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Found 7 results

  1. I spent a few days in Australia with my son last month. He lives near Noosa, on the south-east Queensland coast. We decide to load up his 4 wheel-drive truck and head up to the world's largest sand island for 3 days. Rather surprisingly (for me at least) what we found was a landscape covered in native forest, clear lakes to swim in, deserted beaches and some wildlife.
  2. There is a lot of love for African wild dogs on Safaritalk. I'm sure there must be images of dingos but a brief search hasn't found any. So with apologies I offer a few from a recent trip to Fraser Island.
  3. These photos were taken today around Elderslie in southern Tasmania. Brown Falcon Laughing kookaburra
  4. Ever since my father almost took a job in Perth when I was 9 or 10, I’ve been intrigued by the country. I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Australia since roughly 2007, but have always had a difficult time coordinating our schedules to have sufficient time to get a decent (3+ weeks) amount of time to appreciate the county. Last year it finally worked out, and we were able to arrange 24 nights Down Under. Because we were going in the Southern Hemisphere winter (end of July through most of August), I decided to focus primarily on warmer destinations. I also wanted to focus on more wilderness areas than cities, since to me that is of more interest, and in many cases represents the more unique parts of countries. Since I’d been planning for so long, I had ended up with a fairly well-researched plan, which ended up being as follows: 1 night Los Angeles as a stopover 1 night en-route over the Pacific 7 nights Port Douglas, in tropical Queensland 8 nights in the Top End (1 night Darwin, 1 night Batchelor, 2 nights Katherine, 1 night Cooinda, 2 nights Jabiru, and 1 night Darwin) 5 nights in the Red Centre (2 nights Alice Springs, 1 night Kings Canyon, 2 nights Uluru) 4 nights Sydney With this itinerary, we were able to see some of the well-known natural sites in Oz, including the Great Barrier Reef; the Daintree Rainforest, which is known as the oldest rainforest in the world; Kakadu National Park; and Uluru and Kata-Tjuta. We did spend a lot of time outdoors, and certainly spent a fair amount of time in the wild, but this certainly wasn’t a safari as you’d get in Africa or India. However, hopefully this report will be of interest to some people here. I should also point out that a lot of my favourite wildlife pictures have already been posted in the appropriate “Show us your…” threads, so some of those won’t be new on this site. Also, I’m going to write this semi-chronologically, but will jump around a bit if I think it helps the narrative. Having said that, let’s get this started.
  5. Although a lot of people visit Australia to spend time in cities like Sydney and Melbourne that's not why I go. In fact apart from arriving and leaving from the airport I try not spend any time there at all. For me the attraction is all those unspoilt wide open spaces and when you enjoy wide open spaces as much as I do then there are few places that can compare with Australia. I've visited Australia almost every year since 1988 and although the in the early years my trips were work related and a little too centred on the main cities; now each visit is an opportunity to explore the vast expanses of Australia's interior. The High Country. The High Country encompasses the magnificent cattle country of north eastern Victoria and crosses over into south western New South Wales. Throughout our journey, although we were travelling in one of the world's most advanced nations, I was constantly amazed at how few people and vehicles we saw and just how remote the locations were. Tag Along The Tag Along is quite a popular concept in Australia. In simple terms it is a group of people using their own vehicles to travel together in a loose convoy. Each driver gets the thrill of driving their own vehicle along remote tracks they might not be adventurous enough to tackle alone whilst the organiser is responsible for the route and also for managing the accommodation and catering. Whilst there are companies that arrange this sort of trip on a commercial basis, we were just a group of mates who enjoyed travelling together. The concept worked incredibly well for us in the Kimberley last year and so, the same group of people decided to do it again this year. The Man from Snowy River Bush Festival Although our goal is to explore some of Australia's lesser known regions, the first stop for us this year was something of an exception; we were going to begin our trip in the town of Corryong; the venue for the annual Man From Snowy River Bush Festival. The Man from Snowy River" is a poem by Australian bush poet Banjo Paterson. It was first published in The Bulletin, an Australian news magazine, on 26 April 1890, and was published by Angus & Robertson in October 1895, with other poems by Paterson, in The Man from Snowy River, and Other Verses. The poem tells the story of a horseback pursuit to recapture the colt of a prizewinning racehorse that escaped from its paddock and is living with the brumbies (wild horses) of the mountain ranges. Eventually the brumbies descend a seemingly impassably steep slope, at which point the assembled riders give up the pursuit, except the young hero, who spurs his "pony" (horse) down the "terrible descent" to catch the mob. At the start of the 20th Century, legends like The Man From Snowy River were all key parts of the process of a new nation finding its identity. I should confess here that if I was ever asked to be a guest on the BBC's Desert Island Discs and they asked what book I would take with me, it would be The Man from Snowy River and other poems by Banjo Paterson. (I'd want something I could read over and over again.) For most of the year, the population of Corryong is in the region of 1400 people but at festival time this number grows significantly. All the nearby hotels and regular campsites are full and the town golf course and the racecourse of nearby Towong are co-opted as temporary campsites. This is where we didn't camp There were over 1000 pitches sold on the golf course alone this year and the number of attendees was estimated to be between 7,000 – 12,000 depending on who I asked. I didn't have any real idea of what to expect other than lots of horses and people cowboy hats. There were plenty of both. Luckily for us, we didn't have to contend with the crowds as we were going to be camping on the farm of a friend or Pat's. Once we had all assembled we met up with Max (the farmer) who led us to a delightful spot on the banks of the Murray river. Mal tries his hand at fishing feeling very smug that we have such a wonderful place all to ourselves For those of you who have seen the shallow muddy waters of the Murray as it meanders through towns like Swan Hill, Echuca and Mildura, I can assure you it looked nothing like that here. Here it was fast flowing and crystal clear; having flowed down from the Snowy Hydro scheme at nearby Khancoban. (more on that later). We'd been advised by friends who attended the festival before that we should head into town for the parade that marked the start of the festival. It was clearly a high point in the year for Corryong's residents and they were out in all their finery to watch. I guess it was not that much different to parades held in other towns around the world but for someone from outside Australia it was interesting to see how the region's history was reflected with tributes to both Australian troops (the Diggers) and also the towns agricultural heritage with many lovingly restored vehicles on show. It was not really my scene, nor really the subject for a TR, but such was the enthusiasm of everyone taking part that it was impossible not to be impressed and after this build up I was very keen to see what the festival itself would entail.
  6. I knew it wasn't going to be hot when I visited Australia's High Country (northern Victoria & South Western NSW) but I didn't expect this. It was Autumn and we should have enjoyed sunny days and cold nights but as soon as we entered the Snowy River NP and then the Snowy Mountains I realised that my swag might not be the most suitable place to sleep.

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