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Australian Geographic November/December 2019

Australian Geographic, Australia’s premier geographic journal, brings you the best of the country from those who know it best. Discover Australia’s rich cultural heritage, its beautiful landscapes, its unique and diverse plants and wildlife, and explore outback towns and the true-blue characters who call them home.

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Australian Geographic Holdings Pty Ltd
R 96,04
R 264,32
6 Issues

in this issue

2 min
get out and stay out

IF WE HAVE A central mission at AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC, it is to encourage Australians to connect with nature. Just about everything we do–from the stories we tell to the people we sponsor and the activities we promote–is underpinned by some enduring tenets. We are fortunate to live in a country with more than its share of wild places. And we should get out into them, cherish them and look after them, because they can’t be taken for granted. The benefits of breathing clean air and enjoying physical exercise in inspiring landscapes are obvious and immediate. Now, groundbreaking Australian research is proving that the benefits go much deeper than the simple joy and exhilaration we experience by taking a long bushwalk. Our physical chemistry alters in response to our surrounding environment. Importantly,…

2 min
notes from the field

Wilson da Silva was stumped at first about how to tell the story of the importance of the billions of bacteria living inside us (page 64). So he spent hours in conversation with researchers studying the microbiome–the galaxy of microbes in our bodies–and visiting their labs and field sites, to gain an appreciation for the tiny critters. “But it wasn’t until, after a pleasant pub lunch in the town of Crafers, and a walk through Mount Lofty’s nature trails, that I realised this story was ultimately about soil and how much of our poor health in cities stems from our lack of connection with wilderness,” Wilson says. “I was invigorated after our walk, and that was exactly the point. Spending time with nature energises you.” Wilson is heartened scientists are working to…

5 min
your say

Featured Letter ROCK RECALL The recent article The end of the climb (AG 151) brought back many memories of a trip to Uluru in 1952 as one of 40 schoolboys travelling from Sydney to Alice Springs via Uluru. We went as a scientific expedition, which enabled us to visit Uluru, then an Aboriginal reserve with restricted entry. We climbed the rock before the chains were installed. I revisited it with the family in 1999. I didn’t climb but instead did the beautiful walk around it. I loved the article and the great photos. The picture (above) is us on the road in 1952 with an ex-army jeep and trailer. We travelled in three trucks. Mitch Simmons, Newcastle, NSW PERSONALISED AG I’ve been an avid subscriber to your magazine since the first issue in 1986,…

1 min

In August, we reported on some little-known facts about our rainbow lorikeets, such as their meat-eating habits and occasional drunkeness. Here’s what you had to say: DAN EDWARDS Eat meat, get heavily inebriated–definitely an Australian species: Lorikeetus barbequs uninvitee. MAGGIE GALBRAITH The drunken thing explains a heck of a lot about my rainbow-spangled kamikaze feathered neighbours. JONATHAN RICHARDS I watched one chew on a meat bone in our backyard around this time last year. LYNNE LEVEY Not just a pretty face, lorikeets are fantastic at training cats not to chase birds! Mine are petrified of our lorikeet. SHIRLEY ATTWELL The one thing that concerned me was that people put mince out for birds. Mince can build up in the lower part of their beak and cause infection. PHOTO CREDITS, FROM LEFT: PETER BLAKEMAN; MITCH REARDON/AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC…

1 min
dynamic duo

This stunning image of grey-headed flying-foxes using their wings as raincoats during a summer downpour was a finalist in the 2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year competition. Entries are now being accepted for the 2020 competition, which celebrates the natural heritage of the bioregions of Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and New Guinea. Photographers from around the world are invited to submit their nature and wildlife photographs from these parts of the Southern Hemisphere. For further details: naturephotographeroftheyear.com.au…

2 min
black birds with bright behaviours

STRIPPING EUCALYPT bark to search for food, chomping on large gumnuts and screeching loudly as they fly by, black-cockatoos have some of the most distinctive behaviours of any of our birds. Australia is home to five species of these charismatic creatures–Baudin’s, and Carnaby’s, both of which are listed nationally as endangered, and the red-tailed, yellow-tailed and glossy. Baudin’s, like all of these cockatoos, is a large species–up to 57cm long. Found only in a small area of jarrah and marri forest in south-west Western Australia, it has the most restricted distribution of all the black-cockatoos. Carnaby’s occurs in the same area but its range extends slightly further. It’s known as the ‘rain bird’ because it migrates to higher rainfall areas after summertime breeding. Both Carnaby’s and Baudin’s are similar in appearance, being…