Indigenous Australian Astronomers

Because the Australian Aboriginal culture is the oldest continuous culture in the world, it is possible that the Australian Aboriginal people may be the world's first astronomers.

One of the earliest records of indigenous astronomy was made by William Stanbridge, an Englishman who emigrated to Australia in 1841 and befriended the local Boorong people.

Some Aboriginal groups use the motions of celestial bodies for calendar purposes. Many attribute religious or mythological meanings to celestial bodies and phenomena. There is a diversity of astronomical traditions in Australia, each with its own particular expression of cosmology. However, there appear to be common themes and systems between the groups.

Duane Hamacher, a PhD candidate at Macquarie University in Sydney, found a bowl-shaped crater at Palm Valley, near Hermannsburg, about 130 km southwest of Alice Springs, by searching for it on Google Earth - after being tipped off by Aboriginal dreaming stories.

"Indigenous Australians tell lots of stories about stars falling out of the sky with a noise like thunder - and one of the stories gave a location in the Northern Territory," the astronomer told the Northern Territory News.

"I searched for it on Google Earth, but when I really found something looking like a crater I couldn't believe it.
"I was very hesitant with excitement as I thought I would look like an idiot if it was just something simple - but it wasn't.
It was a crater."
When visiting the site with a team of geophysicists and astrophysicists, Mr Hamacher and his team found evidence of Palm Valley being an ancient meteorite crater.

"We found shocked quartz, which is only produced by a substantial impact and its presence in the rock samples and the morphology of the structure are the major indicators that Palm Valley is a crater."
Mr Hamacher said the discovery of a connection between dreamtime stories and reality was an exciting one.

"Lots of Aboriginal dreamtime stories are associated with craters, meteorites and cosmic impacts and although some craters are millions of years old and people would not have been able to witness the impact, it seems as if traditional dreaming stories know about the crater's origin."

One of the stories - the one that local Arrernte people tell about a star that fell into a waterhole called Puka in the valley, where Kulaia, the serpent, lived - had led to the discovery of the ancient crater, which the team proposed to name Puka, but there were "many, many more", Mr Hamacher said.

"We found stories with descriptions of cosmic impacts and meteorite falls related to places in Arnhem Land - we assume there are more meteorite craters out there and science doesn't even know about their existence yet."

Artist: Gabriella Possum Nungurrayi

Milky Way Dreaming tells the mythological story of seven sisters, the stars of the constellation Taurus (Pleiades), being chased across the sky by a Jakamarra man

represented by the morning star in Orion’s Belt. He tries to catch them but the seven sisters continually elude him.

Stars and family relationships

Knowledge of the constellations or star formations also reflect the patterns for social relationships in some areas. Arrernte and Luritja 'skin groupings', which determine people's relationships to one another, are based on the constellations of the Southern Cross. The stars represent a man and a woman ideally suited in marriage, with their parents, children and other relations all marked out in the night sky.

For Warlpiri people, the ancestors broke the Milky Way (called Yiwarra) into individual stars that we see today. Some fragments fell to earth, creating sacred places. This story is re-told in paintings, song and dance as well as re-enacted in contemporary initiation ceremonies, where men wear white down on their bodies to represent the stars (Dianne Johnson, Macquarie Atlas of Indigenous Australia).

Thus, connections are made on a daily basis between ancestors, people, stars and land. The telling of the Dreaming stories reinforces knowledge about the constellations, social behaviour, land formations and sacred places.

Echidna Australian spiny anteater

Echidnas are small mammals that are covered with coarse hair and spines. The spines protect the animal from enemies.
Superficially they resemble the anteaters of South America and other spiny mammals like hedgehogs and porcupines. They have snouts which have the functiοns of both mouth and nose. Their snouts are elongated and slender.
Echidnas have a tiny mouth and a toothless jaw. They feed by tearing open soft logs, anthills and the like, and use their long, sticky tongue, which protrudes from their snout, to collect their prey.

Echidnas grow to be about 40 centimetres long. They weigh about 8 kilograms.
In the wild, an echidna can live for up to 16 years.

