Day 9 – John Wiltshire!
G’Day! It’s Day 9 of our Down Under Author Showcase and today’s featured writer is John Wiltshire. John is the author of contemporary fiction, action/suspense, romance, and much more. Check out his standalone stories and series along with our interview at the link above. There is his contest to enter and Down Under Scavenger word to find. Reviews of several of his stories follow his post. It’s a full day so lets get started with our Australia and New Zealand facts of the day.
Since a dog figures prominently in one of John’s series and in his life, I thought I would include it in today Aussie fact.
Australia Fun Fact of the Day:
Dingo or Warrigal, Wild Dog of Australia:
The origins of the dingo are obscure and there is much controversy. It is not truly native to Australia but is thought to have arrived between 3500 and 4000 years ago. Whatever its origins, the dingo was a highly valued companion to the Aborigines. They were hunting companions, guard dogs, the dingos kept them warm at night.
Some believe they were brought here on rafts or boats by the ancestral aborigines. It has also been suggested that they came with Indonesian or South-East Asian fishermen who visited the northern coast of Australia.
The dingo can be found in all areas of Australia – from harsh deserts to lush rainforests. The highly adaptable dingo is found in every habitat and every state of Australia, except Tasmania. In deserts, access to drinking water determines where the animal can live. Pure-bred Dingo numbers in the wild are declining as man encroaches deeper and deeper into wilderness areas, often accompanied by his domestic dog.
(Hmmm…did the dingo eat the baby?)
The dingo is different from the modern dog in several ways: it yelps and howls, but it does not bark, it has a different gait, and its ears are always erect. Dingos are naturally lean and they are usually cream to reddish-yellow with white points, some are black with tan points. An adult dingo stands more than 60cm high and weighs about 15kg. It is slightly smaller than a German Shepherd.
New Zealand Fun Fact of the Day
No Native New Zealand dogs. New Zealand has many unique native fish, insects, birds, lizards and frogs but the only native mammals are bats and marine mammals.
So onto other facts:
Caves with Stars – Glowworm Caves of Waitomo
Tourists flock underground to visit the unforgettable Waitomo Caves in New Zealand’s Waikato region to see the glowworms (fireflies). The Waitomo River runs underground through the caves, which natural light cannot reach. Tourists take boat trips along the river, where there are so many of these tiny insects high above that it creates a night-sky effect, with groups of glowworms looking like stars.