They make ’em big in Australia

I spent about a week in the Hunter Valley in Australia recently.  We did the obligatory winery visits, saw the Sydney Opera House and walked over the Harbour Bridge, but the highlight for me was the weather and the wildlife.  We hit 36 degrees (Celsius) on a couple of the days and encountered the following creatures…

They sure make them big in the lucky country.

A large arachnid hanging out in the sun
Well, something has to eat the big insects!
At least their garden-variety birds aren't shy
Their rats look very strange

It isn’t just the wildlife that is big.  Here is a shot of an open-cast coal mine near Singleton.  One of the pits can be seen in the background.  If I remember right, the dump truck on the right is a Komatsu 830E.  An adult comes up to about the middle of one of its wheels (here’s a flicker photo with someone standing beside one).  A used one will cost you a cool US$2.7M.

This is just one of many mines in the area.

Big holes in the ground and the machines that make them.

Truth be told, not everything is large.

A small woman inside a very small box

(she joked that this box was what she was shown when she enquired about a 2 person apartment in Tokyo).

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