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Ellen Schmakeit travel page

Welcome to Ellen Schmakeit's Travel Page. Here is where I will be keeping a record of my travels for all of you to read. Please feel free to leave a comment for me and I will try to get back to you as soon as I can.

Diary Entries

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Location: Coober Pedy, Flinders Ranges., Australia


Days 50-57 (Coober Pedy, Lake Eyre, Flinders Ranges & Broken Hill)

The last week of our trip was great!

Coober Pedy was wonderful. It is the biggest opal mining town in the world. We had Mothers Day in Coober Pedy and it was great. We went out for lunch and went and saw a lot of opal mining places and opal shops (Mum got a Mothers Day opal for her Pandora bracelet). Coober Pedy was good although very different to a lot of other places I have seen.

Lake Eyre was amazing. It is said that Lake Eyre is the biggest lake in Australia. Lake Eyre is very, very salty and 99% of the time it does not have water in it but lucky for us we got to see a little bit of water in it before it goes away for another 12 years or so. We even got to splash around in the water there. Lake Eyre was a great place.

Flinders Ranges was very, very nice. It had like the same atmosphere of Twilight. The scenery was like America. It was so pretty but dark and just all green. We went to a lovely restaurant in Flinders Ranges and saw another good but different canyon. Flinders Ranges was very different but different in a good sort of way.

Broken Hill was fantastic. It is renowned to be the largest silver mining town in the world. We did and saw a lot of great things in Broken Hill. We saw a lot of great art gallery’s and even saw “The Big Picture” which is 100 meters long. It was amazing how big it is and how long it must of taken to paint. We went and saw a little town called Silverton, where people film a lot of action movies there like Mad Max. While we were at Broken Hill we even got to have a short visit to the chocolate factory, which of course was great and even more great when you leave with a bag full of chocolates.

We have had a great trip and have stayed and seen some amazing places and we are now heading home and can’t wait to see everyone!

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Location: Australia

Ellen – Days 45 – 48 (Kings Canyon, Uluru + Kata Tjuta)

We had a great time at Kings Canyon, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. It was a amazing.

Kings Canyon was fantastic. Climbing was a little scary and very rocky but the view was definitely worth it. It took us 2 hours to walk 6km on and around Kings Canyon.

Uluru was the best natural landscape I have seen so far. I couldn’t believe how big it is. You could see it from miles away. It just looks like heaps of really steep sand dunes. The Aborigines got the name Uluru from the family’s surname that traditibnally owned that land.

Kata Tjuta was great. It was also really big and very different to Uluru. Kata Tjuta used to be called the Olgas until Prime Minister Bob Hawke gave the land back to the Aborigines. When this happened they changedthe name back to its original aboriginal name of Kata Tjuta. In Aboriginal language Kata Tjuta means many heads.

It was very windy most of the days that we were at Uluru but eventually the wind died down and we were able to climb the rock. Climbing the rock was very scary but exiting. It was by far the steepest thing that I have ever climbed. I was freaked out most of the time climbing it because it was so high that its not funny!

We all tried our hardest but eventually Mum got a bit freaked out and went back down and continued taking pictures of Dad, Tom and I climbing the rock. Dad, Tom and I all climbed to the top of Uluru it was breathtaking! It was one of the best views I have ever seen. You could see all the way to the caravan park that we were staying at. it was so amazing that words couldn’t describe how good it was.

One day Mum and I went and did some Aboriginal art with an Aboriginal lady. It was a great experience. She taught us lots of Aboriginal meanings and signs and did some of the them in the sand. We had a great time painting our pictures. And at the end we had to tell everyone the story that we had painted.

For an early Mothers Day present we got Mum a flight on a helicopter around Uluru and Kata Tjuta. When she got back she said it was amazing! One of the best views she has ever seen. She said that they saw about 10 wild camels lying under a tree and the pilot drove right down near them and they jumped up and started running away. Mum said that it was a great Mothers Day present.

