Australia & Oceania

See places in Australia and Oceania


Next to polar in the Antarctic penguins lived tropical ibises and European starlings, it must be a Macquarie Island birds.

Number of bird species recorded on the island dates back hundreds. But these nesting is much less. Species because they do not quantified. Penguin is about 850 thousand. King penguins – about a hundred thousand.

The island in July 1810 was discovered by Frederick Hasselborough British sailor, looking for new places where one could hunt seals. He named the island after the name of his boss, Governor of New South Wales, Lachlan Macquarie, and joined to the UK. And that seal was a lot, right on the island came to hunters. When in 1820 the Russian landed on the island of Germany’s Fabian Bellingshausen, as both seals and penguins were nearly exterminated. Bellingshausen examined the island, described exactly the situation and drew up a map. Throughout the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth island was an important center for the hunting of penguins and elephant seals.

Boats moored on Hastings River and the coastal town of Port Macquarie.

Macquarie is a small, 128 square kilometers. It has a very elongated shape, long and 42 wide and 5 km. Nearby are two groups of islets, Judge and Clerk (0.2 sq km) 14 miles north, and Bishop and Clerk (0.6 sq km) 33 miles south. The two archipelagos are similar environment and belong to the reserve. For some time the maps south of the Macquarie was still an island, Emerald. In 1821 was described with a precise map indicating the position by the crew of the ship “Emerald”, who christened her as his unit. But subsequent expeditions in this place only see the ocean.

Island, although narrow, is quite high. It is constructed from two terraces with a height of 150-200 meters connected to the lower passage. On the northern plateau, the highest point is Mt Elder (385 m) and the southern Mt Hamilton and Mt Fletcher (after 410 m). The island is the highest point of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, which runs along the junction of two plates of the lithosphere, the Indo-Australian and Pacific.

The island lies in a seismic zone. In recent years, there was some severe shock (23 December 2004 recorded 8.1 on the Richter scale – one of the strongest tremors in the earth), but because of the lack of buildings (with the exception of a scientific station), the losses were minimal. Recall that the tragic earthquake in China’s Tangshan in 1976, when he died nearly a quarter of a million people, had the power of 8.2 degree …

Weather on the island, as befits the Antarctic zone, to not be pleasant. The whole year is cold (3.2 degree in the winter and 7 degrees in the summer. Feeling cold winds intensify, the Howling, after all, fifty (Furious Fifties in English, the zone between 50 and 60 parallel of south latitude), perhaps the strongest winds zone on earth. In this zone, among others, are shrouded in the notorious Cape Horn and Strait of Drake `a.

Flora of the island is scarce. This treeless tundra. Under such conditions, especially due to the hurricane-force winds, not to continue any tree. Only a few species of shrubs is doing something, but they are twisted and bent to the ground. But temperature does not drop below zero too, is the ubiquitous influence of the ocean. Seasons practically do not exist; temperature differences are minimal, after all.

Mammals represent subantarktyczna fur seals (Arctocephalus tropicalis) fur seals antarctic (Arctocephalus Gazella), Kotik New Zealand (Arctocephalus forsteri), southern sea elephant (Mirounga leonina), in an ocean of many cetacean species, but also “familiar” rabbits, cats, mice and rats. Rabbits were brought as food for the hunters of seals and penguins. In the seventies there were 130,000, a per hectare. Did enormous damage, zgryzając vegetation and destroying the nest. Digging holes, causing landslides, destroying entire colonies of birds. When brought to the island myksomatozy virus, the disease has virtually decimated the population to about 10,000. But when in 2005, knocked out all the cats, the number of rabbits jumped again, to hundred thousand.

Rats and mice are stowaways from numerous catching vessels. They also proliferated beyond measure, especially in giving the characters a hunter, wyżerając them food, but also birds, which wyjadały eggs and killing chicks. To combat them brought cats. These, however, instead of the rodents, they preferred to hunt birds. Cats annually kill 60 thousand. birds and kept in check the population of rabbits. Ultimately, the island has no right to be a single rabbit, rat and mouse. Because cats in 2000, managed to knock out. The number of birds began to grow. Number of rabbits, mice and rats – growing at a frightening pace. $ 24 million at the expense of the other four-legged Australian unwanted visitors in May to disappear by 2014.

Among birds, penguins dominate. Krótkoczubych penguins (Eudyptes schlegeli) is 850000, king penguins (Aptenodytes patagonicus) one hundred thousand (the third largest colony in the world), also rock penguin (Eudyptes chrysocome) białobrewy penguin (Pygoscelis papua).

Wandering albatross nest here (Diomedea exulans – just a few pairs), czarnobrewy albatross (Diomedea melanophris) szarogłowy albatross (Thalassarche Chrysostome) and albatross  (Phoebetria palpebrata – two thousand pairs). For the eight species of Petre, three species of gulls, gray shearwater, idiot Australian, endemic subspecies of blue-eyed cormorants (Phalacrocorax atriceps purpurascens), an endemic species of parrots (Cyanoramphus erythrocytes). To make things even stranger, it’ll also assume jack our starling and redpoll honest. What are they doing here? Were introduced into Australia and New Zealand, and winds up zagnały them here.

