About richardcedwards

I have been making photographs of people and places since I was 12 years old. Exploring new places, cultures and meeting people adds a lot of richness to life. Sharing these experiences and photographs with others is my goal with "Where in the World is Riccardo?" on wordpress.com

Eat local: Gourmet Delights in Tasmania, Australia (2020)

We spent a very enjoyable day touring Tasmania’s “Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail” with a guide, starting along the coast (we were docked at Burnie) and then exploring inland in the rolling hills farm terrain

We spent a very enjoyable day touring Tasmania’s “Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail” with a guide, starting along the coast (we were docked at Burnie) and then exploring inland in the rolling hills farm terrain

 

A small group of us toured northern Tasmania, Australia, with a hired guide (and large van), to explore some of the local gourmet delights.  But first, we checked out the local fauna.  We began with a drive east alomg the coast from Burnie to Turners Beach, pausing at Penguin to spot several of the famously elusive native platypus (no photographs, as they were mostly underwater).  Our first gourmet delights stop was to enjoy, with some of the locals, morning tea/coffee and delicious fruit-based pastries at The Berry Patch, a popular café and berry farm.  We next drove south from the coast and headed into farm country.  The Bennet family has been raising sheep and dairy cows around Elizabeth Town since the late 1880s. We had a tour of their cheese factory at Ashgrove Tasmanian Farm and sampled some of the hand-crafted cheese.   Our next stop was to enjoy a sampling of the fragrant infused oils and olives at Wattle Hill Olives. Tasmanian enology entered the picture at Ghost Rock Wines.  Following a tasting of their wines, we enjoyed a rustic family-style lunch that featured locally sourced produce, seafood, meats, cheese, pâté, grilled and pickled veggies, and toasted bread from Pigeon Whole Bakers, accompanied by both red and white Ghost Rock wines.

After lunch, we continued our drive and were welcomed by Belgian-born chocolatier Igor Van Gerwen to House of Anvers, the confectionery company he founded in 1989.   We had an extensive tour of the factory and learned about the chocolate making process.  With a cup of coffee or tea, we had the opportunity to enjoy their decadent, chocolatey treats made with the finest cacao and rich Tasmanian butter and cream.  We ended the day with a tasting of bottle-fermented alcoholic beverages at Spreyton Cider Co.  Drawing on their years of experience producing fresh apple juice, Spreyton began brewing hard cider (7.5 – 8% ABV – alcohol by volume) in 2012.

 

We didn’t have time on our tour to do hand berry picking in the berry fields at The Berry Patch, but did enjoy some great pastries (see following photographs) and delicious coffees and teas; Tasmania, Australia

We didn’t have time on our tour to do hand berry picking in the berry fields at The Berry Patch, but did enjoy some great pastries (see following photographs) and delicious coffees and teas; Tasmania, Australia

 

The Berry Patch’s website description: “Just 10 minutes from Devonport in Tasmania’s North West, you can experience both culinary perfection from our cafe menu, and an authentic farm experience.  Dine at our restaurant and then hand-pick your own sweet and delicious berries in our ‘Pick Your Own’ fields. We also have a farm shop where you can purchase pre-picked fruit, and other house made and locally sourced goodies.  Enjoy gourmet pizzas from our authentic wood-fired oven, sit under our covered deck while the kids play on the hay bails, in the sandbox and at the ping pong tables, or enjoy time in the yurt listening to live music during a summer event.” – www.theberrypatch.com.au

 

A pastry from The Berry Patch made with chocolate cake rounds filled with fresh, local whipped cream and berries from the premises; Tasmania, Australia

A pastry from The Berry Patch made with chocolate cake rounds filled with fresh, local whipped cream and berries from the premises; Tasmania, Australia

 

A delicious blueberry muffin made with local ingredients at The Berry Patch, Tasmania, Australia

A delicious blueberry muffin made with local ingredients at The Berry Patch, Tasmania, Australia

 

Pavlova is an Australian creation – meringue topped with fresh fruit (a favorite at end of the year holidays celebrations); Tasmania, Australia

Pavlova is an Australian creation – meringue topped with fresh fruit (a favorite at end of the year holidays celebrations), enjoyed at The Berry Patch; Tasmania, Australia

 

Our intrepid traveler paused beside an Ashgrove Farms Cheese cow before entering the factory for a tour, including an explanation of the cheese-making process and then a tasting of the wide variety of award-winning cheeses; Tasmania, Australia

Our intrepid traveler paused beside an Ashgrove Farms Cheese cow before entering the factory for a tour, including an explanation of the cheese-making process and then a tasting of the wide variety of award-winning cheeses; Tasmania, Australia

 

“The Ashgrove milk and cheese factory is located at Elizabeth Town, in the heart of the dairying and cropping region in Northern Tasmania.  Several generations of Bennett families have been farming the land surrounding the milk and cheese factory since the 1880’s.  In the late 1980s a decision was made to further develop the dairy operations with the decline in wool prices and the stagnation of the vegetable industry.  John and Michael Bennett’s goal in establishing the cheese factory was to gain independence from the low commodity prices that dominated Tasmanian milk supply and to produce premium quality cheese by on-farm value adding using farm milk.  In preparation a significant investment was made in building a new 50-unit rotary dairy in 1990.  From an initial small factory built in 1993, the factory has grown in size over the years.  The factory store which opened in April 1994 has enabled our valued customers and tourists to learn how our cheese is made.

