Monatsarchiv für Juni 2014

Jun 15 2014

Learning about Lady Elliot Island

Autor: . Abgelegt unter English,Well, you know

This little island just off the Australian coast is so beautiful. It’s circle shaped and lying without any close neighbors at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef forming the endpoint of the Reef.

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It has been mined for guano, which is basically bird poo, in the late 19th century. Back then, all but 10 trees have been cut down and 1 meter of dirt has been taken from the entire island. It was sold as fertilizer and as an ingredient for gun powder. The whole island was stripped from most of its vegetation.

The only people who lived constantly on the island where the lighthouse keeper and his family. Eventually an Australian convinced the government to take tourists on the island and he regrew plants and trees. We learned about the Pisonia trees who are original to the island and the Casuarina trees who refertilize the soil and stabilize its surroundings. Besides, we saw the impressive Pandarum tree that just grows new roots every now and then. It sometimes looks as if a didgeridoo has been put underneath a horizontal branch to support it.

Then you find interesting birds on the island. Some of them (the White-Capped Noddy) have the nice habit of pooping all over making it just a question of time until you’d be hit. We learned that it apparently brings good luck…we still wait for what great things will have to happen now. Since there are no usual land-bound animals, the birds have no real predator. So they can sit, walk and nest on the ground.

The coral around the island has grown over thousands of years and there are beautiful fish around. We’ve seen whales breach and flap their tales, we swam with sharks, we floated alongside turtles and had a school of big eye travelleys beneath us. The wildlife is beautiful! It’s amazing! It’s breathtaking!

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Jun 11 2014

Getting to Lady Elliot Island

Autor: . Abgelegt unter English,Well, you know

Not knowing where you’d want to go, can take you to the most beautiful places. On the recommendation of an Aussie in the Gympie area, we decided to go to the southernmost island of the Great Barrier Reef: Lady Elliot Island!

The coral cay is lying completely isolated in the ocean. We came in on a little 15 person propeller plane. Since it was full to the last seat, the pilot asked me if I wanted to sit next to him…Awesome!

So after we had left the mainland and headed in northeastern direction out over the Pacific, it was blue sky and blue ocean all around us. Eventually, we got through some clouds and then the pilot pointed forward: “There’s your island.” The airstrip to land on is stretching 600m over the entire island and it’s a grass strip. So, landing there is apparently more difficult than on concrete lanes.

We circled twice around the island and could enjoy the great view over this circle shaped coral cay with turquoise water around it. Then we started to descend towards the runway and landed safely on the airstrip. We had lots of speed so we used the runaway all the way to its end so that we could just turn at the end in order to park the plane on the side of it.

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Jun 05 2014

From the metropolis to dirt roads

Autor: . Abgelegt unter English,Well, you know

Abendessen unterwegs

After having spent 9 wonderful days in Sydney, we have boarded a plain today to fly out of the now rainy weather. From the at times strong rainfall we came to Brisbane into a warm climate. After we had our private pickup at the airport, we got our car for the next 12 days: a Toyota Corolla.

Two rounds of Tetris and all of our luggage was packed and we were off further northbound. We had reserved a place to stay not far from the highway so that we could keep going even further north the next day. We found ourselves getting in the area of Gymsie when it was pitch-black outside with beautiful stars up…now find the place we wanted to spend the night!

We got off the highway, onto a smaller road, which led to an even smaller road. This one had impressive climbs and drops on it with steepnesses beyond the 10%. Finally, we turned on a dirt road and only at the „No through road“-sign did we believe, that this was not the good one. So we made a U-turn, went back and finally arrived at a beautifully remote house at the end of the other dirt road. The moon is up, the stars are out.

Welcome to Queensland!

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