Thursday, May 31, 2007

Be Crocodile Wise in Australia

Be Crocodile Wise in Australia
by: Jamie Stone

Many people have a lot to learn about the dangers of a saltwater crocodile while visiting northern areas of Australia. Many encounters are unintentional and often the results are devastating if not fatal. People should learn more about the crocodile, where they breed, how to spot for signs of crocodile, their most active periods of the year and general safety when camping near water. The following information is to help people realize the dangers of swimming in northern Australian waters.

Many accidents can be avoided with increased awareness.

It's common name, the Saltwater Crocodile, is also known as the Estuarine Crocodile and 'Saltie'. They are found around the coast of Australia anywhere north of the Tropic of Capricorn and inland for up to 100 kms or more. They are the world's largest reptile and have a closing jaw pressure of around 3000 pounds per square inch.

Saltwater crocodile attacks DO happen in Australia on a regular basis, though the majority of attacks occur mainly on cattle and wildlife. Any stories you hear about these creatures stalking other animals and humans, about their size and their strength is probably NOT exaggerated. Many deaths to people have happened over the years due to them not taking the threat seriously enough and ignoring warning signs.

Always read the "observe crocodile warning signs", these are to be taken seriously! They are erected in that particular area where a crocodile is frequently spotted and could still be living or even breeding in that area. These signs are there to warn the people of the risk and should never be ignored!

Just because you don't see a crocodile doesn't mean it's not there!

Their breeding season is from September to May and the warmer weather makes the cold-blooded animals even faster. Be particularly careful at night! A breeding mother is more aggressive, guarding it's eggs until they hatch. The nests are made from plant matter and mud, and usually found above tide level. Keep this in mind when setting up camp or just exploring the bush.

Avoid places where animals or cattle drink. That's where a crocodile would be waiting for an opportunity to attack. Saltwater crocodiles are very conservative with their energy. They stalk their prey and hide underwater and wait to pounce. A crocodile you can see is less dangerous than one you can't see, so stay well away from the water's edge even if you are camping, fishing or just going for an evening walk.

Crocodiles can launch out of the water; never stand on logs overhanging water and always keep your arms and legs inside a boat when fishing.

No warning signs? DO NOT SWIM no matter how hot or inviting the conditions may be. The "saltie" is mostly found in saltwater, but they are also found in freshwater rivers, billabongs and swamps. Consider swimming in any northern waters dangerous regardless if there is a sign or not!

A crocodile sliding into the water from a river bank will leave a characteristic mark; keep this in mind when setting up camp! Never clean fish at the water's edge or discard fish scraps in the water. Most important if camping always keep the camp site clean and free from food scraps and any smelly fish bait. Remember crocodiles are most active at night, food scraps and fish bait left outside your camp site can invite a hungry crocodile and a shocking midnight scare.

Adult males can reach sizes of up to 6 or 7 metres (20 to 23 feet).

Maximum weight varies, but has been known to exceed 1,000 kg in 18 to 19 foot adults. 5 metre adults are closer to 400 to 500 kg.

One of the largest crocodile ever recorded in Australia was 8 metres 64cm (28ft 4 inches) shot by Krystina Pawloski on the Norman River in North Queensland in 1957. Never torment or provoke a crocodile. They are a protected animal to stop poaching and should always be left alone.

Always remain crocodile wise when traveling to northern parts of Australia and always keep the previous information in mind to avoid any tragedies or loss of life.

Be safe and enjoy your trip!

About The Author
Jamie Stone
Australian Freelance Writer

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Surfing Capital Of Australia

The Surfing Capital Of Australia
by: Kadence Buchanan

If surfing is your thing, then you must check out Bryon Bay, the Mecca of surfing in Australia. There you will find a place where surfing is not just a sport or favorite past-time but a lifestyle and local obsession.

Set against a back-drop of warm weather year-round and spectacular beaches, Byron Bay is an inviting venue that promises a laid-back lifestyle. Why, you can even go native and be part of a teeming “alternative” community whose ranks are constantly being bolstered by an increasing number of writers, artists and filmmakers.

Byron Bay is nestled at the North Coast of New South Wales in Australia. It boasts of four main beaches. Byron Main, the most popular of the four, is perfect for surfing newcomers because of its smaller swell that usually breaks close to the shore. It has non-stop breaks and is great for swimming.

The Pass is the next most popular beach in Byron Bay just south of Byron Main. It is a favorite of long boarders who comb the beach in droves during summer.

Watego Beach is hidden from view and, as such, is ideal for surfers who want to avoid the crowds. The challenges it offers are more difficult for surfers, which is why the most advanced surfers prefer Watego Beach.

