Australia Travelog Archive

Below is a list of all my postings that I have completed from the various locations in Australia I visited during the years I spent living there.  I actually have pictures of many other locations in the country that I have not had the time to type up postings on and will eventually do so.  In the mean time there is plenty of postings here in the archives for people to read about the great places I visited while living Down Under.

Australia

Australian Capitol Territory

Melbourne

New South Wales

Northern Territory

South Australia

Sydney

Tasmania

Victoria

Western Australia

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Melbourne Storms: Past & Present

Here are pictures of a massive storm that hit one of my favorite cities in the world Melbourne, Australia:

There seems to be wild weather all around the world this year, but as Andrew Bolt points out this type of weather is nothing new in Melbourne with this picture from 1972:

I saw some wild weather myself when my wife and I were living in the Melbourne area, but definitely nothing like these two storms.

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Melbourne Doctors Work to Separate Bangladeshi Twins Joined at the Head

Here are some Australians doing a good thing:

A team of Australian surgeons were working Monday on a delicate and complicated surgery to separate twin sisters who are joined at the top of the head.

The 2-year-old Bangladeshi orphans, Trishna and Krishna, share parts of their skull, brain tissue and blood flow.

Doctors expected the operation, which began Monday morning, to take at least 16 hours, with a team of 16 surgeons and nurses.

“I am cautiously optimistic,” plastic surgeon Tony Holmes said after the surgery began.

Holmes said the girls were sedated Sunday night and that an angiogram was performed to take a final look at the blood vessels before the operation. Doctors were first working to remove the bone at the back half of the girls’ heads.

“It is a stressful time for any group of surgeons with this sort of case,” Holmes told reporters. “They only come along really once in a lifetime and I think everybody has been on tenterhooks. We have had a few ups and downs with these children because of medical problems.”

The girls were brought to Australia in 2007 by the Children First Foundation and have already had several operations in preparation for separation.

Doctors say the chance of a successful separation is 25 percent. There is a 50 percent chance the girls will suffer brain damage and a 25 percent chance one of the sisters will die.  [Associated Press]

Let’s hope the operation is a success.

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Australian Baby Survives Being Hit By Train

This is a pretty amazing story coming out of Melbourne:

Police in Australia say a 6-month-old baby has miraculously survived a train hitting his stroller that had rolled onto the tracks.

The train pushed the stroller about 130 feet (40 meters) along the tracks before it stopped.

Security video footage released Friday shows the mother looking away for a moment when the stroller suddenly rolls off the edge of a station platform and onto the tracks. The mother panics as she looks back and sees the oncoming train hit the stroller, but the baby boy survived with only minor injuries.

Victoria state Police Sergeant Michael Ferwerda called Thursday’s incident a “lucky escape” and said people should be cautious in train stations.  [Associated Press]

Thank goodness the baby was alright after all that happened.

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On Walkabout At: Flinders Street Station in Melbourne

Every major city in the world has a structure that becomes its iconic image.  New York City for example has the Statue of Liberty, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, and in Australia Sydney has its beautiful Opera House.  Melbourne may not have structures as iconic as the ones listed above, but if I had to name one structure in Melbourne that represents the city I would have to say it is the Flinders Street Station:

Picture from Flinders Station

The station is located in the middle of the Melbourne Central Business District on the corner of Flinders and Swanston Street.  The location of Flinders Street Station has been the central hub of rail transport in Melbourne dating all the way back to 1854. By the 1880′s the then existing railway station was getting too old and a replacement would be needed.  In 1899 a design contest was held for what the exterior of the new station would look like.  On May 22, 1900 the first prize was awarded to JW Fawcett and HPC Ashworth for their design of what the station looks like today.


Flinders Street Station in 1927.

The construction of the new station wasn’t completed until 1910, but the station was well worth the wait as it is easily one of the most beautiful train stations in the entire world.  The people of Victoria definitely got their money’s worth for investing in the new station considering that the bright gold color and clock towers of the station has been a Melbourne fixture for nearly 100 years now.

Picture from Flinders Station

Picture from Flinders Station

Here is a look at the station from above as seen from the observation deck of the Rialto Towers.  The gold color of the station easily stands out among all the much larger buildings that surround it:

Picture from Flinders Station

You can see Melbourne’s Federation Square right across the street from Flinders Street Station at the top of the picture.  I have always found it ironic that one of the city’s most beautiful buildings is right across the street from easily its most ugly building:

Picture from Flinders Station

Here are some facts and figures from the Victorian Department Transportation website on the amount of travelers this historic station still sees every day:

Each week, more than 10,300 passenger-carrying suburban train services operate to and from Flinders Street Station.

On an average weekday, more than 110,000 people pass through the station and its ten platforms.

At 708 metres long, platform 1 is the fourth longest railway platform in the world.

Just about every time I go through Flinders Street Station the place seems to be packed with commuters.  It is also quickly becoming the place to meet up to launch protests or as the 2006 World Cup showed a place to cheer on the nation’s sports teams.  If in Melbourne it is definitely worth a stop to take a look at the station and admire its beautiful architecture.  Here is a tip for everyone, definitely buy a Spanish doughnut from the guy on the Swanston Street side of the station; just like visiting the station itself, you won’t regret it.

 

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Indian Protesters Cause Traffic Jam In Melbourne

If I was to hold a protest to get Australians to support my cause I don’t think causing a massive traffic jam in the middle of Melbourne is the way I would go about it:

INDIAN protesters occupying a busy central Melbourne
intersection say they will continue their sit-in through peak hour in protest
against what they say is a rising tide of racial violence against them.

