This is the last batch of pictures from Australia.   What a great trip.
Hope you enjoyed the pictures I've put up on the internet.  Drop me an
email and let me know what you think.  

Note: If you only have time to view a few sets of my travel pictures, 
check out the beautiful shots of Mc Kenzie Falls and the Syndey 
Featherdale Wildlife Park.   You will not be dissapointed.  

In order to help you navigate and understand what pictures are on
display, I'll keep this running account of the days I visited down
under.  

http://jelineks.com/Australia_2006.html

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April 22 - Jay and May (my brother and sister-in-law) visited a
gorgeous estate near San Jose called Filoli.  Because the weather in
March and April had been so wet, the flowers were spectacular. 
According to a report that Jay read, the grounds were the best looking
in the history of the estate.

The tulips on display were the biggest tulip flowers I've ever seen. 
As you will see in the pictures, they were everywhere and HUGE!!! 
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April 25 - My first full day in Australia.  Happened to be Anzac day
also.  This is the Australia - New Zealand - Army Corps celebration
day.  A bit similar to Memorial Day in the states.

You can read more about Anzac day here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANZAC_Day

Simon and Patty Pollitt were my gracious hosts for the majority of my
visit in Australia.  That is the cute couple in the first image.

We spent the morning at Simon's parents.  Had a traditional Aussia
breakfast and enjoyed the discussions of Australia culture versus
United States culture.   

Then later in the afternoon, Simon, Patty and I visited the gorgeous
Adelaide Botanical Gardens.  A beautiful day to visit and enjoy some
of natures beauty. 

I have a whole set of pictures dedicated to a flower I had never seen
before - Dahlias.  These are just gorgeous flowers.  Simon and I spent
a good 45 mins to an hour just shooting images here.  Easily we could
have spent a half day here.   Enjoy the beautiful images. 
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April 26 - Simon and I got up early to view the Adelaide sunrise.  The
sky was clear so not as exciting as we had hoped for.  But the skies
in Adelaide form some of the nicest high clouds I've ever seen.  I was
constantly amazed at the high, thin cloud formations.   

We spent part of the late morning visiting a gorgeous church in
downtown Adelaide - Saint Peters.   

Then Simon, Patty and I meet up with Patty's sister (Samantha) along
with Samantha's daughter Maya.  I got to pet a wallaby at the zoo. The
poor animal seemed almost asleep the entire time.  With lots of kids
and grown up kids petting it, it was nearly tame. 

As I found out in the wild, wallabys are much less inclined to hang
around humans much.  But luckily in the zoo, they are pretty
forgiving. 

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April 27 - This was our big driving day.  Simon and Patty decided to
take me to the Grampian Mountains.  A mountain range between Adelaide
and Melbourne.  About a 7 hour drive.  I shot a few images of Hotel
Pollitt in Adelaide along with a few images of the scenery on the road
to the Grampians.    

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April 28 - First full day in the Grampians.  After Simon had driven
all day on the 27th, he and Patty slept in.  I awoke with the
strangest and most exotic bird calls I had ever heard.  I ventured out
to see a spectaculat sunrise. 

Also the birds (Kookaburras, Cockatoos, Galas, Rosellas) were very
exciting to hear in the wild.  Not knowing what was making some of
these loud and exotic bird calls, I was fascinated by everything
around me. 

While I watched the sunrise, I shared it with about 20 or so wild
kangaroos grazing in the fields around me.  I really felt like I was
in Australia on this morning!!!

Then later in the day Simon, Patty and I took in some of the marvelous
vistas in the Grampians. 

Note - The Grampians had some massive bush fires in January.  This is
all part of natures pruning and growth process.  The blackened areas
were all around us, but the MASSIVE amount of new growth was also
impressive.   

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April 29 - Simon and I got up early and drove to a beautiful water
falls in the Grampians called Mc Kenzie Falls.  We got there at 7am
and spent 3 hours shooting and enjoying the water.  In that 3 hours we
were there, we only saw 2 other people.  And that wasn't until 9:30am
or so.  It was a very special morning sharing the water falls with my
camera.  Truly the best morning in Australia was spent taking these
images.   

