Gather up the night: An eerie hotel causes confusion on Melbourne's Eastlink freeway

Gather up the night: An eerie hotel causes confusion on Melbourne’s Eastlink freeway

As an occasional driver along the Eastlink in Melbourne, I have had the odd experience of passing a hotel with no trace of human habitation around it. A hotel completely devoid of people and life and yet that lights up in a unique configuration of lights from fake windows each night. Located in Melbourne's south…

Pagan Date: Samhain

Pagan Date: Samhain

In the southern hemisphere, today we celebrate the pagan new year or Samhain. This ancient gaelic word means Summer's End.  On this date it's a good time to reflect on and honour those that have come before us. It's also a time to release anything that no longer serves you.  Samhain Incantation for ancestors  This…

Ancient Australian Megafauna: Diprotodon optatum

Ancient Australian Megafauna: Diprotodon optatum

Diprotodon optatum was the largest marsupial to ever roam Australia, weighing over two tonnes. We rarely find its whole skeleton preserved in caves because it's sheer size prevented it from falling through crevices into the oblivion. Although phylogenetically Diprotodon optatum was closely related to the extant wombat and koala, in terms of its physiology in appearance it…

Ancient Australian megafauna: Procoptodon goliah

I don't know about you, but large Australian mammals and marsupials have got a special place in my heart. However of all of the large beasties to have lurched around in Terra Nullus I am most besotted with animals that have long ago passed into the dusts of yesteryear such as the behemoth 200 kilo…

Five Summer Must-Dos On The Mornington Peninsula, Melbourne

Travel: Lazy summer weekend ideas on Melbourne’s Mornington Peninsula

Only got a weekend in Melbourne, but want to experience the best of an Aussie summer? The Mornington Peninsula is where to go. This is where the locals flock for the best beaches and laid back holiday vibe.  Located in the south east of Melbourne, it's my original stomping ground and so I know it…

Summer in Melbourne Part 1: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders.

Secrets of the Mornington Peninsula: Mushroom Reef Sanctuary, Flinders.

Following on from my previous post about Tyabb Packing Centre, here is another little known wonder from the Mornington Peninsula in Melbourne where I return to whenever I get the chance.  The Mushroom Reef Sanctuary is home to a gigantic mushroom shaped basalt reef near Flinders in Westernport Bay. Located 86 km from central Melbourne,…

The Jigsaw Puzzle of Pangea: What It Tells Us About Our Fragile Human Lives

The Jigsaw Puzzle of Pangea: What It Tells Us About Our Fragile Human Lives

Around 200 million years ago the world's landmass was contained in one giant supercontinent called Pangea surrounded by a mega ocean. I know that this isn't news but I still find it startling and incredible nonetheless. In the graphic below you can see the composition of Pangea but with the modern countries boundaries superimposed on…

Every Picture Tells A Story: William Stanley Moore (1925)

William Stanley Moore according to his official police record was an "opium dealer/ Operates with large quantities of faked opium and cocaine./ A wharf labourer; associates with water front thieves and drug traders.''   Mugshot by New South Wales Police Department (1925) Source: Historic Houses Trust 

Theatre Review: Jack Charles V The Crown at Auckland Arts Fest

Theatre Review: Jack Charles V The Crown at Auckland Arts Fest

Last night I went to see Jack Charles V The Crown at the Auckland Arts Festival. Jack Charles is an Australian legend. He has traveled from movie sets to state prisons in Australia and run the full gamut of life as child of the stolen generation as well as a gifted Indigenous Australian actor, potter…

Secrets of the Mornington Peninsula: Tyabb Packing House

Secrets of the Mornington Peninsula: Tyabb Packing House

The Mornington Peninsula (where I hail from originally) is located in the S.E tip of Port Phillip Bay, about 1 hour's drive outside of Melbourne.  It's a sundrenched and beachy part of Melbourne which features serene and quiet, toddler friendly beaches in sheltered Port Phillip Bay, along with colourful bathing boxes. On the other side…

Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days

Train and tram-spotting in Melbourne back in the olden days

Here are two handsome maps of Melbourne's public transport from the previous century. In equal parts loved and loathed by locals, public transport in Melbourne is slow, expensive and unreliable and yet anyone who has ever lived in Melbourne (and who has moved away for long enough to not deal with it on a daily…

Documentary: Australia in the year 2020 (as envisaged in 1990)

This documentary from the late 80's/early 90's Australia offers fascinating insights into what the pre-internet world thought the new century i.e. right now would be like. As a child I remember watching this TV show and pondering about what 202o would be like. It felt like a pipedream to me, as inconceivable as driving a moon rocket…

The Iconic & Subversive Oz Magazine – In all its Psychadelic Glory

OZ magazine was published in Australia and London between 1963 and 1973 and under the stewardship of Richard Neville and later also Jim Anderson and Felix Dennis. This magazine left the door wide open for everything wild, illegal, outrageous, radical and until then largely unimaginable. OZ magazine is reproduced by permission of Richard Neville in…

Every Picture Tells A Story: Stout Dogs on Antarctic Expedition (1911)

Every Picture Tells A Story: Stout Dogs on Antarctic Expedition (1911)

Photographer Frank Hurley snaps his whimsical and wise looking Greenland esquimaux dogs named Basilisk and Ginger-bitch during an Antarctic expedition between 1911-1914. Thanks to the State Library of New South Wales. See original.

Every Picture Tells A Story: Cracking Open a Keg on Cockatoo Island, 1925.

Every Picture Tells A Story: Cracking Open a Keg on Cockatoo Island, 1925.

Here's the auspicious launching of the HMAS Warrego II a Cockatoo Island Dockyard in Sydney Harbour circa 1925. Trainspotters here will remember that I did a post a few years ago about the creepy and now largely abandoned Cockatoo Island and it's industrial relics. Read it here. Well this photo recalls when Cockatoo Island was in…

Unseen Art from Australia’s First Fleet http://wp.me/p41CQf-8h

The quirky origins of Australia’s native animal names

Although I thought that the cockatoo was an Aboriginal word, it's not! Its a relic of the first Europeans visiting the spice isles of Maluku (now Malaysia) in the 15th Century. They had birds there akin to cassowaries and cockatoos. Other well-known Aboriginal-sounding names are in fact from abroad as well. ‘Bandicoot’: an Indian name…