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Australia    -   Southern Queensland  -  Brisbane


(A very different continent: Wildlife, Weather, Safety, Trivia)

Southern Queensland & northern NSW

  (A very special part of our continent: scenic, varied and rich in wildlife species)


Where to stay and what to do in Brisbane before and after our tours 



Australia: what makes it so different?


Australia drifted alone for many millions of years after splitting from Gondwana, and developed animals and plants very difference from other parts of the world.
For instance half our mammal species are marsupials (babies born in embryonic stage and sheltered in mother's pouch while developing further), we have the only egg-laying mammals outside of New Guinea, and most cockatoos are Australian. See our pages on Australian Wildlife for further details.


kangaroo tracks

We live on the world's driest continent,  which has its disadvantages, but also means we get a lot of nice sunny weather and clear starry nights. 
We also have the most unpredictable rainfall in the world.
The photo to the right shows kangaroo tracks across a vast dried-up lake (which has since re-filled)

  • Coastal northern Australia (including southern Queensland) usually gets wet summers and dry winters,
  • Coastal southern Australia (e.g. Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth) mostly has dry summers and wet winters
  • What happens in the outback is anyone's guess! Some areas can go years without rain, and then, at any time of year, be inundated with floods

Landscape: wide open spaces

Australian outback

Most of Australia is  flat, dry and only sparsely inhabited (the lack of nutrient in the soils plus the low and unpredictable rainfall make it unlikely it could ever be densely populated)
This gives a feeling of spaciousness and some wonderful sunsets.

rainforest at Lamington National ParkThe combination of far horizons and  remoteness from cities makes the outback (and many coastal areas) ideal for observing  the  stars and planets. The Southern Cross (which shows on the Australian and New Zealand flags) can only be seen from the Southern Hemisphere, and the Milky Way is more brilliant here than in the Northern Hemisphere (more stars visible).

A chain of mountains down the eastern coast gives higher rainfall (capturing moisture from winds blowing in from the Pacific Ocean), fertile soils (from the ancient volcanoes that formed the mountains) and varied landscape.  There are other hilly regions also in other parts of the continent.  None of our mountains are really high by world standards, but they do provide some very beautiful scenery, forests and unique (in the true sense of the word) wildlife.


SouthbankAustralia is the only continent not divided into different nations, and has very little experience of war or revolution within its own shores. Our political stability and welfare system (meaning the unemployed are not as desperate as in some regions) makes this one of the safest continents to travel around. There are dangers of course,  but our cities are not high in violent crime rate, and with a little common sense (e.g. not walking alone down dark streets in the middle of the night, and as a general rule not hitching rides or picking up hitch-hikers)  most trouble is easily avoided.

Despite some popular books, our wildlife is not as dangerous as may other regions. There are no large predators in the forests. We do have some of the world's most venomous snakes, but they don't stalk us (they know we're too big to eat), and they're usually eager to get out of our way. Many of our snakes are virtually harmless (but it's still best to keep your distance, as identification can be tricky). Crocodiles in northern rivers and sharks in coastal waters do stalk us as prey, and some of the jellyfish in northern coastal waters, especially in summer, can be lethal. Most spiders
- apart from the redback and the funnel-web - are not at all dangerous, even if some bites are painful, and they only bite in defense if we're careless enough to sit on them, reach a hand into dark crevices where they're hiding, or put on a boot or glove that has been stored outside without looking inside it first.  If you are unlucky enough to get bitten though, and think it may be something dangerous, you should relax as much as possible (to stop the blood from circulating too fast through the body) and seek medical aid promptly.

Exposure to the extremes of temperature and dehydration are usually bigger dangers than wildlife for those who get lost in the bush. If heading into remote areas, whether walking or driving -  make sure you carry enough water and have warm clothing or at least a thermal rug in case an unforeseen event (including breaking an ankle or simply getting lost) causes you to spend a night outdoors (which tends to happen fairly often in some districts). Equip yourself with a good map and compass, ask local advice and tell people your destination before tackling a wilderness walk or mountain climb.

Some Aussie trivia. Did you know....

red kangaroo crosses outback road