Category Archives: Australia

Manly Market (Queensland, Australia)

Manly Market
Manly Beach, Queensland, Australia
http://www.manlyharbourvillage.com/

Every sunday the Manly Creative Markets spreads out its presence in the Little Bayside Park along the Esplanade of the beaching and boating resort of Manly Beach. It runs from 8 am to 3 pm offering a wonderful assortment of hand crafts, Australian local gifts, food, snacks, handcrafts, and farmer’s produce. Lots of Food, fruits s, vegetables, plants, and crafts are available. On the entertainment side offered are kid’s rides, a coffee shop, massage services, performances, and a dog wash. Great place to get gifts!

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Manly Harbour, Queensland, Australia

Manly Harbour
Manly Beach, Queensland, Australia
http://www.manlyharbourvillage.com/

Manly Harbour is a popular resort location, especially for boating. It is also home to Manly Harbour Village which supports the community of boaters and recreationists who utilize the docks. Sheltered from harsh weather and the sea, Manly Beach and its harbour is conveniently locaed 20 minutes outside of Brisbane and is Brisbane’s only bayside village. Manly Beach Harbour is also Australia’s east coast’s largest man-made marina giving a docking home to over 1,500 boats and vessels. Surrounding the marina are many restaurants, coffee houses, galleries, accomodations, and entertainment/recreational venues … and its a portal to many islands such as Moreton Bay and historic St. Helena Island. In addition, it is home to an annual Harbour festival and weekly arts, crafts, and farmer’s markets. With a long stretch of esplanade to walk, completely bounding the marina, is a great panorama of the boater’s world. Inset into internationally recognized wetlands, even the bird watcher can come here to view over 43 species of wading birds.

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Brisbane River (Queensland, Australia)

Brisbane River

Queensland, Australia

The Brisbane River quickly became home to me during my Australian travels in the Summer of 2011. It was home to the HMB Endeavour, upon which in May I was a volunteer tour guide and crew member while it was in port at the Brisbane City Center and during its circumnavigation voyage leg from Brisbane to Gladstone. I found the river as it flowed through Brisbane to be a hub of cultural activities from outdoor recreation, panoramic scenery, cultural events, to botanical garden goodness. It was also a hot spot for transportation to and from work while I was living in Manly West and the West End. The Brisbane River is the longest river in southeastern Queensland, flowing through the metropolitan hub of Brisbane before it empties into the Moreton Bay. It was named after Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales, in 1823 by John Oxley who was the first European to navigate and explore the river. Its mouth at Moreton Bay did however get visited by Captain Cook, Matthew Flinders, John Bingle and, William Edwardson, all whom failed to discover the river. After the river was given this name, so was named the penal colony that once habitated the lands where metropolitan Brisbane now stands. This amazing river will astound you with beauty and richness as it is a major waterway between Brisbane and Ipswich. The River from afar in its contrasted beauty shimmering reflections of skyscrapers and modern architecture unfortunately is quite murky, dark, and polluted within its depths. It comes from Mount Stanley, 214 miles away, dammed at Wivenhoe Dam to form Lake Wivenhoe which is the water supply for the city. The river is known to be abundant with the rare Queensland lungfish, Brisbane River cod, and bull sharks. The river has 16 major bridges crossing it, as well as the Clem Jones Tunnel which was built in 2010 to go underneath it . It is a hub of activity as personal watercrafts, large ocean vessels, ferries, yachts, and historic ships travel this waterfare. The River sees alot of commuter traffic on the River CityCat.

The largest ship ever to be built on the river was a 66,000 ton beast done so by Robert Miller, though was un-moored by the 1974 Brisbane flood, one of the most devastatingly damaging floods in the river’s history. The River historically flooded severely numerous times in 1893, 1974, and most recently in January of 2011. The river has expanded its port facilities, especially that on the historic “Fisherman’s Island” which is now known as the “Port of Brisbane”.

The Brisbane river is fed from the Brisbane Mountain Range that is east of Kingaroy. The River proceeds south past Mount Stanley, through the Moore and Toogoolawah townships where the Stanley River meets with the river, then runs into Lake Wivenhoe, eastward to merge with Bremer River, on into Brisbane including Jindalee, Indooroopilly, and Toowong. Within Brisbane, the River goes under the Kangaroo Point Cliffs, a quarry area that is a scenic spot for the River, and a popular location for parties, drum circles, and other outings. The River is also fed by other tributaries besides the above such as Breakfast Creek, Moggill Creek, Bulimba Creek, Norman Creek, Oxley Creek, Lockyer Creek, Cressbrook Creek, Cooyar Creek, Cubberla Creek, Wolston Creek, Woogaroo Creek, Goodna Creek, Six Mile Creek, Bundamba Creek, Pullen Pullen Creek, and Kholo Creek.

Pre-contact, the river was very popular among the Aboriginal peoples of the Turrbal nation as a location for fishing and fire stick farming. After Contact, with explorations by Captain Cook, Matthew Flinders, John Bingle, and William Edwardson of the area, first being missed by them. It was however discovered by Western settlers in 1823 when convicts sailing from Sydney on a timber retrieval mission to Illawarra were blown north by a storm stranding on Moreton Island. They escaped by making it to the mainland after going south of the Brisbane River. As they were heading home north back to Sydney, they discovered the river, by walking upstream along its banks for almost a month before making their first crossing at “Canoe Reach” where it junctions with Oxley Creek by stealing a small canoe from the Aborigines. At the same time, John Oxley was sailing into Moreton Bay looking for the prime location for a new convict settlement when he discovered the stranded men. In 1823, the river was named after Sir Thomas Brisbane the then governor of New South Wales and saw its first settlement in 1824 on its shores. The first private wharves were built in 1848 and then the first shark-proof river baths established in 1857 at Kangaroo Point. River dredged in 1862 for navigation requirements. Because of the early settlement of Brisbane water quality deteriorated to a level that several public baths could no longer source water from the river. Even to the 1930’s the water was remarked as clear, and swimming in the river was still very popular. But as Brisbane grew, the river clarity worsened and became likened to a sewer and waste dump. A River walk was established and restoration of the river was seen in the later end of the 20th century. Even by 2000, the Brisbane River did not meet environmental standard guidelines. In 2008 river quality still not seen healthy with murky waters and no longer recommending swimming in the waters. In addition, bull sharks have made their home in the river causing much more dangers, being home to numerous shark attacks and deaths.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River CityCat

Brisbane River, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of Brisbane’s most popular form of public transportation and sightseeing is the Brisbane River CityCat and CityFerry Services. This ferry is very fast, efficient, and inexpensive way to get from point A to point B during one’s explorations of Brisbane and its famous river, parks, recreational boardwalks, playgrounds, picnic sites, trails, restaurants, cafes, markets, pontoons, and fishing facilities. The city now boasts with its 19 CityCats and 9 CityFerries (2012 statistics). The service saw disruptions and damages during the January 2011 flood, but by January 2012 has all of its 24 terminals operating again seven days a week from 5:50 am until 10:30 pm. The October 2011 arrival of the newest CityCat, the “Spirit of Brisbane” was dedicated to Brisbane’s community spirit from the most recent floods. All of the CityCats are equipt with Wifi allowing access to UQConnect and EduRoam as well as the Translink timetable and City Council’s websites. Tickets can be purchased via bus and ferry operators, staffed rail stations, Customer Service Centers, and local newsagencies and convenience stores. Timetables can be found on the TransLink website at http://www.translink.com.au/

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Sir William Colin MacKenzie (1877-1938)

Sir William Colin MacKenzie ~ 1877-1938: the surgeon, anatomist, philanthropist, orthopaedist

    From the Australian National Museum display: ” Colin MacKenzie was a Melbourne surgeon who studied marsupial anatomy in order to understand human anatomy. Like many other scientists, he believed Australian animals would soon become extinct. MacKenzie wanted to start a native animal sanctuary in Canberra to help with his research. It never happened, but he later founded the Healesville Sanctuary …”