They belong to the monotreme family of egg-laying mammals.
After mating, a female echidna digs a burrow, curls up her body, and lays one egg directly into her pouch. The egg hatches in about 10 days. Inside the pouch, the baby echidna drinks milk from its mother's body. When its spines start to grow, the baby leaves the pouch. The female will feed her baby until it's about 6 months old.

Australia Heat waves Drought Fire Floods Earthquakes and Cyclones

The experience of natural disaster has come to be seen as part of the Australian national character as described in the poem 'My Country' by Dorothea McKellar (1904).

I love a sunburnt country, a land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges, of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons, I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror - the wide brown land for me!

In Australia we experience a  large range of 'natural disasters' such as in recent times, terrible fires in Victoria, the devastating Queensland floods, several Cyclones encroaching on our shores (as this is being posted), earthquakes in Newcastle and landslides in Thredbo, just to name a few. These events cause great financial hardship for individuals and communities, and has resulted in loss of life.

Massive Cyclone Yasi 1.30pm  1st Feb 2011
and baby Cyclone Anthony in the outback

The worst toll on human life caused by natural disaster were In

1895–1896 South Eastern Australia, Widespread heatwave killed 437, including 47 in Bourke, New South Wales.

Dec 1938-Jan 1939 Heatwave killed 438 and sparked the Black Friday bushfire's which killed 71
Unofficial records show temperatures of around 47 °C

4th March 1899 Bathurst Bay QLD, Category 5 Cyclone Mahina killed 410 it created such an intense, phenomenal and world record height storm surge of 40 feet and reached 5km inland.
Within an hour, the pearling fleet (at anchor) was either driven onto the shore or onto the Great Barrier Reef. Only 4 sailors survived and over 307 were killed.
Over 100 Indigenous Australians died, including some who were caught by the back surge and swept into the sea while trying to help shipwrecked men. Thousands of fish and some sharks and dolphins were found 15 m above sea level up to several kilometres inland and rocks were embedded in trees. On Flinders Island (Queensland) dolphins were found 15.2 metres up on the cliffs.

Jan 25-9Feb 2009 Southeastern Australia heat wave. A nine day heatwave with Adelaide recording six consecutive days over 40 °C (104 °F), a high of 45.7 °C (114.3 °F) and a record overnight minimum of 33.9 °C (93 °F) on 28 January. Sparked the Black Saturday bushfire's. Health authorities attribute 374 deaths to the Heatwave.
The Black Saturday bushfire's were a series of bushfire's that ignited or were burning across the Australian state of Victoria on and around Saturday 7 February 2009 during extreme bushfire-weather conditions, resulting in Australia's highest ever loss of life from a bushfire. 173 people died as a result of the fires and 414 were injured.

In recent news, Queensland police have confirmed the death toll from the state's flooding disaster has risen to 22.

Australian Values

In tough times during natural disasters, supporting and helping others is part of Australian values. People are quick to lend a hand when needed, participate to fundraising projects and volunteer for charity or community work.

A large number of volunteers participate in emergency and rescue operations during bushfire's, storms, floods or even assist medical teams to provide health services in remote areas.

You might not have saved up a lot of money in your life, but if you have saved a lot of heartaches for other people, you are going to be a very rich person.

Australian Aboriginal Music

Australian Aboriginal Music has formed  part of the social, cultural and ceremony, of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, throughout their individual, and collective histories to this present day. The traditional forms of Australian Aboriginal Music, include many aspects of performance, and use of musical instruments, such as the  didgeridoo, Sticks, Boomerang clap sticks, hollow log drum, notched stick, bunches of seed pods, skin drum (whose head is made from lizard or goanna skin), or  using what is unique to the different regions, of Indigenous Australian groups. The culture of the Torres Strait Islanders is related to that of adjacent parts of New Guinea and so their music is also related.

Australian Aboriginal Music is a vital part of Indigenous Australians' cultural maintenance.

