August 16, 2018

Perth’s Playground

Back in 1984, Perth businessman Dallas Dempster had a smart idea. Let’s get rid of this dump! Burswood Island, an island in the Swan River just a couple of kilometres from Perth’s city center, was the site of a large landfill. Dempster suggested to the Western Australian government that the site could be better used for a resort casino. The government agreed and Dempster and a Malaysian business partner were granted a casino license in 1985. The plans called for a casino, a 400 room hotel, a golf course, a convention and exhibition centre, an amphitheatre and more. The casino, of course, was finished first and opened in December 1985….

January 16, 2018

Rottnest Island

Follow us on Facebook! Australia is a biologically distinct continent with many species of both plant and animal life that live nowhere else in the world. These include, of course, the kangaroo, the wallaby, the koala, the Tasmanian devil, the emu, and a wide variety of snakes and insects. Some of these flora and fauna are particularly limited in their range. One of these is the quokka, a small marsupial about the size of a large cat that looks something like a miniature kangaroo.  The quokka is found only in Western Australia, and only in a limited range in the southwest of the state. The largest population group, estimated to…

March 3, 2017

Where Two Oceans Meet

Follow us on Facebook! How many oceans are there and can you name them? Most people can come up with three – the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. They are, in fact, the largest. But there are two more – the Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. The Southern Ocean is sometimes called the Antarctic Ocean. It is so-called because it blankets the southern hemisphere, encircling the continent of Antarctic. The boundaries, however, have shifted over time. The first map published by the International Hydrographic Association in 1928 had the northern boundaries touch Cape Horn, the southern end of Africa and the entire southern portion of Australia. That’s the area marked as…

December 27, 2016

Perth’s Kings Park

Follow us on Facebook! Kings Park is a fabulous urban park sitting on the western edge of the Central Business District of Perth, Australia on Mount Eliza. It’s just a short walk from downtown but there is also lots of parking. It’s a large park comprising 4.06 square kilometres or 1003 acres. Like Vancouver’s Stanley Park which is about the same size, it is a multiple use park with much of it wilderness. The lower area features a large children’s park which includes many replicas of Australian dinosaurs. We entered the park near here which borders on the university district. This area has a lake and a children’s playground as well as…

November 24, 2016

Busselton Jetty

Follow us on Facebook! Although Margaret River is actually a small town located on a broad spur sticking out from the southwestern end of Western Australia, that whole region is widely known as Margaret River. It is wine country. It’s also an area of rolling hills, farms, forests and some great surfing beaches. On the north end of this spur is the town of Busselton which has a claim to fame all its own. It is the home of the Busselton Jetty, the second longest wooden pile jetty in the world and the longest in the southern hemisphere. Built in 1865, it celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015.   Originally entirely…