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April 29 - Simon, Patty and I went into Halls Gap (near our lodging
base).  Patty wasn't up to much hiking do to a sore knee.  So Simon
and I headed out to tackle Chataqua's Peak.  We should have had Patty
along to guide us. 

Simon and I started out on the path just fine.  But when we got to a
fork in the trail, we ended up taking the non-trail path.  Needless to
say that two men can handle this!!! Ha!!!!  We were bush walking up
the hills literally.

We had to navigate heavy growth up and down the hills.  But when we
got to the top, we did have a nice vista.  After our extended non
trail hike, we stopped to capture an image of the brave hikers enjoying
the end of the journey.    

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April 29 - Mics Fuji Images.  I did have my second camera with me at
most times.  These are some of the Grampian Mountain shots that I
captured with the Fuji.  Most of the bird shots were taken in the
lodging area we stayed at.  The owners of the camp grounds put out
bird food around dusk every night.  The show of birds is a real treat.
Lots of birds and the nearly tame kangaroos that live in the camp
grounds.  

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April 30 - Simon and I got up early to watch the sunrise.  It was a
very low cloud deck and thus the misty sunrise images.  But we shared
the sunrise with lots of grazing kangaroos, wild cockatoos, dear,
galas (noisy birds).   

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April 30 - Patty was still feeling a bit off due to some soreness in
her knees, but she gave Simon and I the OK to trek off again.  She did
manage to find the wine tasting party in Halls Gap though!!!   

Simon and I were determined to find the CORRECT trail to Chataqua's
Peak.  After missing the trail markings the previous day, we set off
on the trail.  We nearly missed another turn off, but Simon had the
good sense to realize that we were again off to the wrong trail. 
Luckily this time we caught it quickly and got our bearings right. 

The results were worth it.  Just a fantastic trail and some very
scenic vistas.  Simon also treked up the hardest (near rock climbing)
part of the path.  I was way more cautious and waited for Simon to
return from the hardest part.  The pictures can't do justice to the
scene. 

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April 30 - Our last evening in the Grampians was special.  The owners
of the camp grounds we stayed at feed birds at dusk.  Simon, Patty and
I ventured to the feeding spot with cameras in hand.  It was a lot of
fun to be so close to kookaburras, cockatoos, and galas.  Also the
near tame kangaroos that lived on the grounds gave a very authentic
Aussie feel to the place. 

Then Simon treated us to an authentic Australia barbeque.  Lots of
good eats this evening!!! YUM!!! 

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May 1 - Arrived in Sydney in the afternoon.  Had a very nice walk
along the bay area.  Saw the gorgeous govertment house.  Had my first
views of the wonderful Sydney Harbour with the famous Opera House and
the bay bridge. 

Also saw maybe the most beautiful sunsets I have ever witnessed.  Had
a 180 degree rainbow across the Sydney Harbour.  I only captured a
short segment of the rainbow.  It happened so fast that I was unable
to capture the entire rainbow. 

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May 2 - More sight seeing in Sydney.  Had just a crystal clear day. 
Walked a lot around downtown Sydney.  Walked around the huge and
beautiful Syndey Royal Botanical Gardens.   

Went into the beautiful Saint Marys Church.  Again had a gorgeous
sunset in the evening. 

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May 3 - More sites in Sydney.  I visited Fort Denison.  This is an
island in the Syndey Bay that was originally used as a prison, but
mostly used as a fortress to guard the Syndey Harbour. 

I also took a tour of the Syndey Harbour Bridge Pylons.  This is an
incredible view of Syndey and the surrounding areas.  I was fortunate
to have a gorgeous day to take photos. 

More sites in Syndey include the oldest part of Sydney called the
Rocks.  This was orignally a rough, blue collar area of Sydney.  It
has been transformed into a restaurant and boutique part of Sydney. 