Here is a sample of the traditional music of the native people of Australia.
Enjoy this masterpiece of aboriginal folk music and the fascinating sound of the didgeridoo (the traditional aboriginal wooden "drone pipe")! This song was composed, and is performed and sung by Richard Walley, one of the greatest and most famous Australian Aboriginal composers and musicians.

 Australian Aboriginal Music
For all of you out there that love the sound of the didgeridoo on this video, here is  Richard Walley`s

album. "boolong"


Flying Foxes or Fruit Bats v Hendra Virus

Flying Foxes have been blamed recently, for the spread of a virus called the Hendra virus which has been confirmed as the cause of illness or death in horses, Biosecurity Queensland will manage the situation. It will quarantine the property where the outbreak has occurred and isolate any ill animals. It will conduct a full disease investigation and take measures to care for animals, prevent the risk to people, decontaminate the environment and safely dispose of infected horses that die.

Iam not the evil one! its those damn chemicals!

If fruit bats have always carried this disease, why was the first recorded outbreak in 1994? It is possible the deaths have gone undiagnosed? Have the fruit bats become more infectious for some reason? The macadamia industry has also recently been in the news for its use of agricultural chemicals that have been blamed for fish deformities in the Noosa River — could these chemicals impact fruit bats.

The most recent and rapid expansion of the disease this year also corresponds to major rainfall events and it is hard to link this with increased interaction with fruit bats — although it is claimed that the Hendra virus or antibodies have been found in “pooled” blood collected from mosquitoes in the Hendra case paddock in 1995.

Flying foxes pose no identified risk of passing Hendra virus directly to people. All human cases have resulted from close contact with infected horses. Of 140 people with close contact with flying foxes (including bat carers, wildlife rangers and research scientists), none showed any evidence of Hendra virus infection. Nonetheless, because of the risk of contracting the invariably fatal Australian bat lyssavirus from any Australian bats, members of the general public should not handle flying foxes or any other bats.

Flying Foxes were classified as ‘Vulnerable to extinction’ in The Action Plan for Australian Bats, and has since been protected across its range under Australian federal law. As of 2008 the species is listed as 'Vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

There has been much debate about the role of flying foxes in the spread of this disease. However, culling flying foxes is not an effective way to reduce Hendra virus risk according to Primary Industries. 

The following reasons are given:

Flying foxes are an important part of our natural environment

Flying foxes are widespread in Australia and, as they are highly mobile, it is not feasible to cull them

Culling or dispersing flying foxes in one location could simply transfer the issue to another location

There are far more effective steps people can take to reduce the risk of Hendra virus infection in horses and humans.

Flying-foxes are mammals and are members of the Pteropididae or fruit bat family. They have the largest body size of all bats. Four species of these mammals are native to mainland Australia: the Little Red Flying-fox, the Black Flying-fox, the Grey-headed Flying-fox and the Spectacled Flying-fox.

Flying-foxes are found throughout tropical and sub-tropical Asia and Australia and on islands of the Indian and western Pacific Oceans. The four Flying-fox species found in Australia occur mostly in northern and eastern temperate and sub-tropical coastal areas.

Flying-foxes prefer blossom, nectar, fruit and occasionally leaves of native plants, particularly eucalypts, tea-trees, grevilleas, figs and lilly pillys. Flying foxes will also take the fruit of cultivated trees, particularly during periods of shortage of their preferred food.

Camps are places where the large flying-foxes gather during the day, sometimes in many thousands. Along the coast they may be in mangroves, further inland they are often in deep gullies or rainforest patches, and west of the Dividing Range they are usually along water-courses.

Eating and Cooking

Many species are threatened today with extinction, and in particular in the Pacific a number of flying fox species have died out as a result of over-harvesting for human consumption.

Varieties of fruit bats, including the sizable flying fox bat, are the most popular to eat. When it comes time to cook them up, ," famed chef Anthony Bourdain cautions traveling gastronomes of a particularly pungent smell that wafts from simmering bat. But the actual flavor should be far more benign. As with many mystery meats, bat reportedly tastes a lot like chicken. To rustle up one's own batty entrée, Bourdain says to season it with some peppers, onions or garlic (not unlike a roasted chicken recipe) to mitigate that strong scent.

