Australia - The Land Down Under


See some of the best shots from the past week, from east to west and everything in between​


On #1220

Libby Hardingham was the youngest competitor at last year's national wool judging competition

Hope she does not fleece anybody by pulling the wool over their eyes.
Did I hear you promise us a groan button ??.....that is SO deserving ...
Still looking, Bro' - you'll be the first to know when I place one on one of your jokes. ;)
An Australian is visiting Britain.

He’s from a small rural village and is completely unfamiliar with traffic rules and street lights, and just crosses streets whenever and wherever, almost getting hit by cars all the time.

A police officer sees him and shouts, “Oi! You there, did you come here to die?”

The Aussie replies, “Nah mate, I came yesterday!”
(note to self - accelerate that search for a groan button)
Don't forget my wine icon for the Like button!

And, again, 2/3rds of "pun" is "P-U"!

I'd appeal to your shame but you two have none!

I kid. I kid. I am a parent, after all. So, I love a good pun.

What is the Great Artesian Basin?​

A free flowing bore pushing fast flowing water into a bore drain

Before the 1980s, more than 1,000 bores flowed freely into drains, wasting thousands of megalitres a year.(Supplied: DRDMW)
It is one of the largest underground freshwater reservoirs in the world, stretching south from Cape York in Queensland to Dubbo in New South Wales, west to Coober Pedy in South Australia and into the Northern Territory.

It's estimated there are about 65 million gigalitres of underground water in the basin — enough to fill Sydney Harbour 130,000 times.

Water emerges from the basin from cracks in the rocks and aquifers, which flow into springs, creeks and rivers.

It lies under more than 1.7 million square kilometres of inland Australia, with about 70 per cent beneath Queensland.

For more than 60,000 years, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have relied on basin water to live in dry inland areas, and its springs and rivers hold important cultural significance to First Nations people.

A man stands beside an artesian bore near Barcaldine in 1894

The first bores built were in Bourke in 1878, Barcaldine in 1886 and Cunnamulla in 1887.(Supplied: State Library of Qld)
In 1878, European settlers built a shallow bore near Bourke, which produced flowing water and heralded a new era of water supply.

By 1899, it's believed more than 500 bores had been sunk, and by 1960 there were more than 3,000 free-flowing bores across Queensland alone.

Now, it's one of the most significant artesian basins in the world, generating economic benefits of around $13 billion each year and supplying water to 120 towns.

A map depicting regions of the Great Artesian Basin

The basin supplies water to 180,000 people and 7,600 businesses across Australia.(Supplied: DCCEEW)
But with so many bores, pressure and volume in the Great Artesian Basin dropped and so began the project to cap and pipe all the free-flowing bores across the basin.

There are a number of restrictions that come with drilling bores in order to protect the basin and to ensure the water is viable for human consumption.

It's a project that is still ongoing, but it started with one western Queensland grazier.

Making the most of the basin​

In 1988, John Seccombe's Muttaburra property Kenya was in drought and the grazier was having issues accessing water.

He had a number of shallow bores but knew there was a better way to ensure permanent access to water across his property; after some experimentation he put in a new artesian bore.

John Seccombe standing in front of a bore that's spilling out fast flowing water

John Seccombe revolutionised the way graziers access water from artesian bores.(Supplied: John Seccombe)
"Ninety-five per cent of water that came out of a free-flowing bore was totally wasted and that led to a loss of pressure in the basin," Mr Seccombe said.

"I couldn't understand why you couldn't utilise the pressure in the basin to pipe water around the property."
And that's what he did, laying pipes across his property and sending the water to parts of the land he'd never been able to before.

Mr Seccombe was the first to do this.

Word spread about this method — he said the Queensland government was initially dubious — but by 1993 it was convinced and asked him to run pilot programs helping other graziers cap and pipe their bores.

By 1996 Mr Seccombe helped design a national program that brought the four relevant states and territories together.

A truck with a large trailer load of black piping parked in a bare paddock

Thousands of kilometres of piping was installed to move water around Kenya Station.(Supplied: John Seccombe)
Mr Seccombe chaired both the federal and Queensland bodies until he retired in 2003.

The Queensland scheme is the Great Artesian Basin Rehabilitation Program, which receives joint funding in order to continue capping and piping bores across the basin.

The state government says it saves 226,000 megalitres of water every year, equivalent to 90,000 Olympic pools' worth of water.

The joint funding for this program is set to expire in June, but Hamish Butler, executive director south region at the Department of Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water, says he is confident it will be continued.

"The works have helped stabilise groundwater pressures, which has benefited landholders, town water supplies and industries," Mr Butler said.