Finally, there is also Tallow’s Beach, the most isolated of Byron Bay’s four beaches. Most tourists have not discovered it yet especially since it is only visible from Byron Bay’s headland. It is rare to find outsiders wandering around Tallow’s Beach but the locals just love it.

Aside from surfing, Byron Bay is also a great scuba diving venue and one of these rare places where you can sit back and occasionally catch a whale or two passing by. At night, dolphins come out to play and it is not unusual to see these friendly creatures swimming side by side with people.

There’s also an excellent fine dining restaurant on Byron Bay called Fins which offers succulent seafood and an impressive wine list. Fins is one of Australia’s best restaurants.

Fine Dining

Fins Restaurant

Fins Restaurant offers fresh local seafood spiced with local herbs and supplemented by an attractive wine list. The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide has awarded FINS with two chef’s hats every year since 1998. Fins also received a Restaurant and Catering Award of Excellence as "Best Seafood Restaurant All Regional NSW" in 2005 as well as the award for "Best Seafood Restaurant in Australia" in 2004.

About The Author
Kadence Buchanan writes articles for The Travelling Lifestyle - In addition, Kadence also writes articles for The Outdoors Lifestyle and Recreation Source.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter – An Australian Icon

Steve Irwin: Crocodile Hunter – An Australian Icon
by: James Shenton

Occasionally – just occasionally – there comes along a TV personality whose enthusiasm and charisma engenders almost universal affection with audiences. Environmentalist, naturalist and documentarist Steve Irwin – known the world over as the Crocodile Hunter – was one of those rare personalities.

Born Steven Robert Irwin on 22 September, 1962 in Melbourne, Australia, Steve Irwin was the owner and manager of the Australia Zoo in Beerwah, Queensland. The zoo, originally called the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park, belonged to his parents, Bob and Lyn.

As a young man Irwin worked as a crocodile trapper in Queensland, catching and removing crocs from populated areas. While he didn’t draw a salary, he worked on the condition that he could keep the crocodiles he captured for his parents’ zoo.

After taking over management of the zoo in 1991 Irwin met his future wife, American-born veterinarian Terri Raines. Following a whirlwind romance the couple married, and the video footage of their crocodile-trapping honeymoon was aired as the first episode of The Crocodile Hunter, the series that made Irwin an international celebrity.

The success of The Crocodile Hunter led the Discovery Channel and Animal Planet to commission several wildlife series from Irwin, including The Croc Files, The Crocodile Hunter Diaries and New Breed Vets. Known for his expansive personality and boundless enthusiasm, Irwin’s documentaries made him an Australian icon – often ridiculed, but just as often praised for his idiosyncrasies.

What made Irwin such a popular figure with audiences the world over was his fearless attitude to wild animals. Often seen chasing snakes, crocs and all sorts of dangerous creatures, audiences tuned in not so much to see the animals as to see Irwin’s unbelievable feats of courage and fearlessness. His documentaries gained such a huge audience that they were adapted to the 2002 movie The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course.

Irwin’s enthusiasm for his subject matter, however, occasionally got the better of him, and his career was fraught with controversy. In an incident in 2004 he took his infant son Bob into the crocodile enclosure during a public show at the Australia Zoo, holding him in one arm while feeding a croc with the other. Irwin, however, refused to apologise for the stunt, insisting that the child was never in any real danger.

Again in 2004 Irwin caused controversy during a trip to Antarctica, facing allegations that he disturbed whales, seals and penguins while filming a documentary.

Irwin’s life came to a tragic end on the morning of September 4th, 2006 while filming an documentary on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Queensland, Australia. While filming a stingray he approached too close and was hit in the chest by a barb, causing a fatal injury, and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was 44.

Steve Irwin is survived by his wife Terri and his two young children, Bindi Sue and Robert Clarence.

While Irwin always lived life on the edge, we never really expected him to be killed. There was just something about the confidence with which he handled dangerous creatures that made us think that he was invulnerable. His antics weren’t quite real – if they had been, we may not have been so quick to laugh.

It came as a surprise, then, for us to wake up to the news that he had been killed. Even more so, considering the manner of his death. After all, Irwin was only the third person to be killed by a stingray in Australia. Rays are usually considered to be relatively docile, and it’s even possible to feed them by hand under the right conditions.

Irwin’s death, though tragic, can perhaps be viewed as one final act of showmanship. He won our hearts with his death-defying stunts and it seems fitting that he should go out with a bang. While it would be crass to make light of his death, it could perhaps be argued that this is the way he would have wanted to go, while living right on the edge. Maybe that could come as some small consolation for the family of a man who died before his time.

In life, as well as in death, Steve Irwin was an Australian icon: a modern day, real life Crocodile Dundee. He was everything we think of as typically Australian: rugged, adventurous and dangerous, though not without a sense of humor. While Australians were often embarrassed by his antics, thinking of him as a caricature of Australian stereotypes, that’s exactly why the rest of the world adored him.

