Tag Archive for Australia

Old Memories

I see that the Tour Down Under is taking place this week in South Australia, with tomorrow’s stage meandering through the Adelaide Hills and finishing in Tanunda, in the Barossa Valley. This is very near to where I used to live – in fact the course runs right up Murray Street in the small, quiet…

The Kindness of Strangers

Even by outback Australia’s legendary standards, the old pearling port of Broome is seriously remote. It sits by itself on a lonely mangrove-fringed coast on the far northwest of the continent, with the steamy emptiness of the Indian Ocean stretching away on one side, and over a million square miles of hostile desert scrub stretching…

Banjo Paterson & Mulga Bill’s Bicycle

Light the candles, break out the tinnies. Today is Banjo Paterson’s birthday – born on this date in 1864, at ‘Narrambla’, near Orange, in rural New South Wales. For those of you who are not Australian, or haven’t had the pleasure of living down there, and don’t immediately recognise the name, Andrew Barton ‘Banjo’ Paterson is Australia’s national poet, the man who gave the world Waltzing Matilda, and a rich swag of iconic Australian ballads such as The Man from Snowy River and Clancy of the Overflow, and, for those of us of the cycling persuasion, Mulga Bill’s Bicycle.

On Assignment

  In July of 1996 I left my job at Time Magazine and set off to cycle around Australia, unsupported and on my own, free clear and beholden to no-one. Shortly before I left though, I approached the editors of National Geographic, told them my plans, and after due consideration their story approval committee responded with…

Bicycles and the Bush

  I was thirty-seven years old in July of 1996, when I quit my job as a senior writer for Time Magazine, packed my panniers and with my final pay cheque as a road stake, set out from Sydney on a 10,000-mile solo trek around Australia aboard a several year-old 21-speed Cannondale tourer. I was…

The Wheels of Chance

  It was a tram driver’s strike in Melbourne back in the early Nineties that got me riding a bicycle again as an adult. I was living in Elsternwick that year, an old bayside suburb in the city’s inner, and catching the ting-a-ling tram down Glenhuntly Road each morning to a fairly dull job writing…