Despite the uncertainty of continued funding, there are hundreds of bores to be rehabilitated.

"That's going to save another 76,000 megalitres of water annually," Mr Butler said.

Federally, the Great Artesian Basin and Other Regional Aquifers Water Plan requires states to have all stock and domestic bores watertight by September 2, 2032.

Pasture dieback research offers hope as mealybugs spread and devastate grazing land​

ABC Rural
/ By Jennifer Nichols, Abbey Halter, and Megan Hughes
Posted April 8, 2024

My note: Just in case you didnt know, Clover is a know,,.....the stuff that outgrows your front lawn...

It lies under more than 1.7 million square kilometres of inland Australia, with about 70 per cent beneath Queensland.

I hope you are not going to say that Queensland is hogging most of the water? ;)

Where I live now, in Applethorpe, near Stanthorpe, is about 5 km away from The Summit, where Elaine and I lived for seven (7) years.

If you look at Brian's map at #1231, and compare with this screenshot below

ZWyDL7X.png can see that where we live/lived is right on the edge of The Basin.

Council property plans show where you can drop a bore, and we had two spots on our quarter acre where we could have done so, but the builder of the house had elected to put in 3x5,000 gallon water tanks and so we did not need the bore water.

A house four houses down the street, though, did have a bore sunk to add extra water.

And to put this in perspective, that area is 3,000 feet above sea level.

What enormous forces must that involve?


Thanks for sharing, Bob - I will have to adjust my sending habits for my sister-in-law's 80th birthday in July, and my grandson's birthday in November (you can guess I am not a huge user of Australia Post).



Robbie’s Guide to the Nullarbor Links
Back in 2016 I took my son, Robbie, across the Nullarbor Plain. He is a very good golfer. He plays off a handicap of 6.7 and, as one who followed him along the 18 holes, I can attest that he never mishit a single shot.
For those who don’t know about this unique golf course here is my standard spiel: “A very typical Aussie outback joke the Nullarbor Links Golf Course is the world’s longest golf course with the first hole in Ceduna and the 18th hole 1365 km away at Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.”
Robbie is a solicitor (or lawyer if you prefer the American term) and like most solicitors he loves golf and he has a natural penchant for offering advice. It is what he does every day ... not playing golf ... offering advice.
So, in the spirit of helping others to play this hilarious, unique, enjoyable – and challenging – golf course, he jotted down notes as he went along the way.
With winter coming on it is the perfect time to give yourself the challenge and to see one of Australia’s great landscapes. So … here goes.
Hole 1 – Ceduna – Oyster Beds
A straight par 5 with a wide open fairway. Longer hitters able to go for the green in two. The small sand scrape green is slow, but receptive to pitching to the pin.
Hole 2 – Ceduna – Denial Bay
A long par 4 doglegging slightly right. There is out of bounds to the right, but plenty of space on the wide fairway. Another slow, but receptive, scrape green.
Hole 3 – Penong - Windmills
A short Par 4 – reachable from the tee if fortune favours you, as the hole is very well protected on all sides by scrub and trees. The safe option might be to play to the short left, leaving 100m over the trees to the green, but there is still danger on approach and only an accurate or lucky shot is rewarded.
Hole 4 – Nundroo – Wombat Hole
A genuine Par 5 with a “fairway bunker” about 200 metres from the tee. The second shot will be played over the crest of a hill, potentially cutting the dog-leg. The fairway is scattered with rocks and rubble, but the mandatory tee up assists. The green is small and you don’t want to be long on approach.
Hole 5 – Nullarbor – Dingo’s Den
Another long Par 5, flat terrain for 540m. The dog-leg starts at 200 metres from the tee and still leaves two decent shots to the two-tiered astro turf (with sand) green. If you miss the very wide fairway you may need luck to find your ball.
Hole 6 – Border Village – Border Kangaroo
A narrow chute of scrub opening to a long green protected on all sides by thick scrub. Short and straight is the only place to miss this hole.
Hole 7 – Eucla – Nullarbor Nymph
Wide open fairway (it looks like an old airstrip) with loads of space to the left and right. The approach to the green is open with room to miss on every side.
Hole 8 – Mundrabilla – Watering Hole
A sharp dog-leg Par 4 shaping to the left. A good drive will cut the corner over the deserted van, leaving a wedge to the green.
Hole 9 – Madura – Brumby’s Run
A short Par 3 with a slightly uphill to the green. Slightly left of the flag is the best line to arrive on the upper tier of the putting surface. Accuracy is essential as the green is protected by scrub left and right. Beware of the crows.
Hole 10 – Cocklebiddy – Eagle’s Nest
A straight Par 4 of 347 metres. The first 200 metres of the fairway is scattered with small shrubbery, but it is rock free and flat. Short of the green is the best on approach.
Hole 11 – Caiguna – 90 Mile Straight
A short dogleg par 4 – the safe play from the tee is an iron towards the tree in the middle of the fairway that is 150 metres from the tee. This leaves a second shot to the green that must be hit over the trees, preferably landing just short of the green and bouncing onto the putting surface.
Hole 12 – Balladonia – Skylab
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.
Hole 13 – Fraser Range Sheep Station – Sheep’s Back
A mid-iron is required to hit this open green – which lies 140 metres and slightly downhill from the tee. A ball hit short should bounce towards the green and feed towards the left – provided the ground is not muddy.
Hole 14 – Norseman – Golden Horse
A behemoth par 4 at 437 metres long, which doglegs at about the 200m mark towards the left. The corner is well protected by scrub, but the green is open on all sides with room avoid being punished for a missed approach shot.
May be an image of 1 person, golfing and the Twelve Apostles
Thanks to AUSSIE TOWNS.....(

