Travel

The rise and fall and rise again of a valley’s Rattler

As settlers moved into the rich, fertile areas of the Mary Valley in the 1860s, they wanted a railway to connect them more readily to the outside world and markets for their produce.

The government ignored their early calls, but all that changed when prospectors discovered gold at nearby Gympie in 1867.

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The fruit and salad bowl of Queensland

Introduction

If you have driven around the patchwork of fertile red volcanic soils east of Bundaberg, you would have noticed several paddocks of fruit and vegetable crops, in addition to the vast cane fields. Bundaberg is best known for its sugar cane and rum. However, these days, the region is a true fruit and salad bowl area feeding the nation.

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Another birthday for Hervey Bay’s jewel attraction

Early trade in Maryborough

The port of Maryborough on the Mary River was significant, not only for the development of Maryborough itself but also for trade in south-east Queensland. It exported gold, hides, tallow, refined and raw sugar, rum, antimony and timber. Also, after the separation of the colony from New South Wales in 1859, Maryborough was declared a port of entry and necessitated the collection of customs on behalf of the government.

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The tragic loss of the Voyager

Introduction

They became men overnight”. A reference to young 19 year-old crewmen that had only been in the Navy for six months and rose to the occasion in the rescue operations after Voyager collided with HMAS Melbourne.

Tomorrow marks the day, 60 years ago, of the worst peace-time tragedy for the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

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The big shift – towns that have moved in Australia

As we travelled around Australia, I was amazed at how many towns we came across that had shifted for whatever reason. While I already knew about a few, I had no idea many towns were forced to move.

Probably one of the best-known is Eucla on the Nullarbor Plain. The Eucla Telegraph Station opened in 1877 and helped link Western Australia with the rest of Australia and the world.… Read more

50 years since a dream became a reality

The idea

Nestled deep in the Gradys Creek Valley on the southern side of the McPherson Range, which separates New South Wales from Queensland, lie several properties, a small school and a community hall. There is no communal area or village, but it is known as The Risk. The name came from the first settler who decided to take a risk to ride over the mountain. … Read more

The Waler – a remarkable horse and an Aussie legend

“By members of the Desert Mounted Corps and friends, to the gallant horses who carried them over the Sinai Desert into Palestine, 1915-19. They suffered wounds, thirst, hunger and weariness almost beyond endurance, but they never failed. They did not come home”. 

Inscription on a monument erected by returned soldiers in Sydney

As we stop tomorrow to remember those who fought in wars but didn’t return home, I thought I would share an Australian story about a unique horse breed in Australia.… Read more

Z Special Unit Part 3 – the fate of the Jaywick and Rimau men

What happened to Bill Reynolds?

In Part 1, I provided details about Bill Reynolds’ heroic work rescuing civilians affected by the fall of Singapore aboard the Kofuku Maru, which was renamed as the Krait and played a pivotal role in the success of Operation Jaywick.

While Reynolds wasn’t part of Jaywick, he delivered the Krait to Australia and was going to captain the vessel on the daring raid to Singapore Harbour.… Read more

Z Special Unit Part 2 – Operation Rimau: the tragic sequel to Jaywick

While Operation Jaywick in its simplicity was a resounding success; Operation Rimau in its sophistication was an abysmal failure.

Brian Smith

Introduction

In just a few months, the Japanese managed to dismantle an empire in South East Asia the Europeans took centuries to build. The attack on Pearl Harbour in early December 1941 was preceded by the Japanese invasion of the Malay Peninsula, an hour before.… Read more