At Kata Tjuta we went on a walk through the Valley of the Winds which was very windy but a great view.

While we were at Uluru we went to a flash buffet restaurant for dinner and breakfast. The food was lovely until I tried kangaroo. Kangaroo was disgusting. I have never tried anything like it. Dad thought it was really good!

I had a great time at those 3 places I can’t believe we’ve only got less than 2 weeks to go!

Sunday, 03 May 2009

Location: Alice Springs, Australia

We left Kakadu ready to start a new adventure in Alice Springs!

We started heading towards Mataranka to stay the night. We stopped at Katherine for some lunch while we were there Mum got the didgeridoo that she had wanted.

After the night at Mataranka we headed towards the Devils Marbles for the night. The Devils Marbles was really fun and it was surprising how many boulders there actually are. That night we layed on a bench and looked up at the stars. Tomorrow was another big adventure.


Alice Springs was lovely. We did lots of things there and they were all very interesting and fun.

One of the days we went to Alice Springs Desert Park. It was really fun and interesting. An Aboriginal man taught us how they made bush tucker and how they made and used the spears. In the afternoon we also went on a camel ride through the desert. It was really scary at first but I got used to it. The camel that I rode on was called Anna she was called Anna because the owners friend that was also called Anna had a bit of a late night out and fell over and knocked her front tooth out. And while Anna the camel was getting trained when she was little she also fell over and knocked the same front tooth out as the owners friend Anna did. So that’s why they called her Anna the camel. After the camel ride we had to feed the camels. We put all the green grassy hay into one big steel box and they all came over to eat. They were all very hungry and crowded the box very fast. There was one camel that was a bit slow and couldn’t get any food so I hand fed it some hay and I ended up getting a little bit close and it nearly bit my finger off.

Another time we went to see some stations and some old houses that were built in the mining days. They were very dusty but it was interesting how they made them. That day we also went to the East MacDonnell Ranges where we saw the Trephina Gorge, which was cool. The next day we went to the West MacDonnell Ranges and saw the Standley Chasm, the Ochre Pits and the Ormiston Gorge. They were all very good and very, very interesting. That night we stayed at the Glen Helen Resort and left our caravan at the caravan park in Alice Springs. The resort was ok but not as good as I expected it to be because Dad told us that it was going to be a five star resort and it didn’t even have a TV. We had a lovely dinner there and then listened to some fantastic music. The musician played the Mandolin, Violin, Guitar, Mouth Organ and he was fantastic at playing the spoons. In the morning we went to Palm Valley, which the road was very rocky and a pain. We also went for a walk there and saw the red palms that are found nowhere else in the world. Then we drove home and had a relaxing afternoon.

So Alice Springs was very nice but different to how I thought it might be.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Location: Australia

Ellen - Days 32 – 36 (Kakadu)

We spent 6 nights at Kakadu National Park and it was amazing!
First we stayed at a place called Kakadu Lodge which was in the Jabiru region. Then for a day we went to have a look at Ubirr Rock which is in the East Alligator region. We went and saw some aboriginal rock art and some great escarpments overlooking the Arnhem Land wetlands. The rock art was the best rock art that I had seen all trip it was wonderful and the escarpments were fantastic! We climbed right the top and the view was magnificent! Mum and I both agreed that it had been one of the best places that we had been to all trip. After we went back to our camping spot in the Jabiru region.

When we were heading to go to the Yellow Water region to stay for a few nights we stoped at a place called the Nourlangie and went for a lovely bush walk there. We saw some rock art and climbed another big escarpment there, which was beautiful.

The Yellow Water region of Kakadu was really pretty.
One of the things we went on was a cruise of Yellow Water billabong. It was really nice, but sooo early. First we had to wake up at 5:30am to get ready to go on the first cruise of the morning.

