Australia: The Bucket List

Trips in Queensland, New South Wales, Northern Territory, South Australia, Western Australia, Victoria, and Tasmania.

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Visiting Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens

As I approached the magnificent building from the west, a banner above the entrance door announced the forthcoming Victorian Hot Rod Association’s 50th anniversary show. The banner looked glaringly incongruous. Yet it emphasised the fact that here Read More

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Exploring Naracoorte Caves, South Australia’s World Heritage Site

Having booked an afternoon tour of the Naracoorte Caves, we drove the 200-plus kilometres from Hall’s Gap, in the Grampian Mountains, as fast as safety and the law allowed. Brendan, our son did the driving. Therese and I just clung to the seats. We Read More

Pontoon at Norman Reef, Queensland, Australia (With permission: Great Adventure Tours)

Boating from Cairns to the Great Barrier Reef

When we asked friends from Brisbane and Sydney what’s the best time to visit Australia, they said September to November, not March when we had planned to go. Our timing to experience the Great Barrier Reef wasn't the best either. The Lonely Planet Read More

Sydney Opera House (photo: Anthony Toole)

Being Overwhelmed by a Concert at the Sydney Opera House

Even before we had left England I had booked seats for the concert, even though I had no idea what the performance would be: The Opera House website gave only the title, The Shock of The New, and the information that the programme would only be Read More

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Living among Wildlife in Australia’s Croajingolong National Park

"Take the next turn!" my husband Paul cried. "Why?" I asked, as we barrelled along Australia's Princes Highway between Melbourne and Sydney, hellbent on making it to the town of Eden--our randomly chosen stopping point--by nightfall. I eased off Read More

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Swimming With Minke Whales on the Great Barrier Reef

We float quietly in the water, holding onto ropes tied to the boat. One by one the whales appear, drifting up from the dark below. We’re swimming with dwarf minke whales on the Great Barrier Reef.  But this is a swim with whales program with a Read More

Sea lions love to play with snorkelers. (photo credit: Katherine Rodeghier, c 2012)

Swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins in South Australia

As I squeeze into a wetsuit, one thought keeps pushing to the front of my mind: sharks. This is Australia after all, the state of South Australia to be more precise and it’s known for those nasty Great Whites of “Jaws” movie fame. From the Read More

Sunrise on Uluru (Credit: MCArnott)

Greeting the Sunrise at Uluru in Australia Red Centre

I feel as if I am part of an entourage waiting for the awakening of the Sun King. Except that here at Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park (aka Ayers Rock), cameras, tripods, binoculars and phones are contemporary evidence that the real sun is rising. And Read More

Curvy Traditional Wood Tray (Credit: MCArnott)

Learning Aboriginal Survival Skills in the Australian Outback

When my husband demonstrated surprising skills at throwing a spear, I thought that we might have a chance to survive, should we ever get stranded in the Australian Desert. But a guided walk in the bush gave me plenty of food for thought: Survival in Read More

Dot Painting by Aboriginal Artist Margaret Curtis (Credit: MCArnott)

Interpreting the Aboriginal Dot Paintings of Australia

Dots everywhere -- Since I arrived in Sydney they follow me like curious eyeballs. They peek from every shop through vibrant boomerangs, didgeridoos and other crafts and souvenirs. Surely, there must be more to them than polka dots... Back to School Read More