Flying fox and Bat recipes

A big no no with cooking bats or flying foxes is to not steam or stew them they have a very pungent smell that is not pleasent when cooked these ways.

The best and tastiest way to cook bats is to throw them on a fire whole, this will burn the fur off, and give them a nice charred flavour.

Remove them from the flames and let fire burn down to just hot coals. cut the flying foxes into four or five pieces and place on wire grill over coals at this stage you can add salt or spices to your taste or just leave as is, I like just a bit of salt, cooking time is up to you, i like well done to get that crispy taste.

The heart of the Flying fox once cooked is delicious.


Australian Possum

Australia has more than a dozen species of possum which include the Brush tail, Mountain Brush tail, Sugar Gliders, Ring tail Possum, just to name a few.

The animal has been a part of Australian culture and folklore since the original indigenous inhabitants of the country. Aboriginal Australians once used possum hides whilst playing the traditional game of Marn Grook (Aussie rules). Possum-skin cloaks were important clothing for Aborigines from the south-east, as well as being important clan heirlooms.

Possums are commonly found in suburban areas, where they are often considered pests owing to their habit of eating fruit, vegetables, flowers and tender young shoots from gardens, and nesting in roofs. The loud hissing, crackling territorial call of the male common brush tail may also be a problem for suburban residents. Natural deterrents, which play upon the possum's acute sense of smell, are often employed to discourage them. These include cloves of garlic, camphor or naphthalene.

Possum Roll


1 possum
5 tbs balsamic vinegar
5 onions
2 cloves garlic
5 carrots
1 stalk celery
2 turnips
3 tomatoes
2 tbs cold pressed olive oil
1 clump Italian parsley
1 tbs fresh rosemary
5 bay leaves
3 cloves
2 tbs Vegemite
1 damper (like a hot dog roll) or buy crunchy rolls

First, skin the possum, checking first for lice, myxomatosis, and living young in the pouch.Separate legs from breast. Discard head, neck, tail and claws.( If you wish, hold the offal for Xmas turkey stuffing). Then cut the possum into long stringy pieces. Marinate overnight in vinegar, rosemary, bay leaf, clove, garlic & oil mixture. Make a damper or buy some crunchy roll, and spread Vegemite on each side. Put aside.

Chop the carrot, turnip and tomato into small pieces, then cook with the rest of the ingredients, and stew in a pot, adding a chicken stock cube for seasoning. Dip the possum pieces in the pot, then barbecue for 20 minutes (or until cooked to personal taste).

Serve with copious amounts of beer

Plush Opossum 10"

File snakes

Adults file snakes can grow up  to 8.25 ft (2.5 m) in length. They have amazingly loose skin and are known to prey on large fish, such as eel-tailed catfish. Females are usually larger than males and they have been known to give birth to up to 17 young.
The indigenous peoples of Northern Australia often hunt these snakes as they are quite common. As the snakes are near immobilized without the support of water the hunters merely throw each newly caught snake on the bank and continue hunting until they have enough, they are then thrown on hot  fire coals and buried for about 15 minutes.

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Wild Pigs attack

Wild pig attacks can be very scary!
Whether it’s a 180 kg  boar with five-inch tusks or an enraged sow defending her litter, feral pigs are formidable and can attack human beings. Perhaps the greater risk, though, is that of contracting a disease from an infected feral pig.

Adult male wild pigs develop tusks, continuously growing teeth that protrude from the mouth, from their upper and lower canine teeth. These serve as weapons and tools. The upper tusks are bent upwards in males, and are regularly ground against the lower ones to produce sharp edges.

Male wild pigs attack by lowering his head, charges, and then slashes upward with his tusks. The female, whose tusks are not visible, charges with her head up, mouth wide, and bites. Such attacks are not often fatal to humans, but may result in severe trauma, dismemberment, or blood loss.

