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Australia is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the world's smallest continent. It is the 6th largest country in the world in area albeit with a population of about 21 million people (about that of Texas, USA). The mainland of Australia has been inhabited for more than 42,000 years by indigenous Australians. After sporadic visits by fishermen from the north and by European explorers and merchants starting in the seventeenth century, the eastern half of the mainland was claimed by the British in 1770 and officially settled through penal transportation as the colony of New South Wales in 1788. The name "Australia" is derived from the Latin Australis, meaning 'of the South'. Legends of an "unknown land of the south" (terra australis incognita) dating back to Roman times were commonplace in medieval geography.

Australia is possibly best know as the home of the Great Barrier Reef, Ayers Rock (Uluru), the Sydney Opera House,
kangaroos, koala bears, and the Outback.

Locator Map for Australia

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Overview Map of Our Australia Trip

This is an overview map of our trip to Australia and New Zealand. We began in Brisbane and went anti-clockwise, ending in Sydney.

Near Cairns, we visited the mountain village of Kuranda, going up by the historic scenic train, and descending via the world's longest cableway gondola.
 
tourist attraction

   Jerrold Patz and Naimah Zakaria at the Kuranda Scenic Railway   The Kuranda Skyway

Descrptive Sign For Green Island, The Great Barrier Reef   Fish and coral at the Great Barrier Reef   Fish and coral at the Great Barrier Reef

We went to Green Island on the Great Barrier Reef, the largest living organism on this planet and a natural wonder. Fish and coral at the Great Barrier Reef. The colors are a bit washed out because the boat window and seawater filter the longer wavelengths of light (yellow to red).

Taking off from Green Island, Naimah and I went parasailing over a part of the Great Barrier Reef.

   Jerry and Naimah Parasailing at the Great Barrier Reef   Jerry and Naimah Parasailing at the Great Barrier Reef

Flying Over the Outback - Australia's Big Red Area

Flying over the "big red", Australia's Outback - a dry and empty interior. Here, we are on our way to Alice Springs.

Naimah and Jerrold at Alice Springs,  near the geographical center of Australia. Alice Springs was an ideal spot for a radio relay station. It also had a sustaining natural water source.

   Naimah and Jerrold at Alice Springs   Descriptive Plaque at Alice Springs

Jerrold Patz at Simpsons Gap   Descriptive Plaque at Simpsons Gap   "NO SWIMMING" Sign at Simpsons Gap

Jerrold at Simpsons Gap, a natural break in the MacDonnell Mountains. The whimsical "no swimming" sign seems out of place, but flash floods often fill the creek.

This is not what it appears to be, or what we thought it to be; We are not posing in front of Ayers Rock (Uluru). Our background is Mount Connor, about 88 km east-southeast of Uluru.

   Naimah and Jerrold at Mount Connor, near Ayers Rock

Naimah and Jerrold at the Climbing Trail of Ayers Rock   Naimah and Jerrold at Ayers Rock at Sunset

Here we are at Ayers Rock (Uluru), first by day and next by sunset. Uluru is one of Australia's most recognizable natural icons. The world-renowned sandstone formation stands 348 meters (1,142 feet) high, and, like an iceberg, most of its bulk is below the ground. Ayers Rock (Uluru) measures about 9.4 km (5.8 miles) in circumference.

We took an early morning helicopter tour over Ayers Rock and the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

   Naimah and Jerrold at Ayers Rock Helicopter  Ayers Rock as seen from the Helicopter   Ayers Rock as seen from the Helicopter

Our entry ticket into the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park   Our entry ticket into the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park

Our entry ticket into the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. This is an Aboriginal site which contains Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (The Olgas)

Although a bit blurred from the helicopter motion, this is a picture of wild camels running loose in the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park. They say that there are more camels than people in the Northern Territory of Australia.

   Wild Camels as seen from the Helicopter

The Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge   View of Jerry and the Sydney Opera House from the Sydney Harbor Bridge Walk

Sydney's Harbor is famous for its two major icons - the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbor Bridge. Here we are posing in front of both. Next, the opera house (and Jerrold) are seen from the bridge walk.

Australia has its unique flora and fauna. Here Jerrold is with a koala bear and kangaroo. Naimah is with a wombat. These animals are endemic to Australia.
Also, not as well known, Australia is home to the largest colony of fairy penguins.

Jerry and a Koala   Jerry and a Kangaroo   Naimah and a Wombat

Our Group Posing at a Photogenic Sydney Harbor Spot

This is a photo of our traveling group taken at a photographic vantage point.

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Here is a montage of additional pictures.

Mouse over any picture for a description. Click on any picture to expand it into a larger view.

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tourist attraction     bondi beach   icon perpetual clock john flynn "royal flying doctor service' outback 'big red' parasailing "great barrier reef" "queen victoria building" koala bear kangaroo wombat   fairy penguin didjieridoo  didgeridoo  coral remora sucker fish 'stained glass' world's largest monolith   most famous landmark kuranda skyrail "ayers rock from space"