I, Writer
Tim Richards
Freelance Writer

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I have two books coming out in 2021. Heading South, about an epic round-Australia rail journey, will be published by Fremantle Press;
while Ultimate Train Journeys: World will be published by Hardie Grant. Follow me or the publishers on social media for updates.

Ten Most Recently Published

Wild Art a Tonic for Times
Senior Traveller
, September 2020

"A woman with hopeful blue eyes above a white face mask was the most moving artwork I saw in Melbourne’s Hosier Lane. It made me smile. And my day needed brightening, for I had just walked through the eerie streets of the city's CBD on a chilly autmunal afternoon under lockdown. Despite self-isolation and social distancing, if I step out onto Elizabeth Street (where I live) there's still the car traffic, trams trundling past, people walking by in masks. It’s in Melbourne’s famous laneways, however, that I really notice the difference..."

Walking through the eerily quiet streets of Melbourne's city centre under COVID-19 lockdown

[Read the full article here]

Fields of Flavour
The Australian
, 8 August 2020

"Standing high on a slope in the Atherton Tablelands, I’m captivated by the view. From a neatly tended garden at a local farm, I’m gazing down upon a series of ridges. Softened by greenery and the misty early morning air, they resemble a green tablecloth flung over the landscape, with curves and folds fading into the distance. I wish as I often do on my travels that my wife Narrelle could be there to share the moment. And this is a part of the world worth sharing..."

Taking a tasty food tour through the Atherton Tablelands west of Cairns, Queensland

[Read the full article here]

A Dream of Trains
The New Daily
, 3 June 2020

"Locked down in my apartment in Melbourne’s CBD, I dreamt of trains. For the past decade I’ve increasingly written about rail travel, drawn more and more into a love of trains. It doesn’t matter what trains they are – luxury 'rail cruises' are impressive, but so to me is a berth in a weathered old-school sleeper car or a seat on any intercity train..."

Discussing the delights of rail travel, with examples from my
past train journeys.

[Read the full article here]

Unexpected Things I’ve Learned in COVID Lockdown
The New Daily
, 16 May 2020

"The most surprising thing I’ve discovered during the COVID-19 lockdown? How well this apocalypse is being catered. In TV shows and movies featuring end-of-the-world disasters, the protagonists are usually pictured eating rats or shooting each other for tins of baked beans. By comparison, here in the Melbourne CBD we’ve been lashing out on top-quality produce and imported treats, as well as takeaway meals from top restaurants..."

Detailing unexpected life lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic

[Read the full article here]

An Unusual Rail Journey Through Queensland’s Gulf Savannah
Truly Aus
, 5 May 2020

"Having survived a major flood in 1974, the Gulflander hung on to become a quirky tourist train. What helped it last so long was the railway’s unusual track, whose arched steel sleepers allowed the rails to sink solidly into the ground. This innovation meant the train could keep going in up to 15 centimetres of water, a huge benefit in a region often hit by heavy wet season rains. 'Gold is long gone, but the train survived because it could still get through floods,' says stationmaster and driver Ken..."

Catching a historic train from Normanton to Croydon in remote Queensland, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

A Lonelier Planet?
The New Daily
, 1 May 2020

"Travel has added so much to people’s lives, and Lonely Planet has been an integral part of that experience. Australians in particular have had their hands held by this knowledgeable friend (as the guidebooks sometimes seemed, with their laconic and honest style), as we stepped off a plane somewhere that would have otherwise seemed daunting. We’re famously intrepid travellers, exploring beyond the tourist traps. Lonely Planet can claim part of the credit for that..."

Reflecting on the challenges Lonely Planet faces in the COVID-19 crisis, and why I think guidebooks will survive.

[Read the full article here]

Destinations Australians Can't Wait to Return to
, 29 March 2020

"Once we're all back in the air, the first place I'll be heading to is the Balkans. I'd been set to visit this region of Europe when the COVID-19 balloon went up, and reluctantly had to cancel flights and other bookings. My wife and I were heading to Athens first, with a Balkan Flexipass from Rail Europe tucked into our passports. After exploring the Greek capital, we intended to spend six weeks travelling by train through Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Romania (we're both keen on a bit of vampire lore) before reaching Istanbul..."

Talking about rail travel through the Balkans, among a group of writers talking about post-COVID-19 travel.

[Read the full article here]

Launceston's Best Food and Cultural Attractions
, 13 March 2020

"'I want to be King of Tasmania!' shouts the oafish Ubu, a huge puppet and the the central character of the outlandish satirical play King Ubu, staged at Launceston's Cataract Gorge. I think, 'Don't we all?' Or at least to visit it. Since the opening of Hobart's Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in 2011, Tasmania has become a highly desirable destination; and climate change only adds to its cool charms, in more ways than one..."

Outlining the many arts and food-related attractions of Launceston, Tasmania.

[Read the full article here]

Learn About our Distant Relations at the Neanderthal Museum
, 9 March 2020

"There's something uncanny about the man in a suit as he leans on a concrete wall. No matter how much I try to focus on the museum's exhibits, my eye is drawn back to him. It's as if my brain can't believe that he's real. And that's fair enough, for the figure in a business suit is a dummy and not quite human – or at least, not human as we think of it today. He's a Neanderthal, a member of the species Homo neanderthalensis, which disappeared from the Earth about 40,000 years ago..."

Learning about pre-history at the Neanderthal Museum near Düsseldorf, Germany.

[Read the full article here]

The Savannahlander: An Epic and Eccentric Rail Trek
, 26 February 2020

"'We're your train drivers for today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So if you don't like us, tough.' It says a lot for the informal vibe of the Savannahlander that this announcement is met with general laughter. It's nearing the end of the train's operating season – it halts over the wet season – so there's only a dozen passengers on board. It's easy to move about in the carriage and make friends, so the journey has a relaxed feel. Not that the Savannahlander is ever a starchy, formal, white-linen-tablecloth kind of experience..."

Joining a memorable rail tour through the Gulf Savannah region of Queensland, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Travel: Australia | Europe | Pacific | Asia | Americas | Africa & Middle East |
Rail Travel.
Other: Arts.Life.Sci/Tech.Pets

I'm a freelance writer with published articles on various topics: including travel, lifestyle, the arts, science, and pets. 

My writing has appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites around the world. I'm also a writer of travel books for Lonely Planet.

I'm available to write on any subject, and also undertake business writing jobs such as proofreading, editing and copywriting.

Learn more about my published work and writing services.

All articles in this archive are available for republication (fee to be negotiated). Articles can be rewritten to meet your style or length requirements. Please contact me by email with your query.

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Tim Richards
507/225 Elizabeth St
Melbourne VIC 3000


(international +61-411-242327)

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land I work upon in Melbourne/Birraranga, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.

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