In Australia and New Zealand  Wild pigs or Feral pigs have a significant impact on the environment and agricultural production and are a potential reservoir and vector of exotic diseases. Control methods include poisoning, trapping, exclusion fencing, ground shooting and shooting wild pigs from helicopters.

Ground shooting of wild pigs is undertaken by government vertebrate pest control officers, landholders and professional or experienced amateur shooters. Although intensive ground shooting operations may reduce the local populations of feral pigs, it is rarely effective for damage control and is not suitable as a long-term control method. Shooting from a helicopter is a more effective method of quickly reducing feral pig populations.
If dogs are used to flush feral pigs out from vegetation, they must be adequately controlled to prevent them from attacking pigs. In the event that a dog latches onto a pig, the dog must be called off and be made to stay behind the shooter until the pig has been killed.

Aboriginal spear throwers

Spear throwers were often used with spears to increase the distance they could be thrown. The design of spear throwers depends on the people who made them. They are made out of hard wood and are usually 45 to 150 cm long. They have a peg at one end where the spear fits in and the thrower holds it by the other end to throw the spear. Using a spear thrower, an expert thrower can get two to three times the distance he could throw without using one. Spear throwers work according to the principle of levers, which are one kind of simple machine. There are three types of levers and a spear thrower is an example of the second type of lever. The peg is the fulcrum, the spear is the load and the effort is at the top of the spear thrower, provided by the thrower.

Some spear throwers could also be used to produce fire, by rubbing the edge against another softer piece of wood while keeping some kindling nearby.

Long necked turtles

The common long-necked turtle, has as its most distinctive feature its extremely long neck. In some cases, this turtle's neck can be as long as its shell. It is a type of side-necked turtle, meaning that it bends its head sideways into its shell rather than pulling it directly back.

These turtles are found in the inland slow-moving freshwater habitats such as swamps, dams, and lakes of Australia, from northern Queensland to South Australia. They prefer a soft, sandy bottom and will bask on logs or rocks during the day.

An ongoing survey of the unique relationship between Indigenous communities and the Northern Territory’s Daly River has revealed the long-neck turtle surpasses Barramundi as the most commonly taken bush tucker food.

 Long necked turtles are a protected species like all Australian native wildlife. Indigenous Australians can collect  them for food.. They cook them whole on a low fire, covering them with hot coals. They are ready when the shell shatters easily when struck.

World record Barramundi

Dennis Harrold with his world record 44.6kg, 135cm Monduran Barra taken on 21/12/2010

Barramundi is a loanword from an Australian Aboriginal language of the Rockhampton area in Queensland meaning "large-scaled river fish"
Barramundi are a salt and freshwater sportfish, targeted by many. They have large silver scales, which may become darker or lighter, depending on their environment. Their bodies can reach up to 1.8 meters (5.91 feet) long, though evidence of them being caught at this size is scarce.

Highly prized by anglers for their good fighting ability, barramundi are reputed to be good at avoiding fixed nets and best caught on lines and with fishing lures. In Australia, the barramundi is used to stock freshwater reservoirs for recreational fishing.

Angler grabs 30kg barra in drain 34 kilometres west of Mareeba Nth QLD

"It was about 4pm in the arvo and I saw something shiny in the water," he said.
"Once I realised what it was, I grabbed it by the mouth with my hands.
"It took about 10-15 minutes to catch it and the hardest part was pulling it out of the channel and into the back of my ute."
Mr Bambino said the 1.25m fish would have started its life in Lake Tinaroo, more than 50km northwest of the tiny community, but had probably been living in the Mutchilba area for six or seven years.

The record for the biggest line caught Barramundi is 44.6 kg at Lake Monduran QLD (December 2010, see picture above), others have been caught larger but a growing trend for catch and release fishing has sustained this record. It is a quest for many impoundment anglers to catch a 100 pounder, which to date has never been achieved.

