|08 September 2008
|In March this year we released the international stamp issue Gorgeous
Australia, highlighting four dramatic gorges cut deep into the land. In this
companion issue we showcase four waterfalls from around the country. The
$1.40 and $2.05 stamps, depicting Russell Falls and Jim Jim Falls, are also
available in pictorial special occasion booklets.|
Tucked away with Australia
Russell Falls, Tasmania:
The popular Russell Falls, in Tasmania's Mt Field National Park, is located some 60 kilometres north-west of Hobart. Nestled among lofty trees and
thick ferns, the waterfall is bathed in emerald-green light filtered through
the canopy of this lush bush site. The exquisite tiered waterfall has two
main drops of around 15 metres each, above which are smaller rock faces.
The tiered walls are composed of horizontally bedded marine Permian
Originally named Browning Falls, after being sighted by a settler of that
name in 1856, the waterfall's name was changed to Russell Falls in 1884,
in honour of a member of an exploration party that travelled up the Derwent
Valley. It was declared Tasmania's first nature reserve in 1885.
Jim Jim Falls, Northern Territory:
Jim Jim Falls is in the heart of the Northern Territory's Kakadu National Park, an extraordinary area that has been World Heritage listed for its natural and cultural heritage. The falls is named for Andjimjim, the Water Pandanus (Pandanus aquaticus) associated with permanent freshwater, and is sited on the Jim Jim Creek. The waters tumble over the wall of the Arnhem Land escarpment to create the majestic 200-metre waterfall.
Jim Jim's waters flow well during the wet season, thundering over the
massive drop of the escarpment. During the dry season - when Jim Jim Falls
can be reached by a 60-kilometre four-wheel-drive track and a short walk
- the waters run only at a trickle or cease to flow at all. As the perspective
in the stamp design indicates, the photograph was taken during the wet
season. At this time of the year a helicopter is essential in viewing the falls.
Spa Pool, Hamersley Gorge, Western Australia:
Tucked away in Hamersley Gorge, in Western Australia's Karijini National
Park, is the Spa Pool, the waters of which run from the southern branch
of the Fortescue River. This small waterfall and pool is distinguished by
its tranquil ambience rather than its grandeur, with the pool cupped by
spectacular banded-iron rock formations. The rains fall in this tropical semidesert area between November and March, and the waters flow for several months before drying up completely.
MacKenzie Falls, Victoria:
MacKenzie Falls is one of four waterfalls in the MacKenzie Gorge, which
has been cut by a river of the same name running through the Grampians, or
Gariwerd, National Park in western Victoria. MacKenzie falls is the largest
and most popular of the park's falls, and unlike many waterfalls in Australia
it generally flows year-round. During the winter months its waters plummet
dramatically over a wall of around 30 metres, sending up a spray of fine
mist; in the summer it is a more modest affair. The park is jointly managed
by Parks Victoria and its traditional owners, for whom the waterfall is
significant as the site of the Black Fish dreaming.
Bushfires swept through the park in 2006, devastating many areas and much
wildlife, and impacting on tracks and lookouts to MacKenzie Falls. Access to
the falls has since been restored and this area continues to attract visitors.