Land Down Under is Tops for Reuls

December 19, 2003

Chuck and Sandy Reul’s enthusiasm for travel in Australia has resulted in four trips there and another being planned. Obsidian potluckers were treated to a delightful sampler of their many experiences there. The outdoor activities in Australia have singular aspects. Part of that is due to the unique flora and fauna and part to the obvious Australian reverence for the land — there are over 200 National Parks and 2,000 wildlife sanctuaries and nature reserves!

To top it off, the Reuls (who, we know from previous talks, have traveled extensively) think that Perth is the most beautiful town they have ever been in. There are no buildings on either side of the Swan River that exits into the Indian Ocean there; and a paved path for hiking or biking goes on both sides of the river for many miles. South of Perth excellent unpopulated beaches extend for over 150 miles, with a trail along much of the way.

The southern end at Margaret River (a town) is winery and brewery country. This area is notable also for the very long Beedelup hiking trail that has shelters at convenient intervals of about 12 miles and for the spectacular Mammoth, Lake and Jewel caves.

It should be heeded that there are 20 species of poisonous snakes in Australia . . . Sandy had a scary close encounter with a Tiger snake, one of the deadliest. Hikers here commonly wear boots and gaiters for protection. And take note that while you may dine on exotic fare like emu, kangaroo and crocodile, one false step and the Vicious salt water crocodile (that grows to over 20 ft. long) may dine on you!

At the southeast side of the continent is Lord Howe Island (370 miles from Sydney), a sub-tropical gem that is only about one and a half times the size of our Buford Park — with two peaks (2560 and 2880 ft.), a rain forest, coral lagoon, many birds and no poisonous snakes. Only 400 visitors are allowed at any one time.

This review is only a sampler of Chuck’s talk. As always, he will be happy to field any questions on travel in Australia at 485-0301 or

Bep Fontana

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