The Outback

I had expected to post sooner than this about some more of our Australia trip, but I was  prevented by the powers that be here when they shut down our VPN again and I couldn’t access WordPress. That’s the dichotomy here–fascinating country/tight controls. It’s easy to forget when walking down the oh-so-modern streets of Shanghai that this country has a fundamental difference from ours. But then I remember, when I get back to my computer, and the first thing I have to do is turn on my VPN and pretend that I’m actually typing from San Francisco.

Speaking of internet access, we had little to none when we were in the Outback. Apparently the kangaroos aren’t big internet users. The Outback looked very much like the desert Southwest in the States, but with kangaroos, emus and big lizards.

The first animal we saw on our “safari” from Broken Hill to Menindee was this emu. Actually, not knowing any better, we called it an ostrich. Later in the day, I was looking at a children’s book of Australian nursery rhymes that was filled with Australian animals and I realized my mistake.

The first few kangaroos we saw were, unfortunately, road kill. It seems that the kangaroo is Australia’s deer. Finally, though, our eagle eye, Meredith, spotter of most of the wildlife we saw on the drive, picked out a kangaroo to stop and gawk at.

“You looking at me?”

The Menindee Lakes are normally dry lake beds that now hold more water than Sydney Harbor due to water being diverted from the Darling River which runs near Menindee.

The lakes are major habitats for birds such as these pelicans

Don’t know what kind of bird this is, but there were lots of them.

The lakes are so strange looking with water lapping at the tops of former trees.

A scene right out of “The Birds”, don’t you think?

Beautiful, in an eery sort of way.

We next went to look at the Kinchenga Wool Shed, an abandoned sheep shearing station which sheared 6 million sheep with the aid of local Aborigines during its 97 years of operation, starting in 1875. This is the ramp where the sheep entered the shed.

There were some old tools to look at.

This is a plow that is probably like the one my dad used when he was young, on the farm.

Inspecting the bailer, a rather ingenious machine that smashes all the wool down into a dense block.

This supplied power when they started using electric shears.


There’s lots of red dirt in the outback, very much like parts of the southwest.

We came across this interesting lizard on the road. At first glance it’s hard to tell which is the head and which is the tail.

There’s the head, with a face only a mother lizard could love!

It’s hard to climb up dirt hills when you’re legs are so short. This lizard was like the “Little Engine That Could”, trying for a number of minutes to get up this little hill.

That’s all the wildlife for today. I’ll leave you with some local flora.

Elevator flowers





About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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7 Responses to The Outback

  1. Linda Mahoney says:

    Marissa – thank you so much for sharing your travels. I am learning so much and seeing so many things I read about. You’re the best!

  2. Charles G. Owen says:

    I believe it is called a Stumpy tailed lizards (Tiliqua rugosa) abound in rural Australia.

  3. Charles G. Owen says:

    It is good that you are back online.. I enjoy all of the stories of your travels and share them with my friends at work too.

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