At 2am (AEST) this morning, more than 300 protesters remained at the corner
of Swanston and Flinders streets, under the famous Flinders
Street
railway station clocks, where south Asian cab drivers held a similar
protest last year.

The protest, which is bound to create traffic chaos in the city, is peaceful
for now. (……)

“We have become a part of your country. We respect your culture. We want the
same respect of cultural values from your side. If people feel like they are
going to be hurt, that can’t be tolerated.”   [AFP]

The Age has a gallery of pictures of the protest here.

Sorry to break it to this guy, but if he respects Australian culture he wouldn’t be causing Melbourne drivers to be stuck in a traffic jam.  If anything this group has probably caused more ill will with the people they are trying to get to change their opinions of the Indian community.  Doing this is especially not going to win over Australians:

They then moved to the intersection outside the station where, witnesses
said, the protesters threw shoes, water bottles and other objects at the
station’s clocks, breaking stained glass windows above the entrance, when police
tried to break up the sit-in.

A 22-year-old man from St Albans was arrested and charged with criminal
damage and riotous behaviour.

Not good to be vandalizing an Australian architectural icon like the Flinders Street Station.  I am not even Australian and that pisses me off.  This group may want to rethink their protest strategy because this one is definitely flawed.

Nine News has video of the protest here.

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Melbourne Train Surfer Bashed for Stupid Stunt

Looks like we have another candidate for a Darwin Award:

His actions have been slammed by Victoria’s state premier who said he could not imagine a more stupid, idiotic or dangerous thing to do.

A teenager has claimed he was the person seen hitching a ride at Camberwell station, Melbourne, on Friday night and said he had carried out the stunt before.

The 19-year-old, who spoke to radio station Nova 100, said he had been kicked out of home after his mother saw a photograph of him on the front page of the Herald Sun newspaper.

The teen, who spoke through a voice distorter because he did not want to be identified, said she was “spewing” when she saw the picture and told him to pack his bags and “get out”.

The man said he rode on the rear of the train for several stops on the Belgrave-Lilydale line before getting off at Surrey Hills station.

He said he had ridden on the back of trains before and nothing would stop him from doing it again.

Railway operator Connex, the police and the public have expressed anger that such behaviour is becoming more common. The firm gets about nine reports a month, a sharp rise from three just a year ago.  [Sky News]

If you are wondering this is not the first time train surfing has happened in Melbourne, but fortunately this time this teenager wasn’t killed while doing it.

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Melbourne Suburb Happiest Place In Austraia

At least according to this survey:


A NATIONAL health survey has unearthed a pocket of happiness in Melbourne’s outer east.

Kilsyth, the working-class home of the well-treed quarter-acre block, is officially Australia’s happiest suburb.

Almost 50,000 Australians have taken The Test, an exhaustive questionnaire that gauges an individual’s health and happiness.

The online poll covers topics such as daily hugs and family dinners, as well as probing respondents on their diet and exercise.

Since the survey’s launch in the Sunday Herald Sun last week, Kilsyth has emerged as Australia’s happiest postcode.

And the suburb’s loyal mayor, Len Cox, is not surprised.

“Everyone I know in Kilsyth seems pretty content with life,” the Yarra Ranges mayor said.

“It’s a lovely place – a real working families’ suburb.”  [Herald-Sun]

Actually I can vouch that the various communities along the Dandenong Ranges to the east of Melbourne are beautiful places to live.

Here are some more facts that came out of the survey:

The survey also shows residents of the Australian Capital Territory laugh the most – and enjoyed the most regular sexual activity.

South Australians enjoy less laughter and sexual activity than residents of other states.

Women prove marginally happier than men in the survey, while those over 50 are much happier than people under the half-century mark.

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Zombies Invade Melbourne

No not really just a Zombie Shuffle in fact:


MELBOURNE was transformed into a real-life horror show today when hundreds of `zombies’ hit the streets.

The undead brain-munchers were really zombie enthusiasts in make-up, moaning on mass through the city for the annual Zombie Shuffle, organised through Facebook.

It was the fourth time the event has been staged in Melbourne.

About 200 people dressed as zombies started their trek at the Carlton Gardens, moving through the CBD to Southbank.

Soldier zombie Rob Withers, 37, said some people were scared of the group.

But he said most Melburnians who saw the group in the CBD saw the humour.  [Herald-Sun]

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Melbourne to Run Out of Water By 2010?

I can’t think of a major city in the world that faces the possibility of running out of water like Melbourne is by as early as 2010 according to this posting if you can believe it:

There has not been one week in 2009 where Melbourne’s Water Storage levels have increased or even stayed the same. It has been on a continual decline due to lower than average rainfall, higher than average water usage per person, and an ever increasing Melbourne population…

Should this amount continue to decline at this rate? Well possibly. Melbourne’s water usage over winter should decline, however we are still having the greatest population increase of any city in Australia…

Although I don’t like to extrapolate, if the current decreasing trend of water levels were to continue in the graph as shown above, then by November 30, when (No Water Minister) Tim Holding will re-review the storage levels, Melbourne’s water levels will be at 13.3%, less than half of what they are now. And I can extrapolate further too. If the current decreasing trend of water levels were to continue beyond this, then Melbourne will have its last drop on the 16th of June 2010.

What continues to amaze me is that people continue to be surprised by this happening despite the fact that the city has been Australia’s fastest growing city and had a huge population boom without improving the water infrastructure. 

What is sad is that this should have been addressed long ago

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