And among the arriving accidentally get even tropical species, among others. herons, ibises and ducks, backed into the wind here in Australia.

The first two species of penguins were fiercely repressed in the past. Smelted from them fat. But I survived. Not so lucky were endemic parrot (Cyanoramphus erythrotis) and the endemic subspecies białobrewego anhydride (Gallirallus macquariensis philippensis). Extinct, exterminated by cats.

Macquarie is protected twice, once as a reserve, two, by typing on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Milford Fiord

Milford Fiord on the South Island of New Zealand bursts at 20 km inland. It is a charming place full of steep cliffs, sloping valleys, waterfalls, lush forests and shimmering rainbows. The area is very wet, every three days, there is one or two of rain.

Once a day has dropped 560 mm of rain here. Severe rain thundering waterfalls form, which burst in more than 300 m into the bay.

Cliffs surrounding the bay are the highest in the world. Rise to a height of 1584 m above the water surface, and some submerged under water reaches 400 m. The fjord was carved Milford 20 thousand. years ago, during the last Ice Age, the glacier flowed toward the sea. Like most of the fjords, it is shallow in the place where contact with the sea, and at the opposite end of the deep.

Milford Bay – bay on the South Island of New Zealand. Due to the geological characteristics (20 miles long and high steep banks) resembles a typical fjord.


It is part of the Fiordland region of the southern part of the South Island, 260 kilometers northwest of the city of Dunedin. Fiordland National Park is New Zealand which is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Facing the entrance, deep in the middle. Was formed during the last ice age by a glacier, which is flowing into the sea, has cut a deep ditch. After the withdrawal of water flooded the valley glacier Tasman Sea.

This is one of the attractions of the country. Milford Bay is characterized by a unique composition of flora and fauna. Adjacent salt and sweet water create an environment that is in parts of the lake and the ocean.

As part of the bay called Sandfly Point trail ends in the most famous New Zealand – Milford Track.

Characteristic point, which is an icon of the bay is up Mitre Peak.


Milford Bay is one of the most rainy places on Earth. Only every third day is rainless. Annual rainfall is 615 centimeters, and the water coming from them for lying falls cascades over 300 feet below the tank. At the entrance to the bay is a mountain of Mitre Peak (1695 m).


Waitomo Caves

Waitomo Glowworm – cave situated in the North Island of New Zealand. Located in the southern part of the Waikato region, 12 km southwest of Te Kuiti. The cave is known populations occurring there, “glowing worms.” These pupae flies Arachnocampa Luminosa. Larval tail emits light, which allows her to lure victims. She lives in a fancy spider web, from which hang over the water sticky threads. Flies, attracted by the light, become entangled in the network, and then the glowing worms devour them.

Walking along the corridor, sparking with stalactites and stalagmites, we come to the underground lake in a large cavern. Hence the boat to take us to the heart of the cave, where no artificial lighting is used. When your eyes get used to the darkness now, we see more and more dots of light, until finally it seems that the whole cave glows. It is so clear that you can read the time on your watch.

The cave belongs to the system of caves Waitomo Caves. Waitomo Caves The caves also includes Ruakuri and Aranuri. The complex is located about 2 hours way from Auckland, 1 hour route from Hamilton and 2 hours way from Rotorua.


Lake Eyre

Lake Eyre in South Australia state is actually two lakes. Larger Eyre North is about 120 kilometers and a width of 70 km. It is the largest lake in Australia. Lower Eyre South is a length of 50 km and a width of 30 km. Lakes are connected by a narrow channel Goyder.

The size of the surface of Lake Eyre varies quite considerably – from 8030 to 15 thousand. km ², but its average area puts them on the 19th place among the largest lakes in the world. It is also situated the lowest among the 23 largest lakes in the world – lies 12 m below sea level.

Strange thing is that the lake rarely fills with water. Precipitation in this part of Australia do not reach up to 127 mm per year. For most of the year, the lake forms a swampy plain, covered with salt deposits of up to 20 cm. It is believed that the lake fills completely with water twice a century.

Lake Eyre in those infrequent cases when he is filled with water is the largest lake in Australia. It is also the lowest place in Australia (in the depression 15 meters below sea level). At maximum filling an area of ​​about 9.5 thousand. km ².

Lake is located in the desert in central Australia, in the northern part of South Australia. It is located in the Great Basin, artesian, right in the center of a large pool endoreicznego, lake bottom is covered with a characteristic of these systems with a layer of salt. Even in the dry season the lake is a little bit of water, usually in the form of small lakes and large pool of dried bed covering. During the rainy season, the lake is fed by the waters of rivers flowing from north Queensland (Cooper Creek and Warburton). The amount of water in the lake depends also on local rainfall. Small floods (the lake level rise of 1.5 m) occur roughly every three years, large floods (4 m) occur every 10 years. Lake is filled with completely or almost completely several times (about four) per century. Water in small and medium floods evaporates before the end of next year.


Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest coral reef, located off the coast of Australia. It is the largest single structure on earth created by living organisms, visible even from space (as a white streak against the blue ocean).

An undated handout photo received from ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies on April 19, 2018 shows a mass bleaching event of coral on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. – The Great Barrier Reef suffered a “catastrophic die-off” of coral during an extended heatwave in 2016, threatening a broader range of reef life than previously feared, a report revealed on April 19, 2018. (Photo by MIA HOOGENBOOM / ARC Centre of Excellence for Cor / AFP)

Origin and main features

Development of the Great Barrier Reef began in front of about 18 million years ago. Age reefs is estimated at some 20 million years, and some of its parts, even at 45.5 million years. In the current phase of development, which has lasted 8,000 years, new layers are built on “old” foundations. The barrier is located at different distances from the shore, ranging from 15 to 200 km, and extends over an area of ​​over 344,000 km ². Great Barrier Reef includes about 3,000 individual reefs and 900 islands that are surrounded by reefs, forming a coastal island. Width of the reef ranges from 2 km to 150 km. Studies conducted on the reef showed that the thickness of the layer forming the coral it exceeds 500 m.

In contrast to the middle part, which are scattered coral, reefs in the north and south lie close together. In the northern part, where mangrove forests are growing, there are many swamps.

Between the Great Barrier Reef and coastal lagoons stretch. This area of ​​shallow water, which rarely exceeds 100 m depth, muddy layer covers protected by offshore reefs. From the sea, reef slope descends steeply to thousands of meters into the sea. Reef at this point is exposed to waves and winds. Coral growth is fastest here. At the same time in places where the waves and temperatures are extreme, the coral lose the greatest amount of building material. Much of the loose material is re-connected and creates a “new rock”. Rafa is subjected in this way the constant process of destruction and reconstruction.

Formation of Barrier Reef

The most commonly used name of a coral reef, but there is also the name of “living rock”. Reef is made up of thousands of creatures from anemones family – polyps, as well as other organisms such rafotwórczych bryozoans, molluscs, foraminifera and algae, forming the shaft or underwater ridge. Polyps form limestone skeletons that can be easily separated from the rest of the animal’s body. During the reproductive polyps, reef grows across and up. Polyps are connected with the cordage of living tissues, which contributes to strengthening the structure. Calcareous seaweed that look like red balls of cotton wool, are important elements that make up the reef. They produce limestone, which strengthens the reef. Other seaweeds living virtually on the slopes of the reef, producing a kind of “mortar”. In this way, the community creates a powerful structure, where only a few uninhabited parts of the limestone skeletons of dead corals. Each species has its own pattern of coral growth, which is why it is encountered such a variety of forms – from the hills, and large panes of plate, the surfaces, branches and structures in the form of horns.

Coral reefs are in relatively shallow coastal waters are międzyzwrotnikowej. Is built of limestone, which form the skeletons of dead corals. They live on them all the colonies of other organisms and feed numerous species of animals.

Natural values

It’s a beautiful place full of different species of fish, molluscs and plants. In addition to the approximately 1,500 species of fish on the reef is alive 5000 species of molluscs and 400 species of coral and 500 species of seaweed. Larger islands are covered with dense tropical vegetation. Great Barrier Reef is one of the major tourist attractions in Australia.

From 26 October 1981, as a marine park (Great Barrier Reef Marine Park), protected, inscribed on the UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage. The park area, protected by UNESCO, is 346 000 km ². (Coral Sea, Great Barrier Reef and the Queensland rainforests.)

Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland is the largest, most diverse and beautiful reef in the world kolarową. It is also one of the youngest reefs – some of its sections now account for only 500 thousand. years. Stretches for more than two thousand. km from the city of Brisbane to zatoku Papau.

Building blocks of coral skeletons of dead corals are. On the Great Barrier Reef is made up of about 3 thousand. coral reefs and small islands with very diverse areas – from just a few meters to 50 km ². Great Barrier Reef stretches 330 km into the Pacific. Its total area is 259 thousand. km ².

Great Barrier Reef is famous for its corals, although they represent only 1 / 10 surviving organisms here. On the reef there are at least 350 species of various shapes, sizes and colors. They require the right environment. Reefs are formed only in the saline and warm waters (temperature maintaining not less than 22 ° C). The water must contain enough oxygen, so it can not be stagnant water, and it must be sufficiently clear that the sludge did not block the digestive system of coral.

Graveyard of Ships

Constructed before modern navigation equipment, sailors feared the coastal waters of Victoria (Australia) more than any other coastal waters in the world. The waves here are high and full of these rocks, pillars and cliffs above and below the water surface.

Coast is 320 km long. At the 120-kilometer stretch known as the Graveyard of Ships happened more than 80 major maritime disasters.

Cliffs were once part of the seabed formed by shells, mud and limestone. Roughly 25 million years ago, the seabed there were about 100 meters higher than now. When the level is lowered wodu, cliffs formed a shoreline. Stone pillars called the Twelve Apostles were once part of the land, but were cut off from him by the action of waves.