Redback Spiders catch and eat snakes – Really?

By |February 9th, 2009|Blog, Pictures, Wildlife|

I was having a little bit of banter with an Australian work colleague of mine the other day. Having found another Redback spider in the back garden a couple of weeks ago I’ve found myself becoming a little laid back with the frequency of these near-death encounters Poking the red back with a stick, I found the thing quite unaggressive, a life saving move for this little Arthropod as I decided to move it out of harms way instead of introducing the thing to a couple of litres of Spider spray! “You should have just squashed it” quaffed my Aussie work colleague “Redbacks have been known to eat snakes and other stuff you know?  You’d best watch out for the cat! Two days later she sends me an email titled  “The Red Back spider of Australia” with the below text and attachments: […]

Shell Beach – Monkey Mia

By |February 2nd, 2009|Blog, Pictures|

I thought I would save the last entry in the recent series of Blog entries following our Western Australia Road trip to Shell Beach. Shell beach, just a few Kilometres south of Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort is an amazing place. From a distance the beach looks like any other ‘amazingly beautiful’ tropical beach with clean white sands and the glimmer of the warm turquoise green Indian Ocean on the horizon.   A sight pretty typical to the area. The thing that makes Shell beach different is the fact that it’s not sand that makes the beach so white but shells! Shell beach gets its name from the Billions of tiny white ‘Coquina Bivalve’ sea shells also known as Cardiid Cockles which form a snow white stretch of beach approximately 110km long. An amazing and very unusual occurrence and apparently one of only two such beaches in the world. The shells are mined under special license nowadays for production of calcium for poultry feed and exotic mulch for gardens and planters (there’s plenty going spare) In the early years of Denham, blocks of the solidified shell deposits were also mined and used as materials in building constructions. […]

Monkey Mia Dolphins – Enjoying the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort

By |February 1st, 2009|Blog, Pictures, Wildlife|

Once we had decided to embark on our Road trip around western Australia, we had two options. Option one: head down south towards the wine regions of Margaret River where we would spend the week touring the local wineries amongst beautiful landscapes, getting slowly drunker by the day OR Option two: travel north to see some dolphins. Despite the draw of a plentiful supply of cheap Western Australian wine, we had two extra people to consider. The Kids,   so option one it was and what a good decision it was to. Monkey Mia is located midway up the West Australian Coastline, approx 850 kilometres from Perth. It   sits in the middle of Shark Bay which is a World Heritage Area. We stayed at the Monkey Mia Dolphin Resort for two days which was a welcome relief to. After the previous days of intensive driving we were all pretty ready for a couple of days off. Monkey Mia is one of the more unusual place names I’ve come across. Apparently Mia is the Aboriginal term for home or shelter, while the Monkey part of the name is allegedly derived from a pearling boat called Monkey that anchored at the now Monkey Mia in the late 19th century, during the days when pearling was an industry in the region. It’s also been suggested that the origin of the name Monkey Mia could also be the pet monkeys owned by early Malay pearlers who camped at the location. All I know is that it’s a truly beautiful place. […]

Wild Budgies and Zebra Finches – Australias local pet shop

By |January 31st, 2009|Blog, Pictures, Wildlife|

Since arriving down under I’ve already written about the wonders of the bird life here in Western Australia. Coming from Northern England, the most exotic birds we saw were the pigeons we’d often see waddling around. The poor things normally had a toe missing or stumpy foot due to a close call with a piece of rubbish thrown away by one of the local yobs to! I was pretty surprised to see this little collection of Birds sat in a couple of trees near one of the petrol stations we pulled into during our road trip. If you were a pet store owner with a large net I’m sure you could have a field day. There were literally hundreds of Budgerigars and Zebra Finches.   Birds I’d only ever seen before in a Pet store back home. The Budgies here in their natural-habitats of Australia are noticeably smaller than those in captivity. Whether that’s down to diet, breeding or what I’m not to sure but they all seemed pretty happy chilling out in the shade of this tree. […]

Large open spaces – the remoteness of Western Australia

By |January 30th, 2009|Blog, Pictures|

As I mentioned yesterday, we travelled quite some distance during our road trip, 4449 kilometres to be exact and I have to say, I have never been so awe struck by the vastness of the place that we now call home. The reality of the sheer size of Australia first struck home when I had to fly from Sydney to Perth on Business a year or so ago. The flight takes you from one side of the country to the other and (dependent on which way the wind is blowing) takes in the region of five hours Yes, five hours people! Five hours flying in a plane over the same vast landscape. Absolutely amazing! Driving through Western Australia was an altogether different and frankly, more amazing experience. I’d read stories about the remoteness of Australia’s roads but never fully appreciated how vast and remote some of these roads would actually be, some of them appeared to go on forever. During our journeys, it wasn’t unusual to not see another single car or vehicle for 10 – 15 minutes at a time. There was just nothing else but mile after mile of endless tarmac. […]

Merry Christmas Everyone!

By |December 24th, 2008|Blog, Featured, Pictures, Weather|

Well this is our third Christmas since we arrived down under and the family and I are really looking forward [...]

Hillarys boat harbour the Mcnaught comet fireworks and lightening Australia day 2007

By |February 5th, 2007|Blog, Pictures|

Now, for those of you who visit GDU regularly, you'll remember the sense of wonder and awe that I managed [...]