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Australia Decoded
'S-8'


Flowers of Sticky Kurrajong (Brachychiton Viscidulus), West Kimberley

Flowers of the Sticky Kurrajong (Brachychiton Viscidulus)
West Kimberley, W
estern Australia
Grant Dixon—Photographic Print
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star finchstar finchNeochmia ruficauda, a medium-sized finch with striking plumage: upper parts olive-yellow and underparts yellowish; breast olive-grey with white spots. Front half of head crimson. Face and chin crimson with white spots. Beak crimson, legs and feet yellow, eyes red-olive. When not breeding the star finch is usually encountered in small, wandering groups throughout its habitat or riparian vegetation in termperate to tropical swamps and woodland. They feed on half-ripe grass seeds, mostly near the ground, preferring to cling to the seedheads of grasses rather than land on the ground. However, at the commencement of the breeding season insects (especially flying termites) predominate in their diet. The nest is usually located in a bush or shrub up to several metres above ground. The selection of a nest site involves an elaborate ceremony. Both sexes sit on the site of the future nest and simultaneously bow deeply with tails twisted, followed by pivoting around the perch. Both the parents incubate the eggs and rear the young. Pairs form very strong bonds and remain in close contact. Formerly found across northern Australia from Shark Bay to northern NSW. Today, it is reliably reported from west of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

star fruit—carambola.

star-apple—an edible purple apple-like fruit (with a starlike cross-section) of a tropical evergreen tree, Chrysophyllum cainito.

starflowers—(see: Calytrix).

starkers—1. completely naked, nude. 2. crazy, mad, insane.

start a hare—raise a topic of conversation.

Starvation Harbour—the world's longest fence, the Rabbit Proof Fence (also known as State Barrier Fence) starts just east of Hopetoun at Starvation Bay, stretching 1822km and finishing at Eighty Mile Beach, east of Port Hedland, WA. By the time the fence had been constructed the rabbits had already passed it and two other fences were built but neither did much to stop the invasion from the east.

stat dec—statutory declaration.

State Battery siteState Battery site—State Batteries in Western Australia were government-owned-and-run ore-crushing facilities for the gold mining industry. Western Australia was the only Australian state to provide batteries to assist gold prospectors and small mines; new mines could have the first three tons of ore free of charge. They existed in almost all of the mineral fields of Western Australia. State Batteries were gold batteries where ore was crushed to separate gold ore. Stamp mills were gauged by the number of heads they had in operation for the crushing of ore.] Many of the government operated batteries had very short operating times, some for a year or two, while a few were 50 years or more in operation. They were part of the Western Australian Department of Mines operations. The first private battery in Kalgoorlie was constructed at the Croesus mine in 1894. As early as 1897 there was consideration of ore-crushing facilities being funded by private or government means. The first government battery was constructed at Norseman in 1898 but by 1906 there was a Batteries Inquiry Board. In the 1930s, despite the depression, a significant number still operated. In 1949 here were close to 100 operating Batteries in Western Australia—either private or Government, and by 1958 there were fewer than 50. By 1982 a Government review of State Battery operations eventuated in a functional review and the eventual closure of all State Batteries in 1987. Located in what is now part of Chiltern Mount Pilot National Park.

state forest—a portion of the Crown estate wholly devoted to forestry purposes.

State Governor—the principal representative of the sovereign in an Australian State.

State of Origin—a 3-match battle between Australian Rugby League's two premier states, New South Wales and Qld. Players are chosen on a 'state of origin' basis rather than by which state they currently live in. For three matches the gameplay takes a sideline to hitups, hardhits and fighting. Many memorable hits have been thrown, and sometimes games are so overtaken by fighting and smashing the opposition that a match may end up 2-0 (4 points for a try and 2 points for a goal).

state of play—current position or situation.

state parliament—consists of the Governor, the Legislative Council, and the Legislative Assembly (House of Review). The Crown is represented by the Governor, who is advised by the Executive (government ministers). The principal functions of parliament are: the provision of responsible Government in the tradition of the Westminster system; representation of the people; passage of legislation; approval of finance for government operations; and the scrutiny of government administration and expenditure.

State Premier—the chief minister of an Australian state.

state school—public school.

States Parties (World Heritage)—countries that have adhered to the World Heritage Convention. They identify and nominate sites on their national territory to be considered for inscription on the World Heritage List. States Parties have the responsibility to protect the World Heritage values of the sites inscribed, and to report periodically on their condition.

stationstation—1. (hist.) an outpost of a colonial government, especially one employing convicts on public works. At the time of settlement, land occupied by a squatter was referred to as a run or station. Later, station came to be the term used to refer to a pastoral lease. 2. (hist.) a tract of land occupied by Aborigines, an Aboriginal reserve. 3. a tract of grazing land. 4. an extensive sheep- or cattle-raising establishment; a ranch.

station bred—(of an animal) bred on the property.

station hand—an employee of a sheep or cattle station.

station man—an owner or employee of a sheep or cattle station.

station ration—an allowance of provisions made to a station employee.

Stawell—an Australian town in the Wimmera region of Victoria 237km west-north-west of the state capital, Melbourne. Located within the Shire of Northern Grampians local government area it is a seat of local government for the shire and its main administrative centre. At the 2006 census, Stawell had a population of 6,035. It was founded in 1853 during the Victorian gold rush and was originally named Pleasant Creek. It is one of few towns in Victoria retaining an active gold mining industry. Stawell is famed for the Stawell Gift, a professional foot race. It is also known as the gateway to the Grampians National Park. It is named after Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-89), the Chief Justice of Victoria. In 1861, the township was renamed to honour Sir William Foster Stawell (1815-89), the Chief Justice of Victoria. The town was created a borough in 1869. Stawell Town Hall was constructed in 1872, under the guidance of Stawell Shire Engineer, John D'Alton. The town's water supply system was designed by John D'Alton in 1875, diverting water from Fyan's Creek by tunnels and pipelines; construction was completed in 1881.] A Pioneer's memorial was erected on Big Hill in 1938. The town hall underwent significant postwar remodeling culminated in the addition of the landmark clock tower in 1939. The Quartz Gold Memorial and Dane Memorial seat were erected on Big Hill in 1953 out of local quartz stone. Stawell's historical association with gold-mining continued when full-scale mining recommenced in 1981. Stawell is a seat of local government for the Northern Grampians Shire (the other being St Arnaud). Stawell is also the main administrative centre for the council. The LGA was created in 1994 as an amalgamation of a number of other municipalities in the region and currently consists of 4 wards, each represented by three councillors elected once every four years by postal voting.] In state politics, Stawell is located in the Legislative Assembly electoral district of Ripon, with both of these seats currently held by the Australian Labor Party. In federal politics, Stawell is located in a single House of Representatives division—the Division of Wannon.The economy of Stawell is sustained by mining, agriculture, manufacturing, retail and tourism industries. The town's service industry includes government services, health, retail and education. Stawell is the closest large town to the Grampians National Park, and as such plays a large role in regional tourism.

stay on (someone's) hammer—(rhyming slang: hammer and tack: back) keep a close watch over (someone); badger (someone).

stayer—person or animal of great stamina, endurance.

steady on!—wait! take care! be more cautious! slow down!

steak and kidney—(rhyming slang) Sydney.

steak and kidney pie—a traditional British meat pie made from steak with sautéed kidneys and onions cooked in wine and stock then covered with pastry and baked.

steal a march on (someone)—attempt to deceive, hoodwink, cheat, gain an unfair advantage over (someone).

