Category Archives: Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

Macquarie Island

Macquarie Island (34 km long x 5 km wide) is an oceanic island in the Southern Ocean, lying 1,500 km south-east of Tasmania and approximately halfway between Australia and the Antarctic continent. The island is the exposed crest of the undersea Macquarie Ridge, raised to its present position where the Indo-Australian tectonic plate meets the Pacific plate. It is a site of major geoconservation significance, being the only place on earth where rocks from the earthโ€™s mantle (6 km below the ocean floor) are being actively exposed above sea-level. These unique exposures include excellent examples of pillow basalts and other extrusive rocks.

Since 1997 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Helen for the postcard.

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Heard and McDonald Islands

Heard Island and McDonald Islands are located in the Southern Ocean, approximately 1,700 km from the Antarctic continent and 4,100 km south-west of Perth. As the only volcanically active subantarctic islands they โ€˜open a window into the earthโ€™, thus providing the opportunity to observe ongoing geomorphic processes and glacial dynamics. The distinctive conservation value of Heard and McDonald โ€“ one of the worldโ€™s rare pristine island ecosystems โ€“ lies in the complete absence of alien plants and animals, as well as human impact.

Since 1997 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Helen for the postcard.

Ningaloo Coast

The 604,500 hectare marine and terrestrial property of Ningaloo Coast, on the remote western coast of Australia, includes one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world. On land the site features an extensive karst system and network of underground caves and water courses. Annual gatherings of whale sharks occur at Ningaloo Coast, which is home to numerous marine species, among them a wealth of sea turtles. The terrestrial part of the site features subterranean water bodies with a substantial network of caves, conduits, and groundwater streams. They support a variety of rare species that contribute to the exceptional biodiversity of the marine and terrestrial site.

Since 2011 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Sue for the postcard.

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Tasmanian Wilderness

In a region that has been subjected to severe glaciation, these parks and reserves, with their steep gorges, covering an area of over 1 million ha, constitute one of the last expanses of temperate rainforest in the world. Remains found in limestone caves attest to the human occupation of the area for more than 20,000 years.

Since 1982 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Nadine for the postcard.

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Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

The Royal Exhibition Building and its surrounding Carlton Gardens were designed for the great international exhibitions of 1880 and 1888 in Melbourne. The building and grounds were designed by Joseph Reed. The building is constructed of brick and timber, steel and slate. It combines elements from the Byzantine, Romanesque, Lombardic and Italian Renaissance styles. The property is typical of the international exhibition movement which saw over 50 exhibitions staged between 1851 and 1915 in venues including Paris, New York, Vienna, Calcutta, Kingston (Jamaica) and Santiago (Chile). All shared a common theme and aims: to chart material and moral progress through displays of industry from all nations.

Since 2004 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Penny for the postcard.

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Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh / Naracoorte)

Australia is regarded as the most biologically distinctive continent in the world, an outcome of its almost total isolation for 35 million years following separation from Antarctica. Only two of its seven orders of singularly distinctive marsupial mammals have ever been recorded elsewhere. Two of the worldโ€™s most important fossil sites, Riversleigh and Naracoorte, located in the north and south of Australia respectively, provide a superb fossil record of the evolution of this exceptional mammal fauna. This serial property provides outstanding, and in many cases unique, examples of mammal assemblages during the last 30 million years.

Since 1994 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Penny for the postcard.

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Fraser Island

Fraser Island, also known by its Aboriginal name of Kโ€™gari, lies along the eastern coast of Australia. The property covers 181,851 hectares and includes all of Fraser Island and several small islands off the island’s west coast. It is the worldโ€™s largest sand island, offering an outstanding example of ongoing biological, hydrological and geomorphological processes.ย  The development of rainforest vegetation on coastal dune systems at the scale found on Fraser Island is unique, plus the island boasts the worldโ€™s largest unconfined aquifer on a sand island.

The property has exceptional natural beauty with over 250 kilometres of clear sandy beaches with long, uninterrupted sweeps of ocean beach, strikingly coloured sand cliffs, and spectacular blowouts. Inland from the beach are majestic remnants of tall rainforest growing on sandy dunes and half of the worldโ€™s perched freshwater dune lakes.

Since 1992 it is a Unesco site.

Thanks to Penny for the postcard.

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