Brisbane in Queensland

22 October 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Queenslander architecture © Kgbo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Queenslander architecture © Kgbo/cc-by-sa-4.0

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city of Queensland and the third-most populous city in Australia and Oceania, with a population of approximately 2.6 million. Brisbane lies at the centre of South East Queensland, which includes several other regional centres and cities. The central business district is situated within a peninsula of the Brisbane River about 15 km (9 mi) from its mouth at Moreton Bay. Brisbane is located in the hilly floodplain of the Brisbane River Valley between Moreton Bay and the Taylor and D’Aguilar mountain ranges. It sprawls across several local government areas, most centrally the City of Brisbane. The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanite.   read more…

The Ghan

27 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Bon voyage, Hotels Reading Time:  9 minutes

The Ghan at Alice Springs © Bahnfrend/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Ghan at Alice Springs © Bahnfrend/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Ghan is an experiential tourism-oriented passenger train service that operates between the northern and southern coasts of Australia, through the cities of Adelaide, Alice Springs and Darwin on the Adelaide–Darwin rail corridor. Operated by Journey Beyond Rail Expeditions, its scheduled travelling time, including extended stops for passengers to do off-train tours, is 53 hours 15 minutes to travel the 2,979 kilometres (1,851 mi). The Ghan has been described as one of the world’s great passenger trains.   read more…

Alice Springs in Australia

12 August 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  11 minutes

© Bahnfrend/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Bahnfrend/cc-by-sa-4.0

Alice Springs (Eastern Arrernte: Mparntwe), is the third-largest town in the Northern Territory, Australia. The name Alice Springs was given by surveyor William Whitfield Mills after Alice, Lady Todd (née Alice Gillam Bell), wife of the telegraph pioneer Sir Charles Todd. Known colloquially as ‘The Alice’ or simply ‘Alice’, the town is situated roughly in Australia’s geographic centre. It is nearly equidistant from Adelaide and Darwin. The area is also known locally as Mparntwe to its original inhabitants, the Arrernte, who have lived in the Central Australian desert in and around what is now Alice Springs for tens of thousands of years.   read more…

Coober Pedy in Australia, opal capital of the world

14 February 2023 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Architecture Reading Time:  9 minutes

Coober Pedy opal at the South Australian Museum © Bahudhara/cc-by-sa-3.0

Coober Pedy opal at the South Australian Museum © Bahudhara/cc-by-sa-3.0

Coober Pedy is a town in northern South Australia, 846 km (526 mi) north of Adelaide on the Stuart Highway. The town is sometimes referred to as the “opal capital of the world” because of the quantity of precious opals that are mined there. Coober Pedy is renowned for its below-ground dwellings, called “dugouts“, which are built in this fashion due to the scorching daytime heat. The name “Coober Pedy” is thought to derive from the Aboriginal term kupa-piti, which means “whitefellas’ hole”, but in 1975 the local Aboriginal people of the town adopted the name Umoona, which means “long life” and is also their name for the mulga tree. In the 2016 Australian census, there were 1,762 people in Coober Pedy.   read more…

Port Arthur in Tasmania

15 August 2022 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  16 minutes

Port Arthur Prison Colony site © Mdhowe

Port Arthur Prison Colony site © Mdhowe

Port Arthur is a town and former convict settlement on the Tasman Peninsula, in Tasmania, Australia. It is located approximately 97 kilometres (60 mi) southeast of the state capital, Hobart. The site forms part of the Australian Convict Sites, a World Heritage property consisting of 11 remnant penal sites originally built within the British Empire during the 18th and 19th centuries on fertile Australian coastal strips. Collectively, these sites, including Port Arthur, are described by UNESCO as “… the best surviving examples of large-scale convict transportation and the colonial expansion of European powers through the presence and labour of convicts.” Port Arthur is located about 97 km (60 mi) southeast of the state capital, Hobart, on the Tasman Peninsula. The scenic drive from Hobart, via the Tasman Highway to Sorell and the Arthur Highway to Port Arthur, takes around 90 minutes. Transport from Hobart to the site is also available via bus or ferry, and various companies offer day tours from Hobart. At the 2016 census, Port Arthur had a population of 251. This was down from 499 in 2006. Port Arthur was named after George Arthur, the lieutenant governor of Van Diemen’s Land. The settlement started as a timber station in 1830, but it is best known for being a penal colony.   read more…

Palm Beach in New South Wales

30 December 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  7 minutes

© flickr.com - Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

© flickr.com – Alex Proimos/cc-by-2.0

Palm Beach is a suburb in the Northern Beaches region of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Palm Beach is located 41 kilometres (25 mi) north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Northern Beaches Council. Palm Beach sits on a peninsula at the end of Barrenjoey Road, between Pittwater and Broken Bay. The population of Palm Beach is at 1,600.   read more…

Sydney in New South Wales

19 November 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  10 minutes

Chatswood to Sydney CBD © Mark Merton/cc-by-sa-4.0

Chatswood to Sydney CBD © Mark Merton/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sydney is the capital city of the state of New South Wales, and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia’s east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, spread across 33 local government areas. Residents of the city are known as “Sydneysiders”. As of June 2020, Sydney’s estimated metropolitan population was 5,367,206, meaning the city is home to approximately 66% of the state’s population. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history, such as the ‘Emerald City‘ and the ‘Harbour City’.   read more…

Port Jackson in Sydney

28 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  8 minutes

Sydney central business district © flickr.com - Ian Geddes/cc-by-2.0

Sydney central business district © flickr.com – Ian Geddes/cc-by-2.0

Port Jackson, consisting of the waters of Sydney Harbour, Middle Harbour, North Harbour and the Lane Cove and Parramatta Rivers, is the ria or natural harbour of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. The harbour is an inlet of the Tasman Sea (part of the South Pacific Ocean). It is the location of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge. The location of the first European settlement and colony on the Australian mainland, Port Jackson has continued to play a key role in the history and development of Sydney. Port Jackson, in the early days of the colony, was also used as a shorthand for Sydney and its environs. Thus, many botanists, see, e.g, Robert Brown‘s Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae et Insulae Van Diemen, described their specimens as having been collected at Port Jackson. Many recreational events are based on or around the harbour itself, particularly Sydney New Year’s Eve celebrations. The harbour is also the starting point of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The waterways of Port Jackson are managed by Transport for NSW. Sydney Harbour National Park protects a number of islands and foreshore areas, swimming spots, bushwalking tracks and picnic areas.   read more…

Melbourne City in Australia

13 October 2021 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  10 minutes

Melbourne's Central Business District © Melbpal/cc-by-sa-4.0

Melbourne’s Central Business District © Melbpal/cc-by-sa-4.0

Melbourne is the capital and most-populous city of the Australian state of Victoria, and the second-most populous city in both Australia and Oceania. Its name generally refers to a 9,993 km²(3,858 sq mi) metropolitan area known as Greater Melbourne, comprising an urban agglomeration of 31 local municipalities, although the name is also used specifically for the local municipality of City of Melbourne based around its central business area. The city occupies much of the northern and eastern coastlines of Port Phillip Bay and spreads into the Mornington Peninsula and the hinterlands towards the Yarra Valley, the Dandenong and Macedon Ranges. It has a population over 5 million (19% of the population of Australia, as per 2020), mostly residing to the east side of the city centre, and its inhabitants are commonly referred to as “Melburnians”.   read more…

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