“By 2001, the cheese operation had grown sufficiently to enable the business to be separated from the Ashgrove Farms farming operation.  The Ashgrove Cheese company was established in 2001 by Michael and John Bennett and their respective wives Maureen and Connie.  Ashgrove Farms continues to be the main supplier of milk to the Ashgrove Cheese factory.  In 2012 Ashgrove Farm Milk won a number of awards including best Farm Light Milk at the Dairy Industry Association of Australia awards.” — www.ashgrovecheese.com.au/

 

The cheese aging room at the Ashgrove Farms Cheese factory in Elizabeth Town, in the heart of the dairying and cropping region in Northern Tasmania, Australia

The cheese aging room at the Ashgrove Farms Cheese factory in Elizabeth Town, in the heart of the dairying and cropping region in Northern Tasmania, Australia

 

Olive trees at Wattle Hill Olives, an award-winning producer of extra virgin olive oil in Tasmania, Australia

Olive trees at Wattle Hill Olives, an award-winning producer of extra virgin olive oil in Tasmania, Australia

 

“Wattle Hill Olives produces award winning Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Wattle Hill has 2,000 trees with Spanish and French varieties.  The Tables Olives are nearing maturity and will be available in the next few years.  Wattle Hill also produces balsamic olive oil salad dressing/dipping sauces which are irresistible.  George and Veronica enjoy going to the markets and meeting people and giving them a taste of their oil.  The Oil can also be purchased at most Tasmanian IGA Stores, some restaurants and fruit markets.” — www.foodandbeveragetasmania.com/

 

In addition to plain extra virgin olive oil, Wattle Hill Olives produces a number of flavored oils, most of which we had a chance to sample and enjoy at their facility; Tasmania, Australia

In addition to plain extra virgin olive oil, Wattle Hill Olives produces a number of flavored oils, most of which we had a chance to sample and enjoy at their facility; Tasmania, Australia

 

The entrance to Ghost Rock Winery facility and tasting room and restaurant, across from some of their vineyards, has several large “ghost rocks”; Tasmania, Australia

The entrance to Ghost Rock Winery facility and tasting room and restaurant, across from some of their vineyards, has several large “ghost rocks”; Tasmania, Australia

 

“Nestled among the rolling patchwork fields of the beautiful coastline of Northern Tasmania, you’ll find Ghost Rock among some of god’s best country.  Just 10 minutes from where the Spirit of Tasmania docks and one hour from Cradle Mountain or Launceston, this is a must visit destination when exploring the central North coast of Tasmania or more fondly known as the Cradle Coast Region.  The modern and vibrant Cellar Door & Eatery – twice crowned Tourism Tasmania’s ‘Best Cellar Door’ – offers wine tastings of Ghost Rock’s entire range and a lunch/grazing menu featuring local artisan produce.  With striking views over its vineyards, rolling countryside and Bass Strait, it’s easy to see why it’s a popular hangout.  One of the coolest wine regions in the State (and most probably Australia), it’s one of the State’s most unique wine experiences.  We love living where we do and would love to share this part of the world with you. We look forward to welcoming you soon. — Ghost Rock Team” — www.ghostrock.com.au

 

Vineyards at Ghost Rock Winery overlooking (to the north) the ocean and, beyond that, mainland Australia; Tasmania, Australia

Vineyards at Ghost Rock Winery overlooking (to the north) the ocean and, beyond that, mainland Australia; Tasmania, Australia

 

At our wine tasting at Ghost Rock Winery (before lunch) we had the opportunity to taste some of their rose, white and red wines; Tasmania, Australia

At our wine tasting at Ghost Rock Winery (before lunch) we had the opportunity to taste some of their rose, white and red wines; Tasmania, Australia

 

The tasting room at Anvers Confectionery where we had the opportunity to taste the broad range of chocolates and confections made in the factory, across the parking lot; Tasmania, Australia

The tasting room at Anvers Confectionery where we had the opportunity to taste the broad range of chocolates and confections made in the factory, across the parking lot; Tasmania, Australia

 

“Anvers Confectionery was established as a cottage industry in November 1989, by Igor Van Gerwen, who came to Australia from Belgium.  During his six years as a student at the Institute of Foodstuffs in Antwerp, Belgium, and by working for some of the finest patisseries in the Flemish and Walloon regions, Igor learnt, amongst other culinary skills, the art of handling chocolate.  He was trained by Roger Geerts, world renowned confectioner and author of “Belgian Pralines”.  To guarantee the quality of his products, Igor not only has to painstakingly train his staff in the art of manipulating chocolate, but also to continuously source the finest ingredients.  Not only does he use fresh Tasmanian cream, pure butter, exquisite liquors and natural flavours, but also the world’s finest chocolate… Igor has found the Tasmanian cream and butter to be the richest in flavour of any in the world, ideally suited for truffles and fudge. He believes the reason for this is that the pastures in Tasmania’s pure environment stay green almost all year round, eliminating the need to feed the dairy cows on grains.” – www.anvers-chocolate.com.au/

 

We enjoyed a tour of the Anvers Confectionary factory given by its founder and chocolatier, Igor Van Gerwen, who came to Australia from Belgium decades ago, and enjoyed some hot chocolate and house-made pastries; Tasmania, Australia

We enjoyed a tour of the Anvers Confectionary factory given by its founder and chocolatier, Igor Van Gerwen, who came to Australia from Belgium decades ago, and enjoyed some hot chocolate and house-made pastries; Tasmania, Australia

 

Apples growing in one of many orchards at the Spreyton Cider Company’s manufacturing facility (and tasting room) for their award-winning Tasmanian ciders; Tasmania, Australia

Apples growing in one of many orchards at the Spreyton Cider Company’s manufacturing facility (and tasting room) for their award-winning Tasmanian ciders; Tasmania, Australia

 

