Australia - The Land Down Under

This would probably be the most fascinating read I have had since December 4, 2018.....when I started doing this thread.

Tim Winton on the challenges of making ABC's documentary, Ningaloo Nyinggulu, when Mother Nature doesn't stick to the script​



Do your self a favour....Read It

Some very very good reads there, Brian - and I will be watching the Ningaloo one tomorrow night, for sure ;)
The good people here will no doubt have noticed that there is an abundance of Aussies here at

Just a little something to wish everyone a Merry Christmas....from Alice Springs-based cinematographer, Chris Tangey,

Wait - if the Earth is flat, how can Australia be "The Land Down Under"?
Should that not be "Australia The Land Way Over There"?
The following story is from Australian Story, Streams Mondays at 8pm on ABCTV and ABC iview.

Lindy has a terminal illness. Psilocybin, the compound found in 'magic mushrooms', is helping her face death​

Australian Story
By Greg Hassall

Tree-climbing 'drop bears' and crocodiles inhabited eastern Australia millions of years ago​

ABC Gippsland
By Natasha Schapova and Jonathon Kendall

Posted Sat 20 May 2023 at 7:45am


Nimbadon fossils were first discovered at Riversleigh in north-west Queensland during 1993.

Key points:​

  • Known as Nimbadons, the animals weighed about 70 kilograms and resembled wombats
  • Professor Mike Archer says the animals occasionally lost their footing and fell out of trees
  • Researchers are analysing the marking on their teeth to better understand their diets

International campers have for decades been led to believe the so-called drop bear, a koala-like carnivorous bear living in the treetops, would drop onto the heads of people walking beneath them.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) have found while drop bears don't currently occupy treetops, they did inhabit the canopy of lowland Australian rainforests in the Middle Miocene Epoch.


Mouse plague prevention trial delivers promising results by 'tricking' rodents​

6:58pm May 23, 2023

Wagga Wagga farmer Peter Rayner was "devastated" when he lost a whole paddock of Canola after the plague in 2021.
Rayner said you could see "little drill holes" showing where they had been taking all the seeds.
In hopes of finding a solution, he allowed Sydney University scientists to spray his wheat crop with oil derived from wheat germ.
The spray worked to ward off rodents by camouflaging the scent of the seeds as mice find their food through smell.

