Native Australia: Our First Trip Down Under

Kevin and I recently returned from Australia. During our two-week sojourn, we stayed along the eastern seaboard, first in Sydney, then Cairns, then Melbourne. We visited spectacular nature preserves, including the Daintree Rainforest and Phillip Island. We dove the Great Barrier Reef.

When it comes to nature, Australia is isolated and unique, home to some of the world’s most extraordinary creatures. Its human history is richly connected to land and sea. So, in celebration of Earth Day—today, April 22nd—I’m delighted to share some of my favorite photos from our journey. 

Sleep, little one. Stay crushed against your mother’s side, warm and safe, while we debate your future. (Koala joey at the Koala Conservation Center, Philip Island)

Sounds of the ancients stir my soul, awaken my heart. We are one, they resound, we are one. (An aboriginal didgeridoo player)


Show me your blue tongue, Mr. Skink. I recall the hue, as though you licked the sky. (Blue-tongued skink in the Daintree Rainforest)

Such cheer you bring to the city—filling the air with color and comment! (Scaly-breasted and Rainbow lorikeets in Cairns)

At dusk you rise from the trees, a tempest of scorned angels, yet the sun finds you drooped among the leaves like plump pears. (Flying fox; fruit bat in Sydney)

Oh, rainy day roo, so sullen of eye, do you dream of sun-splashed fields? Tomorrow perhaps. (Kangaroo near Melbourne)

Like me, you are built of blood and bone, shaped for survival, born for freedom. A cage would be the worst cruelty; I pray we never find bars between us. (Sulphur-crested cockatoo in Katoomba nibbling pine cones)

Beloved wombat, surely there is a place for you in this changing world. Please don't slip away while we are digging for solutions. (Common wombat)

Let’s keep working together to protect this beautiful planet. See more Australia images on my website. Happy Earth Day, everyone!

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