“Spreyton has been home to our families since the mid 1800’s, and since 1908 we have been growing apples in this picturesque valley. For four generations we have grown the highest quality fruit for the people of Tasmania and the world.  When Spreyton Fresh – the parent of Spreyton Cider Co, was established in 1998 to begin making fresh apple juice, Spreyton also became synonymous with fantastic real apple juice that tasted like apples!  In 2011 it was time for the next step and Spreyton Fresh began experimenting with their first cider ferments and on the strength of those early experiments the Spreyton Cider Co. was launched.  The company made the decision to keep the entire cider production process in house as that was the only way to ensure that our products would be made with the quality and integrity that is central to everything we do.  So in 2012 we began construction of our cider manufacturing facility and cellar door, and employed a full-time cider maker.  Since inception, Spreyton Cider Company has won numerous awards for our cider in competitions all over Australia.  We have continued to develop the craft cider category by growing “cider specific” varieties of apples that will further improve the traditional ciders that we produce.  At Spreyton we are serious about real cider made from real apples and use both traditional and more contemporary techniques to ensure the quality of what we produce.  Spreyton is now not only home to great Tasmanian Apples and Fresh Apple juice it is also home for one of the few true tree-to-bottle cider producers in Australia.” — www.spreytonciderco.com.au

 

At our tasting at the Spreyton Cider Company, we had the opportunity to taste not only their delicious apple juice, but also their ciders and ginger beer – a nice ending to a full day of exploration and tastings; Tasmania, Australia

At our tasting at the Spreyton Cider Company, we had the opportunity to taste not only their delicious apple juice, but also their ciders and ginger beer – a nice ending to a full day of exploration and tastings; Tasmania, Australia

This blog post wraps up our two month journey aboard our ship from Hong Kong on New Years Day through our Raja Ampat expedition and then a semi-circumnavigation of Australia, from Darwin, through the Great Barrier Reef on to Sydney, and wrapping up in Tasmania.  Fortunately we flew back from Melbourne, Australia, just before the coronavirus pandemic shelter-in-place orders were mandated in the San Francisco Bay Area, where we live.  Until we catch up again, stay safe and stay healthy…

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

 

Burnie, Tasmania, Australia (2020)

A beautiful older building in downtown Burnie, Tasmania, a city of about 20,000 that lies on the north west coast of the island, south of the Australian mainland

A beautiful older building in downtown Burnie, Tasmania, a city of about 20,000 that lies on the north west coast of the island, south of the Australian mainland

 

“The city of Burnie, situated on the North West Coast of the island state of Tasmania, is located south east of the Australian mainland.  Tasmania’s most westerly city, it has a northerly aspect and is nestled around Emu Bay on Bass Strait, a 40-minute drive from the city of Devonport.  The city’s 20,000 residents enjoy a vibrant shopping district that spills onto the beach for seafood and coffee.  Burnie has surprising restaurants and cafes to linger in.  It has a dynamic cultural life, galleries, performances, exhibitions and community events.  Fantastic food is manufactured in Burnie like whisky and cheese.  The best milk in the world for cheese making is produced in the area.  There are well stocked deli’s to tempt you with gourmet treats.  Burnie’s hills hide impressive gardens and parks, and it is surrounded by beautiful beaches, sparkling water and fresh air.  In some areas people live in perfect art deco or federation homes and public spaces featuring buildings by contemporary Tasmanian architects and designers.” — http://www.discoverburnie.net

 

Wilkinson’s Pharmacy operates in a nicely restored historic building in downtown Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

Wilkinson’s Pharmacy operates in a nicely restored historic building in downtown Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

 

After an excellent seafood luncheon at Fish Frenzy, overlooking Burnie Beach, we had a stroll outside; Burnie Beach is at the northern edge of the downtown district in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

After an excellent seafood luncheon at Fish Frenzy, overlooking Burnie Beach, we had a stroll outside; Burnie Beach is at the northern edge of the downtown district in Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

 

“Emu Bay, the distant Bass Strait and the town’s proximity to the Australian mainland made Burnie uniquely perfect for an industrial port.  Nearby forestry also made Burnie the perfect place for the paper mill industry.  But the industrial port is only a part of Burnie’s past as the town has found a way to reinvent itself.   Now, this coastal gem is full of makers.  The beating heart of this artistic community is the Maker’s Workshop which is part museum, gallery, workshop and arts center.  It’s a wonderful place to visit where you can learn to make paper, blow glass, create ceramics, develop textiles or learn to paint, sculpt or draw.” – www.tasmania.com/points-of-interest/burnie/

 

A “Surf Rescue” vehicle at Burnie Beach, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

A “Surf Rescue” vehicle at Burnie Beach, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

 

The Burnie Beach rescue boat, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

The Burnie Beach rescue boat, Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

 

These children friendly octopus sculptures are on Burnie Beach, just outside the patio of Fish Frenzy; Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

These children friendly octopus sculptures are on Burnie Beach, just outside the patio of Fish Frenzy; Burnie, Tasmania, Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (2020)

Our favorite seafood retailer at the Sydney Fish Market is Peter’s Sydney Fish Market; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Our favorite seafood retailer at the Sydney Fish Market is Peter’s Sydney Fish Market; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Our favorite food shopping in Sydney is at the Sydney Fish Market on Blackwattle Bay near the eastern end of Anzac Bridge, not far from where we were docked at White Bay.   Sydney Fish Market’s six seafood retailers offer Australia’s biggest variety of fresh seafood.  The site also features numerous restaurants and cafés, a bakery, butcher, gourmet deli, greengrocer, bottle shop, fishing supplies store and gift shop.  We went in the late morning to purchase fresh fish and seafood (some to be frozen for cooking in the future) and then sat at side tables at Peter’s Sydney Fish Market for a light lunch, all fresh fish and seafood from Peter’s Market (see the last photograph, below).

