Finally the strong winds that had been blowing around the Rip, the entrance to Port Phillip had abated and a date to swim with the seals fixed.
The evening before the swim, on Shortland Bluff overlooking the Rip, a Kestrel was riding the last of the wind as it hunted for prey
Then he spotted me and was off
As night fell the ships passed through the heads. Mechant ships going about their business and cruise ships sparkling bright in the night.
The next morning was still and the converted fishing boat awaited us.
Most of Port Phillip is marine sanctuary these days and hence a haven for wildlife. Structures have been built to give shelter to the Australian Fur Seals that reside in the Bay.
The seals are happy to join the swimmers in the water.
Along with a largish Smooth Sting Ray.
Pope’s Eye is an artificial reef also in the Port Phillip Heads National Park. It is a significant breeding area for the Australian Gannet.
There are also forests of kelp and other sea weed and colourful and inquisitive fish.
The crew were great as was the little old fishing boat.
Nothing like lolling in the net and watching the world go by!
The Cutta Cutta caves limestone caves may not the most colourful but are an amazing insight to the forming of the artesian springs in the Northern Territory.
In the wet season this cave and others like it act as funnels collecting the monsoonal rains to flow through the limestone and into the artesian basin.
The water heats up and flows out at thermal springs at Mataranka and Katherine.
The sunset over the Katherine with the bats taking off into the night ( look closely at the photo just above)
The birdlife is abundant but at Edith Falls there was something special.
This Great Bower Bird singing his full repertoire of songs. (The Great Bower Birds are amazing at mimicking sounds which they include in the songs. Other birds calls, engines starting, towels fluttering are all included.)
His singing was successful as he seduced this female into his carefully constructed Bower.
How wondrous is nature.
In North Queensland only a few hundred kilometres inland from the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef is some of the most intensive coal mining in the world.
The Stop Adani Campaign has been the headline battle to try and stop the coal behemoth swallow up the fragile land water and wildlife churn it and just spit it out as tailing and pollution
Bob Brown Stop Adani convoy 2019
And the fight still goes on at FLAC
The west of Queensland is dry and outside the wet season the riverbeds are dry sand
And farmers, animals, birdlife and native flora rely on water stored underground.
It bubbles up in springs across inland Australia. The springs I swam in on the Oodnadatta Track, thousands of kilometres away are linked and fed water by the Queensland springs.
Springs like Doongmabulla Spings
An oasis in the harsh outback of Queensland which could likely be drained to wash the coal extracted from The Adani Mine.
Water is essential to preserving the beautiful things of nature.
None of the birds above are threatened but at the Adani site, there are endangered species of birds that could be wiped out.
In outback Australia, water is life. For people, for food production, for Australia’s unique fauna and flora.
We don’t need to use it to waste it on a new coal mine when the future is in renewable energy not coal or gas.
If you can support FLAC. Visit
Camped at Camp Binbee
Under the Milky Way at Night
There is something about escaping to an old growth forest
A wild place
On a hot summers day and the beaches are crowded
There is something special about the cool air of a mountain
and a shade walk in an old growth forest
The view from the look out at the summit Mount Donnna Buang is a panorama across the top of Melbourne’s
The summit walks are amongst alpine forests
Ghost gums and snow gums well spaced with low ferns and scrub
Even the remnants of an old alpine hut can be found.
Half way down the mountain the transition from alpine forest to temperate rain forest is complete
Giant mountain ash dominate the forest, along with myrtle beech
Along the gullies and waterways the tree ferns spread the wing like fronds
Parks Victoria provide some fantastic interpretation in Victoria’s parks. These two pieces I particularly liked.