Steelers—Illawara, NSW Rugby League football team.

stencil imagesstencil images—found widely in rock art, usually of hands or arms, animal tracks, boomerangs, spear throwers or other tools, such as stone axes. Stencil images are some of the oldest painted images known from the Australian continent. For example, in Arnhem Land stencils are common in the earliest rock art—there are numerous stencils of boomerangs—though these are no longer used in Arnhem Land except as clapsticks for music—and they include all the main types of boomerangs ever found in Australia. Stencilled images occur widely across the country; some fine examples are found in the Carnarvon Range in central Queensland. The main function of the stencils was to record people's presence and association with a site or to identify a particular painting.

step to it!—hurry up!

step-ins—women's girdle.

Stephen's banded snakeHoplocephalus stephensi, an aggressive and venomous snake—the venom contains procoagulants and neurotoxins. Serious illnesses and possibly deaths have been associated with envenomation by this species. The usual coloration is light brown or yellow, with dark bands along the body and dark spots on the head, although longitudinal bands or nonbanded forms may also be seen. Average length is approximately 0.6m, maximum 1.0m. This snake is limited to a small area of the coast of southern Queensland and northern New South Wales. It is often found in trees or under bark. Tiger snake antivenom is recommended for treatment of envenomations by Stephen's banded snake.

sterling—(hist.) a non-convict, British-born resident of Australia.

steropodonsteropodonSteropodon galmani, a platypus-like mammal that lived alongside the dinosaurs 110 million years ago (early Cretaceous). It spent most of its time in freshwater creeks and billabongs, probably eating yabbies and other small aquatic animals. Steropodon was an egg-laying mammal, like today's platypus and echidna, with the platypus probably steropodon's closest living relative. An opalised jaw with 3 major teeth was found at Lightning Ridge in New South Wales. A couple of other partial jaws have also been found. Steropodon was named in 1985 and is regarded as one of Australia's most important fossil discoveries. It was one of the largest mammals in the world during the Cretaceous.

stevedore—a person employed at a port to load and unload ships. It's another name for the person known in Aussie English as a “wharfie”, and in America as a “longshoreman”. These two wear their origins on their sleeves, as it were: a “wharfie” works on the wharves and a “longshoreman” works “along the shore”. Stevedore is not so immediately obvious. In fact is comes from an old verb “to steeve” or “to stive” (“chiefly nautical” says the Oxford English Dictionary). Back in the 15th century “steeving” was compressing, or packing, wool, cotton or similar material into the hold of a ship. “To steeve” could mean “to pack tightly”. “Steeve” was still being used as a verb (in this sense of packing tightly) as late as the 19th century. It seems to have come into English from the French estiver, and the French word, in turn, seems to derive from the Portuguese estibar. And by the later 18th century the word had become the noun 'stevedore' and named anyone who did any sort of work loading and unloading ships—regardless of whether it involved packing tightly or not.

stick in (one's) craw—stick in (one's) throat.

stick it in your gob/up your arse/ginger/jumper!—expression of dismissal, scorn, contempt, rejection.

stick (one's) bib in—pry; interfere; intervene; meddle.

stick that for a joke!—an expression of one's refusal to accept a suggestion.

stick the boots in—to criticise scathingly.

stick to (someone's) fingers—be embezzled by (someone).

stick up to—resist boldly.

sticky tape—sticky cellophane tape; Scotch tape.

sticky kurrajongBrachychiton viscidulus, a deciduous tree, 2-8m high, with large leaves and pink-red/orange flowers when leafless, April to December or January; fruit a sticky, hairy, boat-shaped capsule containing fine, hair-covered seeds. Grows in red-brown clay, grey sandy clay, skeletal soils over sandstone, quartzite, granite, basalt or limestone, on rocky slopes, scarps, gorges and low hills, islands. Native to Western Australia. Also known as the Kimberley rose.

sticky wattlesticky wattleAcacia howittii, a graceful, large shrub or small tree of dense, weeping habit reaching a height of 5m—8m. The dark green phyllodes are 1cm-2cm long and slightly sticky, hence the common name. In spring the plant is covered with globular, pale yellow, scented flowers. The foliage exudes a pleasant perfume on hot summer days and after rain. Acacia howittii is a rare species that is native to Victoria. It has proved to be drought tolerant and frost resistant; however, in its natural habitat this plant is restricted to a portion of the southern Gippsland hills, between Yarram and Tarra Valley, a distance of only 20km. It is not, however, considered to be under any threat.

sticky wicket—delicate, difficult, embarrassing situation or problem; a disadvantage: e.g., He's on a bit of a sticky wicket at the moment.

sticky-fingers—a thief.

sticky-nose—(see: stickybeak).

stickybeak—1. person who pries, meddles or interferes. 2. a look: e.g., Have a stickybeak at this!

stiff cheddar/cheese—1. bad luck!; unlucky. 2. an off-hand, unsympathetic expression; rebuff to an appeal for sympathy or help.

stiff-necked—stubborn; obstinate; unyielding.s

till the worms—appease one's hunger.

stinging nettleUrtica incisa, a native herb characterised by stinging hairs on its stems and leaves. Contact with these hairs produces reddening accompanied by marked itching. Stinging nettle grows in the margins and clearings of open, wet, forested areas. Found in all states except Northern Territory, stinging nettle is very common in south and east Victoria. It is the primary foodplant for caterpillars of the Australian admiral butterfly. Also known as scrub nettle.