The wheat germ spray reduced damage to his crops by 74 per cent.
A long time ago our area had problems with newly settled immigrants, who were capturing family pets for meals. It was a cultural education issue. They were very apologetic and remorseful once they learned that some species here can be beloved family members. The issue disappeared quickly.
I doubt they serve Bin Chicken at KFC.
you never know......
The Loaded Dog
I have a weakness for genuinely humorous writing. Like most people my sense of humour is deeply personal and what I find tear-inducingly funny, others may well find totally without wit or merit.
My favourite Australian humourist is Henry Lawson. My admiration is the result of two of his stories – “Hungerford” – an hilarious dissection of the one-pub town on the NSW-Queensland border and “The Loaded Dog” - which I rate as a genuine comic masterpiece.
It is really a shaggy dog story about “a big black young retriever dog - or rather an overgrown pup, a big foolish, four-footed mate, who was always slobbering round them and lashing their legs with his heavy tail that swung round like a stock-whip. Most of his head was usually a red, idiotic, slobbering grin of appreciation of his own silliness. He seemed to take life, the world, his two-legged mates, and his own instinct as a huge joke. He'd retrieve anything: he carted back most of the camp rubbish that Andy threw away. They had a cat that died in hot weather, and Andy threw it a good distance away in the scrub; and early one morning the dog found the cat, after it had been dead a week or so, and carried it back to camp, and laid it just inside the tent flaps, where it could best make its presence known when the mates should rise and begin to sniff suspiciously in the sickly smothering atmosphere of the summer sunrise. He used to retrieve them when they went in swimming; he'd jump in after them, and take their hands in his mouth, and try to swim out with them, and scratch their naked bodies with his paws. They loved him for his good-heartedness and his foolishness, but when they wished to enjoy a swim they had to tie him up in camp.”
It is also the story of a gold miner named Dave Regan, who is always full of good ideas and very original solutions to vexing problems.
Being unable to catch fish in the local creek, Dave decides to use a cartridge of gunpowder to blow them up. With his mates, Jim Bently and Andy Page, he builds a cartridge with powder, calico, sail canvas, paper and wax and, foolishly, leaves it where the dog, seeing it, picks it up, drags the fuse across the camp fire, and starts chasing the three men as they try to escape from the inevitable explosion.
The story continues:
“There was a small hotel or shanty on the creek, on the main road, not far from the claim. Dave was desperate; the time flew much faster in his stimulated imagination than it did in reality, so he made for the shanty. There were several casual Bushmen on the verandah and in the bar; Dave rushed into the bar, banging the door to behind him. "My dog!" he gasped, in reply to the astonished stare of the publican, "the blanky retriever - he's got a live cartridge in his mouth."
“The retriever, finding the front door shut against him, had bounded round and in by the back way, and now stood smiling in the doorway leading from the passage, the cartridge still in his mouth and the fuse spluttering. They burst out of that bar. Tommy bounded first after one and then after another, for, being a young dog, he tried to make friends with everybody.
“The Bushmen ran round corners, and some shut themselves in the stable. There was a new weatherboard and corrugated iron kitchen and washhouse on piles in the back yard, with some women washing clothes inside. Dave and the publican bundled in there and shut the door - the publican cursing Dave and calling him a crimson fool, in hurried tones, and wanting to know what the hell he came here for.
“The retriever went in under the kitchen, amongst the piles, but, luckily for those inside, there was a vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog sulking and nursing his nastiness under there - a sneaking, fighting, thieving canine, whom neighbours had tried for years to shoot or poison. Tommy saw his danger - he'd had experience from this dog - and started out and across the yard, still sticking to the cartridge. Halfway across the yard the yellow dog caught him and nipped him. Tommy dropped the cartridge, gave one terrified yell, and took to the bush. The yellow dog followed him to the fence and then ran back to see what he had dropped.
“Nearly a dozen other dogs came from round all the corners and under the buildings, spidery, thievish, cold-blooded kangaroo-dogs, mongrel sheep and cattle dogs, vicious black and yellow dogs - that slip after you in the dark, nip your heels, and vanish without explaining, and yapping, yelping small fry. They kept at a respectable distance round the nasty yellow dog, for it was dangerous to go near him when he thought he had found something which might be good for a dog to eat.
“He sniffed at the cartridge twice, and was just taking a third cautious sniff when ... It was a very good blasting-powder - a new brand that Dave had recently got up from Sydney; and the cartridge had been excellently well made. Andy was very patient and painstaking in all he did, and nearly as handy as the average sailor with needles, twine, canvas, and rope.
“Bushmen say that that kitchen jumped off its piles and on again. When the smoke and dust cleared away, the remains of the nasty yellow dog were lying against the paling fence of the yard looking as if he had been kicked into a fire by a horse and afterwards rolled in the dust under a barrow, and finally thrown against the fence from a distance. Several saddle horses, which had been 'hanging-up' round the verandah, were galloping wildly down the road in clouds of dust, with broken bridle-reins flying; and from a circle round the outskirts, from every point of the compass in the scrub, came the yelping of dogs. Two of them went home, to the place where they were born, thirty miles away, and reached it the same night and stayed there; it was not till towards evening that the rest came back cautiously to make inquiries. One was trying to walk on two legs, and most of 'em looked more or less singed; and a little, singed, stumpy tailed dog, who had been in the habit of hopping the back half of him along on one leg, had reason to be glad that he'd saved up the other leg all those years, for he needed it now.”
The local vet in Whyalla, Dr Andrew Melville-Smith, commissioned the great Scottish sculptor, Andy Scott (he was responsible for the superb and huge “The Kelpies” at Falkirk) to sculpt the Loaded Dog which now stands outside the Whyalla Veterinary Clinic.
Scott has been commissioned to make at least 15 sculptures which are spread around Australia including “Chiron” at Sydney’s Olympic Park, “Arabesque” at Broadbeach in Queensland and “Argestes Aqua” at Byron Bay.
Anyway, here’s his more modest Loaded Dog in Whyalla … and it was a good excuse to remind myself of my favourite humorous story.
May be an image of text that says 'alla Veterina 864592 8645 SUP SU 645'

