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Tim Richards
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Home | Pacific | EuropeAsia | Americas | Africa & Middle East | Rail

Queensland (Jump to NSW & ACT | SA & NT | TAS | VIC | WA instead)



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]

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]

The Savannahlander: An Epic and Eccentric Rail Trek
Traveller
, 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]

Outback Tracks
True Blue
, December 2019 - January 2020

"I’m in town to catch a train from the attractive station that’s set within gardens like an old farmhouse. Here I find the Gulflander waiting beneath a corrugated canopy, its engine running and frame vibrating as its crew ready it for departure. Remarkably, this remote railway has been in operation since the late 19th century. Originally laid toward Cloncurry to the south, it was diverted to inland Croydon after the start of that town’s 1885 gold rush..."

Riding aboard the historic Gulflander train in Outback Queensland, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Six of the Best Suburban Hotels
Traveller
, 22 October 2019

"In Brisbane's north, this hotel is well known for its live entertainment. If you fancy catching a music gig or live comedy while you're taking a break, this is the place. For a more laid-back excursion, the rural attractions of the Samford Valley are not far away. Dining is bistro-style with a focus on steaks, ribs and seafood, including a crispy-skin barramundi from Humpty Doo in the Northern Territory..."

Highlighting six quality hotels in the suburbs of Australia's major cities, including Brisbane.

[Read the full article here]

Spirit of Queensland Rail Journey: Like Business Class on a Plane
Traveller
, 4 April 2019

"'WARNING: plastic snakes on station to deter birds.' This yellow-and-black sign at Townsville's railway station is undeniably eye-catching. It strikes me that plastic snakes might also deter humans. I look all around, but I can't find see any fake reptiles. No matter. What's more important is the train waiting for me at the platform. The Spirit of Queensland takes 25 hours to cover the 1681 kilometres from Cairns to Brisbane..."

Riding aboard a modern sleeper train along the Queensland coast.

[Read the full article here]

Here's How to See Australia by Train
lonelyplanet.com, 23 March 2019

"Australia is such a huge country that it seems logical to cross it by plane. But there is another option, one that becomes a memorable holiday in itself: the train. Piecing together connecting routes, it’s possible to take a great rail journey across the continent from savannah to forests to tropics, immersed in ever-changing scenery. Here’s how to do it..."

Describing how to travel around Australia by rail
, from Queensland through NSW, Victoria and South Australia to either Darwin or Perth.

[Read the full article here]

See Remote Queensland's Flora and Fauna Aboard the Gulflander Train
Traveller
, 5 February 2019

"It's not easy to catch a train from Normanton, a remote town in the Gulf Savannah region of northwest Queensland. For one thing, the Gulflander train only operates once a week. And if you try to catch it at the tail end of the wet season, as I am, you run the risk of being washed out. But we've been given the go-ahead by the track crew, and the landscape looks beautiful as we enter the savannah, dotted with slender dark-trunked trees..."

Riding the memorable "train from nowhere to nowhere", in Outback Queensland, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

The Dinosaurs of Winton
Active Retirees
, December 2018

"I’m glad I made it here, to see the aftermath of a prehistoric event preserved forever in the rock of Lark Quarry. All those millions of years ago, when this was much wetter terrain, herds of two-legged dinosaurs came one night to drink here. Suddenly a huge carnivorous theropod, looking something like a tyrannosaurus, charged the gathered prey. Their fleeing footprints were later covered in sediment, and now they’re visible forever..."

Discovering dinosaur fossils near the Outback town of Winton, Queensland.

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A Rail of a Time
Discover,
Spring/Summer 2018

"Then it’s time to hop aboard the most impressive train of all: the Indian Pacific. A two-night journey west to Perth includes top-quality dining, stark desert scenery, and dinner in a remote ghost town. It’s a fitting finale to an almost 8000 kilometre rail odyssey..."

Detailing how to catch trains from Far North Queensland through NSW, Victoria and South Australia, all the way to Western Australia.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]


Spirit of the Outback: into the Wild, Wild West
Traveller
, 8 September 2017

"The adjoining Tuckerbox restaurant car is similarly colour-coded, but more eccentrically decorated. The dividers between table booths are each topped by metal frames containing livestock brands of famous cattle and sheep stations, such as Bowen Downs, Wellshot and Isis Downs. Above the tables there's a curve of corrugated iron, a reminder of rural Australia's favourite building material. The effect is that of a quirky Outback-themed eatery. Tacky or fun? I'm going with the latter..."

Talking the sleeper train from Brisbane to the attractions of Longreach, Queensland.

[Read the full article here]

Five Remote Corners Which Define Australia's States
Traveller
, 9 September 2015

"Borders have always fascinated travellers. In some ways that's strange, because they're just invisible, imaginary lines on a map. Even internal borders can be objects of interest, and Australia's more than most. For where each of our state and territory borders meet another one at an angle, 'surveyors' corners' are created, each marked by a pillar at the meeting point..."

Describing the location and appeal of remote state border intersections in Australia.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Australia's UNESCO World Heritage-listed Cultural and Natural Attractions
Traveller
, 26 November 2014

"What does the Great Barrier Reef have in common with the Great Wall of China, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the ruins of Great Zimbabwe? All four of these places – and over a thousand others mostly without the word 'great' in their titles – are on UNESCO's World Heritage List. According to the United Nations body, this makes their protection the common goal of humanity. So how easy is it for a place to make the list, and how many sites does Australia have in it? ..."