“Colin Mackenzie” or “Bricky” was nicknamed as such for his red hair was a man of great repute in Australia especially as a benefactor, museum administrator, anatomist, and director. He was born on March 9, 1877 in Kilmore, Victoria, Australia. He was the youngest of six as son to his Scottish parents John MacKenzie a draper, and his wife Anne nee McKay. He educated at Kilmore State School and on to Scotch College in Melbourne where he graduated with honors in Greek on December 1893. He graduated from Medical school from the University of Melbourne in 1898. He was first-class honors in surgery, women’s diseases, and obstetrics. He studied in Europe in 1903. In 1908 he tackled the extensive epidemic in Australia of people suffering in need of orthopaedic skills. During World War I he spent three years in England at the Royal College of Surgeons assisting Sir Arthur Keith in cataloging specimens of war wounds for the army and helped bring out the new edition of Treve’s Surgical Applied Anatomy. At the same time he continued his studies of comparative anatomy of Australian fauna. MacKenzie dissected dozens of Australian animals to help him understand human anatomy. For example, he thought dissecting and examining the shoulders of a Koala might help him improve techniques for human shoulders in surgery. He became council member of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. By 1918, he returned to Australia and converted his house at 612 St. Kilda Road into a laboratory and museum which he called the Australian Institute of Anatomical Research devoted most of his time researching Australian animals from 1919 until his death in 1938. By 1920 He had 80 acres of bushland at Badger Creek as a field station for his research. The facility was fenced, had a 6-roomed house for a curator, a cottage for visiting scientists, workshops, animal pens, and a staff of assistants. This eventually became the Sir Colin MacKenzie Sanctuary in 1934. His collection of specimens became world famous, and was gifted to the Australian goverment in 1924. He married his assistant Winifred Iris Evelyn in 1928. He was knighted in 1929 and spent a good portion of the remainder of his life in Canberra. There he served as a member of the Medical Board and by 1933 became the second president of the Canberra-based Royal Society of Australia. His health began to decay and he retired in 1937 upon returning to Melbourne with his wife. He died on June 29, 1938 of a cerebral hemorrage at his home in Kew and was cremated.

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Melbourne Road Side Art

Melbourne Road Side Art
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

One of the memorable facets to Melbourne I remember from my travels is the fantastic and sometimes bizarre roadside art one can find on the highways in and out of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Many of the roads and freeways around this Metropolis compete for attention by the implementation of large-scale artworks and architectural interventions that make roadtrips that much more appealing. Some of these are listed on the Visit Victoria website. These tie in somewhat with the notable Australia’s Big Things art sculptures found throughout the country. Great aspect to Victoria and Melbourne in my view … definitely worth a drive-through outdoor art gallery peek! Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Australian Embassies / Parliamentary Triangle

The Parliamentary Triangle & Australian Embassies
* Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

As Canberra is the capital of Australia, with the Australian Capital Territory the central region for all of Australia’s government, it is also home to Australia’s Parliaments, Embassies, and Governmental offices. Most countries in allegiance with Australia have their embassies represented here. In the heart of this governmental sector is what is called the “Parliamentary Triangle” or the “ParTri” – the ceremonial precinct of Canberra. The triangle is formed by the Commonwealth, the Kings, and Constitution Avenues. Architecture and buildings within the triangle align in style to coordinate and complement the triangle for the visual effect and to create national significance making it a popular hotspot for tourists similar to that which one can find in Washington, D.C. The triangle was designed and planned for in Walter Burley Griffin’s original design for manifesting Canberra. The triangle is bordered at each point by the Parliament, the Defence Headquarters, and City Hill. He constructed it around two axes converging on the center with a land axis connecting Mount Ainslie, Capital Hill, Red Hill, and off towards Mount Bimberi. Water axis runs at right angles to the land axis along the length of Lake Burley Griffin whose southern shore bisects the Trinagle forming a smaller triangle known as the Parliamentary Zone which contains all the the significant buildings located in the Triangle. The streets in this triangle are lined with large deciduous trees and buildings inset with grassed parkland creating an open feel and convenience between offices. The Parliament House and the The Old Parliament House are the most significant features within it. Other contributing buildings are the National Library, the National Science and Technology Center, Commonwealth Park, Kings Park, Department of the Treasury, John Gorton Building, Department of Finance, Department of Environment and Water Resources, the National Rose Garden, and the Aborigine Tent Embassy. Canberra and Washington D.C. share design similarities as both consist of triangles that line up the House of Government with other monuments and landmarks. Within this area on the outskirts of the Triangle are various countrie’s Embassies.


The New Parliament House

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Old Parliament House / The Museum of Australian Democracy

Old Parliament House or Museum of Australian Democracy
* Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

Within Canberra lies several Parliaments and Embassies, representing many cultures and governments. One of the Parliaments which is no longer used for law making as it was the “provisional” parliament house which was base operations for Australia’s Parliament from 1927 until 1988 when it was moved to its permament location atop Capital Hill. It began as a temporary location for law making while the new Parliament house was being constructed in 1927. Today it serves as a premiere location for concerts, lectures, and exhibitions. It was also used by the Executive Agency of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in as recent as 2008. Since 2009 it has been called the “Museum of Australian Democracy”.Its design was created by John Smith Murdoch including gardens, furnishings, and decor in simplified or “stripped” classical style with no typical legislative deco elements like columns, entablatures, or pediments. Made of local Canberra clay brick with timber and lightweight white concrete floors. Originally oulined in a “H-shape”, it is now a large rectangle due to various extensions added to it during the years with a small rear projection. It has four courtyards with colonnades and some light wells with verandas. It’s center boasts the “King’s Hall” named after King George V whose statue is located within. Adjacent to the Hall are the chambers of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and at the rear the Parliamentary Library and dining rooms. Remainder of the building consisted of offices and meeting rooms.

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New South Wales

New South Wales
Australia

One of my favorite regions of Australia, the NSW, or “New South Wales” is located along the southeastern edge of Australia, just north of Victoria and south of Queensland. It totally surrounds the Australian Capital Territory and is Australia’s most populated state (1/3 of Australia’s population) with those who call themselves the “New South Welsh” or the “New South Welshmen”. It’s capital is Sydney. Founded in 1788 it was formed as a Federation in 1901 and originally became the bulk of Australia’s mainland encompassing historic Van Diemen’s lands (Tasmania), Lord Howe Island, and Norfolk Island as well. New South Wales even for a time held claim and custody of New Zealand when Britain annexed it in 1840, but the 19th century later separated these areas from NSW to form the British colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, and Queensland.

The landmass of Australia that became to be known as New South Wales was first inhabited by the Australian Aborigines roughly 40-50,000 years ago. New South Wales was first discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770 during his explorations along Australia’s east coast. He named the area “New Wales” originally, then re-naming it to “New South Wales” during his survey. When the British decided to come and settle Australia in 1788, it was here in “New South Wales” where they established the “First Fleet” or the first penal colony led by Captain Arthur Phillip until 1792. The entire state was a penal colony in its origins. This led to much upheaval and disruptions in colonization when things got out of control. Governor William Bligh took command of the region in 1792 during a time of unrest and anarchy until 1809 when Britain replaced him with Lieutenant Colonel Lachlan Macquarie. Macquarie set out numerous projects to build order and community, including the construction of roads, churches, public buildings, communiies, wharves, and city structures. He also set out numerous explorers to map out the land from Sydney and to construct a well thought out street layout for Sydney. By 1825 Tasmania was separated from NSW as Van Diemen’s Land, 1836 South Australia was made its own State, 1841 New Zealand its own country, 1851 Victoria its own State, and 1859 Queensland its own state. Charles Darwin came to the region in 1836 and wrote much about NSW in “The Voyage of the Beagle” where he had mixed reactions about the State, speculations about formations of its valleys, the aboriginal populations, the penal colony, and the viable future of Australia. His thoughts and words were considered tremendously amongst his European coherts, at the same time during which in the 19th century the movement towards federation of the Australian colonies became a potential future. New South Wales was trying to become a free trade state causing turmoil with other leading colony states such as Victoria formulating friction. After World War I, farmers became discontented with the fixed prices paid by the authorities resulting in the formation of the “Country Party” in 1919. Political and class conflicts took place in 1929 seeing great instability during the Great Depression. Mass unemployment and collapse of the commodity prices destroyed the economy. By World War II, many differences came to surface between Australian states, especially with the NSW, mostly focused around federation and economic developments. The War however, brought in industrial development, a war economy, and jobs. By the 1960’s, the New England region of the state began a secessionist movement but was defeated even though its outcome were several referendums. The NSW Constitution and form of Government has stayed consistent since 1856 even though became amended numerous times since the referendums, and 1901 saw its official stamp as a state of the Commonwealth of Australia. New South Wales is most popular for its tourism, outdoor recreation, especially in the coastal regions, as well as for the production of seafood, beef, dairy, fruit, timber, hay, fruits, legumes, lucerne, maize, nuts, wheat, oats, oilseeds, poultry, rice, oysters, wool, coal, and sugar cane. It is also the only center for winter sports in all of Australia, with its premiere ski resort on Mt. Kosciuszko. Outside of the Snowy Mountains with its alpine climates, most of NSW is either arid or semi arid in nature with the eastern coasts having a temperate climate. There are more than 780 National Parks in New South Wales which makes up close to 10% of the State’s area covering various terrains from deserts, bush, rainforests, plains, and mountains. Much of it is also coastal scrublands.

