A Kangaroo or a King?

onOctober 7, 2013

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That was the question facing the new Federation of Australia as it began to carve out an identity for itself as an independent country. Even though Australia had become self-governing, it still acknowledged the British monarch as head of State, although at the time there were plenty who were calling this fact into question.

When Australia’s first stamp was commissioned it featured a portrait of King George V, but the appointment of a new ... View More

Get Pally With A Platpus

onSeptember 25, 2013

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If you’ve heard the word monotremes then you’re probably Australian or a pub quiz guru. The term refers to species of mammals which lay eggs. There are only three of them and they are all indigenous to Australia. They are the platypus, the short-beaked echidna and the long-beaked echidna. While the spikey echidna (or anteater) is not the sort of animal with which most people would like to get up close and personal, ... View More

Flying the Flag for Australia

onSeptember 16, 2013

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A country’s flag is usually a proud symbol of their nation and some flags carry a lot of information about a country, it’s culture and its history.

The current Australian flag is based on the British blue ensign design. This is essentially a blue flag with a Union Flag in the top left-hand quarter. To this has been added a Commonwealth Star below the Union Flag while the right-hand side of the flag features ... View More

Secret Sydney

onSeptember 11, 2013

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Sydney’s buzzy vibe is part of its charm and a lot of what sets it apart from Melbourne, but sometimes even the most energetic need to find a bit of breathing space, so here are some lesser-known options for those heading to the city.

Camperdown Cemetery

Although visiting a cemetery may seem an odd pursuit unless you know the dearly departed, Camperdown Cemetery can be either a history lesson or just a beauty spot, depending on your ... View More

Ned Kelly – Hero, Villain or Both?

onSeptember 2, 2013

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Rather ironically Australia doesn’t really have all that many internationally-famous criminals, in fact Ned Kelly is about it. While Ned Kelly was indisputably a criminal in the eyes of the law, whether or not he should have been is still a hotly-debated one.

There is little doubt that the Ned Kelly, his brothers and their relatives became involved in crime from an early age, although there is an argument that there was a strong ... View More

Standing on shifting sands

onAugust 26, 2013

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While real snow needs cold weather, if you live near a beach, as many Australians do, sand is available all year round. Australia therefore has become one of the world’s major destinations for sandboarding. The general idea is much the same as snowboarding, but participants need to remember that it’s much more difficult to install lifts on sand dunes than it is on snowy mountains, so generally, what goes down has to go up the ... View More

The Flying Postman

onAugust 18, 2013

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While Australia’s flying doctors are known throughout the world, a lesser known Australian flying hero is the postman who delivers the mail on the world’s longest mail run. Starting in Port Augusta (South Australia), the route covers 2500km to end in Glengyle Station, Queensland. While seats on the mail plane itself are in high demand (particularly during the winter months), there are also unofficial tours in light aircraft, which cover much the same route. ... View More

Watching the sunrise over Uluru

onAugust 11, 2013

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Like a glacier, most of Uluru lies beneath the surface, although in this case of the earth, rather than the water. Nonetheless, at 348 metres (at its tallest point), the rock is only 33 metres lower than the Empire State Building.

The area was originally settled by humans over 10,000 years ago and has immense spiritual significance for the Pitjantjatjara people. The surrounding area is known for ancient paintings and a key Dreamtime track ... View More

Seeing Australia in Miniature

onAugust 4, 2013

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Visitors to Cockington Green Gardens in Canberra could be forgiven for thinking that they’d somehow stepped into Lilliput, but actually they’ve just stepped into a model village. In fact, they’ve stepped into a model village representing the best of the UK. Even people from the UK are likely to see models of areas they’ve never had time to visit themselves.

The display includes everything from cricket on the village green in the quaint town ... View More

Live History in Australia

onJuly 29, 2013

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Many aboriginal communities continue to thrive in Australia, one of the most famous is that of the Yolngu people of Nyinyikay, in the Northern Territory, who carry on the way of life as they have done for centuries. A visit to Nyinyikay in the beautiful setting of Arnhern Bay is a chance to experience life at a slower pace, in a place where nature and the seasons take precedence over technology.

The community is ... View More