Australian Adventure (July 18 - 19, 2013)

40 Days Down Under (Day 35 & 36)

Thursday, July 18, 2013
I met a bonafide prince today. He sold me a stamp, some foreign currency, and gave us a tour of his Capitol City - Nain.


Did you know that you could drive from mainland Australia into a new country without crossing water? We did that today. In fact, I stood in two countries at one time today.

The road to Nain.

We are in two countries at one time.

The Principality of Hutt River has been an independent sovereign state since seceding from Australia on April 21, 1970. The country is roughly the size of Hong Kong with 18,500 acres of land over 75-or-so square kilometers.




Our tour guide was His Royal Highness Prince Leonard the First (Leonard George Casley) who recognized that the territory of The Principality of Hutt River was never British proclaimed territory after Australia introduced a wheat farming quota that would have destroyed their way of life.
Prince Leonard of the Principality of Hutt River gave us a tour.
Prince Leonard himself gave us a tour of the post office, church, and sovereign reception building.


I got to sit in the honest-to-goodness princess chair.


Sadly, just last week, the principality lost its princess. Flags were being flown at half-mast while we were there. I'm sure giving the tours is a distractor for His Royal Highness who was incredibly gracious and must be a very intelligent man to have figured out this remarkable loophole to avoiding the wheat quota and to never have to pay taxes to the Australian government again.

Flags at half-mast

Capitol City of Nain in the Principality of Hutt River

There is some incredibly unique artwork in the country and fascinating displays.



Royal Rolls Royce
After leaving The Principality of Hutt River, we viewed the leaning eucalypt trees of Greenough. This bizarre natural phenomenon is caused by the airborne salt content blown in from the Indian Ocean. It reacts interestingly with eucalypt trees. It doesn't seem to alter any other trees.


Greenough Leaning Trees


Next up was Nambung National Park to see the Pinnacles at sunset.



The Pinnacles are thousands of ancient rock pillars rising from the desert like weathered tombstones. They are made up of shells from the way-back-when. During that time, the sand there was beneath the sea.





It's interesting how rainwater can change what happens to shells. In Hamelin Pools, the rainwater made the calcium carbonate in the shells create blocks of shells that could be used as stairs and walls. In Nambung, the rainwater made shells create The Pinnacles. Granted, winds and erosion helped form The Pinnacles too, but it's remarkable nonetheless.



Our overnight for the evening was at the Pinnacles Caravan Park.

Kris attempts a Tim Tam slam with some coffee milk and a Tim Tam.

Friday, July 19, 2013
We spent multiple more hours viewing the Pinnacles today and completing one of the Pinnacles walks.













While walking, we came upon a kangaroo with a youngster.


We also found some gray and pink gallahs.



We passed the White Desert while back on the road, and I finished the Kris recommended Duma Key by Stephen King (very long book - 581 pages). While I can easily admit that Stephen King is a very good pictorial storyteller, I can't say that I like the twisted thoughts the book put into my mind. I don't think I'll be reading any more Stephen King.

White Desert

Today was largely a drive day, so we were happy when we finally arrived at our overnight for the evening...the very nice Tressie's Museum & Caravan Park.

In addition to having very new facilities, the people at Tressie's were the friendliest we'd met all trip. We had a great dinner of chicken tacos on the barbie while we chatted with two sets of retired Aussies touring around.

There really isn't anything quite like a fire pit gathering.


One of the ladies had marshmallows. I asked if they'd ever had a s'more before. This blew their mind. I had to explain how to make a s'more.  Poor deprived Aussies.


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