The cruise was lovely and it was definitely worth waking up so early in the morning even though I was so tired and pretty much lying on Dad the whole time. We saw some crocs and some really pretty birds and flowers in and around the waters of the billabong. The pair of Jabiru’s we saw nesting high up in a tree were really amazing, they are a really beautiful large bird and are Australia’s only stork.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Location: Darwin, Australia

Ellen - Days 27-31 (Darwin)

On day 27 we left Litchfield National Park and headed to Darwin.
We spent four nights in Darwin and had lots of fun doing exciting things that we have never done before. One of the things that we did was we went to a crocodile park it was called “Crocosaurus Cove”. There were very big crocs there and some were up to 6m long and they were very fat. We watch them do the croc feeding and also saw the fish feeding in their little aquarium that they had. There were also heaps of little crocs there all in one tank that were about 5 or 6 years old. Then there were the baby crocs in another tank, in which you could stick your head up through some glass domes and look at them. They also had turtles and croc eggs there but you couldn’t touch them. They had a reptile museum there too which was also very interesting. While we were there Tom and I held a baby croc, which was very soft and easy to handle. We also did some swimming with the 5 to 6 year old crocs (we were swimming in a tank next to them which had no crocs in it but it made it look like we were in with them). I had heaps of fun there.

Another place we went to in Darwinwas a museum. There was a lot of aboriginal art there but you couldn’t take pictures. Then there were some different facts about the animals they have in NT, mainly the sea life. There was also a section about Cyclone Tracey and a lot of tragic things that happened to people and there actual homes that Cyclone Tracey hit. Then there were some things telling you about crocodiles and the difference between salt and fresh water crocs. We also saw a section on boats, which was very interesting because they had boats and canoes from all different Asian countries. I read one story that some people from an Asian country wanted to go on a 1 day trip in a canoe and ended up going for 10 days and on the last day found themselves in the NT because there was a storm the fist night and the tiny canoe went through rough seas and oceans and ended up in NT.

The museum also had a famous croc in it, which was called “Sweetheart” and she was about 6m long and very, very fat.

Something else that was good in Darwin was the shopping. They had a big shopping centre there, which was like a Melbourne shopping centre. It was great. We also went to a market which was good but it was stinking hot, I even had to buy a fan.

Something else we saw in Darwin was a pearling museum, which showed how they found, collected and cleaned the pearls. They were very pretty and it was interesting to listen to.

Last but not least we went to a water park there, which was for free. They had 3 big slides, a pool and a little water park, which was like the one in White Water World. It was lots and lots of fun there. As we left Darwin to head to Kakadu we stoped at a place to watch jumping crocodiles in the wild. First I saw a really big boat and was pretty sure that the crocs couldn’t jump as high as it then when we went to go on the boat we went straight past the big one and on to a little boat on which the sides were so short!

It was not long till we saw a wild 4m croc lying next to the boat. It was pretty cool seeing the crocs jump for the meat but it was also very scary. After the croc feeding was done and we were heading back to the jetty we saw heaps of birds flying around the boat. Amongst the birds there was a large white sea eagle swooping around the boat. Then the girl who had just finished feeding the crocodiles tied some meat to the pole and held it up high for the eagle to grab. A few seconds later the eagle swooped down with his large wings wide open and grabbed the fresh buffalo meat from the pole in one great hit! It was amazing.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Location: Australia

Ellen day 20 - 26 ( Edith falls, Daly River & Litchfield)

On day 20 we drove from Katherine to Edith Falls. At Edith Falls there was a swimming spot which had a big waterfall. It was really nice. We swam all around the swimming spot and saw heaps of fishes. There were some trees there that the Jawoyn (local Aboriginal) people call Menyjel (men-yell) that is also called the Freshwater Mangrove. The Jawoyn people used it for fish poison. Firstly they would rip off some bark and crush it up and place it in small water holes then the fish would float to the surface of the water then they can take whatever they need and leave. The water hole may not be used until it is flushed out by rain or you can simply get your kids to run around in the water hole and flush it out so the fish become unparalysed. At night we laid outside on the grass starring up at the clouds. We couldn’t get to sleep that night because it was so hot especially because they don’t have powered sites so we couldn’t turn the air conditioner on.