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Reddacliff Place, Brisbane, Australia

Reddacliff Place
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Every day during my gig as a tour guide for the HMB Endeavour, I would walk through Reddacliff Place. Reddacliff is also known as Brisbane Square. Its a great little market square located between the Victoria Bridge and Queen Street Mall, at the base of Brisbane Square across from the Treasury Casino. Wednesdays it is home to a farmer’s and crafter’s market, and other days of the week have various other activities taking place in it. Modern art dot its landscape with giant metallic balls giving light in some humor that “Brisbane has balls”. It is strictly a walking square, as bicycles are not permitted, though now has some bicycle racks provided.

One of my favorite little hotspots in Brisbane’s City Center was the Brisbane Square, as it was often frequented by markets and sales. Brisbane Square is a small city block square at the foot of a high-rise building called “Brisbane Square” which rises 151 meters tall with over 38 floors which is primarily used for office spaces, the lower floors for commercial retailers, and the underground hosting upwards of parking for 350 vehicles. This is also currently the home location for the Brisbane City Council and Suncorp. The square is bounded by George Street, Queen Street, Adelaide Street, and William Street. It faces the Treasurey Casino on Queen State as well as the Law Courts Complex on Adelaide. The building and square was designed by architect Denton Corker Marshall. The skyscraper was completed in 2006. The square is home to many different markets from produce vendors, home-made crafts, to giant yard sales, and cultural events. The square has numerous modern art sculptures and monuments. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan.

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Mooney Fountain (Brisbane)


Mooney Memorial Fountain a.k.a. Eagle Street Fountain
* corner of Queen Street and Eagle Street, 118 Eagle Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia * 400 *

Every day enroute to work as volunteer guide aboard the HMB Endeavour, I passed by this quaint little ornate Victorian Revival Gothic styled fountain, and finally took a chance to admire this work of art. At a height of 990 centimeters with a 210 centimeter square base, it was created by artist William Webster in 1879 and today represents a good example of a Victorian era public monument and amenity with careful and ornate design mimicking that which occurs on the Albert Memorial in London. It was setup first as a memorial to the 1879 Council, and then in 1988 as a memorial for a brave volunteer fireman James Mooney who lost his life fighting a fire on Queen street in the March of 1877. This dedication was inscribed on the base of the fountain. This was volunteer firefighter James Thomas Mooney who died in an explosion attending a fire on Queen street. It reads “Dedicated in the Bicentenary year of 1988 to the sacred memory of James Thomas Mooney a young fireman who lost his life on the 25th day of March 1877 as a result of burns received fighting a fire and to all firemen who have made the supreme sacrifice”. It is made in Victorian Revival Gothic style wholy out of Murphy’s Creek sandstone by the designers W.H. Chambers and William Webster between 1878 and 1880 for 627 GBP funded by the Brisbane Municipal Council and public subscriptions to enhance the city’s image. The three drinking heads are lion motifs consisting of Sicilian marble inserts. The base of the fountain is Mt. Alexander granite. Some controversy was struck later as addition of the names of all the Aldermen of the day were added. Rating: 2 stars out of 5.

    Bibliography/References:
  • Monument Australia: Mooney Fountain. Website referenced December 2011. http://monumentaustralia.org.au/monument_display.php?id=90792&image=1

  • Public Artwork: Mooney Fountain. Website referenced December 2011. http://publicartwork.jsadigital.com.au/home/item_detail.aspx?ID=258.

  • Your Brisbane: Past and Present. Website referenced December 2011. http://www.yourbrisbanepastandpresent.com/2009/11/mooney-memorial-fountain.html.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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James Cook University | Brisbane


James Cook University @ Brisbane
Queens Street, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

A private university established in 1970 in the heart of Brisbane near Eagle Street Pier, James Cook offers its students a committment in the study of Australia’s indigenous cultures, a dedication to research especially in marine sciences, biodiversity, tropical ecology, global warming, tourism, tropical medicine, and public health care. James Cook offers smaller classes with more direct access to teaching staff, and is a broad school throughout Australia with large campuses in Townsville and Cairns, regular campuses in Brisbane, Sydney, and Singapore, and smaller study centers in Mount Isa, Thursday Island, and Mackay. The school’s base is in Townsville, Queensland, Australia. It is the 2nd oldest university in Queensland, and the first tertiary education institution in North Queensland. Named after Captain James Cook whose ship the HM Bark Endeavour was grounded in North Queensland. It was proclaimed a university through Act of Queensland Parliament on April 20, 1970 first as the University College of Townsville changing names to James Cook University of North Queensland with Queen Elizabeth II officiating. In 1974 when Cyclone Tracy in Darwin hit, James Cook University decided to open a cyclone research facility which now operates as an independent unit of the School of Engineering and acts as an advising member to the Australian Standards committee in areas of structural design specializing in wind actions. The Brisbane campus however was not established until 2006. Student populations university-wide are around 16,338 with over 3,400 international students. Aside from its popular courses, James Cook also offers an online astronomy degree.

    Bibliography/References:
  • Ifsa Butler: James Cook University. Website referenced December 2011. http://www.ifsa-butler.org/james-cook-university.html

  • James Cook University. Website referenced December 2011. http://www.jcu.edu.au/.

  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. James Cook University. Website referenced December 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Cook_University.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Sushi Kim’s (Brisbane, Australia)

Sushi Kim’s
* 388 Queen St. (Wharf St.), Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4000 *

Just as you’re walking down Queen Street from the Queen Street Mall as it turns to Wharf Street, enroute to Eagle Pier, on the left hand side is a small little tiny sushi mart that has incredibly affordable, delecious, and fresh sushi and rolls (made every two hours) (cheap as $2 per foll) that are also very volumptuous. Its mainly a takeaway for the local business and workers crowd. Not only is it fast to get but friendly staff and owner. Rating: [rating:4] (four stars out of 5) ~ Thomas Baurley, 4/28/11.

MORE INFORMATION, PHOTOS, AND LINKS:
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Adelaide Street


Adelaide Street

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of Brisbane’s major thoroughfare streets in the City Center is Adelaide Street. Here is located King George Square, Brisbane City Hall, the ANZAC Square with the Shrine of Remembrance, the ANZAC Square Arcade, Law Courts Complex, Brisbane Square and the Post Office Square. The street runs paralle to Ann Street and Queen Street. The street is most popular for the televised annual ANZAC day parade that takes place on April 25th. The street is also popular for catching and departing buses from Queen Street Mall.

Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Brisbane CBD

Brisbane Central Business District (CBD)/Queen Street Mall

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Everyday for the first part of May I passed through the Brisbane CBD along the Queen Street mall enroute to my volunteer job as tourguide for the HMB Endeavour. Always distracted by unique shops, cool fashion, and foodstuffs along my journey. This area is Brisbane’s City Center and is considered its own suburb along the northern bank of the Brisbane River. It is triangular shaped and bounded by the Brisbane River to the east, south, and the west. Its tip is known as “Gardens Point” where it slopes up towards the northwest where the parklands and inner city suburbs are located. The area is concentrated with skyscrapers, retailers, and walking malls. It is also home to the City Botanic Gardens, Wickham Park, and the Roma Street parklands. The area was laid out in the early colonial era as a grid with the northwest-southeast streets named after male members from the House of Hanover with the northeast-southwest streets after female personas. Queen street runs along its center encompassing the most popular shopping district in Brisbane as a pedestrian mall. Its North Quay is where the first European explorers along the Brisbane River. It was near here that the original settlement farm known as “Petries Bight” was originally established to feed the colony named after Andrew Petrie, later home to the wharves, and now where the water police are located. The Center is also home to the Brisbane City Hall, Museum of Brisbane, City Council, Queensland’s Parliament House, Pancake Manor, Masonic Memorial Center, Queensland University of Technology Gardens Point Campus, Queens Gardens, Post Office Square, King George Square, and the City Hall. Four bridges connect the CBD with the rest of Brisbane as the Captain Cook Bridge, the Victoria Bridge, the William Jolly Bridge, and the Go Between Bridge. The area is surrounded also with bicycle and pedestrian footpaths, including some bridges specifically for them such as the Goodwill Bridge. It is also home to the central hub of all public transport including the main bus stations, railway station, and city ferries. Very enjoyable place during a visit to Brisbane. Rating: [rating=3.5]. ~ Leaf McGowan

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Brisbane Square

Brisbane Square
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

One of my favorite little hotspots in Brisbane’s City Center was the Brisbane Square, as it was often frequented by markets and sales. Brisbane Square is a small city block square at the foot of a high-rise building called “Brisbane Square” which rises 151 meters tall with over 38 floors which is primarily used for office spaces, the lower floors for commercial retailers, and the underground hosting upwards of parking for 350 vehicles. This is also currently the home location for the Brisbane City Council and Suncorp. The square is bounded by George Street, Queen Street, Adelaide Street, and William Street. It faces the Treasurey Casino on Queen State as well as the Law Courts Complex on Adelaide. The building and square was designed by architect Denton Corker Marshall. The skyscraper was completed in 2006. The square is home to many different markets from produce vendors, home-made crafts, to giant yard sales, and cultural events. The square has numerous modern art sculptures and monuments. Rating: 4 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan.

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Victoria Bridge of Brisbane

Victoria Bridge
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

As I was staying in the infamous West End of Brisbane, my foot and bicycle passage to the City Center was The Victoria Bridge. This was Brisbane’s first permanent bridge and had its foundation stone laid on August 22, 1864 by the late Governor Bowen. It wasn’t finished construction until late 1874 due to financial constraints the city was having at the time. A temporary wooden bridge was opened for traffic in 1865, but due to its partial collapse in 1867 due to the wood-boring worm known as Teredo, was closed until final completion of the now permanent one. In 1893 floodwaters carried away the northern half of the bridge, again in 1896 on the temporary structure, and it was re-opened in June 1897. Due to buckling stresses in 1943, the bridge began restricting number of trams allowed on it, though it lasted until 1969 when it was demolished. A second bridge was created by A.B. Brady in 1969, made of steel, costing 3.2 million, with two carriageways and two footpaths. A This was the first road connection between the north and south Brisbane. The bridge is shared by pedestrians, vehicles, and bicyclists – each with their own lanes. It connects the South Bank Parklands and the Queensland Cultural Center to the city center called the Brisbane central business district or the “CBD” at North Quay. Half of its current roadspace is now consumed by the southeast Busway system. The bridge has some great panoramic views of the Brisbane River, the Cultural Center, and the City Center. Rating: 3 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan

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Brisbane’s West End

Brisbane West End
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

My first online Couchsurfing experience in Australia was in Southern Brisbane’s infamous inner-city suburb called “The West End”. A great alternative artsy lively area of cultural hodge-podge, the West End I found was one of the more exciting neighborhoods in the city. It is also one of Brisbane’s oldest. It has the Brisbane River weaving around it from its west and south. The West End is accessed from downtown via the Victoria Bridge and past South Brisbane. The area was first home to many indigenous communities acculturating to western culture, and migrant families who settled in Queensland for a new start in a new world. The area was named after London’s West End by the early English settlers in the area. The Indigenous called the area “Kurilpa” for “place of the water rat”. Since then however, the suburb has been redeveloped and gentrified. One of the most attractive aspects to the area I found was its culinary delights and variety from Asian to Indian, pizza to gourmet burgers, lots of ethnic, vegetarian or organic restaurant selections, and a plethera of coffee shops which it is most known for. Lots of diverse shopping attractions along Boundary street as well. Well known for its ethnic and organic grocery stores. Great second hand shops abound from book dealers to vintage clothing. Good transportation options abound in the area from the high-frequency bus service, bicycle trails along the river’s edge, and the Citycat ferry service running to the Unversity at St. Lucia down the river to Hamilton. There is also access stations to the South Brisbane Railway and the Cultural Centre Busway Station giving access to all parts of Queensland. Every Saturday, a popular food and craft market is held in the Davies Park at the former Tristram’s Drink Factory from 6 am until 2 pm along the Brisbane River at Montague Road. The West End is also home to Brisbane State High School (Year 8-12), lodging for the University of Queensland & Griffith University Southbank, QUT, and the West End State Primary School. The West End is home to many young professionals, students, teachers, artists, and the hipster crowd. It was one of Brisbane’s first suburbs to be serviced by a tram line which began in 1885 with horse-drawn service until 1969. The film “Jucy” was filmed in the area in 2010. During the 2010-2011 Queensland floods, the area was evacuated and devastated from water damages including destruction of the West End ferry wharf. Overall, the West End is a great center for culture and healthy living. If I ever moved to Brisbane, it would be my top choice of places to live. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley

Southbanks Parklands

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Australia

The amazing country of “the Down Under” …. “Australia” or “Terra Australis Incognita” …. the “Great South Land” which was once believed only to belong to myths and legends, until the legendary Captain Cook sailed the HMS Endeavour to discover its shores. A mythical land of strange creatures, plentiful resources, and alien culture that siezed the interests of European launching many worldwide expeditions to colonize its shores very similar to Europe’s take-over of North America … but with more convicts than puritans. I was always enchanted with this wonderful country growing up … wishing someday to live there. A big bold brave new world it is … much more “new” than “America”, albeit sharing much more commonality in landscape and commercialism than it does its closely tied British influences. Strip malls and department stores aplenty with mass-marketing commercialism lacking in historical landmarks structures, Australia resembles North America with its varied terrain, replacing the pine tree with the Eucalyptus, and the deer with the kangaroo. Yet a strikely unique culture of its own, mish-mashed with American and European influences struggling to accomodate its indigenous cultures … Australia is still building its “history” which has met numerous struggles of booms and blow-outs, and currently on one of the best economic vantage points in the world with minimal to non-existent unemployment, high pay for minimum wages, and a explosive export industry of its resources. Not only commercially prosperous, it is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations with immaculate (and empty) beaches, magnificent countrysides, and amazing panoramas. It is truly a country that lies “Down Under” in the heart of all who see themselves as explorers and adventurers. It is “the wild country” un-touched in many ways. The name itself is derived from the Latin “australis” meaning “southern”. Australia also holds claim to the modern nickname of “Oz” and her citizens are often referred to as “Aussies”.

