Friday, January 29, 2010

Australia Day

On Australia Day (January 26 for the uninitiated) Patrick and I, along with a gang of friends and new acquaintances, went on a hike to the Kondalilla Falls in Montville, which is about an hour and a half North of Brisbane. Sadly, my camera's battery died early on in the hike (which was about 10km altogether) so I only got a few pictures.


There were so many fantastic trees in the rainforest! So many strangler figs, strangling big trees. This one's actually rather ordinary compared to some of the ones we saw later on.


A view of Lake Baroon.


Looking out the other way, over the Obi Obi Gorge.


A real live kookaburra! Pat took this one. There were three, but the other two had just flown off. Cutest birds ever!


Pat and I, exhausted, in front of the Kondalilla Falls. Yep, that's the bottom of the falls. It was bit more impressive higher up, but it was pretty dry. The rockpool was nice. We went in with all my clothes on.

It was a good way to spend Australia Day, enjoying the beauty of the country. We had gotten up at 4am so we were both asleep again by 8pm (a few celebratory drinks helped with that).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Videos of Animals

The title pretty much sums it up. These are all from the Melbourne Zoo, where we went on New Year's Eve during the day. It was upwards of 35 degrees and we walked around for hours. The animals weren't the only ones who were hot and exhausted.

Here are some meerkats, being cute and hot.
video

This one is a gorilla through the glass pane. You can't see her too well, but near the end there is a nice close up on her face. If you like gorillas (Mum...) it's worth it.

video

This one is a monkey (I forget what kind, there were LOTS of different monkeys) carrying her baby around on her back.

video

We were lucky enough to get to the elephant area right at feeding time! The keepers just tossed apples and squash into the water and the elephants right dove in!

video

And now, more pictures, from the zoo and aquarium:


From the open aviary, which just had a suspension bridge you could walk along and be surrounded by dozens of free-flying exotic birds.


Zebra et giraffe.


Meerkat in the shade.


The oceanarium at the Melbourne Aquarium was so cool. They had tunnels where the sealife would just swim above and around you. Awesome.


Duh-nuh, duh-nuh, duh-nuh...


A leafy sea-dragon! Talk about ultimate camouflage!

Here is a video of some penguins from the Melbourne Aquarium:

video

Monday, January 4, 2010

37 degrees South

Patrick and I went to Melbourne (and the surrounding area) for a week over the holidays. We visited friends and did so much it went by so fast! It was so much fun and we took far too many pictures. What a beautiful city! I highly recommend visiting if you never have. I'm going to do two posts. because there is just too much for one!

First, some history. The state of Victoria was founded by a man named John Batman. In fact, Melbourne was known as Batmania for a while, among other things. Hence, Batman St, Batman Ave, Batman's Hill and Batman Park.



And now, the photos...


Patrick at Parliament House.


The Forum on Flinders Street.


They had all these little painted shacks along Brighton Beach, people would store their stuff in them or have them decorated like tiny little cabins. They were all painted very colourfully!


There were abut 75 - 80 along the length of the beach, some open, some locked up.



The train station at Flinders St.



The City Circle Tram in front of Parliament. It was so old-timey! It goes in a circle around downtown Melbourne for free so tourists can see all the sights. They have new trams as well (and buses and trains as well), but this one is for the feel of "old Victoria".


Chinatown! Two blocks of awesome!!


A beautiful view of the skyline from the South Bank of the Yarra River.


The Royal Exhibition Centre in Carlton Gardens.


The Princess Theatre! Jersey Boys was playing. I didn't really care to see it, but the theatre was gorgeous!


This is up at Cape Schank, way down the coast of Port Philip Bay. It was soooo windy.


This is at the Fort Nepean National Park, which is by Portsea. It was gorgeous.


One of the lookouts from Arthur's Seat.

More to come! Stay tuned!