 

The sushi grade scampi taste as good as they look!; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – we enjoyed some for lunch after our shopping (see the last photograph)

The sushi grade scampi taste as good as they look!; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – we enjoyed some for lunch after our shopping (see the last photograph)

 

Note that all prices are Australian dollars per kilogram (2.2 pounds).  At the time of our visit this winter, one Australian dollar had an exchange rate of $0.66 US.  Thus seafood costing AU$40 per kilo was equivalent to US$12 per pound.

 

Cooked Eastern rock lobsters were high priced, but were tasty, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – we enjoyed some for lunch after our shopping (see the last photograph)

Cooked Eastern rock lobsters were high priced, but were tasty, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia – we enjoyed some for lunch after our shopping (see the last photograph)

 

Peter’s Sydney Fish Market sells a wide variety of fresh fish, mostly from local waters but extending around the coast of Australia and Tasmania; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Peter’s Sydney Fish Market sells a wide variety of fresh fish, mostly from local waters but extending around the coast of Australia and Tasmania; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

We bought some of the extra-large green wild tiger prawns to boil and then eat for lunch as a “shrimp-a-peel” back on the ship; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

We bought some of the extra-large green wild tiger prawns to boil and then eat for lunch as a “shrimp-a-peel” back on the ship; Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

“Sydney Fish Market (SFM) is the largest market of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and the world’s second largest seafood market in terms of variety outside of Japan.  A working fish market, SFM sources product both nationally and internationally and trades over 14,500 tonnes of seafood annually — with up to a hundred species traded every day.  SFM employs approximately fifty-seven staff to organise the weekday wholesale auction, promote Sydney Fish Market as the centre of seafood excellence and operate the Sydney Seafood School.  Since opening in 1989, Sydney Seafood School has played an important part in persuading Sydney residents to eat more fish.  The School is considered to be one of Australia’s leading cooking schools.” — www.tripadvisor.com

 

Extra large (cooked) tiger prawns, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Extra-large (cooked) tiger prawns, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Octopus, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Octopus, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Calamari, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Calamari, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Yellow fin bream, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Yellow fin bream, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Live marron, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia -- Marron is a name given to two closely related species of crayfish in Western Australia

Live marron, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia — marron is a name given to two closely related species of crayfish in Western Australia

 

For lunch at Peter’s Sydney Fish Market, we each started with one half of a cooked lobster and a sushi grade scampi, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

For lunch at Peter’s Sydney Fish Market, we each started with one half of a cooked lobster and a sushi grade scampi, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia (2020)

Two of Sydney, Australia’s most famous cons.—the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge – seen at dusk from Sydney harbor

Two of Sydney, Australia’s most famous icons — the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge – seen at dusk from Sydney harbor; the capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities, Sydney is beloved by its residents and worldwide visitors

 

Sydney, capital of New South Wales and one of Australia’s largest cities (population 5.6 million people), is best known for its harbor-front Sydney Opera House, with a distinctive sail-like design.  Massive Darling Harbor and the smaller Circular Quay port are hubs of waterside life, with the arched Harbor Bridge and esteemed Royal Botanic Garden nearby. Sydney Tower’s outdoor platform, the Skywalk, offers 360-degree views of the city and suburbs.

 

“Sydney is located on Australia’s south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. Inhabitants of Sydney are called Sydneysiders, comprising a cosmopolitan and international population of people from numerous places around the world.  The city is built on hills surrounding Port Jackson which is commonly known as Sydney Harbor, where the iconic Sydney Opera House and the Harbor Bridge feature prominently.  The hinterland of the metropolitan area is surrounded by national parks, and the coastal regions feature many bays, rivers, inlets and beaches including the famous Bondi Beach.” — www.informationplanet.com.au/cities/sydney

 

One of the numerous Sydney Ferries seen in White Bay with the modern skyline of the city behind it – the Millers Point and Wynyard neighborhoods (behind the normal view of downtown, seen from the center of Sydney Harbor and the Harbor Bridge

One of the numerous Sydney Ferries seen in White Bay with the modern skyline of the city behind it – the Millers Point and Wynyard neighborhoods (behind the normal view of downtown, seen from the center of Sydney Harbor and the Harbor Bridge); Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Sydney Ferries are the easiest and cheapest way to view Sydney and its harbor. A trip on a Sydney Ferry is one of the best value ferry rides in Australia, if not the world.  It traverses one of the most picturesque harbors you are ever likely to see, and passes close to such icons as the Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge.

 

Downtown Sydney is growing more vertical with considerable construction in the past few years and at the present; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Downtown Sydney is growing more vertical with considerable construction in the past few years and at the present; Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

These contemporary high-rise, multi-use buildings are typical of the recent spate of construction in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

These contemporary high-rise, multi-use buildings are typical of the recent spate of construction in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Australian friends of ours have purchased one of the apartments on an upper floor of this skyscraper in downtown Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australian friends of ours have purchased one of the apartments on an upper floor of this skyscraper in downtown Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

 

Evening sailing in Snails Bay in the center of the greater Sydney metropolitan area; New South Wales, Australia

Evening sailing in Snails Bay in the center of the greater Sydney metropolitan area; New South Wales, Australia

 

Sunset under the Sydney Harbour Bridge; New South Wales, Australia

Sunset under the Sydney Harbour Bridge; New South Wales, Australia

 

A closeup of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset; New South Wales, Australia

A closeup of the Sydney Harbour Bridge at sunset; New South Wales, Australia

 

The Sydney skyline at dusk with the Sydney Opera House at the far right side; New South Wales, Australia

