before our trip departed we headed north to Port Douglas. Passing fields of sugar cane with lush green mountains in the background and palm fringed beaches it felt like a tropical island. Port Douglas has a great beach, complete with stinger net. This is protection for swimmers from the deadly box jellyfish that are around the Queensland coast between October and May. From here we drove up to the beautiful Mossman Gorge, where we walked passed fast flowing rivers with giant boulders, through the thick rainforest with huge buttressed trees and massive strangler figs completely encasing other trees. Further north we took a cable ferry across the croc infested waters of the Daintree River. Driving through the forests we looked out for the endangered cassowary (big colourful bird about the size of an emu) and stopped for lunch by the beach. We passed tropical fruit farms and tea plantations en route to Cape Tribulation. This place was named after Captain Cook's ship, The Endeavour, ran aground near here. They spent several weeks on repairs and also named other landmarks, such as Mt Sorrow and Weary Bay. In Cape Trib we visited the Bat House where we met a spectacled flying fox up close. Pushkin had damaged his wing and could no longer fly. We fed him some apple which he happily munched. This type of bat doesn't use sonar but has excellent night vision for hunting. We also saw 8 others who were either injured or orphaned. A point of interest is that bats normally hang upside down but when they need a widdle they have to turn right side up:-)

The Great Barrier Reef

Back in Cairns we got ready for our dive trip. Our boat was the catamaran, "Supersport", we got settled into our upgraded cabin (yep, we're jammy) and sorted out our dive gear. We motored overnight to the ribbon reefs. After a yummy breakfast it was time for our first dive brief. We started with Joanie's Joy, a place with incredible coral (staghorn, brain, fan, table), a zillion fantastically coloured fish (including Nemo, a clown anenomefish), wonderfully disguised and poisonous stonefish, giant clams, sea cucumbers etc. What a great introduction to the reef. Next was Steve's Bommie and more of the same but also brightly coloured nudibranchs and sea squirts and an amazing flame file shell (this bivalve has scarlet red "body & tentacles' with what looks like fork lightning pulsing inside - this is to attract its prey). We did two dives here, as there was so much to see, before we headed to Flare Point and Jackie's first night dive. Just as land animals are either diurnal or nocturnal you see an entirely new group of creatures at night. We saw a sleeping green turtle and lots of sleeping fish in amongst the coral for protection. Lots of moray eels are out hunting and hundreds of little orange eyes twinkle (shrimp etc). So four dives on day one, no wonder we were tired.

The next day we had a dive before breakfast at Pixie Wall and another afterwards at Pixie Pinnacle - the new stuff here was feather stars, maori wrasse, chevron barracuda. flamboyant lionfish and huge trevally. At Challenger Bay we saw a white tipped reef shark, awesome scorpionfish and stunning coral gardens. We also did an amazing night dive here. There were several moray eels, one was in a cleaning station i.e. it had a banded shrimp "pecking" around clearing up any parasites on it's body and mouth. All fish go through this process. We saw another sleeping green turtle and a few lionfish. The cheeky trevallies followed us around and used the fact that our torchlight tended to dazzle other fish to catch some dinner.

On our last day of diving we had a great dive before breakfast at Lighthouse Bommie with its olive sea snakes and garden eels. Later we headed to the famous Cod Hole. Giant potato cod live here and on the first dive we all went down together to watch Danny (first mate) feed these huge fish (they can grow up to 1.6 metres long). It was a great show. On our second dive we saw many white tipped reef sharks and a huge stingray. This was a spectacular site, so many fish and coral. So it was on to our last dive spot - Dynamite Pass. There was a strong current here so it was a drift dive. Again, there's lots to see including some amazing boxfish.

WOW, in 3 days Jackie did 12 dives and Pete did 13. In between the dives we had reef ecology lectures, photography underwater talks and then had to fit in eating and sleeping. Diving on the Great Barrier Reef certainly lived up to all the hype. We can recommend paying more to go north where it is less crowded and the visibility is great. To finish our trip we had a fun party night on board and the next day we flew back to Cairns from the exclusive Lizard Island. We flew in small 10 seater planes low over the reef, what a view!

