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Boab Trees of Australia’s Kimberley Ranges

There are countless things I love about Australia, but above all else it's the array of wonderful animals and plants. A fabulous tree that can't help but draw attention is the mighty boab. I'll never forget the first time I saw one, while on a recent trip to the Kimberley Ranges in Australia's north, towering over the surrounding low-lying scrubby desert bush.

Boabs are a fascinating tree. Their flowers bloom only at night, last for just a matter of hours, and begin to wilt after sunrise. It's estimated that some of the oldest boab trees are at least 1500 years old. The diameter of the trunk has been known to exceed 5 metres and some boabs tower to 24 metres. Boabs are useful for bush tucker, they're a source of water, and offer much needed shelter. In the past they served as message boards, meeting places and campsites for Aborigines and Europeans alike.

According to legend, as passed on to us by a guide...

The boabs were the most beautiful tree ever created, with the tastiest fruit and the prettiest of flowers. But as the tree grew, the boab's constant boasting about its magnificence angered the Tree God so he pulled the boab out of the earth and rammed it back into the soil upside down as punishment.


Of course, boabs weren't the only things to wow about. Here are a few of the other wonderful animals and plants we encountered during our travels. And, I couldn't resist adding one more boab at at the end :-)

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