A typical Australian Sugar Gum forest located in a creek gully near the De Mole River at the Western end of Kangaroo Island. The forest features thousands of young Sugar Gum trees, (Eucalypyus cladocalyx Myrtaceae), all emerging after vast bushfires more then 30 years ago. Older Sugar Gum trees with hollows become ideal nesting sites for the endangered Glossy Black-Cockatoo. The habitat features a vast array of plant species including the Messmate and Brown Stringy Bark Trees, (Eucalyptus obliqua Myrtaceae and Eucalyptus baxteri Myrtaceae). On the forest floor groups of Morning Flag, tufted perennials with narrow, strap-like leaves, (Orthrosanthus multiflorus Iridaceae) can be seen. Many species of Acacia occur including the Kangaroo Thorn, (Acacia paradoxa Leguminosae). Taken in Mid Summer, January 2011.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.