rstephens-Western Australia Outback Total Solar Eclipse - TravelQuest International
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Western Australia Outback Total Solar Eclipse

rstephens’s Travelogue

Visit My Journal

The closest thing I have to a travelogue is the Facebook postings I made in near real-time. Here is a compilation of those.

Incheon Airport, South Korea

April 10

We are on our way to the Total Solar Eclipse in Australia. This was the first leg of the trip, a 13-hour flight to Incheon, Seoul, South Korea – in 13 seconds. Courtesy of the external cameras on the Airbus 380. Next stop, Singapore.

Jewel Singapore.

April 11

We arrived in Singapore, and went to the Jewel, a shopping center attached to the airport. They have a central waterfall called the Rain Vortex.

Rain Vortex Jewel Changi Airport Singapore.

April 11

Some more pictures of the Rain Vortex located inside of the Jewel at the Changi Airport in Singapore.

Rain Vortex Jewel Changi.

April 11

We went back to the Rain Vortex for a nighttime light show, but it turned out to be more of a commercial for Disney. But, during the rest of the evening, the waterfall was lit up with changing-colored floodlights. Some still shots of the Rain Vortex lite up with colored floodlights.


April 12

We had a busy day wandering around Singapore yesterday. We walked about 10 miles in the high humidity and heat, but it was worth it.

Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

April 13

A compilation of three light shows we saw at the Marina Bay today. Proper pictures to follow sometime tomorrow (maybe).

Artscience Museum, Future World: Where Arts meets Science.

April 13

Yesterday we went to the ArtScience Museum at the Marina Bay and saw the Future World light show. Then we went to the Gardens by the Bay and saw the light show at the SuperTree Grove.

InterContinental Perth City Centre, Perth, WA. Australia.

April 14

We have arrived in Perth, along with about 90 people on the TravelQuest tour. I was told that about 90% of those are repeat offenders.

Pinnacles National Park.

April 15

Yesterday’s tour was a two-parter. In the morning, was a city tour of Perth. Then in the afternoon, we drove 2-1/2 hours up the coast to visit Hangover Bay, the Pinnacles National Park, and the Gravity Discover Science Centre.

South Fremantle, WA. Australia.

April 16

Today’s tour was of Fremantle, the original settlement near Perth. Where once the British immigrants to Western Australia settled, it is now the home of the richest residents and other hipsters. We visited Cottesloe Beach, the Fremantle Market, the prison, High Street and more.

Rottnest Island, Western Australia.

April 17

Today we visited Rottnest Island. Now a tourist attraction, it is known for it’s snorkeling, biking and hiking. It is also known for the Quakka, a small macropod about the size of a cat. The Quakka has become better known in recent years thanks to the efforts of a number of Aussie celebrities taking selfies with them. Fortunately, they are slow, and very used to being around people. But we were warned not to feed them human food.

Sandalford Winery Restaurant, Swan Valley WA Australia.

April 19

Today we took a river cruise on the Swan River to Sandalford Winery. A very relaxing day.

Perth Wildlife Encounters.

April 19

Today we took a boat ride with Perth Wildlife Encounters to swim with the dolphins.

Perth Airport.

April 20

The O’Dark Thirty Report – Wheels up for Exmouth in a few.

Exmouth, WA, Australia.

April 20

We had a successful solar eclipse! The conditions were perfect. No eclipse shots yet, we were hustled out of there so fast onto our chartered plane that we had no time to download images. We just stepped off the plane, and will barely make it to the post eclipse dinner, then an early flight out in the morning. So, stay tuned for something in the next day or two. Meanwhile, here are some pictures on my phone from the eclipse site.

A couple of quick tests of images taken of the solar eclipse yesterday. These are just automated combines done by Lightroom, no real processing. But they show some promise. Off to Alice Springs.

Earth Sanctuary – World Nature Centre, Alice Springs, NT Australia.
April 21

The trip still hasn’t allowed us to process any Eclipse Day images. I often tell people Australia it’s like the US in the 1970s. But I didn’t imagine I meant pre-Internet. The hotel’s Wi-Fi is not functioning, and 3G is very spotty. but here are a few pictures from my iPhone last night’s dinner, a combination of dinner, singing, and stargazing.

Erldunda Roadhouse, NT Australia.
April 22

At last, and Island of 3G, in an ocean of no bars.

Curtin Springs Station, Petermann, NT, Australia.
April 22

We made it to our next oasis of 3G coverageon the way to Uluru.

Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National, Parkulara, NT, Australia.
April 22

We made it to Uluru and had a quick afternoon tour of Kata Tjuta and Uluru, before stopping to watch the sunset on Uluru.

I got a chance today to get some images off my cameras from the day of the Eclipse.

Desert Gardens Hotel, Yulara, NT, Australia.
April 22

Some astronomy images I took at our first night near Uluru. We hiked up to a nearby viewing point a half mile from the hotel, carrying cameras, tripods, and tracking heads. Later, we came back at 4 am to get the Milky Way at the zenith.


Sounds Of Silence Dinner, Yulara, NT, Australia.
April 23

The farewell dinner for the Uluru portion of the trip was held at the Sounds of Silence. There we had great views of Uluru and Kata Tjuta. In addition, we had a star show.