Steve Irwin was a passionate advocate for the environment, a tireless promoter of his country, a great entertainer and a loving husband and father. Often controversial, always entertaining, there will always be a place in our hearts for the Crocodile Hunter. The world is poorer for his absence.

About The Author
James Shenton is a popular celebrity gossip writer based in New York.

If you have found this article informative you can find similar writing –– from the latest TV shows to articles about other TV role models – at Elite TV Downloads, the Internet’s best resource for TV downloads.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Tea Tree Oil

Tea Tree Oil
by: Ric Wiley

Tea Tree Oil is one of the most useful products in nature. It has been used by some Aboriginal People in Australia for many centuries as one of their most useful medicines. Tea Tree oil is derived from Melaleuca Alternifloria which is a narrow-leafed paper bark tree that is native to certain parts of Australia. Some people think that it is called the Tea Tree because Captain Cook, who sailed from England in the 17th Century, used the leaves to make a tea from when they first voyaged to Australia, hence the name Tea Tree. Captain Cook found that it was good at combating scurvy a disease that many of his crew suffered from at that time due to a lack of fresh fruit and fresh vegetables.

Australia has more than 300 different kinds of Tea Tree, but only one of them is used to make the oil which is now world famous. Tea Tree Oil first came to prominence during the First World War in the early 20th century. Australian soldiers were seen to be using the oil to treat their infections. They had a great deal of success with this. During World War Two, Tea Tree Oil growers were exempt from National Service in Australia as their contribution to the war was to produce Tea Tree Oil for use by its troops.

Tea Tree oil has a number of fantastic properties making it an excellent treatment for many complaints. These are all external uses as Tea Tree oil should not be taken internally.

Tea Tree oil has been shown to be effective against Fungi, Bacteria and Viruses. It is extracted as an essential oil by steam or water distillation from the leaves and twigs of the Tea Tree. The oil is a water-white liquid or pale yellow-green. It has a fresh, spicy and slightly camphoraceous smell.

About The Author

Ric Wiley is an Internet researcher and author. Check out his latest web sites at Wealthy Best and First Choice Health.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Gold Coast Accommodation and Information for Families

Gold Coast Accommodation and Information for Families
by: Rebecca Greg

What does the Gold Coast have to offer?

The Gold Coast has absolutely everything a family could need for the perfect holiday.

Great stretches of golden sands and rolling waves as the Pacific Ocean greets Queenslands playground – the Gold Coast. World famous beaches such as Surfers Paradise, Palm Beach, Burleigh Heads, Broadbeach, Mermaid Waters, Nobby Beach and not to forget the beautiful South Stradbroke Island.

How to get to the Gold Coast

The Gold coast is easily accessible by air, with major airports at Coolangatta (at the southern end of the Gold Coast strip) and Brisbane. Brisbane is only 1 hours drive north of the Gold Coast. There is plenty of parking and things to do, hire a car at the Gold Coast and be free to see the sights.


Shop til you drop! Enjoy the leafy walkways and lakeside restaurants at Pacific Fair – one of Australia’s largest shopping centres. At Marina Mirage, overlooking the magnificent Broadwater, you’ll find local designer and imported fashions and accessories and enjoy casual dining, cafes and art galleries. If you are in Broadbeach, you can’t miss the Oasis Shopping Centre right in the heart of the fabulous dining precinct. Surfers Paradise and its famous Cavill Avenue is just as much Shoppers Paradise with a wide range of shopping centres, boutique lined boulevards and duty free stores. Cavill Mall is a must-see when you’re in Surfers. Dozens of cafes, eateries and bars to cater to all tastes and budgets.

There are also a wide and varied selection of markets to choose from including the Carrara Markets – the biggest markets in the southern hemisphere, offering great crafts, food, leather goods, novelties, books and rides. There are beachfront markets at Surfers Paradise every Friday night between 5:30 and 10pm. There are also markets at Broadbeach, Burleigh Heads, Coolangatta, Jimboomba and Tambourine Mountain.

Theme Parks

The Gold Coast is undoubtedly the theme park capital of Queensland. Dreamworld, the largest theme park in the southern hemisphere boasts 11 themed worlds of fun. Don’t miss Warner Brothers Movie World where the magic of screen comes alive. Sea World is a favourite with the delightful friendly marine life. For more hands on, take the plunge on Wet’n’Wild’s speed slide. Less famous but just as much fun are the smaller theme parks such as Ripley’s Believe it or not Cable Ski World, Frozen World, and numerous family amusement arcades.