On day 21 we drove from Edith falls to the Daly River where we camped at a place that had a mango farm. We spent 4 days at the Daly and most of the days the boys went fishing while mum and I relaxed around the pool and read. On Easter we got some chocolates, a book and some money. On the last day at the Daly Tom and Dad caught some really big fish. They caught 2 barramundi 1 each and they were both over 55cm, Toms was 85cm which is really big. They also caught King Salmon which was pretty big. They tasted beautiful. We had some for dinner the night that they caught them.

On that same night while we were sleeping we had some visitors in the caravan. I woke straight up when I felt wet foot prints on my face. I straight away went and told mum and dad what I thought was in the caravan. I said to them that I thought that there were frogs in my bed. Mum and dad immediately thought that I was dreaming but I knew that I wasn’t so I jumped in bed with mum. A while later mum woke up and said she felt something, then I did too. We turned the light on and oh my god there were frogs everywhere. Mum let out a big squeal while I was rubbing it in and saying I told you so. Then Dad and Tom woke up. Dad chucked out most of the frogs. We didn’t get much sleep for the rest of the night. In the morning we realised that there were cracks in the canvass ends where we sleep and that must be how the frogs got in.

On day 25 we drove from the Daly River to Litchfield National Park. On the day that we got to Litchfield there was a little bit of a power failure right after we had lunch at the local pub. After about 2 hours the power came back on. When we got to our camp spot we unpacked and relaxed for the afternoon.

The next day (day 26 ) we drove around and had a look at some beautiful waterfalls and swimming spots. The first waterfall we went to was called Wangi Falls. we couldn’t swim here but it was really pretty to look at. The next Waterfall that we went to was called Tolmer Falls. You couldn’t swim there either but you could take good photos from a platform up above. The next one we went to was called Florence falls. This one you could swim at and it was very nice after a big walk to get there. We had lunch there too. It was really cool we did swimming and snorkelling with the big school of Sooty Grunter fish that lived there in the crystal clear water. The next place we went to was called Buley Rockholes which was really cool. There were heaps of rock holes and they were so deep. There were little waterfalls there too and I swam under them. I also jumped off rocks into the deep water it was so much fun. Last but not least we went to the termite mounds that were called magnetic termite mounds. They ran north south and were very thin not round and fat like other termite mounds. After a big day of swimming we went home to relax.

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Recent Messages

From lily
To elly you havent mist the spots carnivel see you soon love from lil
Response: Thanks Lil see you soon, love Ellie
From meg
hey elle! sounds like ur having a great time and i dont think id like kangaroo either!! schools ok and i still havn't got my hip hop shoes! been thinking of u. c u when u get back.
Response: Hi Meg, thanks for your note, see you next week, can't wait. Ellie X
From Judy Darby
Hi Elle,
I can't believe that you are on your final week. We miss u. Luv the stories and pictures. See u real sonn. Hi to Mum. All good back here.
XX The Darby's
Response: Hi Darby's it won't be long now before we are home, can't wait to see you then. Ellie X
From milly
hi ellie!
you look like you are having heaps of fun
5/6b misses you and tom lots
love milly
p.s when are you coming back?
Response: Hi Milly, thanks for writing, see you in a week. Ellie X
From Mamma, Poppa and Zoe
Hey Ellie,
Zoes just showing us your site and it looks like your having a magnificent time.
Hope your having fun
Love Mamma, Poppa and Zoe Darby!
Response: Hey Mamma, Poppa and zo
hope your having a great time thanx for writing to me can't wait to see u
luv elle
From meg g
hi elle i was just wondering where u were today on mothers day. have been looking at ur pics and reading about whats been happening. sounds like u r having a great time!!! its been raining here and u haven't missed too much at school. jaime, shanaye and jessica have joined hip hop. talk 2 u soon.
Response: hey meg
great to hear from u im at Coober Pedy having a great time. good that jamie, shanaye and jesica joined that means you know more people. miss u heaps less than two weeks to go
From brooke
to ellen having a great time the qantas musmem sounds great class is missing you guys see you soon bye
Response: Hi brooke
thanx for writing to me can't wait to see the class see u soon
From Trace
Hi Bell you are strong but I don't know if you would ever shift those boulders.Hi to mum and dad xxxx
Response: Hey Trace,
thanx for writing to me miss u heaps. i too don't think i could move those bolders. hope your having fun. hope to see u soon
luv bell
From Bronwyn
Hi Ellie and Tom. What an amazing trip you are having. Told Mrs Egan about the frogs in your bed. She was jealous. The photos and the descriptions you write of your trip are fantastic. 6 weeks without tv Tom, sounds like your struggling. Watching the stars laying on that bench would be better than anything on TV. Was going to see Kane and Lara in the holidays but Kane hurt his foot and couldn't walk so they didn't come. Enjoy the rest of your trip, (how could you not) can't wait to see you both.