Worlds easiest Barramundi recipe

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 10

4 barramundi fillets with skin (6-8 oz each)
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp olive oil (plus more for brushing the grill)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp chopped parsley, cilantro, mint, or whatever herb you have on hand

1.Preheat the grill to high.
2.Season fish fillets with salt and pepper, and coat with 1 Tbsp of oil.
3.Drizzle lemon juice over the plate where you’ll put fish once it’s off the grill.
4.Pick up a wad of paper towel with tongs, dip it into oil, and brush the grill rack.
5.Place the fish on the grill skin side down and cover the grill.
6.Cook for 3 minutes without disturbing.
7.Turn the grill down to medium.
8.Flip fillets onto the flesh side, cover the grill, and cook for additional 3 minutes per inch of thickness.
9.To test for doneness, insert a spatula under a thin edge of fillet and lift half of fillet perpendicular to the grill. If the flakes separate, the fish is done. Don’t worry if the fillet breaks. The skin will keep it together so it will still look nice when you serve it.
10.Remove the fish off the grill keeping it skin side up to prevent it from getting soggy and place it on the prepared plate so that it can get flavored with lemon juice.
11.Garnish with herbs and serve with lots of cold beer.

Aboriginal Ochre Mining

Ochre pigments, used regularly for cosmetics, body and artefact decoration, and cave painting, were traded widely from the main ochre quarries. Expeditions were made from western Queensland all the way to the Yarrakina red ochre mine at Parachilna, in the flinders Ranges in south Australia, to obtain the special, sacred iridescent ochre mined there. Paint was made from ochre by crushing up lumps of the soft pigment-bearing rock into a powder and mixing it with water, or sometimes with the blood or fat of fish, emu, possum, kangaroo or goanna, or with orchid juice for a fixative. There are several ochre mines in Australia. One near Mount Rowland in Tasmania was visited by Robinson in 1834. There, Aboriginal women were the miners. They levered out the red ion ore using the hammer and chisel method, except that their hammer was simply a stone and their chisel a pointed stick. The women enthusiastically squeezed themselves down narrow cervices to get at the red ochre - one even became stuck and had to be pulled out by the legs! Everywhere there were signs of strenuous mining: heaps of stone, old workings and narrow holes. The ochre was packed into kangaroo skin bags and carried off in heavy loads by the women.


The Australian Dingo or Warrigal is an ancient, free roaming, primitive canine unique to the continent of Australia, specifically the outback. Its original ancestors are thought to have arrived with humans from southeast Asia thousands of years ago, when dogs were still relatively undomesticated and closer to their wild Asian Gray Wolf parent species, Canis lupus.

The fur of adult dingoes is short, bushy on the tail, and varies in thickness and length depending on the climate. The fur colour is mostly sandy to reddish brown, but can include tan patterns and be occasionally black, light brown, or white.

It is often wrongly asserted that dingoes do not bark. Compared to most other domestic dogs, the bark of a dingo is short and mono sounding.

80% of the diet of dingoes consist of 10 species, the Red Kangaroo, Swamp Wallaby, cattle, Dusky Rat, Magpie Goose, Common Brushtail Possum, Long-haired Rat, Agile Wallaby, European rabbit and the Common Wombat.
Today dingoes live in all kinds of habitats, including the snow-covered mountain forests of Eastern Australia, dry hot deserts of Central Australia, and Northern Australia's tropical forest wetlands.

Dingo Fence

The Dingo Fence or Dog Fence is a pest-exclusion fence that was built in Australia during the 1880s and finished in 1885, to keep dingoes out of the relatively fertile south-east part of the continent (where they had largely been exterminated) and protect the sheep flocks of southern Queensland. It is one of the longest structures in the world and is the world's longest fence.

It stretches 5,614 km (3,488 mi) from Jimbour on the Darling Downs near Dalby through thousands of kilometres of arid land ending west of Eyre peninsula on cliffs of the Nullarbor Plain above the Great Australian Bight(131° 40’ E),near Nundroo. It has been partly successful, though dingoes can still be found in parts of the southern states.

Although the fence has helped reduce losses of sheep to predators, this has been countered by holes in fences found in the 1990s to which dingo offspring have passed through and due to increased pasture competition from rabbits and kangaroos.

