October’s READER’S DIGEST is already hitting the newsstands. Inside, my Great Barrier Reef story outlines the impact climate change is having on the Reef.

RDAOct17coverLast year’s mass bleaching sparked a global deluge of contradictory coverage. Extreme opposites were reported, from the Reef’s ‘death’ to flat-out denials that it is in any real trouble. Hopefully this story might help to clear up the confusion by plainly describing the problem and what might be done about it.

The story is based on an interview with Dr David Wachenfeld, Director of Reef Recovery at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and a visit to Heron Island Scientific Research Station on the southern Great Barrier Reef.

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The distillery at historic Nant Estate near Bothwell occupies an 1820s stone mill

What does Tasmania bring to mind? Devils, tigers, rainforest, convicts, MONA, Mures… You better add whisky to your list if it isn’t there already. The island state’s boutique distilling business is booming – I write about it in September’s Reader’s Digest.

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Robbie Gilligan of Redlands Distillery

Earlier this year I hit the Tasmanian whisky trail and met many a maker while wending my way from Hobart’s docks to Burnie’s hilly hinterland, via historic Kempton and the majestic highland lakes.

The whisky down here is not only first-class, it’s as good excuse as any for a ramble across some truly glorious landscape (not that you’d need one really: slainte!)

 

IMG_3384Leatherwood honey is not only unique to Tasmania, it’s ‘wild-caught’ – no agriculture involved. Leatherwood is the common name for two closely related species of tree only found growing wild in western Tasmania.

Every summer, the island’s beekeepers truck their hives into the wilderness, where the bees are let bee to do their amazing thing.

The result is the all-natural, all-organic, all-eco boxes-ticked and utterly delicious leatherwood honey.

See how it all works – amidst the photogenic wilderness of western Tasmania – in my feature in this month’s AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER magazine.IMG_3369IMG_3325IMG_3336

IMG_6296Judy in disguise – not with glasses but with a tough covering layer of western Queensland blacksoil and 65 million years of geological change.

Judy is the latest sauropod unearthed by the Australian Age of Dinosaurs (AAOD) team. She was found on a remote sheep station this winter with a large section of cervical vertebrae (neck) pretty much in place.

Read all about AAOD’s fascinating work and how to go about joining them on a volunteer dig in my story in a recent Weekend Australian

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Sea turtles – they outlasted the dinosaurs, but how will they fare against us? Habitat destruction, pollution, climate change, overfishing… we’re giving them plenty of existential crises.

Readers-Digest-International-July-2017In this month’s Reader’s Digest (July 17), my cover story shows how Queensland-based scientists and volunteers have been working to give sea turtles a future.

Meet Bev and Nev McLachlan, who have been on tireless turtle patrol at Wreck Rock Beach since 1977.

Marvel at the amazing discoveries made by Dr Col Limpus, Australia’s leading turtle scientist, responsible for the longest and most thorough program of turtle study ever conducted.

And have a peek at Townsville’s terrific Turtle Hospital at Reef HQ Aquarium.

Read all about it!

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Nemo, Reef HQ Turtle Hospital

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Nev & Bev, Turtle Monitors

 

To shell and back – tagging turtles in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park…

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To bee or not to bee in the Tasmanian wild west – and finding it quite a lark to mosey down Tasmania’s whisky trail

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Getting into both kinds of music at south-east Queensland’s CMC Rocks Festival…

These stories and more coming soon in reputable and august publications near YOU! Stay tuned…

December’s edition of Reader’s Digest – out now – includes my feature article on snorkelling with whale sharks at Ningaloo Reef – click the link for an online version at the Reader’s Digest website.

Ningaloo Reef is not only one of the planet’s most spectacular coral reef systems, it’s one of the few places where these huge, highly unusual sharks can be reliably encountered.

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Whale shark filter feeling just below the surface, Ningaloo Reef, WA. Photo by David Levell.