Love Bronwyn
Response: Hi Bronwyn,
Great to hear from you. We're having a great time. thats bad that Kane hurt his foot maby you can see them another time. Can't wait to see you and the class miss you guys
love elle and tom
From Jack Hawko
Hey Ellie sorry I haven't sent much lately. Anyway we were due to have our Athletics Carnival Today as usual it was postponed.
I like that Aboriginal Gathering Bowel !!! LOL!!! What was it used for though ???? Did they all like take turns eating food out of it?
Miss u
Hawko Boi
Response: Hey Jack
great to hear from you. maby i will be back before the running carnival starts. miss u guys elle
From Mrs Bower
Hi guys, I have sent you a few meassages, but they don't seem to have gone through to you. Hope u are still having an awesome time, we all miss u here at S.P.P.S. Travel safely, Mrs Bower ;)
Response: Hi Mrs Bower and 5/6 B,
We are having a awesome time but do miss you all,
can't wait to see you all in about three weeks. ellie xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
From hayden
whats up girl mad pictures rox on hope u are having a super super super time from hades

ROX ON !!!!!!!!!!
Response: Hi Hayden,
Thanks for your message we are having a great time! Thanks Ellie
hi elle i hope you are having a great trip. I would not like frogs in bed with me any night

Response: Thanks Nath for your message. I am having a great time and yes I love frogs, just not int my bed and neither does mum. Say hi to everyone! Ellie x
From Tracey
Hi Ell
How great it's been to read all about your wonderful adventures.I love all the photos and your stories are fantastic.We have finally had our internet connected last night it has been along time coming after our move.The boys will spend some time catching up and will be in touch shortly.Keep enjoying yourself Bell xxx
Response: Hi Trace,
Miss you can't wait to catch up. Thanks for your message. Ellie xxxxx
From jesse, lillie, belin
Hey whats happening hope your enjoying your trip it looks REALLY fun wish i went!
love your photos drive safe see you all soon
Response: Hi guy's,
Thanks for writing and keeping up with our adventures. We can't wait to catch up with you guys and show you all our pics. Thanks Ellie xxxx
Mum and Dad says hi too
From Mrs Bower : )
Wow! What an amazing time you guys are having. You must be getting really fit with all that walking you are doing. Those termites are pretty clever little creatures aren't
they, the way they build their mounds. I wonder if you're reading the 'Twilight' books like all of the girls in our class?? They're very popular at S.P.P.S. right now! OOOOhhh those naughty little froggies. The only person I can think of who might be happy with them in her bed is Mrs Egan! When we did the croc feeding tour in Darwin we saw lots of whistling kites around the boat, but not an eagle - how lucky! 5/6B are all hoping that you didn't like the School of the Air too much, cause we miss you and Tom lots. I better go & get organised for school tomorrow, some of have to do school work every day around here! Say hi to your mum & dad & I hope they are having a fabulous time like you & Tom seem to be from your diary entries & photos. P.S. We have received both of your postcards (thanks!) and might I say you are very brave to be holding that croc!! Chat soon, Mrs B ;)
Response: Hi Mrs Bower,
Thanks for your message, we tryed to answer you back about a week ago and the message did'nt send. I am reading Twilight and so did mum, I also brought the movie to watch. Yes Mrs Egan would like the frogs, I did to just not in my bed. Have been doing our homework but still hav'ent finished it. That's Ok isn't it. No just joking!
