So many things amazed me on my recent trip to Alice Springs and Uluru - but the plant life and wildflowers were full of contrasts and often not what I was expecting.
The wattle here was on school grounds in Alice Springs - its our national floral emblem but they're pretty rare back home in Brisbane.
These fluffy pink wildflowers were in the middle of Walpa Gorge at Kata Tjuta (The Olgas).
And I spotted these crispy yellow ones on a sand dune near the Lake Amadeus salt flats.
And I really loved all the native grasses.
It's amazing to see these little plants survive in seemingly harsh conditions.
A bush plum at the base of Uluru.
Not exactly the Red Centre - the area has had much higher rainfall than average and apparently is the greenest it's been in ten years.
How can my pampered plants have problems when these wildflowers are thriving in the rock face at Simpson's Gap? It was mind-blowing to hear that they don't find any fossils in this area because the rock formations pre date dinosaurs by gazillions of years.
The huge cycads on the left below at Standley Chasm only form seeds to reproduce themselves every 150 years - so the plant forms would be largely unchanged since the Jurassic period.
And some classic Eucalyptus leaves against the Ochre Pits.