stinging treestinging treeDendrocnide moroides prefers more open and sunny parts of the tropical rainforest, so is therefore common along tracks. It is either a single stemmed herb with stems up to 5cm wide, or a sparingly branched shrub which stands 1-5 metres high. The leaves are large and broad, consisting of an oval or heart-shaped blade that can grow up to 30cm long and 22cm wide. The leaf stalk is usually 5-15cm long. Male and female flowers are on separate plants. They have very small flowers gathered in open bunches called panicles in the forks of leaves. The leaves and stems are covered in thick hairs that, if touched, inflict a painful sting. These hairs are manufactured from mineral silica, the chief constituent of glass. If you brush against them, their tips penetrate the skin, break off, and release an irritant poison. The effect of this sting may last for months. There is no effective antidote known for the stinging tree. The caterpillars of white nymph butterflies as well as several stick insects, a weevil and a chrisomelid beetle (in the ladybird family) eat the leaves of the common stinging tree. Green possums eat the leaves of the shiny-leafed stinging tree.

stink a dog off a gut-wagon—of something that has a highly offensive smell.

stinking cryptocaryaCryptocarya foetida, small to medium-sized tree growing to 20m tall, with a dark green crown and brown, slightly fissured bark. The leaves are oval-shaped with a bluntly pointed tip, 5-12cm long and 2-6cm wide, dark green on the upper surface and paler below. The main leaf vein is prominent, yellow and characteristically crooked. The species is named from the offensive odour of the small creamy flowers, which are borne in small clusters. The purplish to black, fleshy, globular fruits are about 1cm in diameter, and enclose a single round seed. Distribution encompasses coastal south-east Queensland and north-east NSW south to Iluka. Found in littoral rainforest, usually on sandy soils, but mature trees are also known on basalt soils. The seeds are readily dispersed by fruit-eating birds, and seedlings and saplings have been recorded from other habitats where they are unlikely to develop to maturity. Though seedlings can be fairly numerous, it is an endangered native tree. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable. Commonwealth status: Vulnerable. few mature trees are known.

stinking hot—unpleasantly hot and humid weather conditions.

stinking wattle—(see: gidgee tree).

stinko—drunk; intoxicated.

stir—1. commotion; noise; trouble: e.g., What's all the stir about? 2. prison. 3. a wild party. 4. to incite, cause trouble; be provocative: e.g., Don't listen to him, he's only stirring.

stir along—to go, travel fast, especially in a vehicle.

stir the possum—incite, cause trouble, dissent.

Stirling, James—British naval officer, born 1791. Discovered and named the Swan River, 1826. The next year, he was appointed to lead a party of free settlers to establish the Swan River Colony. Captain James Stirling was also appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the colony he was to found. When Governor Stirling had been in charge of the Swan River Colony for three years, he appointed a Legislative Council of four government officials to assist him. Admiral Sir James Stirling RN (28 January 1791 - 22 April 1865) was a British naval officer and colonial administrator. His enthusiasm and persistence persuaded the British Government to establish the Swan River Colony and he became the first Governor and Commander-in-Chief of Western Australia. In 1854, when Commander-in-Chief, East Indies and China Station, Stirling on his own initiative signed Britain's first Anglo-Japanese Friendship Treaty. Throughout his career Stirling showed considerable diplomatic skill and was selected for a number of sensitive missions. Paradoxically, this was not reflected in his personal dealings with officialdom and his hopes for preferment received many rebuffs. Stirling entered the Royal Navy at age 12 and as a midshipman saw action in the Napoleonic Wars. Rapid promotion followed and when he was 21 he received his first command, the 28-gun sloop HMS Brazen, and, in the War of 1812 between the US and the UK, seized two prizes. The Brazen carried the news of the end of that war to Fort Bowyer and took part in carrying to England the British troops that had captured the fort. On return to the West Indies, Stirling made two surveys of the Venezuelan coast and reported on the strengths, attitudes and dispositions of the Spanish government and various revolutionary factions, later playing a role in the British negotiations with these groups. In his second command, HMS Success, he carried supplies and coinage to Australia, but with a covert mission to assess other nations' interest in the region and explore opportunities for British settlements. He is chiefly remembered for his exploration of the Swan River, followed by his eventual success in lobbying the British Government to establish a settlement there. On 30 December 1828, he was made Lieutenant-Governor of the colony-to-be. He formally founded the city of Perth and the port of Fremantle and oversaw the development of the surrounding area and on 4 March 1831 he was confirmed as Governor and Commander-in-Chief of the new territory, Western Australia, in which post he remained until in 1838 he resumed his naval career. From 1840 to 1844, in command of the 80-gun HMS Indus, he patrolled the Mediterranean with instructions to 'show the flag' and keep an eye on the French. In 1847, he was given command of the 120-gun first rate ship of the line, HMS Howe, and his first commission was to conduct Her Majesty, the Dowager Queen Adelaide on trips to Lisbon and Madeira and then back to Osborne House on the Isle of Wight. After that, the Howe was assigned to the eastern Mediterranean, where she reinforced the squadron led by Vice Admiral Parker using gunboat diplomacy to secure an uneasy peace in the region. Stirling's fifth and final command was as Commander in Chief, China and the East Indies Station, and his flag, as Rear Admiral of the White, was hoisted on HMS Winchester on 11 May 1854. Shortly afterwards news arrived that war had been declared on Russia. Stirling was anxious to prevent Russian ships from sheltering in Japanese ports and menacing allied shipping and, after lengthy negotiations through the Governor of Nagasaki, concluded a Treaty of Friendship with the Japanese. The treaty was endorsed by the British Government, but Stirling was criticised in the popular press for not finding and engaging with the Russian fleet.

Stirling Range National Park

Stirling Range—stretches for 65km from east to west, rising to the height of 1000m. Because of their great height and their proximity to the south coast, the climate on the peaks differs from that of the surrounding district. The cool, humid climate encourages more than 1500 species of flowering plants, some of them unique to the area. The Stirling Range is also renowned for its unusual cloud formations. Two of these formations are commonly seen about the peaks, often when the rest of the sky is clear. A shallow, low-level stratified cloud that drapes over the higher peaks is a familiar sight, also. Another type of shallow cloud layer may leave the higher peaks exposed, which is a unique sight in Western Australia.

Stirling Range National Park—one of the world's most important areas for flora, sheltering 1500 species within the boundaries of 115,671 hectares. The area was declared a national park in 1913, preserving the 87 plant species that occur nowhere else. These include mountain bells of the genus Darwinia, and the white flowers of the southern cross, which are a common sight between August and December. There are also 123 orchid species, 38 per cent of all known Western Australian orchids. There are many walking tracks providing easy access to wildlife and flowers. Alternatively, the western access via Tourist Drive No. 253 from Cranbrook takes travellers into the heart of the National Park. Located about 100km north-east of Albany and 420km south-east of Perth.

stirrer—trouble-maker; person who incites trouble and dissent.

