Northern Territory

Slideshow (Flickr)

Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, also known as Karlu Karlu The name comes from an 1870 quote "This is the Devil's country; he's even emptied his bag of marbles around the place!" It's a sacred site to the Aboriginal people
Basically there used to be a layer of granite capped by a layer of sandstone. The granite was pushed to the surface, fracturing the sandstone, and the granite cracked into squarish blocks. The exposed tops of these blocks were eroded by water and wind, and eventually achieved the round shapes seen today. The extreme day/night temperature changes cause the granite to expand and contract constantly, which sometimes results in boulders being split down the middle Large granite boulder
All the balanced rocks are naturally occuring The result of several different types of erosion Wycliffe Well, a tiny town in the middle of the Outback where they claim you're unlucky if you don't see a UFO
He's gotta go... Looks suspiciously like Greedo Awww
My first attempt at night photography Obviously I still need to figure out what I'm doing If you squint, you can make out a dark mound at the bottom of the photo. That's Uluru.
Woke up way too early for a sunrise hot air balloon flight over the Outback Prepping for launch Outback sunrise
Sunrise hot air balloon flight Balloon flight over the Outback This was how we landed. I've done four hot air balloon flights. Both Albuquerque flights had gentle upright landings. Australia and Kenya, both tipped over and were dragged for a bit.
Hot air balloon flight Northern Territory sunrise Swags at Kings Creek Station. No tents, just a canvas sleeping bag under the stars.
Port Darwin The very definition of middle-of-nowhere Daly Waters, an Outback roadhouse and the oldest pub in the Northern Territory (1893)
Florence Falls Florence Falls swimmin' hole Butterfly collection at the Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory in Darwin
Victoria Bitter Flying foxes Mataranka Hot Springs
The contrast of the red sand with the white Lake Amadeus Lake Amadeus is a massive salt lake in the middle of the Outback Mount Conner, rising 984 ft above the surroundings
Outback ATV ride around Kings Creek Station Farewell drinking in Darwin The monkey embarassing itself
Tequila shots The monkey might have a drinking problem... Doing things at sunrise was a common theme on this trip
A sunrise start for the Kings Canyon rim walk, which starts off with hiking up Heart Attack Hill On top of Kings Canyon, part of Watarrka National Park Sandstone dome
Kings Canyon Kings Canyon sandstone domes Kings Canyon sandstone domes
Tropic of Capricorn marker Same latitude as Sao Paulo, Brazil and southern Madagascar Huge termite mound at Litchfield National Park
Litchfield National Park termite mounds With people for a sense of scale The termite mounds allow the termites to remain above water when the fields flood during the rainy season
Apparently they're all oriented north-south as a form of temperature control Kata Tjuta, also known as The Olgas. Located pretty close to Uluru. Valley of the Winds, at Kata Tjuta
Valley of the Winds hike Looking back at the opening Kata Tjuta

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