Exploring 19 World Heritage sites in Australia, including natural and cultural wonders.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Gold Coast Dreaming
The Sunday Age
, 12 January 2014

"Our guide, Jade, is standing under a pandanus tree as he tells us the story of the giant named Jabreen. Featured in a Dreamtime legend of the indigenous Yugambeh people of Queensland's Gold Coast, Jabreen is said to have swum in the ocean off Burleigh Heads after feasting on wild honey. After his swim, he lay down to rest on Burleigh Mountain (Jellurgal), which grew around the giant as he slept and captured him. He woke and tried to break free, but Jellurgal won out..."

Joining a tour of Aboriginal history and culture on the Gold Coast, Australia.
Available for republication (print only).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]

After the Party: Recharging in Queensland's Gold Coast Hinterland
www.lonelyplanet.com, 26 November 2013

"Sunburnt and exhausted after partying it up on Australia's Gold Coast? That’s not surprising. This sprawling city stretching along the Pacific coast south of Brisbane is Australia’s answer to both Las Vegas and Miami, combining gambling, nightclubs and dining with perfect swimming beaches. Luckily, the Gold Coast has a calm, refreshing twin to its party-town hedonism: the Gold Coast Hinterland..."

Profiling the region inland from Australia's Gold Coast.
Not available for republication.

[Read the full article here]

Beachside Bliss
Air Mail, Summer 2011
(Air Australia inflight magazine)

"'All the world’s a stage,' wrote William Shakespeare, but he might as well have said 'All the world’s a beach.' Through Asia, Australia and the Pacific there are beaches of every type, hosting every attraction. Whether you’re after a rest, a meal, a party or a spot of retail action, there’s a sandy shore out there for you. Here’s a selection of the best..."

Detailing a number of fine beaches, including one in Queensland.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.


Paradise Amid the Palms
Medical Observer, 24 September 2010

"There’s a sign on the beach urging me to swim between the flags. Beneath it are three icons, depicting a crocodile, a shark and a stinger. For extra excitement, the stinger is depicted with its tentacles wrapped around a swimmer’s legs. The phrase 'may be present in these waters' concludes this little warning. It’s not the most relaxing of welcomes, but Palm Cove’s local authorities certainly have my attention."

Exploring the tropical attractions of Palm Cove, Queensland.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.


Flashpack Chic
Medical Observer, 17 September 2010

"When staying in Brisbane, the lively Fortitude Valley area makes a good alternative to the central business district. As a dining destination it’s packed with restaurants; there are also several live music venues. With all that in mind, this hyper-modern hostel is a good option for those wanting to keep the budget under control while enjoying Brisbane’s after-dark distractions."

Detailing upmarket 'flashpacker' hostels across Australia and New Zealand.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.


Villages of BrisVegas
The Sunday Age, 20 June 2010

"Finally I reach Fortitude Valley and mount the stairs to music venue The Troubadour. It’s a long, slightly shabby space with a mellow doorman and a laidback clientele, fitting neatly with the interior’s antlers, gilt-framed prints, mirrors and softly glowing orange lampshades. I sink into a comfy chair, sip a beer, and smile...'"

Investigating the diverse inner-city districts of Brisbane, Queensland.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

[Read the full article here]

Have Blog, Will Travel
The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2009

"Ben Southall may officially have the Best Job in the World, having been appointed Island Caretaker by Tourism Queensland after a worldwide search that garnered enormous publicity, but he faces the same challenges of anyone writing a travel blog. How often should I post? How long should it be? What would interest my readers? Should I add images and links? And what does it take to please some people?"

Discovering whether travelling and blogging really do mix.
Available for republication (print only).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]
Queensland's Alcatraz
Herald Sun, 24 October 2008

"Our group moves from green pastures to the remains of prison buildings, down grassy lanes past grazing cows, hopping wallabies and a small children’s cemetery, to large stone ruins of walls without roofs. They look like something from an ancient city and despite its violent past, there’s something wistful about the island. If there are ghosts, they seem benign."

Delving into the prison history of St Helena Island, near Brisbane.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

Puttin' on the Glitz
Medical Observer, 10 October 2008

"Forget the downtown district; I’ve been told by locals in the know that Brisbane’s true gems are its inner-city suburbs. Mostly former working-class suburbs that were home to hard-working residents, bustling local pubs and factories, they’ve been transformed in recent years into mellow locales with cool cafes, quirky shops and just enough industrial-edged character to keep things interesting."

Exploring the cool inner-city neighbourhoods of Brisbane, Queensland.

Things That Go Bump in the Night
Jetstar Magazine, October 2008

"Lisa Senescall has had her own eerie experiences while leading the Haunted Brisbane Tour. 'I tell a story about a young newspaper boy who was killed in a tram accident. Then, when I went through the locked gate to the site one night, there was an old newspaper there - with a date of 1921.'"

Delving into the paranormal via ghost tours across Australia. 

Six in the City
Jetstar Magazine, July 2008

"It’s dark, and our group is standing in the grand 19th century Toowong Cemetery, small torches our only illumination. Our guide laughs lightly. As she leads our group of all ages through the grounds, we hear stories about the famous Brisbane celebrities interned here, and strange nocturnal occurrences including roaming statues, a ghostly weeping widow, and a spectral poker game in a crypt."

Revealing six quirky tours that cast Brisbane in a different light. 

Brisbane Beyond the Glitz
The Dominion Post, 13 May 2008

"Brisneyland! Brissie! BrisVegas! Brisbane seems to attract more nicknames than any other Australian city. In their typically relaxed, cheerful way, however, Brisbanites have often picked up these epithets and adopted them for their own use. The BrisVegas tag is now happily used by locals to symbolise their city’s mix of sub-tropical sparkle and urban energy."

A wander through the intriguing inner-city suburbs of Queensland's capital city.

[Read the full article here]

More travel writing: 
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| Africa & Middle East | Rail
Travel: Queensland

I'm a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. This page contains examples of my travel writing, organised by location or topic.

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