Stirton's thunder birdStirton's thunder birdDromornis stirtoni was a huge (over 3m tall), flightless bird which lived in subtropical open woodlands 8-6 million years ago in the late Miocene era. It weighed up to 500kg, making it heavier than the giant moa of New Zealand. It was taller than the largest elephant bird (an extinct group of giant birds from Madagascar). Stirton's thunder bird was the largest of a group of flightless birds found only in Australia. Their closest relatives may have been waterfowl, which is why it has been nicknamed the 'Giant Demon Duck of Doom'. For many years it was thought to have eaten mainly tough-skinned fruits and seed pods. Now, because of the shape and size of its skull and bill, some scientists think it concentrated on meat. Whole skeletons have been found at Alcoota Station in the Northern Territory.

stitch up—betray or cheat.

stobie pole—(South Australia) a pole of steel and concrete carrying electricity lines; derived from J.C. Stobie, Australian engineer.

stock and station—designating firms that deal in farm land, products, and supplies.

stock boy—an Aboriginal male employed to look after stock.

stock route—a strip of land reserved for the droving of livestock from farm to port or market. It is not a road unless so dedicated.

stock-keeper—(hist.) a stockman.

stockman—a man engaged in the rearing or care of farm livestock, esp. cattle.

Stockman's Hall of FameStockman's Hall of Fame—the outback is remote, remorseless and magnificent in its magnitude—and the heart of Australia. It was conquered by pioneers who gave up the comfort of coastal settlement to carve a new life in the unknown interior of this vast continent. The Stockman's Hall of Fame and Outback Heritage Centre is dedicated to the story of these unsung heroes. In 1974, Hugh Sawrey, well known stockman and outback artist, enlisted supporters for his dream for a memorial to the explorers, overlanders, pioneers and settlers of remote Australia. To build and outfit the Stockman's Hall of Fame, they had to raise AUD$12.5 million. The chosen site in Longreach in central western Queensland was once a teamster's stop beside a large waterhole. From humble beginnings as a stock route junction on the 'long reach' of the Thomson River, the town is now serviced by road, rail and air.

stock route (glossary)—a strip of land reserved for the droving of livestock from farm to port or market. It is not a road unless so dedicated.

stodge—1. food esp. of a thick heavy kind. 2. an unimaginative person or idea.

Stolen GenerationStolen Generation—the term refers to the removal of Aboriginal children from their families by Australian government agencies and church missions between approximately 1900 and 1972. At least 30,000 children were removed from their parents, and the figure may be substantially higher—10-30% of all Aboriginal children born during the seventy year period were removed. Although children of full Aboriginal descent were removed, in general the children of "mixed descent" (having one or more European ancestors) were the most targeted. A 1937 national government conference on "Native Welfare" concluded in its final report that "... the destiny of the natives of aboriginal (sic] origin, but not of the full blood, lies in their ultimate absorption by the people of the Commonwealth, and it therefore recommends that all efforts be directed to that end."

Stolen Wages campaign—from 1904 to 1987 the Queensland Government withheld or underpaid wages earned by Aboriginal workers. The state government has offered a settlement totalling $55million but this is only a fraction of the stolen wages. ANTaR is currently running a "Stolen Wages" Campaign in support of Indigenous Queensland workers who have not received wages for which they are entitled.

stone artifact scatters—a site where there is flaked material left over from the manufacture of stone tools. These sites are often the only physical remains of where Aboriginal people camped, prepared and ate meals. The material used for stone tool making is rich in silica, and is hard and brittle, e.g., quartzite, chert, flint, silcrete and quartz. In Victoria an artefact scatter is defined as having more than five artefacts within a 10sq m area; fewer than five is defined as an 'isolated artefact site' rather than a scatter.

Stone CountryStone Country—plants growing in the stone country and on the outliers must survive extremely hot, waterless conditions for many months each year. Among the best examples of plants well adapted to these harsh conditions are the resurrection grasses, which dehydrate in the absence of moisture and spring back to life within 24 hours of rain. Monsoon forests often develop in the cool, moist gorges that dissect the stone country. They are generally dominated by Allosyncarpia, a large, spreading, shady tree restricted to the Kakadu and Arnhem Land region. More widespread and easily recognisable stone country and outlier plants are spinifex and the sandstone pandanus; both can be found at Nawurlandja.

stone curlew—any mottled brown and grey wader of the family Burhinidae, especially Burhinus oedicnemus, inhabiting especially stony open country. It is identified by its repetitious, mournful wailing. The habitat of this species of curlew is reefs, beaches and coastal mud-flats, and crabs are its principal prey.

stone the crows!—expression of surprise, amazement, wonder.

stone-fruit—a fruit with flesh or pulp enclosing a stone, such as peaches, plums and nectarines.

stonefishSynanceia verrucosa, another of Australia's deadly marine creatures. They inhabit shallow waters along the coast, where they are well-camouflaged, being a brownish colour and often resembling a rock. The stonefish has thirteen sharp, dorsal spines on its back, which each contain extremely toxic venom—it can kill a human within two hours. The stonefish feeds on shrimp and other small fish.

stonewall—(cricket) bat with excessive caution.

stoney and shallow soils—a large part of the Northern Territory and of the northern part of Western Australia, exceeding 400,000sq mi in area, is covered by rocky country almost devoid of soil. Such soil as does occur is usually shallow, leached and mildly acid, and of generally low fertility. It is probably incapable of development and provides only sparse grazing for cattle.

Stoney CreekStoney Creek—a picnic and camping area just 30km from Mackay on the Queensland coast, but once you're there it's like being in the outback. You will see wallabies, dingos, wedgetail eagles, koalas, goannas and frill-necked lizards.

Stoney Plains—a bioregion of the Lake Eyre Basin that derives its name from the stony, gibber and gypsum plains that dominate the area. These plains support sparse chenopad shrublands and tussock grasslands. Other vegetation includes acacia forests and gidyea woodlands. Coolibahs and river red gums fringe creek lines. Fauna such as the square-tailed kite, mulgara, plains rat and the dusky hopping-mouse inhabit the Stony Plains bioregion.

stonkered—the verb “to stonker” means “to put out of action, to render useless”. As such, it derives from an earlier word “stonk” which meant “a concentrated artillery bombardment”. It started as military slang and was probably echoic (or onomatopoeic) in origin – “stonk” echoing the dull thud of the artillery. Now, anything that has been pounded by the artillery has been “put out of action, or rendered useless” hence the broader (metaphorical) use of stonkered. And a further extension of that same metaphor is the Australian and New Zealand use of stonkered to mean drunk. Anyone who has pounded their brain with enough booze to put it out of action is as stonkered as if they were a military target pounded by heavy artillery.

stooge around—behave aimlessly; fool, play around.

stook—illicit hiding place, stash, especially in prison slang.

stop pulling (oneself)—to stop deluding (oneself), believing in impossibilities.

stop-work meeting—meeting of employees during working hours to discuss conditions, pay, strikes etc.

storage depot—warehouse.