All reactions:
The Longest Golf Course in the World – from Ceduna to Kalgoorlie
It’s hard not to be amused by this typically droll Aussie joke. The Nullarbor Links Golf Course is, without any competitors, the longest golf course in the world. If you start on the first tee and finish on the 18th green you will have travelled 1365 km.
It evokes an image of some hapless golfer, having hopped back and forth off a golf buggy and slashed his or her way from Kalgoorlie in Western Australia to Ceduna in South Australia, going “Wow! I did that in only 235,467 strokes and I only used my sand wedge 6,432 times.”
Sorry. Wrong. Someone with a wicked wit and a finely honed sense of the absurd has mixed and matched single holes on legitimate golf courses (such as the two at Kalgoorlie which, as a present for those who have come from the east, are played on a superb, world standard, golf course designed by champion golfer Graham Marsh – brother of Rod Marsh – who was born in the town) with ones especially made to keep the game going via the road houses across the Nullarbor Plain.
The result is a course of 18 holes where, in some instances, you have to drive (by car, not by No.1 wood) hundreds of kilometres from one hole to the next.
This is not for golfers with caddies or buggies. It’s for golfers with cars and a preparedness to travel across the Nullarbor Plain.
Oh, yes, and the real reason for its creation was that some of the locals felt that too many people were using the Nullarbor Plain as some kind of crazy speed track. The golf course was designed to slow people down so they could enjoy the journey across this vast wilderness.
I like the hole at Balladonia which is 175 metres, Par 3, through scrub with the warning “Beware of snakes!” Now that’s real Aussie golf.
A couple of years ago I did the entire course with my son (he is actually a very good golfer) and I made him write a detailed description of each hole. So, if you are thinking of starting in Ceduna, and want some advice about the holes, then Aussie Towns has information on every one of them.
Like – for Balladonia: “A devilishly difficult Par 3 - 175 metres over trees and bushes to a small clearing containing a green. There is only a small area (20 metres) before the green which is safe, as there is dense scrub left, right and back. Hit straight.”
I hope that is useful.
Oh, yes, and you get to (if you are silly enough) hit a ball off the cliffs into the Great Australian Bight.
May be an image of 1 person, golfing and the Twelve Apostles


Immersive paddock to port tour​





Tushar Ramesh may have been born into a city with more than 20 million people,(Australia's population is 26 million) but when he moved to Australia it was a curiosity about his new backyard that led him to an adventure into the regions and to pursuing a career in agriculture.

He was one of the Australian and Chinese university students who swapped pavement for paddocks for the China-Australia Youth Agriculture Program, an immersive experience for the students to dive into agriculture and the bush.

Along with gaining insights into a diverse range of farms and the supply chain, the group gets to experience true blue regional Australian hospitality.

There is also a sad side....a very sad side to Australia.

With escalating prices etc etc...comes homelessness.

I am aware that Australia is not the only place to experience this state of affairs. It is present in every country in the world.
"Australia's adults are the richest in the world, according to the 2020 Global Wealth Report"

Some would see it quite differently....even in Australia
And yet another topic to make even the hardest of us shake our heads...

Australian intelligence's secret hand in bringing down the Bali bombers​

For two long and intensely frustrating weeks after bombs tore through Bali's nightclub strip, investigators had no idea who was responsible for killing 202 people, including 88 Australians.
Three bombs had been detonated shortly after 11:08pm on Saturday, October 12, 2002. The first exploded at Paddy's Bar in Kuta, followed by a second massive blast at the Sari Club across the road.

The detonation of a smaller bomb outside the US consulate in Denpasar betrayed an anti-West motive.

And what bought the perpetrators unstuck?.....(below)

The IMEI number on a Nokia 5110

Have I got your attention?

thought so....



Leyland Brothers star Mal plans 'last hurrah' travel documentary adventure across Australia​

Most Australians will wander through life blissfully unaware that a saturated outboard starter motor can produce an electric shock capable of scorching a grown man's testicles.

Key points:​

  • Mike and Mal Leyland were the Australian documentary duo known as the Leyland Brothers from the 60s onwards
  • They reached fame and wealth but lost it all after a failed theme park venture
  • The surviving Leyland is planning one last adventure before he hangs up his hat

They will never know the sheer terror of crossing a desert with dwindling fuel supplies and only a weathered old boy scout's compass to guide them.

And if a dangerous stranger were to point a loaded rifle directly at their heads from 6 metres away, they would likely lack the nerve and character to spontaneously bluff about being a karate expert who could snap a human neck in the blink of an eye.


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