Journalism


The new issue of AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER (Aug-Sep-Oct 2018) is out and about. This one’s a Bucket List special of must-do Oz experiences, and has my yarn on the Birdsville Races and Track, way out in the deepest pocket of Queensland’s wild southwest.

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The current Australian Geographic (July-August 2018) has my story on RangerBot, the new generation of starfish-killing robot which may one day be on regular patrol in Queensland waters. IMG_9366

Developed by Queensland University of Technology (QUT) scientists, the ocean-going robot uses artificial intelligence to hunt down and take out Crown of Thorns starfish (COTS) which, in plague proportions, are a leading cause of coral loss on the Great Barrier Reef.

IMG_9367I spoke to roboticist Dr Matthew Dunbabin of QUT about RangerBot’s capabilities and potential – and also how it has improved on the earlier model, COTSbot.

Chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one, and yet…

…chances of anyone going to Mars in the next few decades are increasing. The US and China are making Mars-ward gestures of late, and the Mars Society is up to all kinds of exciting simulated missions in extreme Earth environments.

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In April’s Reader’s Digest (out now) I talk to Dr Jonathan Clarke of the Mars Society (that’s NOT him on the left!), an international outfit with an interplanetary goal – furthering the know-how that might lead to human exploration of the Red Planet. Red all about it!

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I rather like the cosmological theory of a world turtle holding the planet on its back. And I’ve no doubt the Mon Repos universe rests on a turtle’s shell.

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The latest issue of Australian Traveller magazine (Feb-Mar-Apr 18: Outback Special) carries my tale about Mon Repos Turtle Centre. A beach near Bundaberg (Queensland), Mon Repos is one of the South Pacific’s most important rookeries for endangered loggerhead sea turtles. The turtle research and conservation programs emanating from there are second to none. Read all about it!

 

You won’t have to dig too far to unearth the current issue of YOURS magazine – flip to pages 56-58 for my travel yarn on digging dinosaurs, riding an old-time stagecoach, cruising a turtle-filled river, checking out the golden years of aviation and generally digging outback hospitality in western Queensland.

IMG_8245The story focuses on the vicinity of Winton and Longreach, immortalised by bush poet Banjo Paterson as “the vision splendid of the sunset plains extended”.IMG_8243

These days Winton is the ‘Dinosaur Capital of Australia’, while Longreach is home to many heritage outback attractions, such as the Qantas Founders Museum.IMG_6052

IMGP0299Way down on the west coast of Tasmania, the world’s steepest steam-train railway takes travellers through mountainous rainforest between Strahan and Queenstown.

The current issue of Australian Traveller magazine (Nov-Dec-Jan issue) features my feature on the historic West Coast Wilderness Railway. All aboard!

PS: For more Tasmanian adventures, my story about leatherwood honey (Aug-Sep-Oct 17 issue) can bee found on the world wide hive at the Australian Traveller site.

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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