Storm BayStorm Bay—inlet of the Tasman Sea, indenting south-eastern Tasmania. About 26km long and 25mi wide, it is bounded by North Bruny Island (west) and the Tasman Peninsula (east) and opens into Norfolk and Frederick Henry bays to the north-east. The Derwent River estuary enters the bay from the north-west by way of Hobart. Variable weather made exploration of the eastern coast of Van Dieman's Land difficult. Seeking shelter in a large bay in November of 1642, Abel Tasman put into a cove he called Storm Bay. A later explorer misread Tasman's notes and called this bay Adventure Bay and the larger bay was called Storm Bay.

storm bird—two birds regularly called storm birds are the common koel, and the channel-billed cuckoo. Both of these birds belong to the 'Old World cuckoo' (parasitic) family, Cuculidae. DNA comparisons indicate that this family has no close living relatives in the bird kingdom. With some of their populations migrating from Indonesia in winter, their arrival in Australia for breeding heralds the beginning of our summer storms.

stoush—1. a commotion, fight or brawl. 2. to punch, hit, bash, assault.

Stradbroke Island—the island's indigenous name is Minjerriba, meaning the Giant in the Sun, a name particularly well-suited to one of the largest sand islands in the world. It is located off the coast of Queensland, just an hour from the Brisbane city centre. Kilometers of white, sandy beaches fringe the island's eastern side and the calm waters of Moreton Bay lap against the shores of the island's western fishing towns.

Straddie—Stradbroke Island.

straight as a die/yard of pump-water—(of a person) honest; candid; truthful; respectable; ethical.

straight dinkum—the truth, the true facts, etc.

straight from the shoulder—blunt; honest; truthful.

straitsmen—the islands of the Furneaux Group in the Bass Strait became a base for the “straitsmen”, who slaughtered seals in their tens of thousands and, so legend goes, lured many ships to their demise for a spot of piracy.

strangler figstrangler fig—any of several trees of the Ficus genus that starts to grow when a bird or possum dropping, containing the indigestible strangler fig seed, lodges somewhere high in the host tree. The young fig starts its life as an epiphyte in the canopy, unlike other tree seedlings that have to start their struggle for survival on the forest floor. If nutrients, water and sunlight are present, the seed germinates and soon sends long, thin roots down the trunk of the host tree to the forest floor. Once the roots reach the nutrient-rich leaf litter below, the strangler fig grows quickly. A network of roots envelops the host and, up in the canopy, the strangler fig begins to compete with the host tree for the precious light. In time, the strangler fig can grow to over 45m, and the host tree can be overwhelmed and die, leaving a totally independent strangler fig that may live for several hundred years. The most famous of all strangler figs in the Wet Tropics are the 'Curtain' and 'Cathedral' figs, both on the Atherton Tablelands.

straw company—business company established for the purpose of tax benefits.

straw-necked ibisThreskiornis spinicollis, named for the stiff, straw-like lower neck feathers of the adult birds. The average adult size is 2 feet in height with a 1-foot wingspan; weight up to 3 lbs. It spends up to 75 per cent of its time foraging in grasslands, including city parks and road edges, swamps and cultivated land, usually in very large flocks. The diet consists largely of grasshoppers and other large terrestrial insects. Nesting occurs in large, dense, traditional colonies, often in the company with sacred ibis and other waterbirds. Breeding behaviour is strongly influenced by local flooding, and nesting occurs in areas that seasonally flood, to take advantage of plentiful food. The largest colonies may number tens or even hundreds of thousands of birds, and nests are often so close together they become trampled to a common platform as the season progresses. more commonly found in dry areas than other ibis species, and will follow insect swarms and grassland fires. It is especially abundant in the Murray-Darling Basin, but it is strongly nomadic and few areas of the Australian continent are not visited at least occasionally by it. Also known as dry-weather bird.

strawbs—strawberries.

streak of misery—unhappy, morose person (who is usually also tall).

streaky bacon—bacon with alternate streaks of fat and meat, that which is considered ordinary bacon in the US.

streets ahead—better than; far superior to; in front.

Karl StrehlowStrehlow, Karl—pastor in charge of the Lutheran Mission at Hermannsburg from 1894-1922, to the west of Alice Springs. He was one of a handful of 'good Germans' who, by providing a secure land-base, did more than anyone to save the Central Australian Aboriginals from extinction. Strehlow gained a reputation as an expert on the mythology and language of the Aborigines of that area. He developed a written form for the Aranda language, produced an Aranda grammar and dictionary, and translated the New Testament into Aranda. He became skilful in treating the sick, and the Aborigines trusted him.

strewth!—mild oath, expression of surprise, amazement, indignation.

strides—trousers; pants.

strike bowler—(cricket) fast bowler, taking early wickets.

striker—1. (sport) the player who is to strike, or who is to be the next to strike, the ball. 2. (football) an attacking player positioned well forward in order to score goals.

Strine—Australian English: In Strine, 'Strine' is the pronunciation of 'Australian'.

string (someone) a line—deceive (someone) with a tall tale, yarn.

stringybarkstringybarkEucalyptus tetrodonta, a tall, straight tree to 30m with a fibrous, stringy bark. Aborigines utilised the bark for bark paintings, shelters and canoes. The bark is stripped from the tree during the Wet season and in the early part of the Dry, when it is loose.

stringybark canoes—traditional bark canoes made in Arnhem Land are made from a single piece of bark cut from a stringybark tree, seasoned over a fire and sewn together at the ends to make a canoe shape. The tops of the two sides are held apart with branches that are used as seats. An anchor can be made from a rock attached to a rope. Canoes are an important way to get around in the monsoonal wet season, when many of the rivers and creeks in Arnhem Land are flooded by the frequent, heavy rain and storms.

stringybark cockatoo/settler—a farmer of small means.

strip (someone) apart—severely reprimand, rebuke, beat, bash (someone).

stripe me pink!—expression of surprise, amazement, wonder.

