A Unique Bird in the Grandfather of Landscapes
Australia is the grandfather of continents. The European Alps, the Rocky Mountains and the Himalayas are mere teenagers, thrust skyward 50 million years ago and shaped by an ice age. Australia's mountain ranges are geological octagenarians in comparison, formed 600 million years ago, worn to the hilt, abraded and withered by eons of storms and rain.
Nowhere is Australia's antiquarian majesty better sensed than in the Flinders Ranges, where even the origins of life - fossils of the first symmetrical animals - have been unearthed. Even the existence of its more recent inhabitants have been shaped by the region's geological history.
We joined Peter Waanders in the Flinders Ranges and headed to Stokes Hill. At about 730m above sea level, it offers a commanding outlook over Wilpena Pound. It's a vast dome-shaped desert wilderness, with vegetation little more than knee-height, yet it's home to a unique bird endemic to these ranges - the Short-tailed Grasswren.
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