This week travel theme from Ailsa’s blog ‘Where’s my backpack’ is Wild. While I am not one to get out in the middle of a tempest and start shooting, I do like getting out into the wild and natural landscapes and capture the wild beauty. I could have chosen from a whole heap of photos from my travels overseas, but for this post I have decided to showcase my home country – Australia. The land down under is so naturally beautiful and wild at its very core. Our forests are harsh bush landscapes with wild shrubs and flowers, and the animals are venomous, poisonous, and dangerous – wild! As usual, all the images below link through to my larger photos on Flickr.

One of the most stunning places in all of Australia to visit is the Twelve Apostles off the Southern coast of Victoria along a road aptly named the Great Ocean Road. There are not twelve of the sandstone rocky outcrops any more as a result of the constant battering from the relentless surf. I got lucky with the sunset having camped out for over an hour with the tripod just waiting for the sun to set.

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Closer to home, for my wife’s 30th birthday we spent a weekend up in the Blue Mountains some 60km West of Sydney. The Blue Mountains are stunning, and it strange to be so close to wild bushland. You don’t have to go far off the track to be surrounded by wild Australian flowers.

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Still in NSW but further South in Kangaroo Valley is the Illawarra Treetops park in the middle of a temperate Australian rainforest. As if to reinforce the prehistoric roots of the Australian bush, ferns still flourish in the Australian bush. I loved how when walking on the floor of the forest the path was silhouetted by sunlight shining through ferns.

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But probably the wildest place that we have been to in Australia would have to be Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory. Kakadu is pure outback and wild to the core with crocodiles, snakes, and all sorts. But it is so beautiful. We went to Ubirr to see the old Aboriginal rock paintings that are tens of thousands of years old, only to get there you have to walk past characters like this guy – he wasn’t THAT big.

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Hidden in their mounds all over the place are the wild termites. To put it in perspective, this mound was probably double my height and all the constructed by the handiwork of the little insects.

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I was fortunate to have had the opportunity of going barramundi fishing at Yellow Water in Kakadu in the middle of crocodile infested waters. Sunrise over the wetlands was surreal and quiet. With the sun rising came the heat and wildlife waking up to the day.

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Sunset over Yellow Water hid what was underneath the surface (quite a few crocs). Later on the evening that I took this shot a wicked lightning storm rolled in, the clouds were the early warning.

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We also had the opportunity to go for a helicopter flight over Kakadu and it is truly awe inspiring to see the raw landscape. What I only found out from the chopper pilot for the first time is the fact that Kakadu is larger in area than the country of Switzerland. This shot of the wetlands was taken at the very end of the wet season – I can’t imagine what it would look like during the height of the wet season.

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Thanks Ailsa, great theme this week. Check out some of the other posts from my fellow bloggers where they have posted links to their blogs in the comments.