The Quack Down Under

Melbourne, Sydney and the Lamington National Park in Australia

On Honeymoon with Marc Elzweig and Michaela Murphy

September 2004

After stopping by on his polar trip to Antarctica, NOT was interested in further exploring the lands down under. Lucky for him he would get more than one chance sooner than he expected. 

His friends Marc and Michaela were getting married, and then planned on honeymooning in Australia. And what a better way to make sure that marriage will last is to immediately spend 20 hours locked in a plane together.

Now NOT, not being a fan of flying all that much, despite his constantly doing it, took a sedative and quickly fell asleep nestled in the overhead luggage compartment.

Now Australia is one of those countries that is long on land and short on people.  So with alllllll those people, what do they do? They cram into And what do they do? They cram themselves into just a few cities along the coast.  But by your didgeridoo, it's where the culture is.

The famed wings of the Sydney Opera House while lifting, made NOT feel a bit inadequate, what with his small wings and all. Sometimes Marc had to protect him and tell him he's just right sized.

To get his mind off of things, NOT wanted to be amongst his breatheren, so it's off to check out the local animals at the Taronga Zoo.  While he was there, he got to learn about his new friend the Koala bear.

The koala spends his day eating his eucalyptus leaves and getting stoned out of his mind, followed up by an all day nap. "Now that's the life," thought NOT. When NOT found out he was heading to Australia, he had checked up on the local accent by watching all the Crocodile Dundee movies.  But he had no problem talking to this koala. The problem was getting him to wake up and answer back.

NOT did not have a lot of time to contemplate his communications problems, because it was time to head off to Melbourne. yet another city sitting on the coast of Australia, Melbourne is the capital of the entire country. It's also disturbingly close for NOT to the island of Tasmania.  Luckily, no Tasmanian devils escaped and were whirling around the city while he was there.

In Melbourne, not only were the koalas stoned though. They had Queens looking down in stony silence.

And while Captain Cook was one of the first Europeans to visit the country on his voyages, he wasn't getting around much either. Maybe he discovered he couldn't move.

Melbourne is also the home of Australia's Parliment, and Marc and NOT got to see what kind of view the President gets of everyone there. NOT was extremely happy that Marc did not put him on the gavel stand where he could get knocked around. Order! Order!

He did not find out how many political parties are in Parliament, but he did discover that these parties are really boring.  Even on the floor of parliament, you can't have any fun.

After all, what good is having the floor to make a speech if you can't inhale the helium of a balloon and give your speech in a high Mickey Mouse voice?  Boring.

"Let's blow this place and get some air. It's too stuffy here," thought NOT. So it's back up the coast towards Brisbane in Queensland and the Lamington National Forest they went.

Lamington National Forest is a World Heritage Area, and is part of the Central Eastern Rainforest Reserves Australia and is named after Lord Lamington, who was the governor of Queensland when the park was created in 1915.

The park is a tropical reserve, boasting a wide range of flora and fanuna.  NOT tried to blend in, but he found himself not as colorful as some of the natives.

A Crimson Rosella Not a Crimson Rosella

With all the forests around, NOT was afraid he would get lost. But Michaela made sure to keep him safe.

She helped keep him safe from something called a stinging tree.

Now NOT knows he's not so big, but sometimes things just work to make him feel smaller than normal. In this case, trees did it. The Box Brush trees grow to heights up to 120 feet tall (36 meters for Metric ducks) and boast huge roots.  If Marc and Michaels can be dwarfed by the trees, then what chance does NOT have of not feeling small.

At Moonlight Crag, NOT was confused. He didn't realize that he couldn't' see any moonlight because it was daytime.

Finally, on the way back home through Sydney again, NOT contemplated bridges. He would have been a bit more scared if he knew that in a few months, he'd be back and his friend Dave would try to make him walk to the top of the bridge.  Now THAT would cause NOT's knees to knock, if he only had knees.  (Luckily, he was not allowed up there due to safety concerns, so crisis would be averted.)


Australis Travel

Photos courtesy of Michaela Murphy

Last Updated November 2004