Queensland, Australia

with Aussie Walkabouts

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Day 6 - Myella Cattle Station

This was definitely one of the best stops on our trip.  A cattle station is what we in the US would call a ranch.  However, you can't call it a "ranch" or the Aussies will get offended; its either a "cattle farm" or "cattle station," but not a ranch.  We got to do all kinds of activities like horseback riding, herding cattle, riding dirt bikes, and whip cracking. 
The cattle station is owned by Peter and Olive Eather.  Olive raises orphaned kangaroos and wallabies.  There was one of each there while we were, and they were very friendly, so we got to make friends with Forrest the kangaroo and Thelma the wallaby!  For those of you who don't know the difference, wallabies are smaller and have longer, fatter tails.  Kangaroo's get to be a little bigger.
We also saw lots of wild kangaroos on our drive into the Outback.  Kangaroos in Australia are like deer in the US.  They are everywhere and frequently seen.
Welcome to Myella! (42k)
Thelma, the wallaby (364k)
Sheryl meets Thelma.  You get a sense of how small the wallabies are. (95k)
Forrest the Kangaroo.  Forrest's mom was hit by a car and died.  Forrest had his head split open in the accident, so he is a little slow.  Hence the name "Forrest." (136k)
Forrest may be slow, but he is as friendly as can be! (152k)
I get a lesson from Steve-o on how to play the didjeridu, a traditional Aboriginal instrument.  I wasn't very good! (81k)
Sheryl and her horse, Jack. (109k)
Sheryl herding cattle on horseback... video below! (90k)
Video of Sheryl riding her horse in the Outback (0:19, 4.5Mb)
Video of Sheryl herding cattle.  She was pretty good at it! (0:20, 5.3Mb)
Video of Thelma the Wallaby.  Its fascinating to watch how kangaroos and wallabies move using their legs and tails to balance (0:17, 4.9Mb)
Video of Steve-o teaching Steve.  This is actually a pretty funny one because Sheryl thinks she is taking a still picture, but she actually starts recording the movie.  You can hear the confusion when the picture doesn't take and she starts looking at the camera and hands it to me to make it work.  I got a good kick out of it when I realized what had happened and the whole thing was recorded!  Its "sideways" because I don't have good video software. ;-) (0:21, 5.0Mb)
Thelma and Forrest enjoy curling up around the campfire with the guests at night.  Here Forrest tries to suckle a girl's shirt because he is being weaned. (66k)
Kangaroos and wallabies don't have many nerve's in their tails so they don't feel pain there.  Right after this picture was taken, Thelma dragged her tail through some coals in the fire.  She singed her tail and didn't even know it happened! (59k)