Travel Writing


Just back from a journalistic jaunt to Lord Howe Island, a Pacific Ocean jewel with a fascinating ecology along with excellent scuba-diving and exhilarating bushwalks.

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The results will be published soon, but here’s some snaps of what I got up to. Up is the right word, with the ascent of Mount Gower (875m) a big part of the agenda. That’s the view from the summit, looking on neighbouring Mt Lidgbird.

IMGP1542 (2)The plus-sized bug resting on my palm like Fay Wray with King Kong is the Lord Howe Island phasmid (stick insect), the rarest insect in the world and thought to be extinct for many years until a mere handful were found on an offshore rock. The plan is to reintroduce them should all go well with this year’s rat eradication project.

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IMG_1133Happy New Year! The current issue of Diabetic Living magazine features my profile of Greg Donovan for its regular ‘Diabetes Hero’ feature.

Founder of the annual Big Red Bash music festival and Big Red Run desert race, Greg has used these outback events to raise $1.1 million for Type 1 diabetes research over the last five years.

Talking with Greg at the 2018 Bash was a real honour. And the festival’s far-flung setting – 35km beyond Birdsville beneath Big Red, the Simpson Desert’s largest dune – is beyond spectacular.

It’s claimed as the most remote music festival in the world, and I can vouch for it as the ideal location for an earful of decibels from the Hoodoo Gurus, John Farnham et cetera.

 

I’ve got two features in the summer issue of Australian Traveller, now sunbaking on newsagents’ shelves from Broome to Bruny Island. IMG_0923

First-up is a coastal drive covering almost the entire New South Wales seaboard from Tweed Heads at the Queensland border down to Ben Boyd National Park south of Eden.

It’s a tale of turtles, whales, camels, stingrays, sand-dune quad-biking, paddleboarding with stingrays and a heapin’ helpin’ of great food and wine all the way.

Then it’s time to get all deep and meaningful in the astonishing Undara lava tunnels way up in Queensland’s Gulf Savannah outback.

Read all about it!

A few weeks ago I was on Wallaroo station in outback Queensland, a bush wonderworld of sandstone escarpments, lush cycad gorges and traditional Aboriginal hand-stencil rock art. The Travel & Indulgence supplement of today (and yesterday’s) Weekend Australian newspaper has the story, titled Hands On In The Carnarvon Range. Many thanks to Justin and Pauline of Wallaroo Outback Retreat for their hospitality and Craig of Roma’s Boobook Tours for sharing his ecological expertise.

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Here’s more Birdsville coming at ya – the new READER’S DIGEST (September 2018) has my feature story on the way-outback Queensland town.

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Running eight pages, it covers all things Birdsville – the famous Races and associated carnival, including Fred Brophy’s Boxing Tent; the iconic Birdsville Hotel; the broad lonely expanses of the Birdsville Track to Marree in South Australia; and the Big Red Bash music festival on the edge of the Simpson Desert nearby.

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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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IMG_8612The new AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER (May/June/July issue, out now) has my story on all that’s exciting and absorbing in the Ipswich and Scenic Rim area of south-east Queensland, from spectacular scenery to fabulous food to one of the nation’s most happeningly huge country music festivals – CMC Rocks.

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