Australia is a Commonwealth country in the Southern Hemisphere including numerous islands such as Tasmania and others in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It shares its oceans with Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, East Timor, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. Throughout early explorer history, legends would be told of this strange South Pacific landmass filled with strange creatures, exotic wonders, and riches beyond fascination. The Ancient Romans even talk of the “ancient south land” leading to many myths and legends of these mysterious shores. Captain Cook was sent to study the transit of Venus across the sky with secret orders to dispel the myth of this fabled land. He indeed after much struggle found the mysterious lands to exist, but off from the original location where it was believed to be. This land was not uninhabited. In fact, its aboriginal inhabitants had been there for over 40,000 years by various groups of indigenous with a wide range of diverse culture and language groups. These people were believed to have migrated here by land bridges and short sea-crossings from where Southeast Asia is located. Most of the indigenous were nomadic hunters and gatherers (though some were horticulturalists). These amazing cultures of complex oral culture and faiths were quite foreign to the invading Europeans who only compared them to the North American Indians they encountered when invading the Americas. Just as with the Native Americans, the Australian Aborigines had a strong reverence for the land. They also had a vast inter-connected belief in “The Dream Time“. As the Dutch first exposed the lands in 1606, mainly by sporadic visits from fishermen from the Malay Archipelago, and explorations of the Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon. In the 17th century, the Dutch called the western and northern coastlines “New Holland” though did not settle the area at the time. An English explorer and privateer named “William Dampier” landed on Australia’s northwest coast in 1688 and again in 1699. Australia’s eastern shores was first claimed by the British in 1770 around the time they were losing America and recognizing troubles on those shores. This was done by Captain Cook who sailed along and mapped Australia’s east coast, calling it “New South Wales” for Great Britain. It was originally settled as a penal colony in the area now known as New South Wales early 1788. Australia became a popular destination after America was lost as new resources, new exploration deals, and new prosperous offers for establishing colonies arrived in Europe. The indigenous were treated like “animals” and genocide was inflicted upon their populations. Once at a population of over 350,000 … after settlement, just like in the Americas, the Europeans decimated the numbers by bloodshed, disease, slavery, and outright murder. Some were hunted down like animals for sport. They inflicted the removal of Aboriginal children from their families in what is now called “The Stolen Generations” just like in the Americas. Unlike the Americas though, treatment of the Indigenous in many ways were worse, and most of Australia was not held responsible for their actions until the 1990’s. Traditional ownership of land with native title was not recognized until 1992. Explorations went deep into the heart of Australia and an additional 5 self-governing Crown colonies were established. The early 1850’s saw a major gold Rush to the lands “Down Under” and the Eureka Stockade Rebellion of 1854 was one of the first expressions of civil disobedience to take hold in Australia. From 1855-1890, six colonies individually gained responsible government managing their own affairs though still tied to the British Empire. These became a Federation in 1901 and the “Commonwealth of Australia” was created as a “dominion” of the British Empire in 1907. Since that date, Australia has taken on its own stable liberal democratic political system with over 22 million residents to date of this article. 60 percent of Australia’s population reside in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide. The Australian Capital Territory was established (similar to the District of Columbia in the U.S.A.), with a National capital of Canberra (similar to the U.S.A.’s “Washington D.C.”). Over 55 percent of Australia’s population inhabits either Victoria or New South Wales with over 70 percent of the population clinging to the east coast of the country. Australia quickly moved up to be the world’s 13th largest economy raking high on the planet’s performance standards for human development, health care, quality of life, life expectancy, public education, economic freedon, and the protection of civil liberties and political rights. As a upstanding member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, OECD, APEC, the World Trade Organization, G20, and the Pacific Islands Forum … Australia is highly involved with adding input and assistance to world industry, environment, and relations. In 1914, Australia joined Britain in World War I which had extreme losses to Australia. They joined in actively for World War II as well leading to the definition of being its own nation. Britain’s Statute of Westminster in 1931 formally ended most of the consititutional links between Australia and the UK. During UK’s defeat in Asia in 1942 when Australia was threatened by a Japanese invasion, led to Australia turning to the United States as a new ally and protector. Since 1951, Australia has been in legion with the United States as a formal military ally inder the ANZUS treaty. This, as well as immigration from Europe and Asia transformed Australia’s demography, culture, and image.

When the Australia Act of 1986 was passed, the final constitutional ties between Australia and the UK were severed ending any British role in the government of Australian States. Australia became a constitutional monarchy with a federal division of powers, using a parliamentary system of Government with Queen Elizebeth II at its apex as the Queen of Australia. She is represented by her viceroys in Australia, the Governor General at the federal level, and by Governors in the state level, acting in convention by the advice of her ministers. Executive authority is vested by the constitution of Australia in the sovereign, but power to exercise it is conferred by the Governor-General. The government has three branches – (1) the Legislature (bicameral parliament, the Queen represented by the Governor-General), the Senate, and House of Representatives); (2) the Executive (Federal Executive Council); and the (3) Judiciary (High Court of Australia and other federal courts). Australia has two major political groups forming government – federally and in the States, known as the “Australian Labor Party” and “The Coalition” (Liberal Party and National Party). There are independent members and several minor parties including the Australian Democrats and the Greens.

Australia has 6 states – New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia. Australia also has two major mainland territories – The Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory. Each state and territory has its own parliament-unicameral in the Northern Territory, ACT, and Queensland and its own bicameral in the other states. Just like in the United States, each State is its own sovereign entity, though subject to certain powers of the Commonwealth as defined by the Constitution. Australia has also pursued the cause of international trade liberalization leading to the Cairns Group and Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, seeking out major bilateral free trade agreements around the world. Australia is committed to multilateralism maintaining international aid programs assisting over 60 countries with assistance. Australia has its own armed forces, called the “ADF” or “Australian Defense Forces” comprising of the “RAN” (Royal Australian Navy), the Australian Army, the “RAAF” (Royal Australian Air Force), and over 80,000 personnel. Australia is a free-market economy with a high GDP and low rate of poverty, led by its own Australian Dollar. Australia relies on tourism and trade, mostly of natural resources, mining, metals, beef, and agricultural product. Life expectancy in Australia is much higher than many other countries, with figures of over 78.7 for males and 83.5 for females born after 2006 although Australia has amongst the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, and one of the highest proportions of overweight citizens in developed nations. Australia has a remarkable universal health care system known as “Medibank” that has been in play since 1975 nominally funded by income tax surcharges known as the Medicare levy, with states managing the hospitals and attached outpatient services.

Australia does not have an official language, but “Australian English” is the most commonly used. Australia also has no state religion, though over 64% of the country lists itself as Christian. Culturally, since 1788, Australia has been mostly “Anglo-Celtic” Western Culture influenced although recent distinctive cultural features on the Indigenous identity has been growing steadily. Australia is known for its arts, music, culture, history, traditions, landscape, and diversity.

Australia consists of over 7.6 million square kilometers of land mass located on the Indo-Australian Plate, surrounded by the Indian and Pacific ocean, separated from Asia by the Arafura and Timor seas. Australia is the world’s smallest continent and sixth largest country by area, as well as being the world’s largest island. Australia has over 21,000 miles of coastline. Australia is home to the world’s largest coral reef known as “The Great Barrier Reef” just off its northeastern coast. The world’s largest monolith, known as “Mount Augustus”, is found in Western Australia. Australia is also athe flattest continent in the world with the oldest and least fertil soil bases on the planet, composed of desert and semi-arid land terrain the Australian’s call “The Outback”. The rest of Australia is comprised of beaches, coastal terrain, tropical climates, woodlands, gorges, rainforests, alpine heaths, shrublands, grasslands, and “The Bush“. 85% of its non-human inhabitants are endemic with the greatest number of reptiles found in any other country. Her forests are made mainly up of Eucalypts and wattles. Australia is infamous for its monotremes such as the platypus and echidna as well as its diverse marsupials such as the Kangaroo, koala, and wombat. Australia’s climate is variable depending on the region of the island one is located, but is ravaged by the Indian Ocean Dipole and El Nio-Southern Oscillation, and affected by various ocean currents leading to great floods and harsh droughts. Climate change is a major concern for Australia, especially of recent history, leading to Australia taking a pro-active stance in the protection of the environment as one of its most important issues.

From Museum display at Australian National Museum: “Australia’s Place in the World: Australiasia … presents to the philosophic Naturalist a more interesting field … than any other division of the globe. ~ William Swainson, 1823. Australia’s animals and plants generated extroadinary interest from Europe. The European public was amazed by the spectacular plants such as the waratah, the most magnificent plant which the prolific soil of New Holland affords’ and birds ‘superior perhaps in elegance to those of most other climes.’ Scientists were puzzled by strange plants and mammals, such as the kangaroo and the platypus, which did not fit existing classification systems.”