I also traveled to one of the oldest churches in Syndey called the
Garrison Church.   Very pretty and rustic feel to the place.  

I saw a gorgeous sunset of Syndey on my walk across the Syndey Harbour
Bridge.

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May 4 - The first set of photos is huge.  These were taken at a
wonderful wildlife park called Featherdale:

http://www.featherdale.com.au/

If you ever travel to Syndey - DON'T MISS THIS park!!!  As you can see
by the photos, you are RIGHT up close to the animals.  Just incredile
experience. 

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May 4 - I visited one of the neat shopping plazas in Sydney called
'The Victoria Building'.  You are catching some rare images.  I was
forced by security to put my camera away after I was taking images
inside the building.   

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May 4 - Right next to the Hostel I stayed at in Sydney was a neat
older church - Christ Church St. Laruence.   

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May 5 - Was mainly a traveling day.  I fly from Syndey to Cairns. 
Cairns is the main city into the north east secion of Austrlia.  This
is the main starting point for a visit to the rain forest and the
great barrier reef.  I got in late in the afternoon and caught a
little of the sunset. 

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May 6 - One of the neatest scenic trail rides in the world is near
Cairns.  The train goes upto the city of Kuranda.  The gorge area is
just gorgeous.  The engineering to build this train back in the 1800's
is remarkable.   

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May 6 - After you exit the train, you are near one of the worlds
oldest rain forests.  It is a real intersting place.  But not a place
to wonder around without guidance.  Many of the plants and animals in
the rainforest are deadly.  Something like 90% of the snakes in this
part of the world are deadly.  I ventured into the rainforest with a
local guide.  We saw some unbelieveable plants and animals.  I
captured a prayiing mantice walking about.  This insect was about 4
inches long.  The guide told me this was just a baby.  According to
the guide, the praying mantice will grow to be 12" long.   

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May 6 - After going up on the scenic train, the decent back down the
mountains is amazing.  You ride one of the longest Sky rails in the
world:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuranda_Skyrail

The views are amazing.  The photos can only give you a little taste of
the beauty of the view. 

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May 6 - I took 2 cameras with me to Australia.  I dedicated a group of
photos to some great shots I got in the early morning sunrise with my
point and shoot Fuji camera.   Some nest shots here.

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May 7 - Had a full day trip out to the Great Barrier Reef.  What a fun
day.  I didn't take many photos.  Water and cameras don't mix well. 
SALT water and cameras REALLY don't mix - so the cameras stayed in a
safe place for most of the day.  Still a great day.  The water was
clam and we had a great trip out, then snorkling, then eating, then
snorkling, then eating, then snorkling and then MORE eating!!! :)

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May 8 - My last full day in Cairns was spent visiting a gorgeous
botanical gardens.  As you know by now, I really enjoy flower
photography.  This was a treat.  A typical day in the rain forest with
light showers ever few hours.   

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May 9-12 I didn't take any pictures.  May 9th was a travel day back to
Adelaide to spend my last few days with my friends.  Then May 10-11
was spent shopping and just hanging out in Adelaide.  

May 12 was my big flight back to San Francisco. 

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May 12 - My brother Jay kept me busy in the late afternoon in San
Jose.  He didn't want me to fall asleep and that is the best advise to
beat jet lag.  So we went to the GORGEOUS San Jose Rose Garden.  I've
been here 3 times and every time it is just amazing.  If you like
roses, this is the definitive place to be.    

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May 13 - My last full day in California was spent hiking!!! Jay took
me to the Redwood National Park.  We got about 6 or so miles of hiking
in amongst the HUGE and impressive Redwoods.    

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WOW what a trip.  I had a trip that I encourage everyone to do. 
Australia is a great place.  Wonderful people and just beauty at ever
turn.  A HUGE special thanks to my Aussie hosts Patricia and Simon
Pollitt.  Without their friendship and encouragement to get me to come
to Australia, I wouldn't have done it.  But I have warned them already
that Australia is in my blood now and I'll be back!!! :)

Jerry