We went to climb Cooks Lookout on Lizard Island about 150 miles north of Cairns. Cooks Lookout was where Captain Cook climbed to find a passage out through the reef about 16 miles east of the island.
It started out sunny when we went up the mountain, but a cloud moved in and hung on to the top of the island. The lagoon to the southwest was still lit by the sun. You can see the runway for the airport serving the island's only private resort, and the anchorage where our boat Tahina was located at this time.
The resulting panorama is kind of eerie with the clouds above, but still gives you a taste of the beauty of the island.
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.