Well, we obviously hadn't had enough of the reef and when we arrived in Townsville we spent the day in the Reef HQ learning and seeing some more. The Great Barrier Reef is 2000km long. It is not only the most extensive reef system in the world, but the biggest structure made by living organisms. There are about 400 different types of coral, 1500 species of fish, 4000 types of mollusc, 350 echinoderms (sea urchins, starfish (soon to be known as sea stars) sea cucumbers etc) and countless thousands of species of sponge, worm, crustacean, not to mention mammals.

Some other bits of info:
- coral is an animal not a plant
- a sea cucumber uses the same hole to eat with and give birth from. In it's "anus" a tiny pearl fish will "live' for protection.
- white tipped reef sharks can rest on the sea floor but black tipped reef sharks have to keep swimming to pass water through their gills or they would drown
- many fish change sex during their life cycle
- a parrotfish makes a mucus cocoon to sleep in at night, like a big clear sleeping bag - it helps to mask their scent

Whitsunday Islands & Fraser Island

So we continued to drive south along the coast. We stopped in Airlie Beach and visited the beautiful waters and islands of The Whitsundays. We strolled along the incredibly picturesque Whitehaven Beach and watched manta rays swim in the shallow waters. We snorkelled off Hook Island and saw lots of coral and fish.

The next stop took us through more sugar cane country and up to the rainforest of Eungella National Park. It was misty and rainy but we were only here for one reason - to see platypuses in the wild. These little guys are endemic to Australia and are called monotremes i.e. they are mammals but lay eggs. They live in freshwater and dig rest burrows in the river banks. When first discovered, scientists thought the platypus was a hoax and they examined stuffed specimens for evidence that they had been stitched together from parts of other animals. They are notoriously difficult to see in the wild. We headed to the Broken River bridge and waited. We looked out for air bubbles on the surface of the water. We spotted some and sure enough a little platypus popped up. A quick gulp of air and then back down again. The water was muddy but it uses its rubbery, ultra sensitive bill to seek out food. We watched for a while and then returned later at dusk to see if we could spot any more. We saw a couple rummaging through the rushes, nearby we also saw a couple of turtles. Eungella N.P. has been cut off from other rainforests for about 30,000 years and as a result has developed some of its own species. One is the Eungella gastric brooding frog, which incubates its eggs in its stomach and gives birth by spitting out the tadpoles - amazing!

So, back on the road and south through Rockhampton (beef capital of Oz), Bundaberg (famous for its rum) and Gin Gin (not sure what it's famous for). We reached Hervey Bay and visited the biggest sand island in the world, Fraser Island. It's 120km long and 15km wide. There's rolling sand dunes, dense tropical rainforest and deep freshwater lakes. We took a 4WD tour, it's the only way to get around on the sandy roads. We stopped at the stunning Lake Mackenzie with its white sand and turquoise edged water surrounded by green rainforest. We travelled along 75 mile beach which is a gazetted highway and also doubles as an airstrip. We saw coloured sand cliffs and the Maheno shipwreck, an old passenger liner that lies right on the beach. We paddled in Eli Creek which pumps out 4 million litres of freshwater an hour. It really is a pretty place. In the 1800s and 1900s it meant timber to the settlers and much of the rainforest was cleared. They were searching for satinay trees (turpentine), a rot-resistant wood that was good for shipbuilding. Logging continued until 1991. Sand mining was also big business here, until the local residents took the matter to the High Court. Below the sand there's titanium, felspar etc. It's really quite incredible that this place is all based on sand. One last thing, Fraser Island is also famous for its dingo population. they are said to be the purest form of dingo in Oz (92% pure). We spotted only one dingo all day.