Can't wait to see everyone soon. Ellie, Tom xxxxx
From Roger & family
Hi guys.....
Sounds like your all having a ball. Must be great.....looks like you are making good progress, your paln says you should be at Tennent Creek by now?? Then on to Devils Marbles. Have printed your blog for the kids to read, take care lots of love Roger & family
Response: Hi Uncle Roger, Aunty Sally, Zach and Ella,
We are having heaps of fun, we are in Alice Springs then we go to the Rock. Devils Marbles was awesome. Keep watching Ellie x Mum, Dad and Tom says hi!
From meg g
hi elle. i was just wondering when u were coming back?? hoping 2 see u soon!
Response: Hi Meggy Not to long now. About 3 weeks. Miss you to. Ellie xxx
From The Whitty's SWR
Hi Ellie,loving your diary wish i was doing the trip as well,keep us posted,read you soon.
Response: Hi Kim, Tim, Mitch & Jake,
Great to hear from you all .Yes we are all having
Cheers Smacks xxx
From kaelyn
hey guys i lol when i saw the photo when tom fell in the baby rabitt holes . And did u get my last message 5\6b misses u guys . Also u look realy good on your photos u should be a model any way talk to u soon kaelyn
Response: Thanks for your message I also miss 5/6 but am having lots of fun. See you when I get back. Ellie
From meg g
hey elle. im at back rom queenslandand at forster now on my cuz's laptop. hope ur ur having lots of fun!!
Response: Hi Meggy,
Miss you, hope you had a good holiday. Still having a great time. Can't wait to see you ellie xxxx
From Zoe
the frogs- i would have hated that!!!! must have been a downer but i still bet ur having fun :)
u will be home soon and im really looking forward to that because i miss u more and more everyday. Expecially because its holidays and i usually hang out with u every yr!!! oh well only like 3 weeks left
miss u lots and lots and lots and lots ect
luv Zoe
ily :D
Response: Hi Zo Zo,
miss u too. i didn't like those frogs at all they were horrible!!!
hope your having a good time luv elle
p.s it is sooooo hot up here and i go for a swim every day and even the pool is warm!
From lily
to elly hope you had a great time at easter i bet you are having a fabe time on your holiday we are missing you keep up the great photos your little friend was so cute i bet you have had fun with your little friend whitch place did you find it has it been raning up were you are it's been raning up at soldiers point we wen't camping up at dungog we were staying right near the derm we were staying there at easter we were there with our cousins and friends love lil
Response: hey lil
thanx for writing to me. miss you heaps it is't raining here it is actually stinking hot up here and we go for a swim every day. i hope u had fun at Dungog
luv elle xxx
From aunty bin
hi Ell Im so jeolous of all the good things you are seeing and doing, sounds so fun.Whats been the best part so far ? thinking of you all keep safe ,miss you Elle luv for now.Aunty Bin and Lill..xxoo

Response: hey Aunty Bin and Lill
thanx for writing to me. i've had a great time and the best part has been the rock pools it is awsome!
miss you heaps
luv elle xxx
From Lara and family
Glad to hear you are having a wonderful time sleeping with frogs!
Hope you also had a great Easter and got to eat lots of chocolate.
We are going to Sydney next week, so will write again before school goes back.
lots of love.
Response: hey Lara
thanx for writing to me. i having so much fun but i didn't have fun when there were frogs in my bed it was gross! hope you had fun in sydney
luv elle xxx