Open letter to UK travellers

Dear UK travellers,

Please visit Australia. We are a friendly bunch, with a continent full of unique wonders, and you get an embarrassingly fabulous exchange rate on your money.
Contrary to our Govt’s silly marketing, most Australians do not have “plastic” faces with collagen lips and botox smiles, but do expect a laugh and a cheeky grin under a layer of sunscreen.
Please also bring any mates who don’t speak English – modern Australia was made by millions of migrants from across the world, and an ancient Indigenous culture. Besides, interpreters can be handy as many of the most popular dishes in our world array of eateries have foreign names.
You won’t miss out on your favorite British breakfast tea but be prepared for arguably the best barista coffee outside of the Mediterranean.
Oh, do you like good wine and cold beer?

Yours sincerely,


Sharks: Don’t put profit before people

Baiting tells sharks to come and eat. More sharks. Hungry sharks. Isn’t that obvious?

As for recent “alarmist publicity” about shark attacks: mate, I would now be alarmed if my loved ones snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef/Whitsundays without local advice. Very alarmed.

Choose tour groups with marine biology experts. Always listen to locals.



#dunk_island #south_molle #daydream_island #whitsunday_islands #great_barrier_reef 

Queensland’s famous island resorts, once like a string of pearls along a tropical coast, are now mostly dots of decay.

They will only be profitable when rebuilt with low-cost materials easily maintained, dismantled and reassembled. Synthetics don’t last in the hot, wet tropics; furniture’s mouldy in 2 years. Painting is pointless. Buildings will be smashed by cyclones; expect to replace every 10 years. What’s the solution? Perhaps a relook at bamboo and rattan? Stop trying to fight nature, and embrace it. These islands are among the best destinations in the world. We have to do something…


A cooked chook in a shake ‘n’ bake bag, or maybe an overdone saveloy bursting at the seams: getting into a wetsuit in 35 celsius isn’t easy. But my “pain specialist” is keen for me to get back into snorkelling as part of living with early onset lumbar osteoarthritis (“Don’t push it, just one step at a time”). Now, I’m wondering if I’ve misunderstood the true meaning of “pain specialist”.
When in, it’s good, passive exercise, with the positive buoyancy of sea water. But I may have scared off most of the fish in the marine sanctuary at Ricketts Point, Beaumaris, in Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay…
#snorkelling #osteoarthritis #keepmoving #chipsandvinegar


It seems too expensive for Australians. P&O, Princess, Holland America Line – they all cater superbly for families and couples. But the “single supplement” excludes most solo travellers. Expect to pay $5000-plus for an entry level 8-night cruise; but $2500 for twin share. Not so in Europe and North America, where single rooms are common. But I will keep searching because solo cruising would be a fabulous experience…