Friday, 23 January 2015

A week in Melbourne

We spent our last week in Melbourne. By that time, I became fond of houses from end of 1800s; either freshly refurbished or decrepit! Houses are mainly constructed of wood. Stilts raise the house above ground level, providing air circulation to cool down the house. Roofs are typically of corrugated metal. Bullnosed verandas play an important part in providing shade to the house. A filigree / screen at the front of the house made of wrought iron. 

Our last evening was quite special; at Simon's cousin turning clay on her potter's wheel :-)

Monday, 19 January 2015

A week on the Great Ocean Road

We drove on the Great Ocean Road starting from Torquay (city near Melbourne) and up to the Grampians (sandstone mountains rising abruptly from the surrounding plains).

The Great Ocean Road follows the South East coast of Australia and has been built by the soldiers returning after the first World War. 

Loch Ard Gorge
The limestone cliff is eroded by the not-so-agreeable weather conditions into caves, arches and rock stacks up to 45 meters high. Those are susceptible to further erosion from the waves, so the landscape is quite dynamic.

Heading inland towards the Grampians, we drive through plains where the sheep and cattle abound.

And suddenly, the mountains are there.

We finally went underground to visit Bendigo's gold mine!

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Road trip from Sydney to Melbourne

We took five days to drive from Sydney to Melbourne on both the Princes Highway (along the coast) and the Alpine Way (through the "mountains").
Everywhere, I got the feeling that landscape was dominated by eucalyptus trees. Small and compact close to the coast, luxuriant and dense in the rainforest, skinny and burnt in the "mountains".

First part: Princes highway along the Pacific coast

Jervis Bay

Jervis Bay

Lakes Entrance

Lakes Entrance

Second part: Through the rainforest
Kosciuszko National Park

Kosciuszko National Park

Jerrawangala State Forest

Mogo State Forest

Tilba Tilba
As you can see it is raining quite a lot on our trip through the rainforest

Tilba Tilba
The rain gives vibrant colors

Third part: the Alpine Way

Hotham Heights ski resort
(the white trees are dead from a recent fire)

Hotham Heights ski resorts

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Animal encounters in Australia

Koala in eucalyptus tree... and very typically sleeping

Koalas in Billabong Zoo that we could pet!!!

Wallibies!! A lot more approchable than Kangaroos
(in the bottom right picture the tail of the baby is sticking out of the mother's pouch)

Curious Emus in the volcanic Tower Hill State Game Reserve

A number of Crocodile teeth

Komodo Dragon in Taronga Zoo

A Gecko sticking on the glass

Another sort of lizard

(it looks like a cross between an emu and a S
Also, their random birds are full of colours

(they laugh a lot)

I chose not put any pictures of spiders as I am still trying to forget all about them...