striped cleaner wrasseLabroides dimidiatus, a fish which is blue to yellow above fading to white or yellow below. There is a black stripe from the eye to the caudal fin margin, widening posteriorly. It has thick lips and a pair of canines at the front of both jaws. This species grows to 11.5cm in length. The striped cleaner wrasse establishes a "cleaning station", often a cave or overhang, where it swims in a bobbing, dance-like motion. Larger fish come to the cleaning station to have ectoparasites removed. The striped cleaner wrasse swims around the fish, picking off and eating the parasites. It often enters the mouth and gill chamber of large fish. The striped cleaner wrasse occurs on rocky and coral reefs in tropical (and some temperate) marine waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from southern to north-western Western Australia and from northern Queensland to southern New South Wales.

striped legless lizardstriped legless lizardDelma impar, a snake-like lizard possessing only one set of legs. It is a grassland specialist, being found only in areas of native grassland and nearby grassy woodland and exotic pasture. It is usually found under logs, rocks and ground debris in flat tussock grasslands. Once found in Victoria, the extreme south-east of South Australia, the ACT and south-eastern NSW west of the Great Dividing Range, it is now vulnerable and extinct in some of its original range. The loss and degradation of native grassland, through a variety of processes, is primarily responsible for the decline of the striped legless lizard.

striped marsh frogLimnodynastes peronii, one of the most common frogs of the eastern coast of Australia, the striped marsh frog is found from northern Queensland to Tasmania. The male's call is a loud tok or whuck, which sounds very much like a tennis ball being struck. It can be heard all year round, calling while floating in water or from close to the water's edge. During spawning, the female makes a floating foam or bubble raft in which the fertilised eggs are suspended. The tadpoles hatch after a few days and drop into the water as the nest-raft disintegrates. The striped marsh frog is predominantly a pond-dweller but nearly any kind of water will do, including fish ponds and polluted ditches. It is an adaptable frog and often encountered in urban environments. It even occasionally shows up in suburban swimming pools and has been recorded breeding in dogs' water dishes. Distribution: Eastern Australia. Habitat: Urban areas, forests and woodlands, heath.

striped possumstriped possumDactylopsela trivirgata, a possum that is conspicuously marked with black stripes from its eyes, down the sides to its rump. Other than the stripes, its general color is white. Its fur is dense and coarse, and it has a long, bushy tail. The fourth digit of the hands as well as the fourth and fifth toes are elongated. Its head and body length is between 9"and 12", and its weight is about 6 oz. This strictly arboreal species spends the day asleep in a tree hollow, emerging at night to search for food. In contrast to the slow pace of other possums, its actions are quick and darting. Although it eats fruit and leaves, the striped possum feeds principally on insects and insect larvae found inside dry, dead branches. The possum can easily rip open these branches with its chiseled incisors. Detecting a grub or other morsel in a crevice, it probes with its extra-long, specialized fourth finger and pulls out its prey. The striped possum does not use its tail when climbing, but holds it upright. It often feeds while hanging upside down. Its breeding habits are unknown. Found in the northernmost peninsula of Cape York and in New Guinea, preferring the tropical rainforest and gallery forest.

stromatolites—a structure that contains the Earth's simplest and most ancient life-form. Stromatolites are composed of layers of sediment in light and dark shades, which are thought to be the fossilised remains of primitive bacterial and/or algal mat communities. The oldest known stromatolite fossils—dating back to 3500Ma—have been found in the Pilbara of Western Australia. Stromatolites are still being produced today in the intertidal zone at Shark Bay in Western Australia, and are composed of alternating layers of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and micro-organisms (algae).

strong as a mallee bull—physically very strong.

strong-headed—having a vigorous, determined will or mind.

stroppy—1. (of a person) cantankerous; bad-tempered; complaining; angry; difficult to deal with. 2. (of a car) fast; high-performing.

struggle street—the opposite of "easy street"; e.g., He's a real Aussie battler, lived on struggle street all 'is life.

strychnine bushstrychnine bushStrychnos lucida, a small tree of 5m that has white to gray mottled bark. Its leathery, opposite leaves are marked at the base with three prominent veins. It has white tubular flowers in terminal cymes, and orange, beaked globular berries of 2cm—4cm diameter. It grows in monsoon vine thickets on sand and rocky hills. Aboriginal people used the fruits and bark prepared as a liniment for rheumatism, general weakness, backache, arthritis and painful swellings. The fruits and wood were also used for sores, boils, scabies and other skin conditions.

Strzelecki, Count Paul Edmund de—born in Polish Russia on 20 July 1797. Arrived in Australia on 25 April 1839, where Sir George Gipps, the Governor of New South Wales, persuaded him to undertake the exploration of the interior. Strzelecki devoted himself especially to the scientific examination of the geology and mineralogy, flora, fauna, and Aborigines of the Darling Range, conducting all these operations at his own expense. He named the area Gippsland, and also named (and may have climbed) Australia's highest mountain, Mount Kosciusko (2228m). He then decided to travel to Melbourne by a short cut across the ranges, but conditions were so bad in the scrub that he and his team had to abandon their packhorses and all the botanical and other specimens they had collected, and almost starved to death before eventually reaching that city. During this journey Strzelecki discovered gold two hundred miles west of Sydney, but suppressed this knowledge at the request of the governor "for fear of the serious consequences which, considering the condition and population of the colony, were to be apprehended from the cupidity of the prisoners and labourers." He continued to explore Australia until 1843, and discovered gold and silver in New South Wales, coal deposits in Tasmania, investigated the possibilities of irrigation, measured the heights of mountains, carried out soil analysis and collected and identified many fossils and minerals.

Strzelecki DesertStrzelecki Desert—an extensive dunefield stretching from just within the New South Wales border to its north-eastern boundary at Cooper Creek. Within the dunefields are numerous small claypans. The dunes of this region carry a mixture of tall shrublands of sandhill wattle, needlebush and whitewood. Hummock grasslands of sandhill canegrass and hard spinifex are also present. The short-lived, tufted kerosene grasses are characteristic understorey species, along with herbs and low shrubs. The claypans carry a wide range of vegetation communities, which vary according to soil type, salinity and frequency of flooding. A chain of inter-connected salt lakes terminating in Lake Frome marks the southern margin. The desert is bisected in a roughly north-south direction by the Strzelecki Creek, along which runs the Strzelecki Track. Into the north-eastern section of the desert extends a finger of woodland vegetation from Cooper Creek to Lake Hope. This is a low open woodland association of coolibah and lignum. Within the Strezlecki Desert are three wilderness areas, centered on Lake Hope, Lake Callabonna and Lake Frome. Much of the region is used for extensive livestock grazing which has contributed to the degradation of the vegetation cover.

