June, 2008 Archives



Natural History Museum


Black Swan at Tallinn Zoo

Tallinna Loomaaed

I spent February and March on a mega roadtrip, driving the entire way around Australia. I had grand plans to maintain a daily travel blog recounting all my wondrous adventures on the way. A large number of factors conspired against that (the main one being a not-really-very-surprising-in-hindsight lack of electricity to power my laptop in the National Parks where I did much of my sleeping). I kept copious notes, however, and so the plan mutated into one where I could write it all up when I was finished and blog it with hindsight.

That plan too fell by the wayside, mainly due to the overwhelming tiredness that seems to follow a “20,000km in 7 weeks” drive.

And so, with great sadness, I have finally accepted that I am unlikely to ever share in this forum the many delights of that trip. At some stage I might reawaken to the task with great enthusiasm, but for now I have resigned myself to merely extol the virtues of the most underappreciated Australian attraction. I did, of course, see many of the classic landmarks: Sydney Harbour, the Twelve Apostles, the Nullarbor, Cable Beach at sunset, Uluṟu, etc., but for the most part they were all rather underwhelming[1]. One sight, however, outclassed almost everything else. It was mentioned in none of my guidebooks. No Tourist Information Centre carried any leaflets singing its praises. None of the fellow travellers I met along the way recommended it as a “must see”. But, that it is.

Even getting there was an adventure. My quest was unexpectedly delayed by a day due to the entire town of Katherine losing power for three hours, preventing me from refuelling the van and necessitating another night’s stay before being able to set off on the hunt. After a 300km drive north, I knew I was close; but it appears on no signposts, and I had to drive right around the town twice before discovering it, seemingly abandoned, beside a filling station on a road out of town.

It has no information board, nor even a simple plaque to explaining its history. So I cannot share the “why”, or even the “how”. But I can, with complete sincerity, eulogise the finest of Australia’s “Big Things” – The Boxing Croc of Humpty Doo:

The Boxing Croc of Humpty Doo

[1] Other than Uluṟu. It was all I could have expected and more besides.