Next, we headed along the Sunshine and Gold coasts. We chilled out in Byron Bay for a couple of days. This is a bit of a surfing mecca but it was a bit chilly for a dip in the water. Then it was on to our last stop before returning to Sydney - Port Maquarie. This town was founded in 1821 as a place for re-offending convicts from the Sydney area. The old courthouse had books listing some of these convicts and their crimes which was mainly theft. The town's museum also had a lot of interesting stuff. We also visited the Koala Hospital. For over 30 years the hospital has been treating on average 280 koalas a year. Some are injured in road traffic accidents, others are attacked by dog, many get chlamydia (STD) which gives them a "wet bottom" and eye infections. The saddest of all is the bush fire victims. We met the patients at feeding time, some will never be released because they wouldn't be able to survive on their own. There's also a few orphaned joeys. These little cute bundles of mischief will be released soon. Jackie would love to take one home.

Sydney

Well, our little car made it, over 16,000 kilometres (10,000 miles). For the Brits we reckon that's over eleven times from Lands End to John O'Groats. Over the next few days we managed to sell the car, we sorted out Vietnam visas and do some sightseeing. We visited the Harbour Bridge and got great views from the pylon lookout. We took a tour inside the Sydney Opera House and watched Cathy Freeman carry the Olympic Torch on the start of its journey to Athens. We visited museums, The Rocks, ate in China Town and Spanish Town, and shopped for boomerangs!

So, to sum up what we would say about Australia, GOOD ON YA!

A little history
If you're interested, here's some early Oz history (from Lonely Planet and museums we visited)

The aborigines came here from South East Asia around 50,000 years ago.

Portuguese navigators probably sighted the Australian coast in the first half of the 1500s.

In the early 1600s Dutch sailors, in search of gold and spices, reached Cape York and several places on the west coast.

In the 1640s Abel Tasman (a Dutchman) discovered Tasmania and charted some of the coast of New Holland as it was named.

William Dampier, an English pirate checked out the place in the 1680s.

In 1768 James Cook led a scientific expedition to Tahiti to observe the transit of Venus (see below) and then began a search for the Great South Land. After visiting Tahiti and circumnavigating both the islands of New Zealand, Captain Cook set sail for the unexplored eastern coast of New Holland. He sighted land on 19th April 1770 and 9 days later came ashore at Botany Bay. He continued north, charting the coastline and noting that the east coast was a different story to the inhospitable land that earlier explorers had reported. His ship, the Endeavour, was badly damaged on a reef north of Queensland, this is how the Great Barrier Reef was discovered! After the ship was repaired, he navigated the GBR and rounded Cape York. Here he came ashore and raised the Union Jack and renamed the continent New South Wales and claimed it for the British in the name of King George III.

Following the American Revolution, Britain was no longer able to transport convicts to North America. With jails and prison hulks already overcrowded an alternative had to be found quickly. In 1779 New South Wales was suggested as a suitable site for a colony of thieves and in 1786 it was announced that the king had decided upon Botany Bay as a place for convicts under sentence of transportation. Less than 2 years later, in Jan 1788, the first fleet sailed into Botany Bay under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, who was to become the colony's first governor. The first fleet had 11 ships carrying 1030 people including 548 male and 188 female convicts, 4 companies of marines and enough livestock and supplies for 2 years. More fleets followed and then free settlers. Convict transportation was abolished in 1852 in the east and 1868 in the west. By then over 168,000 convicts has been shipped to Australia.

The Transit of Venus

A transit of Venus is when Venus passes across the face of the sun (Sun, Venus and Earth all line up). It only happens twice every 130 or so years (1761, 1769, 1874, 1882, 2004, 2012). Cook was in Tahiti because they thought they could use the timing of the event to calculate the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Interestingly, only two days after our departure from Australia there's another transit of Venus (on 8th June). Check out http://www.economist.com/science/displayStory.cfm?story_id=2705523 > for an interesting story on the subject.

Click here for China Part 1


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comment | share
Anh Hoang 17-Mar-2007 22:35
You must be tired of driving! Eventhough it was a great adventure!
Guest 27-Jul-2006 08:23
...and I just discovered the photos. Beautiful job!
Guest 27-Jul-2006 08:17
Well I just stumbled from the web onto your diary and found myself transfixed by your visit to Australia. I had to read it from start to finish and I have to say what a fantastic job you did with your research. Very interesting, educational and entertaining. Well done indeed!