The Sydney skyline at dusk with the Sydney Opera House at the far right side; New South Wales, Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Cairns, Queensland, Australia

With the discovery of gold (1873) in the mountains above Cairns, construction on the Kuranda (Scenic) Railway began in 1887 to provide a reliable supply route to the gold country

With the discovery of gold (1873) in the mountains above Cairns, construction on the Kuranda (Scenic) Railway began in 1887 to provide a reliable supply route to the gold country, commencing one of the most ambitious railway projects ever undertaken; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

A major gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns in Tropical North Queensland (population 150,000) captivates visitors with its energetic city personality and awe-inspiring natural wonders. Visitors can stroll along The Esplanade and take a dip in the nearby freshwater Cairns Lagoon.  Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy the thrill of white-water rafting, scuba diving, or trekking to secluded Crystal Cascades.  Families and visitors of all ages can ride the Kuranda Scenic Railway to discover intriguing heritage at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Culture Park. The Cairns Botanic Gardens boasts the best tropical plants in the country, and Cairns Museum shares amazing stories of the city’s history and people.  Shopping highlights include jewelry, crafts, clothing, and more at the Cairns Night Markets & Food Court. Outside the city proper, visitors can head inland to the Atherton Tablelands to hike wilderness trails, see plunging waterfalls, and peruse country markets.

 

The journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway itself holds just as much appeal as the destination, an apt description of our scenic outing to the village of Kuranda; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

The journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway itself holds just as much appeal as the destination, an apt description of our scenic outing to the village of Kuranda; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

Built between 1887 and 1891, this feat of engineering – constructing the Kuranda Scenic Railway — traverses 40 bridges and 15 tunnels before reaching the town of Kuranda, in the mountains above Cairns.

 

The scenery along the climb up the mountains on the Kuranda Scenic Railway was spectacular, including this waterfall – the largest in northern Australia; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

The scenery along the climb up the mountains on the Kuranda Scenic Railway was spectacular, including this waterfall – the largest in northern Australia; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

A rare view from the Kuranda Scenic Railway -- climbing up the mountains -- of the city of Cairns, Queensland, Australia

A rare view from the Kuranda Scenic Railway — climbing up the mountains — of the city of Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

We were fortunate on our ride up the Kuranda Scenic Railway on a sunny day to stop at a station in Barron Gorge National Park where we could get out and hike along the mountainside; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

We were fortunate on our ride up the Kuranda Scenic Railway on a sunny day to stop at a station in Barron Gorge National Park where we could get out and hike along the mountainside; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

“Barron Gorge National Park extends from the coastal lowlands to the elevated regions of the Atherton Tableland and features rugged mountain scenery, tropical rainforests, diverse wildlife and a fascinating history.  The park lies within the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area.

“The Barron River dominates the park. Rising from the rainforests of Mount Hypipamee National Park, the river winds 60 km (100 miles) across the Atherton Tableland through one of Australia’s highest rainforest belts.  The river then enters the deeply-incised Barron Gorge, which forms a rugged, twisting trough between the Macalister and Lamb ranges.  The river falls 250 meters (820 feet) onto the narrow coastal lowlands and flows to the Coral Sea, just north of the Cairns Airport.  During the wetter months, floodwaters regularly create a spectacular sight at Barron Falls.

“The park is part of the traditional lands of the Djabugandji Bama (local Aboriginal people) who maintain a close spiritual connection with this country.  Before Europeans arrived, Bama traversed this country, developing trails linking the coast to the uplands.  These historic trails now form sections of a walking track network.” — https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/barron-gorge/about.html

 

From the scenic walkway after we disembarked from the Kuranda Scenic Railway we could get a closeup photograph of the waterfall and ponds in Barron Gorge National Park; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

From the scenic walkway after we disembarked from the Kuranda Scenic Railway we could get a closeup photograph of the waterfall and ponds in Barron Gorge National Park; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

Instead of going down the mountain on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, we rode down in the relatively new Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in gondolas that seated up to 6 people; the ride traverses a winding, 4.5 mile - 7.2 km route; Cairns, AU

Instead of going down the mountain on the Kuranda Scenic Railway, we rode down in the relatively new Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in gondolas that seated up to 6 people; the ride traverses a winding, 4.5 mile / 7.2 km route that takes just over 90 minutes, including two brief, ranger-led walks into the rainforest; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

Our Skyrail ride took us over the Barron River, above the point where it flows through Barron Gorge and Barron Falls; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

Our Skyrail ride took us over the Barron River, above the point where it flows through Barron Gorge and Barron Falls; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

The Barron River got much narrower when it went through this gorge, viewed from the Skyrail gondola; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

The Barron River got much narrower when it went through this gorge, viewed from the Skyrail gondola; Cairns, Queensland, Australia

 

A bird’s-eye view of the city of Cairns on the coast – the Great Barrier Reef, not visible at the top of the photograph, is in the Coral Sea, just off the east coast of Australia

A bird’s-eye view of the city of Cairns on the coast – the Great Barrier Reef, not visible at the top of the photograph, is in the Coral Sea, just off the east coast of Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Eat local: Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Port Douglas, on the shores of Northern Queensland, Australia, attracts everyone from relaxation seeking urbanites to eco-conscious backpackers and nature enthusiasts

Port Douglas, on the shores of Northern Queensland, Australia, attracts everyone from relaxation seeking urbanites to eco-conscious backpackers and nature enthusiasts

 

Attracting everyone from relaxation seeking urbanites to eco-conscious backpackers and nature enthusiasts, Port Douglas is an intimate destination located on the shores of Northern Queensland.  Travelers can make their way up Flagstaff Hill to photograph the sweeping views of the Coral Sea or visit the animals at the highly acclaimed Wildlife Habitat.  Visitor frequently enjoy top-quality al fresco dining at any local restaurant or indulging in world-class spa treatments among the stunning scenery.  An ideal point from which to explore the Great Barrier Reef and the raw beauty of Mossman Gorge’s waterfalls, Port Douglas also offers access to the emerald jungles of the UNESCO-listed Daintree Rainforest, the oldest and continuously surviving tropical rainforest in the world.