Strzelecki National Park—protects rich and varied ecosystems as well as spectacular coastal and granite mountain landscapes. The park is also home to a number of endemic species, rare flora and fauna and significant vegetation communities. The area encompassed by the park is of particular biogeographic significance, as it contains elements of both Tasmanian and Victorian flora. The park and adjacent Crown land forms the most extensive area of undeveloped vegetation in north-eastern. It was proclaimed a national park in 1967 and given its official name in 1972, in honour of the Polish scientist and explorer Count Paul Edmund Strzelecki. For those who want the challenge of a climb to the top of Strzelecki Peaks, the main walking track will lead you to a tremendous view of the southern end of Flinders Island as well as surrounding islands in the Furneaux Group. The park covers 4216ha in the south-western corner of Flinders Island in Bass Strait, off the north-east coast of mainland Tasmania.

Strzelecki RangesStrzelecki Ranges—formed at about the same time as the Otway Ranges were uplifted, although the fossil-bearing layers of rock are slightly older at around 115 MYA. The rocks that form the Strzelecki Group are visible along a 50km stretch of coastline. There are seven main sites from which fossils have been excavated. Most date to around 115 million years, with the exception of the San Remo and Punchbowl deposits that are around 5 million years older. The first dinosaur bone found in Victoria was a toe claw from a small theropod dinosaur that was taken to England and described by William Fergusson in 1906. During the 2000 season over a thousand bones and teeth were recovered and catalogued from the Flat Rock site, including the remains of several types of dinosaur. The earlier deposits of the San Remo and Punchbowl sites are also known for their labyrinthodontid remains—giant amphibians related to salamanders that filled a similar niche to crocodiles. Hypsilophodontids make up the majority of dinosaurs found at Flat Rocks. Qantassaurus is so far only known from the Strzelecki Group deposits. Theropod remains are also known from the Strzelecki Group of sites. The 1997 season yielded the first Early Cretaceous mammal remains from Victoria (Ausktribosphenos nyktos), which may be one of the world's oldest placental mammal fossils. A second Ausktribosphenid mammal, Bishops whitmorei has also been described, as well as the monotreme Teinolophos trusleri.

stu-vac—in a university etc, the period between the end of classes and the start of examinations.

John McDouall StuartStuart, John McDouall—an intrepid, Scottish-born surveyor and explorer. In 1858 he journeyed through the north-west of South Australia and the forbidding country of the salt lakes, and discovered ranges which now bear his name. From 1844 he made several journeys to the north of Adelaide. In 1860 he made his first attempt to cross the continent from south to north, but was driven back from the Macdonnell Ranges by thirst and heat. Stuart lost his sight in his right eye during this trip. Refusing to accept failure, the exhausted man and 11 others tried and failed again in 1861. Land speculators financed Stuart's greatest achievement, the south-north return crossing of the continent in 1861-62. His party departed from Adelaide, penetrating the desert areas beyond the salt lakes north of Port Augusta, and passed through the Red Centre to reach the north coast. This journey resulted in the discovery of a route used for opening up the Northern Territory. Just ten years later, the same route was used for the Overland Telegraph Line that linked South Australia with England and the rest of the world. Known as the Oodnadatta Track, it was an ancient Aboriginal trade route that Stuart had either stumbled upon, or had been shown by Aborigines.

Stuart Highway—a major tourism route through central Australia, as well as the major highway from South Australia into the Northern Territory. The southern end of the highway is at Port Augusta, and runs north to Darwin.

Stuart Range ObservatoryStuart Range Observatory—(SRO) owned and operated by Jim Barclay, the Stuart Range Observatory is dedicated to astronomical education and research. SRO was set up in March 1991 with the installation of the old Golden Beach Observatory 4.5 meter dome and a 13.1" F6 Newtonian reflector telescope. Within a year, a steel frame house was built and slowly the site developed into a fully fledged astronomical centre. Situated on 5 acres, SRO is now the focus point for the Nanango TIE QUT Observatory, a jointly sponsored project run by the Queensland University of Technology, SRO and the NASA-sponsored Telescopes In Education. Located about 230km NW of Brisbane, not far the Bunya Mountains National Park.

Stuart Shelf—covers an area of Gawler Craton basement rocks overlain by platformal sediments of Adelaidean age. Basement rocks of the Stuart Shelf are host to the Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold orebody. Adelaidean rocks of the Stuart Shelf are host to the Mount Gunson copper orebody.

Stuart's treks across the Center—explorer John McDoull Stuart's epic trek has an almost legendary quality. He tried 3 times to cross the Red Centre on foot from the south to the north but had been frustrated by spinifex and scurvy, and only succeeded on the third attempt. In 1862, nearly blind and with hair turned white, McDoull Stuart finally reached the coast near what was to become Darwin, Northern Territory.

stubbie—1. small, squat bottles of beer, made notable by the brand XXXX (Fourex). 2. strong, denim work-shorts for men: e.g., Your typical yob can be seen in stubbies, a singlet and thongs, downing a slab of stubbies whilst watching the footy on tell. 3. (joc.) a measure of distance: e.g., Yackandandah is about six stubbies down the road.

stubbie holder—(see: stubbie-cooler).

stubbie short of a slab—someone a bit simple-minded.

stubbie-cooler—polystyrene insulation cover for a stubbie beer bottle.

stubble quailstubble quailCoturnix pectoralis, a medium to large quail. Unobtrusive in its plumage and behaviour, the stubble quail is nomadic and common in the wild. They follow the seasonally available seeds of annual pasture crops and weeds. They live exclusively on the ground and will hide in dense undergrowth rather than fly up when disturbed. There are no formally recognised threatening processes for this species, indeed, the clearing of forests and woodland to create pastures and cropping lands has greatly increased its habitat. On the other hand, the introduction of pastoralism in the inland savannah regions has exposed it to competition with sheep and rabbits. Found in most of South Australia north to the Pilbara, Alice Springs and central Queensland. They were once found in Tasmania but are now extinct there. Breeding is mainly August to February; however in the north of its distribution this species may breed all year round if rains are favourable. The nest is a shallow scrape in the ground and is prepared by the female. Incubation is solely by the female and pairs are thought to form for life. Courtship display begins with the female preparing the nest and is followed by the male crowing to advertise their territory. Crowing is usually done for long periods at dawn and dusk, but may also continue during the day.

stuff around—behave in a foolish, aimless manner: e.g., If he'd work for a living instead of stuffing around all day, the bloody dole-bludger, he and his family would be a lot better off.

