New type of scooter at port of Geraldton, Western Australia

These girls were riding winged scooters at the foreshore of Geraldton, WA.

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Geraldton also has a moving memorial to the ship HMAS Sydney, which was wrecked offshore during World War II, with a loss of over 600 lives.

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Sculptures in the Outback

Lake Ballard, north of the Western Australian gold mining town of Kalgoorlie has some (51) most unusual sculptures of people, spread across the vast landscape of a dried lake bed. They were done by English sculptor Antony Gormley using scans of local residents and alloys from the rich mineral deposits in the region. As you walk from one figure to the next, the parking area at the edge of the lake fades into the distance. You certainly have a sense of space and the reassurance that you are not alone.

  
We are camped in the bush with meagre reception, so I’m only including one picture tonight.
  

McClelland Sculpture Park picnic outing

Another school holiday activity is the McClelland Sculpture Park and Gallery in Langwarrin, Australia. Three generations found enjoyment putting their own interpretations on the sculptures as they observed from every angle. Our favourite was one that sinuously moved on bearings, with the breeze.
Another little white house with crystals in the windows cast a clear light speckled with rainbow prisms.

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So impressed were Grandad and the children that they decided to make their own installation – we women rounded the corner to find them “exhibited” as they froze like stone on a park bench.

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Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta

We spent four enjoyable hours at the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden, Port Augusta, South Australia, looking from the Matthew Flinders Lookout, sipping coffee, walking the Regional and Cliff trails, watching the tide swirl under the railway bridge, lunching on locally-inspired food and finally buying quandong jam at the gift shop. As well as unspoiled chenopod plains, it has sample garden layouts and plants that are helpfully labelled. The iron sculptures were eye-catching.

This afternoon we visited the Wadlata Outback Centre and finally had a chilly walk along the old wharf, a possible location for Monochrome Madness, which Leanne Cole is running on her blog.

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Wonder in Aliceland

Standley Chasm near Alice Springs, in Central Australia is known for a light trick which happens shortly after noon, when the light shines straight down the chasm and both walls glow with the reflected red light from the opposite wall. Here is David glowing in the sunlight.

Earlier we visited the Araluen Art Centre, which has a fine exhibition of watercolours by Albert Namatjira and related artists from Hermansburg.

After lunching at the kiosk, which is run by the local Indigenous group, we walked to a lookout, returning via a dried creek bed that was rich with wildflowers.

Last visit was to the Desert Park, where an obliging perentie posed for a photo.

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Rock art and brave fishermen at Kakadu

Today we drove to a spot near the boundary of the World Heritage listed Kakadu which is run as a joint venture between the local Indigenous peoples (who have land rights) and the government’s National Parks.

It is called Cahills Crossing and is a favourite fishing spot, despite the fact that crocodiles are often sighted there. First we saw a two metre crocodile, then about fifty yards downstream, we watched fisherman standing in the running water with their backs to the area where the croc was! Watching the local vehicles making the water crossing from Arnhem Land is a favourite pastime for tourists.

We also climbed the Ubirr site, saw ancient rock art and had a magnificent view from the top of the escarpment. Then drove back, calling in to the Nooralangie rock art site and Anbangbang billabong for a spot of birdwatching.

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Plane henge desert gallery, mound springs and Curdimurka

Last Monday we drove up the Oodnadatta Track to Coward Springs for lunch and a spa bath in a bore in the desert. On the way we passed an open air sculpture park – “plane henge”.

Our return was via mound springs and Curdimurka siding on the disused Ghan railway line. We returned with the setting sun behind us.

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