Flight from Canberra to Brisbane, Australia


 



 



 


Queensland, Australia


 


Australia Travel Map

Australia Travel Map

The Australia Travel Reference Map by ITMB is an all-in-one travel resource, and perfect for todays travelers This Australia map is double-sided, fully indexed and printed on waterproof paper. This Australia Travel Map
includes useful information such as Inset Map of Sydney Elevation, Hydrography,and Coral Reefs Major transportation routes National Parks, Nature Reserves and Recreation areas Extensive labeling of physical features such as mountain ranges, valleys and peaks Aboriginal Settlements Overview of the countrys history Detailed Scale of 13,600,000







 


Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Tuggeranong Homestead


Tuggeranong Homestead

* Tuggeranong, Canberra,
Australia Capital Territory, Australia * http://www.tuggeranonghomestead.com.au/ *

My last day in Tuggeranong just outside of Canberra, before packing up for the plane to Brisbane, we ventured down the street to get a peek at the Tuggeranong Homestead. Unfortunately, due to being Easter weekend, I didn’t get a chance to visit this heritage property of the Australian Capital Territory. My host tells me its interesting. It is an extensive, heritage-listed rural property that is commonly used for events, concerts, outings, weddings, and conferences. It is set in the Australian bush with a country-side ambiance for the events held there. It featueres a full commercial kitchen, homestead rooms, outbuildings, outdoor spaces, and catering. The first landowners of Tuggeranong was Peter Murdoch, the aide-de-camp of Thomas Brisbane, who was given 2,000 acres in 1827. After he left, John McLaren from Glasgow settled this land in 1828 calling it “Janevale” as a cattle station managed by William Wright. The property was sold in 1835 to Thomas Macquoid, Sheriff of the Supreme Court. After his death, it was sold to Andrew Cunningham of Lanyon, also from Scotland in 1845 wherre he raised sheep. After his death in 1887, it was passed on to his sons James and Andrew Jackson Cunningham. The first homestead on this land was known as the “Waniassa House”, originally built by the Macquoids from 1836 to 1841. At this time, it consisted of 5 rooms. James Cunningham expanded and re-built the homestead in 1908 where it carried the name of “Tuggeranong Homestead” and is the current building that exists today. Through history it was expanded on upwards 23 rooms, a underground cellar, acetylene gas, electric bells throughout the buildings, hot and cold water running through. It became a center for social and sporting activities in the area. After Andrew Cunningham’s death in 1913, the family relocated to Lanyon, and the property was taken over by the Commonwealth Government to be used as a military arsenal. After this, it was abandoned in 1919, later to be taken over by the staff of war historian Charles Bean who used the property in the research for his books of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-1918. It was then leased and farmed by Timothy McCormack from 1927-1976. Much of the original property was taken over by Canberra suburbs, but the homestead and site today took 65 acres under preservation.


Photos are copyrighted and cannot be reproduced without permission of authors Tom Baurley or Leaf McGowan. Photos can be purchased via Technogypsie.com at Technogypsie Photography Services for nominal use fees. Restaurants, Businesses, Bands, Performances, Venues, and Reviews can request a re-review if they do not like the current review or would like to have a another review done. If you are a business, performer, musician, band, venue, or entity that would like to be reviewed, you can also request one (however, travel costs, cost of service (i.e. meal or event ticket) and lodging may be required if area is out of reviewer’s base location at time of request).

These reviews are done by the writer at no payment unless it is a requested review and the costs for travel, service, and lodging was covered – in which case, expenditure reimbursement will not affect review rating or content. If you enjoy this review and want to see more, why not buy our reviewer a drink to motivate them to write more? or help cover the costs they went through to do this review?






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Transit Bar, Canberra, Australia

Transit Bar
* 7 AKUNA ST *
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * P 02 6162 0899 * http://transitbar.com.au/ * ?

A great little hole-in-the-wall bar down below the Canberra YHA Hostel on Akuna street. Delving into a mix of indie, rock n’ roll, and general alternative nights and gigs, the Transit Bar provides a good heap of fun for the alternative crowd in Canberra. Restless from the Bush, this is a fun place to be when seeking some upbeat fun in the Australian Capital Territory. I had the pleasure of visiting the club/bar a couple of times during my visit, one for the Indie rock band “The Holidays” and another night for the Electro Gothy night called “Chrome”. Good drink prices and a great place to party with the international backpacking crowd. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan, April 23-25, 2011.

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Chrome: Transit Bar, Canberra, Australia

Chrome Goth Night
* Transit Bar * http://www.gothclublist.com/details/chrome.html * 7 AKUNA ST *
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * P 02 6162 0899 * http://transitbar.com.au/ * ?

Eager for some darksome and divine music, I hunted out what could lie beneath the underground of Australia’s capital city … Canberra. A Google search provided promising tales of “Chrome” but came to realize upon arriving it’s night at the “Holy Grail” had vanished without a trace. Knowing that echoes of chatter that it was still located near the corners of Akuna and Bunda streets, we discovered it moved down the street to the infamous underground club … the Transit Bar, located underneath the Canberra YHA. From 9 pm until 5 am, Canberra’s only goth night raises the dead with their EBM, Industrial and dark elektro tunes with some goth on monday nights (instead of the previous saturdays). Video projections, laser lights, and good music was had. Oddly though, the bar was still quite normal with their casually dressed local bar patrons, but up towards the stage in the dance floor were alitter with some finely costumed gothy and cyber dressed dancers. Coming from North America and Germany goth clubs where everyone usually dresses up in their finest black garments, it was a little difficult getting used to the mix of color and normality into this cache of a music club treasure grove one is used to finding when searching for it in most cities. Oddly though, the music was not so industrial and gothic, but more darksome Burning Man raver music. Enjoyed none-the-less and eye candy galore, me and my host had a splendid time. Realizing the night has setup shop in this new location from their fabled old locale, not 100% sure if the night is still happening at the transit bar … could be completely “transit”-ional. Rating: 2.3 stars out of 5. ~ Leaf McGowan, April 25, 2011.

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Koala: Phascolarctos cinereus

Phascolarctos cinereus: Koala” or “Koala Bear:”

Taxonomy: Animalia; Chordata; Mammalia; Marsupialia; Diprotodontia; Phascolarctidae; Phascolarctos cinereus

Common Names: Koala, koala bear, monkey bear, native bear, and tree bear.

Localities: Koala are found in the coast regions of eastern and southern Australia in the Eucalypt woodlands.

Description:
A arboreal herbivorous marsupial found in Australia that attracts many tourists annually Down Under for a chance to see this bear in the wild. They were named after the Dharuk gula which was changed to “koala”. Its genus is derived from the Greek word “phaskolos” meaning “pouch” and “arktos” meaning “bear”. Although referenced as a “bear”, the koala is not related to the bear. It was given this description because of its bear-like resemblances. Its closest family is the wombat and actually physically resembles them. The earliest fossils of Koala date from 20 million years ago. It is estimated that from 20 million to 50,000 years ago, giant koalas inhabited the rainforests. The origin of these creatures are unknown, though believed to have descended from terrestrial wombat like creatures. The Victorian koala have long, thick, dark grey fur with chocolate-brown highlights on its back and forearms with a prominently light-colored ventral side with fluffy white ear tufts. They have been known to weigh upwards of 26 lbs for males and 19 lbs for females. The Queensland koala though are smaller averaging at 14 lbs for the male and 11 lbs for a female with a lighter scruffy color and shorter thinner fur. There is a golden tinged koala, known as the “golden koala” that has a slight golden tinge to its fur. Some others may have white fur due to recessive genes. They have a slow metabolism and sleep mostly through the day. Koala have a thicker coat than the wombat, much larger ears, longer limbs, and large sharp claws for tree climbing. Their five fingers include two opposable thumbs giving them excellent gripping ability, and is one of the few mammals outside of primates to have unique fingerprints representing strong similarities to human fingerprints under a microscope. They have two sharp incisors they use to clip leaves at the front of their mouths, separated from the grinding cheek teeth by a wide diastema, owning a dental pattern of 3-2-2-4 on the top, and 1-0-1-4. The male has a bifucated penis and the female has two lateral vaginas and two seperate uteri. They walk on four legs while on the ground with their infants clinging to the back. The koala has a much smaller brain size than its earlier ancestors, most scientists believe this is due to the change towards a low energy diet. It is one of the only animals to have a strangely reduced cranial cavity. The Koala is very silent except for the male during mating season. If stressed, the koala will issue a loud cry similar in tone and intensity to that of a human baby. They have been known to live upwards of 18 years in age. Males mater by age 3 or 4, and Females at age 2 or 3. When birthing, females produce one young a year for upwards of 12 years in a row with a 35 day gestation period. Infants are called a joey, sized at about a 1/4 of an inch long, sleeps downward facing in the pouch, and are blind, earless, and hairless. They remain in the pouch upwards of 6 months at a time, feeding on the mother’s milk, during which time they will grow ears, eyes, and fur. When it begins to explore outside the pouch, it starts to consume the mother’s “pap” innoculating its gut with microbes required to digest eucalyptus leaves. The koala populations are diminishing so are a protected species. Some estimate between 80 and 100,000 left. The Australian government does not deem them to be a threatened species, but the US Government does.

