Australia – Melbourne

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Melbourne is wonderfully altered since I last saw it. There are some very fair buildings in it now, and things are a little cheaper than they used to be.

– William John Wills
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Melbourne’s sensational cityscape is dotted with interesting architecture, including statuesque Art Deco buildings, neoclassical facades and contemporary towers.
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Since 1840 to today, Melbourne has taken form from a small settlement to a vibrant city.

Just Hangin' Around...

Just Hangin’ Around…

Cruising Down The Yarra River

Cruising Down The Yarra River

The Yarra River is not big by world standards. It runs for just 242 kilometres from its source on the flanks of Mt Baw Baw in the Yarra Ranges National Park to its mouth at the head of Port Phillip Bay in Newport. It is not very long, very wide, nor very deep. It is not even very clear. But this sepia-coloured river has had a big impact on shaping Melbourne – the city that grew up on its banks.

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Melbourne’s first electric tram began operation on 14 October 1889 between Box Hill and Doncaster. The service was abandoned less than seven years later and it took until October 1906 for another electric service to begin, this time operated by the private North Melbourne Electric Tramway and Lighting Company.

n July 1983 the State Government decided to integrate the City’s three major forms of public transport – trams, buses and suburban trains – to create a coordinated public transport network. The operations of the Melbourne & Metropolitan Tramways Board were taken over by the Tram & Bus Division of a new government body, the Metropolitan Transit Authority.

The Met’s Tram & Bus Division consisted of 684 trams, 220km of track and some 5000 employees. ‘Tram green’ was developed into a distinctive dark green and bold yellow colour scheme for the new entity’s rolling stock and uniforms. The Met logo, symbolizing the three modes of transport, began to appear on all vehicles and uniforms in place of the M&MTB logo.

Flinders Street Station

Flinders Street Station

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Queen Victoria Market is much more than the city’s fresh-food shopping mecca – it’s a historic landmark, a tourist attraction and a Melbourne institution. Spread over several city blocks, with more than 600 retailers, Vic Market is a true reflection of Melbourne’s cosmopolitan makeup. Shoppers can find everything from fruit and vegetables to local and imported gourmet foods, fashion and general merchandise.

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Al fresco eateries, one-off shops and cosy litte bars all nestle side-by-side in laneways and arcades threading throughout the city. Each arcade has its own individual character and charm.

“I think Melbourne is by far and away the most interesting place in Australia, and I thought if I ever wrote a novel or crime novel of any kind, I had to set it here.”

– Peter Temple

Australia – Sydney

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There’s an ease that I have living in Australia. The best things about Sydney are free: the sunshine’s free, and the harbour’s free, and the beach is free.

– Russell Crowe

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Sydney is rather like an arrogant lover. When it rains it can deny you its love and you can find it hard to relate to. It’s not a place that’s built to be rainy or cold. But when the sun comes out, it bats its eyelids, it’s glamorous, beautiful, attractive, smart, and it’s very hard to get away from its magnetic pull.

– Baz Luhrmann
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One of the great things about Sydney is that it has a great acceptance of everyone and everything. It’s an incredibly tolerant city, a city with a huge multicultural basis.

– Baz Luhrmann

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Sydney in the 1960s wasn’t the exuberant multicultural metropolis it is today. Out in the city’s western reaches, days passed in a sun-struck stupor. In the evenings, families gathered on their verandas waiting for the ‘southerly buster’ – the thunderstorm that would break the heat and leave the air cool enough to allow sleep.

– Geraldine Brooks

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Sydney’s a beautiful city. It was a great experience.

– Barbara Hershey

Australia – Noosa

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Some of South East Queensland’s most picturesque coastline can be seen in Noosa National Park. The park is home to vulnerable and endangered wildlife such as the glossy black-cockatoo, ground parrot, koala, red goshawk, wallum froglet, swamp orchid and Christmas bells.

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Open woodlands with a heath understorey and low wallum heath cover most of the park. Hoop and kauri pines tower above small rainforest pockets growing on sand in sheltered sites away from the sea breezes.

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Looking out from the headland at the southern end of Alexandria Bay there are excellent views of the coastline to Coolum and beyond. The rocky outcrop is known as the devils kitchen which can have spectacular waves breaking in rough weather.

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Noosa National Park was first created in 1939, and opened in 1949 by Sir John Laverack. There are a number of hiking trails throughout the Park which offer a chance to enjoy some of the stunning beaches that Noosa has to offer, along with local wildlife such as Koalas and sometimes black cockatoos. Just another photographers’ paradise!

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Late afternoon surfing lessons.

Late afternoon surfing lessons.

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The end of another absolutely spectacular day! Where else in the world can you walk for kilometres along a picturesque path that winds around a scenic coastal headland that’s dotted with interesting beaches and has trails that lead off into the rain forest? You can hike around the heads to Alexandra beach, or wind your way back and wander down to Hastings Street and eat the best gelato while meandering through the elegant streets of Noosa, with a beach on one side and a river and hills on the other. Noosa: A truly beautiful part of Australia.

Australia – The Sunshine Coast

Balina SunriseThe Sunshine Coast stretches along the Coral Sea in Australia’s Queensland state., starting roughly 50 miles north of Brisbane. The area is famous for its unbelievably gorgeous beaches, surfing culture, eco-parks and nature reserves. We found a virtual treasure trove of sculpted sand dunes, mangrove forests and rivers, magnificent coastal scenery, rare birds, critters, and quaint towns and villages to explore and photograph.

