ON THE ROAD — 2750km from Darwin and 300km from central Adelaide is a treat for nature lovers — the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens. Among a wonderful, extensive and well labelled collection of plants of the desert a few water points concentrate birdlife. Zebra finches (Taenniopygia guttata) are found almost everywhere in Australia — except Tasmania, a few other southern locations and where Jan and I live in the Top End of the Northern Territory. The female (in lower picture) is not as brightly coloured as the males.