Photographs and Adventures

Posts tagged “limestone

Mt. Gambier, South Australia

We visited Mount Gambier, South Australia, which is famous for it’s Blue Lake that changes colour to a brilliant blue colour in November and remains that colour over the summer each year. Since we visited in winter, the colour was not the same vibrant blue, but it was still interesting to visit the lake which is formed in a crater, and you could definitely see the difference in colour between the blue lake and the lake in the adjoining valley.

Mt Gambier Blue Lake

The Blue Lake in Mt Gambier

Umpherston Sinkhole

Umpherston Sinkhole in Mt Gambier is well worth a visit.

The sinkhole was originally on a private property, where the Umpherston family developed the gardens in the 1880’s. Umpherston Sinkhole was once a cave formed through dissolution of limestone and the sinkhole was created when the top of the chamber collapsed downwards. Now the topsoil down on the floor of the cave forms the perfect environment for the sunken garden.

Umpherston sinkhole, looking up

Umpherston sinkhole, looking up you can see the shape of the original cave.

Mt. Gambier is built on the slopes of an inactive volcano and features several other sunken cave gardens as well as nearby attractions such as Tantanoola Caves with it’s pink dolomite caverns. The area is known as the limestone coast and many buildings are constructed from blocks of local limestone, which makes it a most attractive town.

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Gieke Gorge

Today, another gorgeous gorge. When we arrived in Fitzroy Crossing, we decided that we had to take the little boat cruise that goes up through Geike Gorge. We have done it before, but our friends had not, and we thought it was worth going again as this is another very special place.

11.Gieke gorge-1

 

The limestone cliffs are white below the flood water line and stained red brown above by oxidation.
11.Gieke gorge-2

There are lots of fresh water crocodiles in the water or sunning themselves on the waters edge.

11.Gieke gorge-3 11.Gieke gorge-4 11.Gieke gorge-5 11.Gieke gorge-6The cruise only takes an hour and doesn’t cost very much, but it is well worth it. The  guides are knowledgeable and friendly and the open boat gives everyone a good view.


Pound Walk at Ormiston Gorge

We thought a four hour walk around the gorge and pound was energetic. These people had hiked all the way through the ranges from Ellery Creek Big Hole to Ormiston Gorge.

We thought a four hour walk around the gorge and pound was energetic. These people had hiked over several days all the way through the ranges from Ellery Creek Big Hole to Ormiston Gorge. And they were still smiling!

The pound walk was quite a climb, but very beautiful.

The pound track was quite a climb, but very beautiful.

We climbed to the lookout at the top of this hill, which gave a magnificent of the pound below with the creek running through it.

We climbed to the lookout at the top of this hill, which gave a magnificent of the pound below with the creek running through it.

The view from the top...

The view from the bottom of the pound…

This dingo was hiding in the rocks beyond Ormiston creek that runs through the pound.

This dingo was hiding in the rocks beyond Ormiston creek that runs through the pound.

The sandy 'beach' on the creek. The dingo was in the rocks on the other side.

The sandy ‘beach’ on the creek. The dingo was in the rocks you can see on the left hand side.

The track certainly had it's ups and downs.

The track certainly had it’s ups and downs.

Peter liked the sound of the trumpet echoing around the gorge.

Peter liked the sound of the trumpet echoing around the gorge.

This spinifex pigeon was pecking around at the side of the track.

This spinifex pigeon was pecking around at the side of the track.

If you look closely there are all sorts of bugs and insects camouflaged amongst the rocks and plants.

If you look closely there are all sorts of bugs and insects camouflaged amongst the rocks and plants.


The Pinnacles

As we drove south from Kalbarri on our way to Cervantes, we were amazed to see this Pink Lake at Port Gregory. It was quite an amazing bright pink colour, and the lagoon went on for kilometres. The Hutt Lagoon is a superb example of a naturally occurring phenomenon that occurs when algae ‘blooms’ and produces beta carotene – a pigment that has become a lucrative aquaculture crop.

Pink Lake at Port Gregory

We stayed in Cervantes which is a small cray-fishing village on the Western Australian coast. Nambung National Park is around 20 km from Cervantes. The hundreds of limestone formations that make up The Pinnacles in the National Park are quite amazing to see. Each separate pinnacle can be up to five metres high, although most are smaller than that.

Even though the local beaches have white sand, the sand in The Pinnacles is a deep yellow colour

Some of the pinnacles are quite sculptural in appearance, and look wonderful set amongst the rippling yellow sands of the park.

Pinnacles in Nambung National Park

We spotted these galahs perched on top of a pinnacle. There are meant to be lots of animals that live in the park, but most are nocturnal except for kangaroos and emus. However these galahs were the only living things we saw.

Galahs at the Pinnacles

As the evening came upon us, an approaching storm made an interesting backdrop to the spectacle of the pinnacles spread across the horizon.

Approaching storm at the Pinnacles

On leaving the park, this white expanse in the distance caught our eye. The sands are so white it doesn’t take much imagination to see it as a snow covered hill.

Sand…or snow?

Returning to Cervantes, where we were staying, we called into Lake Thetis which is world renowned for the stromatolites that grow there. Lake Thetis is a shallow lake formed between sand dunes, about one-and-a-half kilometres inland, dating back around three or four thousand years. It is very salty, and is fed by rainfall and groundwater, so its water level rises and falls with the seasons. Although salty, it is full of life, the most obvious being the cyanobacteria which have produced the stromatolites along the south and western sides, and the microbial mats which line the lake all round. Until the 20th century, the only evidence of stromatolites was in fossil form and scientists presumed that these unique biofilms were extinct.

Stramatolites at Lake Thetis, near Cervantes


Gorgeous gorge…

At Fitzroy Crossing we stayed at the old Crossing Inn camp ground. In the evening we took the Geikie Gorge sunset boat tour which took us along the gorge through the wonderful limestone cliffs. There were heaps of freshwater crocodiles basking in the sun on the banks of the river.

Geikie Gorge

The white colour at the bottom of the cliffs shows the height of the water when the rains come. During the wet, there are no boat tours as the whole area becomes flooded with many metres of water and when the flood recedes there is around 8 tonnes of sandy soil to be moved again before the boat ramps and pathways can be found.

Geikie Gorge from the boat

The limestone cliffs are eroded into artistic and wonderful shapes. There were lots of fairy martens nesting under the rocky overhangs.

Eroded limestone at the base of Geikie Gorge