Australia webquest, Dr. Erben Aussie Geo Fri

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Description of a journey into Queensland, mostly the rainforest and Brisbane.

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Australia webquest, Dr. Erben Aussie Geo Fri

  1. 1. My excursion Down UnderQueensland: From the Heart of the Rainforest to the Metropolitan center of Brisbane<br />Alexander Quattlebaum<br />Geo Perspectives Honors <br />Australia Friday<br />
  2. 2. Arrival at Cairns<br />Before leaving, got vaccinated for Japanese encephalitis, advised for those going to far northern Australia.<br />I arrived in Cairns, Queensland on Sat, October 1, after a grueling flight. <br />The flight lasted more than 20 hours going from Tampa, then with stopovers at Atlanta and Los Angeles.<br />From Cairns, I drove North along to coast to Port Douglas.<br />Cairns Airport<br />
  3. 3. Cairns<br />I stopped in the visitor center there and learned about the town.<br />Its location was first mapped by Captain Cook in 1770, and was named Trinity Bay<br />Cairns was founded during the late Gold Rush era in 1876 to serve prospectors headed to the Hodgkinson River gold field, and was named after the governor of Queensland, William Cairns.<br />It later served as a crucial staging base and airport during WWII for the Allies.<br />It is a provincial city and is famous for its beaches, and is the fourth most popular tourist destination in Australia due to its access to The Great Barrier Reef. <br />
  4. 4. Port Douglas<br />Drove 40 miles (70km) North from Cairns to Port Douglas, a small town that was much larger when it served miners. However, it was no ghost town: it has a strong tourism economy, with access to both the Great Barrier Reef and my destination, the Daintree Rainforest. <br />Spent the day at 4 mile beach, an amazing and pristine beach very close to the town. Stayed the night in one of the many old hotels that used to be used by miners, and eagerly awaited the rainforest trek for the next day<br />
  5. 5. The Daintree Rainforest<br />Booked a tour with Daintree specialized tours, http://www.daintree-specialised-tours.com/Daintree_Rainforest_Outback_Tours_Region.htm<br />I went on the Rainforest Experience day trip-it was not ridiculously expensive at A$200 per person, and offered a hands-on experience through the Rainforest<br />Learned many things about surviving in the Bush from guide Pete Baxendell: from identifying edible plants to avoiding the most poisonous creatures<br />
  6. 6. I saw many unique animals…<br />Cairns Birdwing Butterfly<br />Spectacled Flying Fox<br />Northern Brown Bandicoot<br />Boyd’s Forest Dragon<br />Great-Billed Heron<br />Southern Cassowary<br />Young Estuarine Crocodile<br />Eastern Dwarf Tree Frog<br />
  7. 7. Many Unique Plants as well…<br />The Daintree Rainforest preserves many living fossil plants that resemble some of the first land plants.<br />Giant Cycads<br />Kauri Trees<br />King Ferns<br />Club Mosses<br />
  8. 8. Rainforest Facts<br />The Australian rainforests are some of the oldest rainforests on the planet, having huge diversity of species. <br />Evidence suggests they can be up to 135 million years old-during the Cretaceous period when dinosaurs still walked the Earth. <br />The Gondwana rainforests are further south, near the border between Queensland and New South Wales. <br />Even though the Daintree rainforest only makes up less than 1% of the Australian landmass, it contains 30% of the frog, reptile, and marsupial species, and more than 60% of Australia’s bats and butterflies, and more than 50% of Australia’s bird species. There are thought to be more than 12,000 species of insect found there, and numerous ancient plant species. <br />
  9. 9. Leaving the Rainforest<br />The first day in the rainforest I spent on the tour, then I decided to take an extra day staying at a lodge to see what else I could find there. <br />After leaving the tranquility of the rainforest, I went to the city to sample the culture<br />Therefore, it was evident that I was going to Brisbane, the capital of Queensland and the third most populous city in Australia, with 2 million people.<br />It was abou 1,100 miles (1700km) down the Bruce Highway from Cairns, so it took two day’s drive to get there. I spent the night in Rockhampton, near the midway point of my travel<br />
  10. 10. Brisbane<br />Basic information about Brisbane: The Moreton Bay area was first scouted by Flinders in 1799, and further by Oxley in 1823. <br />It started as a penal colony. <br />During WWII, it became the center of the Allied effort with McArthur’s headquarters, and barracks for thousands of soldiers. It was also the northernmost point of a proposed defense in case of a Japanese invasion: most of the continent would be sacrificed and left undefended, except for the populated cities in the southeast. <br />Brisbane hosted the World Expo in 1988<br />
  11. 11. Sports in Brisbane<br />To truly absorb the culture of Australia, I had to see a cricket game.<br />Cricket games are held in a stadium known as The Gabba (named after the Aboriginal name for the area of the city in which it is found, Woolloongabba)<br />I managed to see a late season match between the Queensland Bulls and the Southern Redbacks-the Bulls won! <br />
  12. 12. Queen Street<br />I wanted to see the inner city of Brisbane and what shops it had to offer, so I went down the “Main” street: Queen Street<br />The streets parallel to Queen street are named after female royalty, while those perpendicular are named after male royalty<br />Queen Street hosts the Queen Street Mall-which has numerous outlets and restaurants that allow a visitor to shop all day long…I bought some Australian pencils there<br />The restaurants were very diverse, and catered to the significant overseas-born populations of South Africans, Vietnamese, and Chinese<br />
  13. 13. Darling Downs<br />After spending time is Brisbane, I went west across the Great Dividing Range to the Darling Downs to see a more pastoral side of Queensland.<br />As I had seen before, it is possible to go from civilization to nowhere very rapidly…most of the Darling Downs were covered with farms, growing crops such as wheat, cotton, peanuts, and many others<br />There were also ranches dotted across the landscape, raising sheep, cattle, and pigs<br />I was most interested in a mining attractions-I opted to pick through a bucket of stock in hopes of finding a good rough ruby or sapphire-I actually found a decent sized ruby!<br />
  14. 14. The Return Trip<br />After spending a day in the Darling Downs, I returned to Brisbane. <br />I flew back from the Brisbane International Airport after staying slightly more than a week in Australia<br />I smuggled the ruby in a tube of toothpaste so I would not have to declare it in customs-a trick I learned from my grandmother.<br /> I departed with a heavy heart, not wanting to leave the wonders I had seen throughout Queensland, and dreading the long return flight<br />

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