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Local Wildlife.

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Heading to Noosa!

Heading to Noosa!

More Sunshine Coast on the next post.



Australia – The Rainforests

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The tropical rainforest is home to the most diverse range of plants and animals on earth. The Daintree Cape Tribulation region supports species of plants and animals that have existed for millions of years and are integral to the ecosystem not just of the Daintree Rainforest, but of other areas around the world too. As difficult as it may be to imagine, what happens in the Daintree Rainforest affects what happens on the other side of the planet.

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The Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforest in North Queensland Australia is one of the most diverse and beautiful examples of Mother Natures work in the world. This ecologically unique rainforest is home to the most extensive range of rare plants and animals on earth, and all are found within an area of approximately 1200 square kilometres – the largest chunk of protected tropical rainforest in Australia.

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The Daintree Cape Tribulation rainforest is a World Heritage Listed area and contains the highest number of plant and animal species that are rare, or threatened with near extinction, anywhere in the world. The Daintree Cape Tribulation Rainforest is a unique area, precariously balanced between the advances of development and the warnings of environmentalists.

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The beaches of the Cape Tribulation Daintree Rainforest region are rated among the most spectacular in the world. The tropical warmth combined with dazzling sunshine and crystal clear calm water makes you wonder if this is what heaven could be like. One of the most wonderful features of Daintree beaches is the lack of people. Stretching for miles, you can cast your eyes along the golden sand and not see a single soul, just the trees waving at you in the breeze.

Australia – The Great Barrier Reef

83 GBR 1The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Queensland in northeastern Australia, is the largest living thing on Earth, and even visible from outer space. The 2,300km-long ecosystem comprises thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of over 600 types of hard and soft coral. It’s home to countless species of colourful fish, molluscs and starfish, plus turtles, dolphins and sharks.

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The breathtaking array of marine creatures includes 600 types of soft and hard corals, more than 100 species of jellyfish, 3000 varieties of molluscs, 500 species of worms, 1625 types of fish, 133 varieties of sharks and rays, and more than 30 species of whales and dolphins.

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Healthy coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse and economically valuable ecosystems on earth, providing valuable and vital ecosystem services. Coral ecosystems are a source of food for millions; protect coastlines from storms and erosion; provide habitat, spawning and nursery grounds for economically important fish species; provide jobs and income to local economies from fishing, recreation, and tourism; are a source of new medicines, and are hotspots of marine biodiversity.

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Australia – The Outback

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We are all visitors to this time, this place. We are just passing through. Our purpose here is to observe, to learn, to grow, to love… and then we return home.

 – Australian Aboriginal Proverb

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There are about 750,000 roaming wild in the outback and they cause a host of problems. Camels were imported to Australia in the 19th century from Arabia, India and Afghanistan for transport and heavy work in the outback.

I'm too sexy for my love Too sexy for my love Love's going to leave me I'm too sexy for my shirt Too sexy for my shirt So sexy it hurts

I’m too sexy for my love
Too sexy for my love
Love’s going to leave me
I’m too sexy for my shirt
Too sexy for my shirt
So sexy it hurts

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58 Outback 6AAlice Springs is a remote town in Australia’s Northern Territory, situated some 1,500km from the nearest major city. It’s a popular gateway for exploring the Red Centre, the country’s interior desert region.

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Australia is the home of the largest living thing on earth, the Great Barrier Reef, and of the largest monolith, Ayers Rock (or Uluru to use its now-official, more respectful Aboriginal name). It has more things that will kill you than anywhere else. Of the world’s ten most poisonous snakes, all are Australian. Five of its creatures – the funnel web spider, box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, paralysis tick, and stonefish – are the most lethal of their type in the world. This is a country where even the fluffiest of caterpillars can lay you out with a toxic nip, where seashells will not just sting you but actually sometimes go for you. … If you are not stung or pronged to death in some unexpected manner, you may be fatally chomped by sharks or crocodiles, or carried helplessly out to sea by irresistible currents, or left to stagger to an unhappy death in the baking outback. It’s a tough place.
 – Bill Bryson

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63 Outback 11 64 Outback 12 67 Outback 14Uluru, or Ayers Rock, is a massive sandstone monolith in the heart of the Northern Territory’s Red Centre desert, 450km from the nearest large town, Alice Springs. It’s sacred to indigenous Australians and believed to be about 700 million years old. It’s within Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, which also encompasses the 36 red-rock domes of the Kata Tjuta, colloquially known as “The Olgas” formation.

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The Olgas

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Kings Canyon is part of the Watarrka National Park in the Northern Territory, Australia. Sitting at the western end of the George Gill Range, it is 323 km southwest of Alice Springs. We hiked it on a rainy day, which afforded us the opportunity to experience the spontaneous rushing rivers and waterfalls activated by the natural drainage system handling the rainfall.

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It brought me a new understanding of how, unless you’re connected with the land, you’re not really connected with yourself or the nation. And Australians, I think, are slowly beginning to realise that the land owns us, we don’t own the land. It’s taken climate change to achieve that. And you get this sense of forces which are outside your control.”
– Joan Kirner, on the Immensity of Outback Australia
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