Travel

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

The cable cutters

I’ll put a girdle ‘round the earth in forty minutes

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

While travelling around the country, I came across yet another little-known wartime story which again highlights the heroics of Australians. This time it involves midget submarines and divers cutting underwater telegraph cables to thwart the Japanese communication efforts towards the end of World War II.… Read more

The slow disappearance of one of Fraser Island’s tourist icons 

Every Fraser Island visitor has seen or knows about the Maheno wreck on the eastern shore about five kilometres north of Happy Valley. These days it is a tourist attraction and photographic stop. It must be the most photographed piece of rust in the world. The rusted remains, however, bear no resemblance to the luxury liner that plied its trade between Australia and New Zealand and the war-time hospital shipping the Mediterranean.… Read more

A town that lived off the rabbit’s back

There was not much money anywhere and if you saw a rabbit, that was money. If you could get him, it was a bit of silver in your pocket”. Max Weber

The rabbit comes to Australia

Queensland, like other states, has suffered damage from several introduced pests, particularly prickly pear and the cane toad.… Read more

An intriguing Australian animal

Australia is home to a fascinating diversity of unique animals and birds. One of the most intriguing is the emu.

My only real interest in the emu was when I played rugby for the Orange Emus in my younger years. It wasn’t until I travelled around the country that the emu became part of my consciousness.… Read more

Connecting Western Australia to the rest of the world

Introduction

The first telegraph message in the world was sent on 24 May 1844, using Morse code, a system of dots and dashes representing letters of the alphabet. The system was invented by Samuel Morse, inspired by the fact that when his wife died in 1825, he did not hear of the event until days after her funeral due to the slowness of communications at the time.… Read more

A Convict Road

The Great North Road was one of three great roads built simultaneously out of Sydney, heading north, west and south. While there is little evidence of the Great Western and Southern Roads, much more evidence still exists of the Great North Road. Up to 43 kilometres remain intact.

The Great North Road was built entirely by convict labour between 1826 and 1836.… Read more

The pitfalls of having a border follow a celestial line 

Introduction

The South Australian portion of the Nullarbor Plain was part of New South Wales. The reason can be explained by examining the stories behind the development of each of the state borders since colonisation. This blog will initially focus on the creation of the Western Australian, South Australian and Northern Territory border, which is now on the 129 Degrees East longitude (1290E) but was initially further east.… Read more

A benevolent service to the outback

I first learnt about the Bush Church Aid Society (BCA) when I researched a story on pilot John Lindridge, who worked for BCA in the 1960s. While this story mentions the skills of the original pilot Allan “Chaddy” Chadwick, John Lindridge was also a very competent and professional pilot. My blog about John provides more details on his remarkable career and tragic end.… Read more