 

The developers and owners, Susan and Alan Carle, of the Botanical Ark in the Daintree Rainforest, north of Mossman and Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia, met us when we arrived

The developers and owners, Susan and Alan Carle, of the Botanical Ark in the Daintree Rainforest, north of Mossman and Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia, met us when we arrived – they’re pictured here with a variety of the tropical fruits they grow and harvest on their property

 

Although you won’t come across a wooden vessel filled with animal pairs, a private visit to the Botanical Ark may evoke Noah’s biblical conservation efforts.  New York State transplants Susan and Alan Carle devoted the last 40 years to collecting and preserving tropical plants from over 40 countries, nurturing some 500 endangered fruit and nut species on their property in the Daintree Rainforest.  Every day, an estimated 200,000 acres / 80,000 hectares of rainforest is burned around the world, often destroying flora and fauna found nowhere else.  A small group of eight of us from the ship were fortunate to get an appointment for a private visit to the Botanical Ark.  After a welcome drink of Guanabana juice – it tastes sweet and sour, lightly creamy like a banana combined with pineapple, then it also has lemon-like acid and citrus notes; the creamy texture is like custard – accompanied by breadfruit chips (with salt), Alan gave us a detailed overview of the history and ethic of the Botanic Ark.  This was followed by lunch on the verandah of their home that featured fruits and vegetables grown on the property, along with locally sourced seafood and fish.  The Carles have won awards from Slow Food International and other accolades for their efforts and expertise.  Following lunch Alan guided us on an educational walk through the rainforest where he pointed out numerous interesting and unusual fruits and flowers, along with some highly useful rainforest trees such as bamboo and rubber.

 

The verandah dining table at the Carle’s home in the Botanical Ark where we enjoyed a luncheon of fresh local fish and a bounty of vegetables, salads and fresh fruits from the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

The verandah dining table at the Carle’s home in the Botanical Ark where we enjoyed a luncheon of fresh local fish and a bounty of vegetables, salads and fresh fruits from the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Our luncheon plate with fresh local fish and prawns and fresh grown, local fruits at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Our luncheon plate with fresh local fish and prawns and fresh grown, local fruits at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

For the non-seafood eaters, a vegetarian plate at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

For the non-seafood eaters, a vegetarian plate at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Sweet potato salad with Macadamia nuts for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Sweet potato salad with Macadamia nuts for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

A Thai- or Vietnamese-style salad of green papaya (with a side of chopped peanuts) for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

A Thai- or Vietnamese-style salad of green papaya (with a side of chopped peanuts) for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Our main desert was Susie’s recipe and homemade Guanabana cheesecake with Passionfruit the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Our main desert was Susie’s recipe and homemade Guanabana cheesecake with Passionfruit the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia; Guanabana, also known as custard apple, soursop and Brazilian paw paw, is the fruit of Annona muricata, a broadleaf, flowering, evergreen tree — the exact origin is unknown; it is native to the tropical regions of the Americas and the Caribbean and is widely propagated

 

The unpeeled fruits that were the last course of our luncheon at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

The unpeeled fruits that were the last course of our luncheon at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Lychees, pink dragon fruit, mango, white dragon fruit and mangosteens as the final course for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Lychees, pink dragon fruit, mango, white dragon fruit and mangosteens as the final course for lunch at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana) is an exotic, tropical fruit with a slightly sweet and sour flavor.  I’s originally from Southeast Asia, but can be found in various tropical regions around the world.  The fruit is sometimes referred to as purple mangosteen because of the deep purple color its rind develops when ripe.

 

Just before our hike into the rainforest, Alan had us taste a lemon slice before eating some “miracle fruit” (Synsepalum dulcificu) and then tasting the lemon slice and finding it slightly sweet, rather than sour; the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas

Just before our hike into the rainforest, Alan had us taste a lemon slice before eating some “miracle fruit” (Synsepalum dulcificu) and then tasting the lemon slice and finding it slightly sweet, rather than sour; the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Banana trees and other fruit trees in the Rainforest at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Banana trees and other fruit trees in the Rainforest at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

The fruit of the Mamey Sapote tree grow low down and close to the trunk of the fruit tree; the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

The fruit of the Mamey Sapote tree grow low down and close to the trunk of the fruit tree; the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Mamey Sapote (Pouteria Sapota) has its origins in Central America.  The rough skin of this large 10-20 cm (xx-xx inches) fruit protects one of the sweetest, richest fruits imaginable (Alan gave us a taste – quite nice!).  The smooth orange pulp is able to provide sustenance, or enrich and flavor ice creams, drinks and pastries (their book on the “Botanical Ark” contains some recipes for same).

 

Flowers in the Rainforest at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

Flowers in the Rainforest at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

The welcoming (and farewell) display of fruits grown and harvested at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

The welcoming (and farewell) display of fruits grown and harvested at the Botanical Ark, Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Lizard Island Research Station, Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

On the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia, Lizard Island is home to the Lizard Island Research Station, an internationally recognized facility of the Australian Museum

On the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia, Lizard Island is home to the Lizard Island Research Station, an internationally recognized facility of the Australian Museum

 

Lizard Island is an island on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of Cairns, Australia, and part of the Lizard Island Group that also includes Palfrey Island.  It is part of the Lizard Island National Park.

