Weird Stuff #9 – Magnetic Hill, South Australia

The Magnetic Hill Magnet, via Orroroo, South Australia

Discovering the Daleks of Khancoban in a remote Snowy Mountains hideaway was, I thought, the pinnacle of my paranormal participation in the world of real-life Australian sci-fi. But that was before Magnetic Hill South Australia struck back. Pushing for a place in the paranormal pantheon, and surrounded by this mid-North peaceful pastoral panorama, the sign promised a strange and bizarre

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I was a Cane Toad Race Virgin! Kununurra, Western Australia

Yes, that's a Cane Toad in his mouth!  Thommo at Kununurra Agricultural Show

The pairing of Australians and Cane Toads works well. Almost as well the pairing of pavlova with pepperoni!  Although, come to think of it, while the Cane toad is an introduced species, so are its colonial counterparts … but I digress! 77 years after ‘experts’ deliberately introduced the Cane Toad (Bufo Marinus) into the wild, this alien animal has infested

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Weird Stuff #7 – Three Aussie Hearts

Puddle, Lake Pamamaroo, Menindee Lakes

It’s ironic that my desire for the fickle trappings of Valentine’s Day stopped when my personal life stabilised after the serial connections of my youth. Scheduled romance on a day with no personal significance to us just wasn’t necessary when we already had random surprise gifts, regular mini-breaks and enough disposable income for dining out. BUT … I’d still get

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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

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Weird Stuff #7 – Homestead, Queensland

From the Highway, Homestead, Queensland Homestead doesn’t generally make the Top 10 list of Queensland tourist drawcards. Not to MY knowledge*, anyway. This small, ex-Gold mining town is more likely described as a blip on the radar almost exactly half-way between Balfe’s Creek and Pentland, themselves blips on Queensland’s Overlander’s Way between Charters Towers and Hughenden! In fact, while we’ve

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Only in OZ #17 – Ned Kelly Tribute, Jerilderie, NSW

Ned Kelly Tribute - Bread Tin Ned - Jerilderie NSW

Whether or not you consider Aussie bushranger and icon Ned Kelly a national hero or national disgrace probably depends on which version of history you’ve been told. But whatever your views, there’s no denying Ned’s reincarnation as both cultural icon – and tourist drawcard! From inspiring the first feature film ever made (more recent remakes star Mick Jagger and Heath

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Only in OZ #16 – Cane Toad World, Gordonvale, Far North Queensland

Mosaic Cane Toad at Cane Toad World, Gordonvale, QLD

Well, the government was never going to do it – and it probably didn’t occur to anyone else. So when casting about for something other than its 100 year sugar milling history to put it on the map, Gordonvale, deep in the wet tropics of Queensland’s far north, didn’t have to fight too hard for the right to immortalize what

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Weird Stuff #6 – Little Topar, New South Wales

The 5 hour* drive between Broken Hill and Cobar in western New South Wales generally scores a pretty high ‘tedious’ rating.  Unrelieved except for the township of Wilcannia on the Darling river and a couple of roadhouses, the scenery is mainly dusty, dry and desolate, like this picture taken near Broken Hill about 13 years ago. Near Silverton, Broken Hill NSW

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Weird Stuff #5 – Mareeba, Queensland

The spectacular Gouldian finches* caged for the breeding program at the Mareeba Wetlands Visitor Centre are great, but there’s WAAAAAY more birds to be seen out and about around the lagoon or on one of the walks in the 5000 acre reserve. So, bins** in hand, we took the Pandanus walk, its varied habitats promising – and delivering – a cross-section of

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