Predators:
Loss of Habitat, Humans, impacts from urbanization, dog attacks, traffic accidents, chlamydia, and feral animals.

Diet:
Koala bears are herbivores and rely almost entirely on eucalyptus leaves. Three to Five of their waking hours is spent eating leaves, upwards of 18 ounces a day. Jaws turn the leaves into a fine paste which gets filtered by the liver to deactivate the toxins in the Eucalypts. In addition to eucalyptus, some other species such as Acacia, Melaleuca, and Leptospermum get ingested and differences of preference varies from region to region. The southern koala like the Manna gum, blue gum, and swamp gum best while northern koala prefer tallowwood and grey gum.

Uses:
Once hunted for its fur, it is now a protected species as it was almost hunted to extinction in the early 20th century.

Culinary:
Unknown.

Medicinal:
Unknown.

Folklore and Magical Uses:
Unknown.

Written and researched by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Research Services. November 25, 2011.

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Platypus: Ornithorhynchus anatinus

a.k.a. “Platypus” or “Bewick’s Platypus”

Taxonomy: Animalia; Chordata; Mammalia; Monotremata; Ornithorhynchidae; Ornithorhynchus; Ornithorhynchus anatinus

Common Names: platypus, watermole, duckbill, and duckmole.

Localities: Native to Eastern Australia including Tasmania, with ancestors from South America. They live on the edges of rivers and freshwater lakes where they can burrow.

Description:
When white settlers first encountered this mammal, it was defined a hoax. It took over a hundred years to be accepted by the scientific community as defined a semi-aquatic mammal, as one of five extant species of monotremes – mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. They are egg-laying, venomous, duck-billed, beaver-tailed, otter-footed mammals that represent creatures of faerie tales and legends. It became so popular to Australia’s iconography, it was placed as a national symbol, appears as a mascot to national events, and was featured on a reverse of the 20 cent coin. The oldest fossil of a platypus dates from 100,000 years ago in the Quaternary period.

Paraphrased from Australian National Museum displays and exhibits: Platypuses are found only in Australia, though their ancestors lived in South America. With waterproof fur and webbed feet, platypuses are uniquely adapted to life in fresh water throughout Australia and Tasmania; they breathe air, but can stay underwater for about five minutes at a time, storing the food they catch in special pouches in their cheeks. The platypus was first seen by Europeans in 1797. The first Drawings were based on a preserved specimen sent to Joseph Banks in England by New South Wales governor John Hunter. The earliest published drawing was done in 1800 from “A General History of Quadrapeds” by Thomas Bewick. “Hoax?: “Of all animals yet known it seems the most extroadinary in its conformation. ~ George Shaw, 1799. In 1797, when the first platypus reached Europe pickled in brandy, scientists in Europe were suspicious. They could not believe one animal could have both a beak and fur. They thought it was a hoax. Even now, the fact that the platypus makes a nest, lays eggs, and suckles its young, seems remarkable. From Hoax to Enigma: The Natives have exhibited their ignorance of the natural history of the platypus by asserting that the young are produced from eggs. ~ Arthur Nichols, 1883. “ Platypuses and Echidnas were no mystery to Aboriginal people, who were well acquainted with their habits and biology. They told the first Europeans who arrived in Australia that platypuses and echnidnas laid eggs, but scientists in Europe did not believe this. It took nearly 100 years before it was accepted that the platypus really did lay eggs. “O’ thou prehistoric link, kin to beaver, rooster, skink, duck, mole, adder, monkey, fox, Paleothoic paradox! Beak of shovellers, spur of fowl; cheek of monkey (pocket jowl); trowel of beaver, gait of skink; Dope of adder, foxy stink. ~ Harry Burrell, “The Mud-sucking Platypus: A Brief History; about 1925.” During the day, the platypus rests in burrows they dig along river and freshwater lake edges within banks that overhang the river, here they bask in the sun and groom their dense fur. They are most active at night, which is when they feed, for several hours after dusk and before dawn. They are excellent swimmers and divers. When diving, they keep their eyes and ears shut using its webbed forefeet to swim downwards fighting its natural buoyancy. Webbing on the front feet extend beyond the claws forming large paddles for swimming. They can stay under for over two minutes, though can rest upwards of 10 minutes underwater under a submerged object. It’s bill resembles that of a duck’s bill which is really a elongated snout covered with soft, moist, leathery skin and sensitive nerve endings. Their bodies can be upwards of 12-18 inches long, with a 4-6 inches long flattened tail, and webbed feet. They can weigh upwards of 5+ lbs. They have three layers of fur – an inner layer to trap air and keep the animal warm, a middle layer working like a wet suit, and an outer layer to sense distance from objects. They have been known to live for upwards of 12 years in the wild. The male platypus has a sharp, hollow, horny spur that is about 15 mm long on the inside of both of its hind leg ankles which is connected to a venom gland producing a very strong toxin they use in defense against predators. They are monotremes, a rare form of mammal that do lay eggs instead of live birth. As the males are larger than females, they mate once a year from late June and in October. Females lay two to four eggs, incubated against her abdomen, and milk is produced in large glands under her skin oozing out onto a patch of fur that the offspring suckle.

Predators:
Loss of Habitat, Humans, snakes, water rats, foxes, and goannas.

Diet:
The platypus eats aquatic insect larvae, shrimps and worms found in the bottom silt of rivers and freshwater lakes and can eat their own body weight in food in one night.

Uses:
Once hunted for its fur, it is now a protected species.

Culinary:
Unknown.

Medicinal:
Unknown.

Folklore and Magical Uses:
Unknown.

Written and researched by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Technogypsie Research Services. November 25, 2011.

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Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, ACT, Australia

Tidbinbilla Nature reserve
* Tidbinbilla Visitor Centre, Paddy’s River Rd, * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * (02) 6205 1233 * http://www.tidbinbilla.com.au/ *

Venturing south just 40 minutes from Canberra in the Australian Capital Territory is a beautiful nature reserve called “Tinbinbilla”. Named after the aboriginal word “Jedbinbilla” for a “place where boys become men” and “Birrigai” meaning “to laugh”. It is a valley with deep Eucalyptus forests lies nestled between the Tidbinbilla and Gibraltar Mountain ranges of the Northern Australian Alps housing numerous critters and flora. Here you can find over 164 bird species, mammals, and reptiles such as the wallabies, emu, cockatoos, mountain duck, corroboree frogs, parrots, wombats, echidnas, koala, platypus, and kangaroos. As you enter the park, a greeting pay station and visitor center awaits a brief introduction to the park and its facilities. The park has forests, woodlands, wetlands, grasslands, and sub-alpine slopes. Hiking and bicycling trails abound as well as picnic areas, wildlife petting areas, and playgrounds for kids. The area is rich with Aboriginal history as was once an area where boys became men during their puberty rites. The park houses the Birrigai Rockshelte where 20,000 years ago the Ngunawal people lived. This was a meeting place for the Ngarigo, Wolgalu, Gundungurra, Yuin, and Wiradjuri clans for intiations, marriages, trading, and other ceremonies. The Bogong Rocks are where tribes came to harvest bogong moths to roast as a delicacy as well as to hold ceremonies by walking around the mountain. Today some native clans still gather for celebrations here. Once white settlers came to the area in the 1800’s, homesteads were built in the area, of whose ruins you can now see at the Rock Valley Heritage Site, Church Rock Heritage Loop, or the Nil Desperandum Homestead along the river.

The park encompasses over 52 kilometers of terrain. In 1939 a Koala sanctuary was built as well in the area. The reserve has become a leader in wildlife reproductive biology with state of the art facilities, a veterinary surgery and animal breeding center. The park often holds bushwalks. The park is also across the street from the Canberra Deep Space Communications Complex part of NASA’s Deep Space Network. Since 2008, Tinbinbilla has become part of the Australian National Heritage List.

I found the park very relaxing and breathtaking for an outdoor escape from busy Canberra. Hiking with my friend through the nature trails, the wetlands, and the preserves provided many opportunities for wildlife viewing. Definitely a place I’ll be back to on my next trip to Australia. Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5. Visited 04/24/11. Review by Thomas Baurley.