Today, the rate at which feral camel are smashing down sections of the fence is fast increasing in Southern Australia. Plans for restructuring the Dog fence to be taller and electric are under process.

Dingoes and Aboriginal culture

Traditionally dogs have a privileged position in the aboriginal cultures of Australia (which the dingo may have adopted from the thylacine) and the dingo is a well known part of rock carvings and cave paintings. There are ceremonies (like a keen at the Cape York Peninsula in the form of howling) and dreamtime stories connected to the dingo, which were passed down through the generations. There are strong feelings that dingoes should not be killed and in some areas women are breast feeding young cubs.

Bilby bandicoots

Bilbies are desert-dwelling bandicoots about the size of a rabbit. They have large ears, a coat of soft, light grey and tan hair, and a very distinctive black and white tail.

In the late 18th century, Bilbies were hunted for their skins resulting in a large reduction in their population. Many Bilbies were also killed by traps and poison baits intended for rabbits.

Aboriginal Australians hunted Bilbies for food and for their skins, however this hunting is in no way responsible for the declining Bilby population.

Bilbies are slowly becoming endangered because of habitat loss and change as well as the competition with other animals. Feral cats pose a major threat to the bilby's survival, and it competes with rabbits for food. There is a national recovery plan being developed for saving these animals: this program includes breeding in captivity, monitoring populations, and reestablishing bilbies where they once lived.

Baby Bilbies 

If you spot a Bilby in the wild, please contact the websites below
Any info on sightings can help our bilby researchers.

You can help raise money to help put a stop to the steady decline of this delightful marsupial.  Visit these websites at or


These animals are promising beef producers. Gourmets consider banteng cuts among the finest of meats, and Indonesia cannot export enough to satisfy the demand in Hong Kong and Japan alone. The meat's outstanding characteristics are its tenderness and leanness. When the animals are maintained and finished under traditional village management, total fat content of the meat (both on a liveweight and carcass basis) is usually less than 4 percent. Little of the fat is deposited among the meat fibers (marbling).

The domesticated form of the banteng was first introduced to Australia in 1849 with the establishment of a British military outpost on the Cobourg Peninsula called Port Essington. Twenty animals were taken to the Western Arnhem Land, in current day Northern Territory, as a source of meat. A year after the outpost’s establishment, poor conditions including as crop failure and tropical disease led to its abandonment. With the departure of British troops, the banteng were released from their grazing pastures and allowed to form a feral population. By the 1960s, researchers realized that a population of about 1,500 individuals had developed in the tropical forests of the Cobourg Peninsula.

Since their introduction in 1849, the population has not strayed far from its initial point of domesticated life; all currently live within the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park. As of 2007, the initial population had grown from only 20 in 1849 to 8,000-10,000 and is used exclusively for sport hunting and Aboriginal subsistence hunters.

Australia Wide Safaris operate their Banteng safaris on Coburg Peninsular.
Banteng are a very unique animal of the bovine species and whilst they are a bovine, their similarity to cattle ends right there. They carry an impressive set of curved trophy horns, starting with a length per horn of 18"- 25" on a very big bull.

Australia Crocodile Safaris

Carmor Plains and Australia Wide Safaris are one of the few safari operators offering Crocodile harvesting.
Australia Wide Safaris own and manage Carmor Plains Wildlife Reserve. The 100,000 acre privately owned game reserve is a pristine area for native flora and fauna and game animals.

 They also offer Water Buffalo, Wild Boar, Water Fowl, Wild Goat, Banteng and Wild Cattle hunting

The Crocodile harvesting season is year round but best times are from late April to the end of November.
Transport to the game reserve can be by road or private air charter. They will pick you up at the airport upon your arrival or from your Hotel. Travelling time by road from Darwin to Carmor Plains is 2 and 1/2 hours. If you prefer they can charter a light aircraft for you from Darwin, direct to the hunting camp, flying time 25 minutes!

Contact them at

Mud Crabs

Mud Crabs are marine and estuarine coastal dwellers that can tolerate low salinity for extended periods, preferring shallow water with...