Aussie ABC: Q is for Quirky

Aussie House made of Stubbies

The Aussie sense of humour – ie laconic crossed with off-beat crossed with extreme larrikinism – sometimes manifests itself in unusual, weird and downright bizarre ways. And that means ‘Quirky’! But … be warned! There’s a fine line between ‘Kitsch’ and ‘Quirky’ – and an even finer one between ‘Quirky’ and ‘Tasteless’! So I’ll leave you to decide into which

Read more

Aussie ABC – K is for Kangaroo!

Still life with Lighthouse and Kangaroo, Southern Yorke Peninsula, South Australia

The ubiquitous Kangaroo is such an integral part of the landscape downunder that its iconic silhouette universally symbolises Australia. Yet to many of us Aussies they’re so commonplace we no longer marvel at the amazingly intricate biological system within this unique and oddly shaped animal. AND we roll our eyes at the tourists who gleefully pose for kangaroo souvenir shots.

Read more

Aussie Icons #6 – Min Min light, Boulia, Queensland

Between Boulia and Bedourie, Western Queensland Outback

The benign, blue sky stretches away to infinity around western Queensland’s Boulia, mostly unrelieved by clouds, birds or planes. Unremarkable – at least by Outback standards – Boulia’s boundless blue backdrop is the ultimate Big Sky luring travellers to the Outback. But it’s not the splendidly panoramic sky of daylight hours that attracts visitors to this remote capital of the

Read more

Aussie Icons #5 – Tree of Knowledge Barcaldine Queensland

Under the Canopy - Tree of Knowledge, Barcaldine

When the 200-year-old Tree of Knowledge was poisoned shortly after being included on the National Heritage List on Australia Day 2006, I was appalled. Yet another historic Aussie landmark fallen victim to the disregard sometimes shown for our heritage. But although the tree’s demise was disappointing, I was also resigned to its fate. Because when a tree dies, it’s gone for

Read more

Aussie Icons #4 – ‘The Saint’, Castle Hill, Townsville QLD

"The Saint", Townsville, Queensland

Those nostalgic for the ‘good old days’ would do well to consider the enduring legacy of Townsville’s ‘The Saint’, a 1962 student prank that continues to generate controversy. A tragic reminder (!) of the lawlessness and anarchy characterising 1960’s society degeneration (!) from the wholesome family values of the 1950’s, the James Cook University students responsible have left North Queensland’s

Read more

Aussie Icons #3 – The Red Devil

The Red Devil, Minlaton, South Australia

According to my train buddy* G, the longest ever recorded chicken flight lasted for 13 seconds.  Ironic then, that one of Australia’s most unsung aviators drew his early inspiration from experiments with measuring chook** wingspan relative to their flight! A world exclusive wasn’t what I expected when I visited Minlaton on South Australia’s York Peninsula. But the Red Devil, a Bristol M.1C

Read more

Aussie Icons #1 – Largs Pier Hotel, Largs Bay, South Australia

OK, so now you’re looking at the photo and thinking yep, Red Nomad OZ has finally lost it.  What’s so iconic about an ordinary (albeit attractive and well preserved) Aussie seaside pub?? Well, this isn’t just ANY Aussie seaside pub – this is the Largs Pier Hotel!  Yeah, so?  I hear you ask. The Largs Pier Hotel is the stuff

Read more