Mass coral spawning isn’t just an incredible sight (and tourist attraction). It also provides a way for scientists to help corals cope with a warming future. Turbocharging coral larvae with heat-resistant algae may significantly boost their chances of resisting mass bleaching events.

Here’s a link to my coral spawning story in the current Rex Airlines in-flight magazine True Blue (July/Aug 2020), featuring an interview with coral scientist Professor Peter Harrison, who’s been busy ‘turbocharging’ coral larvae on the Great Barrier Reef.

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Last November I was fortunate enough to dive the Great Barrier Reef off Cairns during the natural wonder’s marvellous annual coral spawning.

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While at Moore Reef pontoon I spoke to marine biologists engaged in the first attempt at a new, highly innovative reef rescue technique.

Called larval restoration, it gives hope that some corals will soon be better able to resist mass bleaching. And it relies on the amazing outburst of new life provided by the synchronous mass spawning event.

READER’S DIGEST (June 2020) has my eight-page feature about this exciting new development in the ongoing struggle to save our coral reefs from the worst effects of climate change.

The issue is out now. Look for the charismatic little white dog on the cover!

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READER’S DIGEST‘s September issue includes my feature on Lord Howe Island – eight pages in print and now, in paperless cyberspace, a wondrous podcast entitled AN ISLAND OF WONDERS. Just click that there link!

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IMG_2110 September’s READER’S DIGEST has already sprung into action, sporting the journalistic fruits of my recent jaunt to Lord Howe Island in an eye-catching eight-page spread.

From the heights of Mount Gower’s mystic mist forest to the diamond depths of its coral reef dive sites, Lord Howe is an unforgettable get-away-from-it-all experience. Read all about it!

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IMGP1402 Bai SaoThe elegant new issue of INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLER magazine (June-July-Aug 19) has my feature on Phu Quoc Island, the rapidly developing holiday destination slated to become the Bali or Phuket of Vietnam. It’s a fascinating place – read all about it!

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Five Reasons To Love Lord Howe Island travel article in this week’s Woman’s Day (Royal baby special, cover date May 20).

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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.

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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