“More than half of Lizard Island is covered in grasslands.  Eucalyptus and acacia woodlands, heaths, paperbark swamps and mangroves are also found there.  The island’s best-known animal is a lizard — the yellow-spotted monitor Varanus panoptes.  Lieutenant James Cook named the island for this lizard during his exploration of the east coast of Australia in 1770.  More than 40 species of birds inhabit the island group.  Seabird Islets and Osprey, South and Palfrey islands are important nesting sites, particularly for terns.

“The islands are rich in cultural meaning for the Dingaal Aboriginal people and contain sacred sites including initiation, ceremonial and story sites.  Shell middens, which provide evidence of long-ago feasting on clams, oysters, spider shells and trochus shells, are found on the islands.  Lizard Island also has a rich heritage associated with the earliest European exploration of the coast and subsequent settlement.  Today the islands are a popular tourism destination and the base for world-renowned tropical marine research.” — https://parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/lizard-island/about.html

 

On the beach, one of many motorboats used by the guest researchers at the Lizard Island Research Station, a facility of the Australian Museum; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

On the beach, one of many motorboats used by the guest researchers at the Lizard Island Research Station, a facility of the Australian Museum; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

James Cook, captain of the HMS Endeavour from 1768-1771, discovered Lizard Island, which he named for the lizards on the island.

Another Cook expedition member, Joseph Banks, in his HMS Endeavour journal, dated 12th August 1770, wrote: “Great Part of yesterday and all this morn till the boat returned I employd in searching the Island [Lizard Is.].  On it I found some few plants which I had not seen before; the Island itself was small and Barren; on it was however one small tract of woodland which abounded very much with large Lizzards some of which I took.  Distant as this Isle was from the main, the Indians had been here in their poor embarkations, sure sign that some part of the year must have very settled fine weather; we saw 7 or 8 frames of their huts and vast piles of shells the fish of which had I suppose been their food.”

 

The entrance from the shoreline beach to the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

The entrance from the shoreline beach to the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

The Lizard Island Research Station is a facility of the Australian Museum and is internationally recognized as the major island-based research facility on the Great Barrier Reef.  It attracts coral reef researchers from all around the world – with approximately 100 research projects conducted annually.  Since its opening in 1973 there have been more than 1,200 scientific publications produced by Australian and international researchers as a result of work undertaking at the facility.  Eighteen of us were very fortunate to be able to take a long Zodiac ride from our ship, anchored well off Lizard Island (for a wet landing on the beach), and get a two-hour tour of the Research Station led by one of the two directors of the station, a marine biologist who has lived at the LIRS for 30 years..

 

The main research building of the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

The main research building of the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

Fresh sea water circulates through each small tank, used for research at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Fresh sea water circulates through each small tank, used for research at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

A “crown-of-thorns”, an invasive species under study at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

A “crown-of-thorns”, an invasive species under study at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

“The crown-of-thorns seastar, Acanthaster planci, is a large starfish that preys upon hard, or stony, coral polyps.  The crown-of-thorns starfish receives its name from venomous thorn-like spines that cover its upper surface, resembling the biblical crown of thorns. It is one of the largest starfish in the world.” – Wikipedia

 

Live, colorful corals in the small aquarium tank at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Live, colorful corals in the small aquarium tank at the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

Additional research boats at anchor just offshore of the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Additional research boats at anchor just offshore of the Lizard Island Research Station; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

Sunset over the Australian mainland; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Sunset over the Australian mainland; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

Light pinks light up the sky after sunset under a huge thunderhead cloud (with rain coming down) offshore of the Australian mainland; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

Light pinks light up the sky after sunset under a huge thunderhead cloud (with rain coming down) offshore of the Australian mainland; Lizard Island, Queensland, Australia

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Cape York, Queensland, Australia

The Zodiac landing spot (a “wet landing”) on the northern end of Cape York, Queensland, Australia

The Zodiac landing spot (a “wet landing”) on the northern end of Cape York, Queensland, Australia

 

Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland, Australia.  It is the largest unspoiled wilderness in northern Australia.  The land is mostly flat and about half of the area is used for grazing cattle.  We anchored off the very northern tip of Cape York, as it is the most northern point in the continent of Australia [see sign, in photos].  Note: all photographs in this blog are courtesy of the Intrepid Explorer [see last photo].

 

The terrain at the northern end of the cap was quite rocky and rugged; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

The terrain at the northern end of the cap was quite rocky and rugged; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

 

At high tide, the sign marking the “northernmost point of the Australian continent” was in the water; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

At high tide, the sign marking the “northernmost point of the Australian continent” was in the water; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

 

Our intrepid traveler at the northernmost point of the Australian continent; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

Our Intrepid Explorer at the northernmost point of the Australian continent; Cape York, Queensland, Australia

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

Welcome to Thursday Island, a tiny paradise in the Torres Strait Islands archipelago, between the northern tip of Queensland, Australia, and Papua New Guinea

Welcome to Thursday Island, a tiny paradise in the Torres Strait Islands archipelago, between the northern tip of Queensland, Australia, and Papua New Guinea

 

Thursday Island, colloquially known as TI, or in the indigenous language, Waiben, is a tiny paradise in the Torres Strait Islands archipelago, between the northern tip of Queensland – 39 km (24miles) north of Cape York, our next port — and Papua New Guinea.  It is one of 274 islands which lie between the northern tip of Queensland and Papua New Guinea in the Torres Strait.  The administrative center of the Torres Strait Island Region is steeped in military history and captivating indigenous culture.  Visitors can immerse themselves in the traditions and heritage of Torres Strait Islanders at the Gab Titui Cultural Centre.  We took a bus up to Green Hill Fort for widespread water views.  Our tour also stopped so that we could pay respects at the graves of Japanese pearl divers in Thursday Island Cemetery.  Visitors can take a ferry to nearby Horn Island to see airplane wrecks, gun pits, and other remains from World War II.  The Torres Hotel has Australia’s northernmost pub.