Conrad Jupiters Casino

For entertainment without the kids, you can’t go past Conrad Jupiters Casino. A trip to the Gold Coast would not be complete without the excitement of a visit to this world famous casino. Open 24 hours with two floors of gaming tables, a high rollers room, fabulous live shows and a host of bars and themed restaurants, it is definitely worth a visit.

Nature’s Wonderland

For peace and nature lovers, don’t miss the Gold Coast. Follow the roads inland just a few kilometers from the beaches and a magical world unfolds. Don’t miss Lamington National Park, Mount Tamborine or the green mountains of O’Reilly’sEnjoy the tropical rainforests, mountain villages and other hidden treasures of the Gold Coast’s hinterland. Experience the natural beauty on one of the national park’s many walking tracks. These include Witches Falls, Border Rangers, Lamington, Mt Warning, Nightcap and Springbrook National Parks. All National Parks in the hinterland area offer maps to guide you on their walking tracks, which are designed for all levels of fitness. In addition, many day tour companies have guided walks through the rainforest with visits to natural swimming holes.

Don’t miss the largest collection of native animals in the world at Currumbin Sanctuary. Have your photo taken with a koala, feed the colourful lorikeets, walk among the kangaroos, see the fresh water crocodiles or come face to face with the Tasmanian devil – all in their natural environment.

Gold Coast Accommodation

Gold Coast apartments, Gold Coast hotels, Gold Coast resorts…whatever type of accommodation you are looking for you will find it. From the excitement and buzz of Surfers Paradise, to the peace and beauty of Palm Beach, you will find accommodation at the Gold Coast to suit your lifestyle and budget.

For help or bookings for all types of Gold Coast accommodation visit

Remember to take out travel insurance if you think that you may, for health or other reasons, be unable to travel to your holiday of a lifetime.

About The Author

Rebecca Greg

I am the marketing manager for HappyStay which is an Australia wide user friendly accommodation directory. We have all your travel needs covered including car hire, airline tickets, travel insurance and international accommodation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Australian Outback: The Ultimate Journey

Australian Outback: The Ultimate Journey
by: James Sherard

It begins with an imperceptible quickening of the pulse upon seeing birds in flight, the muted flap of wings silhouetted serenely against the crimson backdrop of sunset. Or listening to the ephemeral caress of the wind rustling tranquilly through the trees, you perceive an ancient whisper suspended in time, gently urging you onward to a place where magic can still be found...

For those who long to "get away from it all", if even for a long deserved vacation, an area still remains where one can follow that inner voice which promises to free the spirit, and rejuvenate the senses.

The Australian Outback. Mysterious, vast and uncompromising, its awe-inspiring vistas and sun-drenched deserts await the intrepid traveler who believes the journey, is as important as the destination.

Although the word "outback" describes the arid interior of Australia, the term more accurately denotes a feeling rather than a precise set of parameters. The ethereal stillness and expansive quality of the land induces a state of psychological emptiness, a meditative paradise of subtropical wetlands, stunning sanguine deserts, breathtaking waterfalls, red rock formations, rain forest and savanna, all teeming with diverse, exotic wildlife.

The history of the outback derives from it's first inhabitants, the Aboriginal Anagu people, who have lived within the majestic solitude of Australia's sacred inner regions for more than 40,000 years.

Their deep respect for the land was forged from the belief that every significant event or activity occurring at a particular location leaves behind a vibrational imprint, which can be accessed by what they refer to as "Dreamtime".

Through "Dreaming", the hidden power of mountains, riverbeds, waterholes and rocks is revealed, reconfirming the inherent connection between man and nature, which, with the passage of time, has gradually been forgotten.

What better place to reestablish that bond than the legendary area known as Ayers Rock. Located in the heart of the continent, this formidable outcropping of sandstone looming above the desert plain symbolizes the essence of the Australian outback.

Also known as "Uluru" by the Aborigines, they believe that dwelling within the spectacular formation is a source of energy called "Tjukurpa'", and that light can often be seen emanating from it's timeless walls.

The surface of Uluru is also notable for changing color throughout the day, often appearing to glow inexplicably with various hues of red, blue, and violet... a dancing, sporadic play of lustrous iridescence that gradually gives way to twilight, the sun setting in regal splendor below the seemingly infinite horizon.

Uluru has been an important focus of the spiritual life of the Aborigines for time immemorial. Hundreds of paintings which depict Aboriginal life cover the walls of caves that are interspersed throughout the revered monolith, a pictorial testimony to the traditions and beliefs of a people who have lived in harmony with the natural flow of the earth, and in doing so, receive emotional and spiritual sustenance from the source of all that was, all that is, and all that will be......

About The Author
Jim Sherard is a freelance writer, traveler, and owner of Customer Service a site featuring Australian outback clothing.