ZINIO logo

Australian Geographic May/June 2018

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

2 min
food matters

I CONFESS TO being a backyard bird-feeder – and I feel rather guilt-ridden about it. I know a pair of kookaburras and a magpie family who know exactly where to come for guaranteed tidbits. Their arrival is always timed perfectly to coincide with our family meal times out on the deck in the warmer months when there are always plenty of tasty morsels going spare. I love the intimacy of such encounters with these wild creatures and the chance to see them at close range. It’s an even bigger thrill to see the reaction of overseas guests when seemingly tame birds arrive for a feed. But I’ve often felt confused by conflicting advice on this common practice. Am I somehow encouraging dependency and perhaps even doing harm? By using the latest…

3 min
notes from the field

YOU COULD SAY snakes are an occupational hazard for our correspondents when they head into the field for stories. Australia, after all, has many of the world’s deadliest species of these reptiles and our writers and photographers often work where snakes are found. Certainly we see a lot of them, but thankfully it’s rarely been necessary to deal with a bite. So it was unusual that snakebite was a concern during two assignments for stories in this issue. The most serious episode involved writer and photographer Ross McGibbon, who, while working on Taipan territory (see page 44), was bitten by one of the world’s most venomous snakes – a mulga snake, also known as a king brown. It happened early one evening, about 1000km east of Perth, when Ross was trying to…

1 min
featured letter

DREAMTIME ART I read with enthusiasm your article The last great expedition (AG 142) about Arnhem Land, because I have a book series known as The Dreamtime Books with words by Charles ‘Monty’ Mountford (featured in your article) and pictures by Ainslie Roberts. Roberts ran a successful Adelaide advertising agency, but gave it up due to ill health and overwork. As part of his recovery he went to Alice Springs, where he met up with Monty and collaborated on some of the books in the series. Roberts painted scenes in vivid colours from the Dreamtime stories Monty told him. The full story of the Roberts–Mountford collaboration can be found in Ainslie Roberts and the Dreamtime, by Charles E. Hulley. I think all of these books are out of print but I…

5 min
ag   your say

TRAINED EYE I love your magazine, especially the recent edition that includes great Australian train journeys (AG 143). I’d like, however, to draw your attention to a typo: the distance between Townsville and Mount Isa should read 977km, not 97km. Thanks for this informative article. I am doing the Indian Pacific trip this year and can’t wait to go! PETER ANDJELKOVIC, ADELAIDE, SA FALLING FOR RATS Your feature Our remarkable rodents (AG 143) brought back a fond memory. After seeing the1970s TV series In the Wild with Harry Butler, where Harry tried and failed to find a water-rat at Lawn Hill, I made one of many visits to Boodjamulla National Park. Accompanied by my friends Dr Mark and Cherie Weller of Mount Isa and others, we camped beside a river. The others retired to…

1 min

In April, AUSTRALIAN GEOGRAPHIC contributor Elizabeth Arrigo asked whether we should love or hate the Asian house gecko. Here’s what you had to say: AMANDA LEE ROBERTSON We used to have a redback spider plague every summer, until the Asian geckos moved in. No problem since. PAUL MCKIVER Bag them, freeze them, bin them, feed them to magpies and kookas. Give no pity, same as for any other introduced animal. SUZETTE EDGE Our hardwired smoke alarm went off recently at 2am and we couldn’t work out why. We broke it open to find an Asian house gecko curled up inside. RACH LOOSEMORE They’re awesome at keeping pests down and so well established in Australia now that it’s pointless to try eradicating them. BRETT KAKOSCHKE Better than insecticide in a can! Eats all pesky insects for free. One or more in…

1 min
spine chilling

The echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) is a monotreme, an egg-laying mammal that feeds its young on milk. Echidnas are adaptable creatures that can thrive anywhere from arid deserts in the Northern Territory to cold alpine regions (as evidenced by this inhabitant of the Snowy Mountains in New South Wales). In cooler, more southerly climates, the echidna grows thicker, longer fur in between its defensive spines to keep it warm. Even in the snow, its powerful paws can dig out enough of its diet of ants, termites, worms, spiders and beetles to survive. Usually solitary animals, at mating time up to 10 male echidnas follow a female in a ‘train’ for weeks until one male wins out. See page 23 for how you can help track echidna populations with the Echidna CSI…