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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Outback Queensland II: Adel's Grove

At Adel's Grove I really loved waking up in the morning, opening my tent and right away having this beautiful view out on Lawn Hill Creek. Did I already mention that we had real beds in our tents and every tent had a veranda? It feels like a little house in the middle of nature. Of course they also have the real camping ground, where everybody can set up their own tent etc.

After having a nice freshly prepared breakfast Rod, our host and an accredited Savannah Guide, took us for a ride through the red desert. There was hardly any desert though, it had been raining and the desert was flourishing: Grass sprouting, birds (due to the bloom more and more birds are arriving daily) and the permanent residents the termites. Their mounds picked up the vivid red color of the soil and the rocks.

Rod took us to Riversleigh Fossil Fields, one of five World Hertitage listed spots in Queensland! It was enscribed in 1994 for representing a major stage of Earth's evolutionary history and especially its outstanding the evolution of Australian mammals. The fossils are are up to 25 million years old and they found two species of weird pouched mammals there whose relationship to other mammals is a mystery as well as what they ate or how they lived. It is hard to believe that this site was once a rainforest filled with lakes, rivers and creeks. But with Rod explaining the development, the limestones and other evidence, it is not hard to see. The traces are everywhere!

Even though we were in the middle of the desert, we did not have to drive far to get to an oasis of palm trees. At the Gregory River in Riversleigh we had our tea and cookies while watching a bus driving along the street that ran directly through the river. This how you spend your time in the Outback! There is a lot to see and experience but there is always the time for a rest, a break to take in everything that is around you. It is a great trick to make people fall in love with this remote place! It definitely worked on me! Later that day we hiked to a cave and got a peek at the Lawn Hill National Park. We got to see its great red rock formations and just the next day we would also experience what lies behind them.

The day had a perfect ending! With the Adel's Grove bus we went on the Sunset tour. We were really lucky, as once a month on full moon you can see the sun setting and the moon rising at the same time. What a spectacle! Up on Harry's Hill we had wine and appetizer while sharing this experience not only with a group of nice people but also the termite mounds that looked like
the apostles witnessing a miracle.

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