I can recommend this site as having hard to find Information re just about any town in Australia
I believe @charlie.corder is our resident golfer.

I'm a duffer who seldom plays and plays with gear that far surpasses my ability.

Aussie Towns

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Rules of Engagement With Kangaroos
If you travel around Australia, particularly outback Queensland, you see kangaroos everywhere. I once started counting the dead ones beside the road between Charleville and Blackall and gave up after 500.
The last time I was in Outback Queensland I was horrified when, a little after noon, two jumped out in front of me. They are not supposed to do that but then they are the most stupid of animals.
As one old timer once observed to me: “Compared to your kangaroo, your sheep is a Rhodes Scholar.” And sheep are about as stupid as you can get.
The kangaroo is the only animal who, having been passed by a car or truck, will actually hop alongside, catch up, pass and then try and cross in front of the vehicle. Talk about an animal on a suicide mission.
No wonder they get run over (and boy can they damage a vehicle) they come from behind and jump out in front.
By some miracle – even though I have driven at least three times around the continent – I have never hit a ‘roo ... which is probably why I have a sentimental soft spot for this most charming (albeit stupid) of native animals.
I suspect that my ability to avoid them has been because of some simple rules:
Rule 1: try not to travel between the late afternoon and the early morning. Kangaroos, like photographers, love the soft golden light of dawn and dusk.
Rule 2: if there are a lot of dead kangaroos beside the road (and the last time I drove between Warwick and Texas they were littered along the road about one every hundred metres – yes, they were everywhere and the carrion crows were having a fine old time. Mind you: I suspect the problem was exacerbated by the local councils not having a “Dead Kangaroo Picker Upper” – some remains had turned to kangaroo jerky) slow down. You are less likely to hit a roo if you can actually avoid it.
Rule 3: if you are in a drought check out the sides of the roads. If there is any water in the gutters and any greenery then there will be kangaroos eager for a little sustenance.
Rule 4: If you see a Wedge-Tailed Eagle sitting on a kangaroo corpse either (a) stop and take a photograph or (b) head to the other side of the road. The eagle believes it has first rights to the ‘roo and it will not move for anyone. If you drive on, believing that it will get out of the way, you will run over the beautiful, arrogant bird. It will not move.
Rule 5: No kangaroo ever studied logic so, if you think they will behave rationally you are totally wrong. I think they say “I think I will hop in front of this car and see what happens”. They say that just before they do serious damage to both themselves and the front of your car.
I am sure there are more rules but those have served me well ... so far. I cross my fingers. With the bloody things coming out in the middle of the day ... and I have never seen that before ... there can be no safe time on the roads. Scary stuff.
Why this eulogy to ‘roos? Well there is a 20-minute walking track between the Royal Cave and the Fairy Cave at the Buchan Caves and, seriously, I have never seen so many ‘roos in my life.
They were everywhere. Every size from big buck ‘roos who look as though they will give you a punch in the nose if you come too close, to babies who hastily clambered back into their mother’s pouch. They were lying under trees; gazing imperiously in the middle distance; scratching themselves; munching on the grass; and just generally having a great old time.
I would say “Go to Buchan Caves and see hundreds of ‘roos” but the guide said: “That’s unusual. They must been attracted by the cool, moist weather! Usually there are few of them here.”
I reckon they’re all doing a course in speleology and spelunking.
May be an image of kangaroo and wallaby

Thanks again, Aussie Towns for an excellent, informative article

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