stuff it!—exclamation of anger, frustration, contemptuous dismissal, rejection.

stuff (something) up—ruin, bungle (something): e.g., Every time I try to bake break, I stuff it up.

stuff-up—a ruined, spoiled, bungled situation.

stuffed—1. tired; exhausted; worn out. 2. broken; ruined; not functioning properly.

stuffed up—1. ruined; broken; not functioning properly. 2. made a mess of, ruined, bungled, spoiled (something, a situation). 3. having one's nasal passages blocked, as from a cold.

stukered—exhausted; worn out; tired; broken down.

stumblebum—a clumsy, inefficient person.

stumered—broke; having no money.

stumpstump—1. (cricket) each of the three uprights of a wicket. 2. (cricket—especially of a wicket-keeper) put (a batsman) out by touching the stumps with the ball while the batsman is out of the crease.

stump up—pay or produce the money required.

stump-jump plough—a plough designed to operate on land from which stumps have not been cleared.

stumps—end of the day's play in cricket.

stunned mullet—(see: like a stunned mullet).

Sturt, Captain Charles—a severe drought in New South Wales in 1826-8 led to the discovery of the Darling River. In 1818, an earlier explorer, Oxley, had been prevented by swamps from continuing his survey of the Macquarie River. Governor Darling, thinking that the prolonged drought might have dried up the swamps, appointed Captain Charles Sturt to complete Oxley's work. Sturt left Wellington, New South Wales in Dec 1828, and in Feb. 1829 reached a river that he named the Darling. On a later expedition, Sturt followed the Murrumbidgee River down to its junction with a river that he named the Murray.

Sturt National Park—covering 340,000ha of semi-desert country, the park is situated in the far western corner of New South Wales and protects an enormous, arid landscape of space and solitude. The rolling red-sand dunes of the Strzelecki desert ripple through the western section, graduating past surprising wetlands surrounded by white sands. Flat-topped mesas and fantastic views characterise the central Jump-Up country. Remnant gidgee woodland, the catchment system of the ephemeral Twelve-Mile Creek and gibber and grass-covered plains dominate the east, while 450-million-year-old granite tors surrounding Tibooburra form part of the southern boundary of the park.

Sturt Nat'l Park WetlandsSturt National Park Wetlands—comprise freshwater swamps and pans within the dunefields of Sturt National Park, which are seasonally inundated by local runoff. They are dominated by canegrass and are representative of canegrass claypans within dunefields. Sturt National Park protects an enormous arid landscape of space and solitude, from the rolling red sand dunes of the Strezlecki desert to the flat-topped mesas and the 450 million year old granite tors around Tibooburra.

Sturt Plateau—a bioregion comprising a gently undulating plain derived mostly from Tertiary laterite. Soils are predominantly neutral, sandy, red and yellow earths. There are a range of small wetlands associated with sinkholes and minor depressions in the generally flat landscape. The most extensive vegetation is eucalypt woodland (dominated by variable-barked bloodwood) with spinifex understorey. It includes the most extensive areas of the distinctive lancewood/bullwaddy vegetation, with associated fauna including the spectacled hare-wallaby. The Sturt Plateau marks part of the divide between eastward (to the Gulf of Carpentaria) and westward (to the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf) flowing watersheds.

Sturt's desert peaSwainsona formosa, in its natural habitat is a perennial plant with silky, grey-green pinnate foliage arising from prostrate stems. The leaves and stems are covered with downy hairs. The flowers are about 9cm long and arranged in clusters of six to eight on short, thick, erect stalks. The petals are usually blood red or scarlet with a glossy black swelling or 'boss' at the base of the uppermost petal, the standard. Other colour forms range from white to deep pink, either with or without a black boss, and rarely a bicoloured form. The fruit is a legume about 5cm long, which splits at maturity, releasing several flat, kidney-shaped seeds. Sturt's desert pea occurs in arid woodlands and on open plains, often as an ephemeral following heavy rain. It is able to withstand the marked extremes of temperature experienced in the inland deserts, and light frosts are tolerated by established plants. Sturt's desert pea is protected in South Australia. The flowers and plants must not be collected on private land without the written consent of the owner, and collection on Crown land is illegal without a permit.

Sturt's desert roseSturt's desert roseGossypium sturtianum is widely distributed in the interior of Australia and is the floral emblem of the Northern Territory. There are two varieties of G. sturtianum recognised; var. sturtianum and var. nandewarense. The latter differs from the more common form in the much more open growth habit of the shrub and the lighter green foliage. Its flowers are larger but considerably less abundant. This variety derives its name from the Nandewar range near Narrabri in north-eastern New South Wales. It is also known from another limited area in the vicinity of the Expedition Range in eastern Queensland. G. sturtianum is a shrub to about 1.5m in height with large, ovate leaves to about 40mm long. A characteristic feature of Gossypium is the presence of small, dark glands in most parts of the plant. These glands contain the substance gossypol which is toxic to non-ruminant animals. The flowers are hibiscus-like, pink to mauve in colour with a dark red centre and about 40mm in diameter. Flowers are seen for most of the year, with a peak in late winter.

Sturt’s journey to find the inland sea—early explorers believed that the westward-flowing rivers of the New South Wales interior led towards a vast inland sea. The question was answered in 1829-30, when Charles Sturt carried out one of the most heroic journeys in Australia's exploration history. Charles Sturt and his party hauled a whaling boat over the hills and sailed down the Murrumbidgee River, following its current to its confluence with the mighty Murray River. From there he continued downstream to the wide Lake Alexandrina near the South Australian coast. After traveling more than 1000km, they were within sight of the sea, but were unable to reach it. They had found the river mouth of the Murray which had so far been concealed from maritime explorers behind a huge sand bar area which today is known as the Coorongs. Sturt’s return journey, rowing upstream against swelling current, was an epic of endurance. Their 47 days’ rowing on meagre rations and against flood tides nearly ended in disaster to the party. Sturt himself was left temporarily blind. Nevertheless, the myth of an inland sea had been dispelled.Styx Valley

Styx Valley—home to the world's tallest hardwood trees, majestic swamp gums, which can grow up to 95m and over 400 years old. The Wilderness Society has been campaigning to protect the giants of the Styx Valley for many years. Some have recently been protected, but logging continues. For decades the valley was hidden from the public behind the locked gates of the logging industry. But now you have the chance to discover ancient rainforests, majestic mountains, the swirling waters of the Styx River, and the tallest hardwood trees in the world, Eucalyptus regnans. The secluded Styx Valley is less that two hours' drive west of Hobart, Tasmania.

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