 

A mural at the local ferry pier showing indigenous peoples and local industry (pearl diving), Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

A mural at the local ferry pier showing indigenous peoples and local industry (pearl diving), Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

 

“The island was a coaling station for shipping, quarantine point, pearl shell industry headquarters and, in 1892, a place of fortification, with a gunnery at Green Hill at the eastern end, protecting entry to Port Kennedy on the south-east shoreline.  The fort was decommissioned in the 1920s.  Government industries – harbour, customs, jail, post and telegraph, garrison, police – were an important component of the island’s economy, and the private sector was dominated by pearl shell.  Boats working out of Thursday Island were estimated to employ over 2,000 men, about one third of whom were Japanese divers.  On the island itself, the population in 1903 comprised 736 Australians, British and Continental Europeans, 334 Japanese and 445 ‘other races’ including Melanesians, Aborigines, Filipinos, Chinese and Malays.  Many Aborigines and Islanders were not counted in local or colonial censuses.” – www.queenslandplaces.com.au/thursday-island

 

A mural depicting the local “sawtooth fish”, Thursday Island, Torres Stgrait Islands, Queensland, Australia

A mural depicting the local “sawtooth fish”, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

 

“Sawfishes, also known as carpenter sharks, are a family of rays characterized by a long, narrow, flattened rostrum, or nose extension, lined with sharp transverse teeth, arranged in a way that resembles a saw.  They are among the largest fish with some species reaching lengths of about 7–7.6 meters (23-25 feet).” – Wikipedia

 

Welcome to Green Hill Fort, one of the highest points on Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

Welcome to Green Hill Fort, one of the highest points on Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia

 

Green Hill Fort is one of the country’s oldest military fortifications was built in the 1890s to protect against possible Russian invasion.  We climbed up to the gun emplacements and visited an underground museum displaying relics and historical information.  We were able to admire widespread water views from the top of the hill that, we were told, are particularly stunning at sunset

 

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #2; one of the original guns in the fort from the 1890s

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #2; one of the original guns in the fort from the 1890s

 

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #3; a view from the hill of the main port of Thursday Island – the ferry pier is the pier in the foreground (that we also used for our tenders)

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #3; a view from the hill of the main port of Thursday Island – the ferry pier is the pier in the foreground (that we also used for our tenders)

 

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #4; our ship at anchor surrounded by some of the other Torres Strait Islands

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #4; our ship at anchor surrounded by some of the other Torres Strait Islands

 

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #5; a view of a residential section of Thursday Island

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #5; a view of a residential section of Thursday Island and other Torres Strait Islands in the background

 

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #6; the guns at the fort were remarkably well preserved, especially given the harsh weather

Green Hill Fort, Thursday Island, Torres Strait Islands, Queensland, Australia #6; the guns at the fort were remarkably well preserved, especially given the harsh weather

 

Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia

Darwin, the capital of Northern Territory, Australia, seen from East Point Reserve, home of a major military installation during World War II (to protect Australia from a feared Japanese invasion

Darwin, the capital of Northern Territory, Australia, seen from East Point Reserve, home of a major military installation during World War II (to protect Australia from a feared Japanese invasion – that never happened, although Darwin was bombed considerably by the Japanese)

 

Darwin is the capital of Australia’s Northern Territory and a former frontier outpost.  It’s also a gateway to massive Kakadu National Park.  Its popular waterfront area has several beaches and green areas like Bicentennial Park.  Also near the water is the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory, displaying Southeast Asian and Pacific art, plus a pearling lugger and other seafaring vessels.

 

Looking north from East Point Preserve, Darwin, Australia

Looking north from East Point Preserve, Darwin, Australia

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #1; fountains in the lily pond

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #1; fountains in the lily pond

 

“The George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens is a botanical garden located 2 km (1.2 miles) north of the Central Business District of Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia.  The gardens were established on their present site in 1886; this was the third attempt by European settlers of Darwin to establish a site where plants of economic importance could be tested for their suitability in the tropics.  Initially the collection of the gardens was focused on economic gardening and the ornamental plantings.  The gardens were severely damaged during Cyclone [hurricane] Tracy in 1974; 89% of all plants were lost.  Restoration after the cyclone was led by George Brown, who had worked at the gardens since 1969 and served as curator from 1971 to 1990, and who was Lord Mayor of Darwin from 1992 until 2002.  The gardens were renamed in 2002 to recognise George Brown’s contribution and 32 years of service to the development of the gardens.” — Wikipedia

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #2; Birds of Paradise flowers

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #2; Birds of Paradise flowers

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #3

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #3

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #4; the visitor and event center that has an excellent museum display of the history and an introduction to the gardens

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #4; the visitor and event center that has an excellent museum display of the history of, and an introduction to, the gardens

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #5; the edge of the rain forest area of the gardens

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #5; the edge of the rain forest area of the gardens

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #6

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #6

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #7

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #7

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #8

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #8

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #9

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #9

 

George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #10; reflecting ponds near the visitor and event center
George Brown Botanical Gardens, Darwin, Australia #10; reflecting ponds near the visitor and event center
Legal Notices: All photographs copyright © 2020 by Richard C. Edwards. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Permission to link to this blog post is granted for educational and non-commercial purposes only.