ZINIO logo

Australian Geographic May - June 2021

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.

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

in this issue

3 min
on the road again

JUST AS WE are putting the final touches to this issue, the federal government and Australian airline industry are in a stoush about when Australians will be able to fly overseas again (beyond regional bubbles, that is). It’s a clear sign we’ve entered a new COVID-19 phase: it’s much simpler to shut things down than to open them up again, and conservative decision-making will inevitably clash with all whose lives and businesses have been upended by the restrictions of the past year. But, in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of Aussies are exploring their own country in a way never seen before. Incentivised by travel bargains, cheap flights and entertainment vouchers, it’s a boom time for the domestic tourism industry. It’s also a major learning curve for those of us who…

2 min
been everywhere man

At precisely 1.05pm on 15 February, after working every day for the previous 2797 days, Bruce Elder finally finished his ambitious Aussie Towns web project. From this he creates AG’s Aussie Towns series (page 128). He began on 20 June 2013, and during the next seven years, wrote a total of 2,663,486 words about 1322 Australian towns – the equivalent of 33 novels. During that time he drove to all 1322 towns, took tens of thousands of photographs and collected seemingly endless brochures and local history books. Aussie Towns began as a project to write detailed, useful and definitive accounts of all of the country’s significant towns. Bruce wanted to answer the fundamental question: “Why am I here?” He believes most people travel without a clear idea of what they want…

1 min
featured letter

Your magazine finds its way very promptly to your antipodes here on the other side of the world, and is always well received. AG 161 (March–April 2021) excelled: every item – from features to news snippets – was well written and illustrated. From insight into slime moulds to adventures with camels, and from celebrations of nature writing to the history of war horses, there was something to wonder at and learn about on every page. Aussie Towns and Traces are always insightful and appealing. Can I add praise for the excellent cartography exhibited in your pages? AG 161’s accounts of the wukalina and Larapinta walks, and the wonderful chronicle of an extensive kayak trip around Lake Macquarie, were each enhanced by the functional and aesthetic maps accompanying them. The loose, large-format wall…

4 min
your say

MAILBAG WELCOMES FEEDBACK Send letters, including an address and phone number, to editorial@ausgeo.com.au or to Australian Geographic, GPO Box 4088, Sydney NSW 2001. Letters will be edited for length and clarity. COOL KIDS The iceman cometh (Snapshot, AG 160) brought back memories of my school days in the blue asbestos mining town of Wittenoom in the Pilbara region of WA. During the 1950s, to raise money, a schoolmate and I delivered block ice to whoever needed it. We charged one shilling and sixpence per delivery and I converted a pram with a timber box on top to hold the ice. We had an ice chest and a kerosene-powered fridge at home, as did others. The ice was made at the mining company store. We also delivered locally made bread. We didn’t get rich but…

1 min
eerie yerranderie

ONE OF THE BEST regions in Australia for observing and photographing night skies is Central West New South Wales, where there are fewer clouds and less light pollution than at coastal and city destinations. The ideal time to experience these crystal-clear night skies is between March and October when the Milky Way stages a glorious, glittering celestial spectacle. Astrophotographer Ryan Heldoorn felt a little spooked when he found himself camping alone one night at Yerranderie, an isolated and abandoned former silver-mining township located along the old Oberon–Colong stock route. It’s accessible by four-wheel-drive vehicle from either Oberon, west of the Blue Mountains, or via Mittagong in the Southern Highlands. Yerranderie’s array of old buildings attracts visitors who can camp or stay in heritage accommodation, then explore the village and the…

4 min
bee seen

I WAS 10 WEEKS into fieldwork driving from Adelaide to far north Queensland sampling sites for native Australian bees in February 2019, when I made a discovery that took my breath away. Like most mornings, I’d been up sampling early, this time along the edge of remnant rainforest habitat at a place called Hallorans Hill Conservation Park, in the town of Atherton, south-west of Cairns. As I stalked the forest’s edge, butterfly net in hand, a flash of motion caught my eye and a bee alighted on a nearby leaf. My reflexes kicked in and I made a quick upward sweep. I’ve been studying native Australian bees (see AG 139) for nearly seven years and a glance was all I needed to arouse my suspicion. Catching my breath and with…