Bibliography/Recommended Readings:

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Gibraltar Falls, ACT, Australia

Gibraltar Falls
* Corin Road * Namadgi National Park * +61 02 6207 2900 * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

One of the first waterfalls that I had a chance to see in Australia as accompanied by my travel mate Bluey Bee Fabbo. A nice calm overcast day, we ventured outskirts of Canberra to find this charming little falls which is pretty close to the city. Easy to find, one drives out of Canberra southwest 45 kilomenters, along highway 5 – “Tidbinbilla Road”, roughly a half hour drive turning off at the sign pointing the way to the Falls within the Gibraltar Creek Pine Forest south off Corin Road. Park and take the well-marked footpath down to the falls. With warnings of steep cliffs abound, we kept to the trail, until the end of the path dictated (as everyone else was venturing over) to experience the waters ourselves. Now, being a world traveller and having seen some of the best falls around the world, I wasn’t that impressed. It also seems probable that the falls are more spectacular after a good hearty rainfall, even though it has been deemed the largest waterfall in the ACT. The falls cascade 50 meters down into a 800 meter granite walled gorge feeding the headwaters of Gibraltar Creek.

Historically, the falls and area was of special interest to the Australian Aborigine. Archaeological finds have shown habitation patterns near the falls including rockshelters, axes, lithics, and grinding grooves. The area was first settled by white westerners in the 1890’s. The first recorded white settlers were the Woods family who named the area “Gibraltar Creek”. It wasn’t until the 1960’s with the establishment of a station for the Corin Dam Road that the location found much foot traffic. Environmentally, the falls are home to a rare species of dragonfly called the Waterfall Redspot.

Atop in the parking lot are restrooms, picnic tables, shelters, amenities, first aid equipment, and gas barbeque grills. There are more picnic tables and areas, as well as camping, further into the woods reserves. The footpath takes one to a couple lookouts for viewing the falls, though the best way to photograph the falls is to wander off path (not recommended but seems something that everyone who visits does).

I found the waterfall quaint, and would be a picnic spot I would frequent often if I lived in Canberra. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited/Reviewed by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan with Bluey Bee Fabbo on April 25, 2011.

For more information, recommended readings, and photographs ~
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04.25.11: Chronicles: Koalas and Cybergoths

Travels Down Under:
Koalas and Cyber-goths

Monday, April 25, 2011
* Area around Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia *

A later start to the day, Sir Bluey heated up the last of the kangaroo meat for lunch. This time the adventuring duo spiced it up with a peanut satay sauce which Sir Thomas Leaf thought tasted amazing. Sir Thomas Leaf also gifted Sir Bluey with some Pirate Relief stickers for his car after finding them while organizing his gear as he would soon be heading off for the high seas. Sir Bluey Bee proudly displayed them on his car as they were soon off to Gibraltar Falls. As the delvers headed down the path towards the cliffs leading to the waterfall, Sir Bluey expressed strongly to Sir Leaf not to wander off the trail out of fear he might slip and fall on the rocks. For once (perhaps in his lifetime) Sir Leaf listened. But Sir Bluey Bee did not to his own advice and a slip, slide, tumble, roll, and splash … Sir Bluey was on his ass. Luckily he was fine. But they both laughed. Quickly distracted from the humor as they were in awe of Gibraltar Falls. Scenic panoramas and beautiful tumbling waters falling down the rocks. After wandering around the falls, the explorers headed off to the Tidbinbilla Nature reserve in search of kangaroos, eucalyptus trees, wallabees, quolls, and koalas. Wandering through the park provided much viewing of kangaroos and wallabies, and even a koala. Admiring the flora and fauna, Sir Thomas Leaf photographed and notated all the different species he spied. He even actually saw a Platypus, but unfortunately it went underwater before he could take a photograph. That evening, Sir Bluey Bee and Sir Thomas Leaf donned their darkest dress and headed downtown Canberra for the Chrome Goth Night at the Underground Bar underneath the Canberra YHA. Cyber-goth pleased, the two comrades had a blast at the night as they shared ciders and flirts with the fair maidens … a late night and a good sleep welcomed them in the wee hours of the morn.


[ Chronicles: The Vegemite Down Under ]

(note: this is an actively written blog. If links are broken or come to blank pages, it means the page hasn’t been written yet.
Check back soon. Meanwhile entertain yourself by going backwards into the blog below)

Remainder of the Story, Photos and videos below the cut:

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Australian National Botanical Gardens

Australian National Botanical Gardens
* GPO Box 1777 * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory * 2601 * Australia * +61 2 6250 9599 * http://www.anbg.gov.au/ *

In the heart of Australia’s Capital Territory and City of Canberra is the Nation’s most exquisite National Botanical Gardens. Radiating like a gem in the midland plains, this fabulous collection of Eucalypti, plants, trees, shrubs, vines, orchids, and botany is any garden lover’s paradise. It is operated by the Australian Government’s Department of the Environment and Heritage. The park encompasses the largest living collection of native Australian flora in the world. The goal of the center is to understand, study, and promote Australia’s flora locally, regionally, and around the world; hosting a variety of botanical resources for researchers while protecting and cultivating endangered native plants. The Garden was first conceived in Canberra’s development plans of the 1930’s when the Advisory Council set up a framework for its development, planning a large site on Black Mountain. The first trees were planted in September 1949, though not opening its gates until October of 1970. The Gardens encompass over 90 hectares on Black Mountain, of which 40 is currently developed and embracing thematic sections in the park housing plants with shared taxonomy of over 5,500 cultivated species. The Gardens have a Rainforest Gully, a Rocky Garden, A Sydney Region Flora area, A Mallee Plants section, Banksias, waratahs, grevilleas, Callistemon, Leptospermum, Melaleuca, A Eucalypt Lawn, Wattles, and a Research facility, gift shop, and cafe. The National Herbarium is also on site housing the largest collection of dried, pressed, and recorded plant specimens in Australia. The facility manages several large plant databases of Australian plants based on its collections. For any botanist or plant enthusiast, the Botanical Gardens is a must see while in Canberra. “Extroadinary”. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5. Visited on April 24, 2011 by Thomas Baurley.

Australian National Botanical Gardens: Botanical Resource Center

sign at the gardens: “Botanica Resource Center: Plant identification at your fingertips
The Botanical resource center is a learning place for visitors to discover, identify, and explore flor of the A.C.T. and southeastern N.S.W. This self help collection is available for use by students, plant surveyors, and people who want to learn more about plants. To explore this library of pressed plant specimens and computer plant identification resources contact the Australian National Botanical Gardens Visitor Centre.”

    Bibliography & Recommended Reading:

  • Australian National Botanical Gardens. ~ About Us. referenced in 2011 from website; ANBG: http://www.anbg.gov.au.
  • Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. ~ “Autralian Nationa
    l Botanical Gardens
    ; referenced in 2011 from website; author unknown. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org.

Plants, Species, Photos, and more information: Continue reading Australian National Botanical Gardens

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Hasmis Kebabs and Turkish Kitchen (Canberra, Australia)

Hasmis Kebabs Turkish Kitchen
* 11-13 East Row * Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia * 2601 * 02 6249 7783 *

We popped into this hole-in-the-wall quick Turkish cuisine spot near the Phoenix for some lunch fare. While the service was average, the food wasn’t anything to write home about. All three of us felt the fare was unsatisfactory. The restaurant and take-away offers pizza, turkish cuisine, and indian fare. They are open late at night, often serving the bar crowds. They have outdoor dining and free wi-fi. Family owned, Ridvan Sadil and his family took over the business early in 2010. Not so hot. Rating: 2 stars out of 5. Visited 4/24/11 – review by Leaf McGowan.

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Facepainting at the Phoenix Flea Market (Canberra, Australia)

Facepainting at the Phoenix Flea Market
Phoenix
Canberra, Australia Capital Territory, Australia

On April 24, 2011 in Canberra, Australia at the infamous Irish Bar “The Phoenix”, bodypainter Leaf McGowan participated in the Phoenix Flea Market. Drinking, revelry, and art was had by all in attendance. Utilizing Ben Nye, Wolf, and Mehron bodypaint, the following is a photogallery of Leaf McGowan’s portfolio work for the event.

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