Tag Archives: Australia

Ancient ‘lost continent’ fragment discovered in the Indian Ocean

A piece of crust that broke off from the supercontinent Gondwana approximately 200 million years ago has been found underneath the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, according to new research published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

The fragment appears to have broken off from the island of Madagascar when Africa, India, Australia, and Antarctic spilt apart and formed the Indian Ocean, lead author Lewis Ashwal, a professor at Wits University in South Africa and his colleagues reported in their study.

Continue reading Ancient ‘lost continent’ fragment discovered in the Indian Ocean

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Quebec Women Charged in Massive Coke Smuggling Bust Documented Whole Trip on Instagram

The two Quebec women facing life in prison in Australia after police found more than $30 million worth of cocaine in their suitcases looked like they were having the time of their lives on the way there.

Melina Roberge and Isabelle Lagace, both in their 20s, spent the last two months on the MS Sea Princess, a massive luxury cruise that takes 2,000 passengers on numerous stops from Southampton in the UK to Sydney, Australia. Tickets for the cruise cost $20,000 each.

Continue reading Quebec Women Charged in Massive Coke Smuggling Bust Documented Whole Trip on Instagram

A Massive Shark Stalked A Surfer In Australia

shark surfer

Photographs have emerged of a surfer being trailed by a shark on a beach in Australia during an encounter described by onlookers as “eerie”.

Andrew Johnston, a 38-year-old local surfer, ignored warnings to come ashore and now says he did not realise how close he was to the creature, which was reportedly a 10-foot great white shark.

The encounter occurred at a beach at Esperance in the state of Western Australia along a stretch of coastline which has had a spate of fatal attacks in recent years.

surfer shark

“At the time I didn’t think it was that big a shark and that close, but I did lose sight of it when it came right up behind me,” Mr Johnston told ABC Radio.

“It was a lot more intense than I thought it was at the time; obviously it was a very close call. I was very lucky; you don’t get much closer than that without getting touched up by them.”

The photographs were taken by Frits De Bruyn, a tourist, on September 21, just days before another surfer lost his arm and a hand during an attack at a nearby beach.

surfer and shark

Jesse McCarthy-Price, a local reporter, said the mood at the beach on the day was “really eerie”.

Mr Johnston said the incident was scary but would not keep him out of the water.

“Every time I go in the water, I know it could be my last day – it’s just one of the risks of being a surfer,” he said.

“You can’t escape these creatures. If your number’s up, your number’s up.”

The 11 Friendliest Cities In The World, According To Travelers

11. Salzburg, Austria

11. Salzburg, Austria

Score: 82.5 (tie)

It’s not difficult to see why Salzburg made the list. The beautiful city boasts “mountain vistas, mind-blowing architecture, and so much history,” and the people are “warm and friendly,” our readers gush.

It’s also very family friendly: “It’s like a living theme park, the perfect destination for young kids on their first trip to Europe,” one reader added. Plus, it’s home to the gorgeous Hotel Goldener Hirschone of Europe’s best hotels with the most helpful staff around.

11. Budapest, Hungary

11. Budapest, Hungary

Score: 82.5 (tie)

Budapest is “majestic, regal, and breathtaking,” with its “rich history and elegant buildings,” according to our readers. But it’s the “lovely, friendly people,” “courteous drivers,” and “youthfulness” that make the city special.

Our readers suggest heading to the Fisherman’s Bastion to get “a real feeling of local life.” In the summer, don’t miss the chance to mingle with the locals at one of Budapest’s now-famous “sparties,” which are held at the landmark Széchenyi Baths.

9. Seville, Spain

9. Seville, Spain

Score: 82.8 (tie)

“Quaint and amazing”—plus “charming, beautiful, and welcoming”—is how our readers describe the historic capital of Andalusia.

“The locals are warm, kind, and full of life,” one reader adds, while another raves that the city “dances to the rhythm of flamenco like no other Spanish city!” See for yourself—and while you’re there, have a meal at the classic and elegant Egaña Oriza, an editor favorite.

9. Savannah, Georgia, USA

9. Savannah, Georgia, USA

Score: 82.8 (tie)

Charm abounds in Georgia’s oldest city, as evidenced by the number of readers who raved about the “animated guides in seersucker suits” and “Spanish moss dripping from the trees.”

Visitors both new and returning also enthused that the “rich tapestry of our country’s history” here made them feel like they’d “stepped back in time.” For delicious Southern fare, “don’t miss The Pirate’s House Sunday Brunch.”

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

7. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Score: 83.6

Though Siem Reap is full of “awe-inspiring beauty” and “incredible food and sights,” our readers say that its “people were the best.” One reader added: “It is the resiliency and kindness of the Cambodian people that I will remember.”

While you’re there, stay at the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor (pictured), five miles from Angkor Wat, orAmansara Resort, famous for its wonderful staff, beautiful chalets, and location—just minutes from Angkor Archaeological Park.

5. Sydney, Australia

5. Sydney, Australia

Score: 83.8 (tie)

Not only is Sydney “the most beautiful large city in the world” with a “breathtaking” harbor and beaches, it’s also home to the “friendliest people,” our readers say.

“They’re always so helpful, and they love Americans!” another adds. As if you needed another reason to visit, Sydney is also home to the best food in the world. Don’t visit without stopping by at the spectacular Quay for Chef Peter Gilmore’s nature-inspired cuisine.

5. Dublin, Ireland

5. Dublin, Ireland

Score: 83.8 (tie)

According to our readers, Dublin is a “vibrant city” that’s a “bibliophile’s dream.”

Apart from being “green, lush, and very walkable,” it’s also “the kind of place you stop in for a drink in a local pub, only to end up chatting with the locals for the next five hours.” Even First Lady Michelle Obama is a fan.

4. Charleston, South Carolina, USA

4. Charleston, South Carolina, USA

Several visitors praised this “quaint and special little gem” for embodying Southern hospitality at every turn—so much so that they “would consider living there full time.”

The historic town earned accolades for its blend of “undervalued local culture,” history, and natural beauty, as well as the “incredible food” and Charleston City Market, with its boutiques and art galleries.

3. Victoria, BC, Canada

3. Victoria, BC, Canada

Score: 85.7

There’s just so much to do in Victoria, you need at least a week to see it. “Bike on the Galloping Goose, people-watch at Moka House Coffee, sip wine at Beacon Hill Park, go whale watching, and on and on,” one of our readers advises.

“The inner harbor is worth a day wandering around,” another adds. While you’re there, look for the stunning Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is well worth “a walk through, even if you don’t go for high tea.”

1. Melbourne, Australia (TIE)

1. Melbourne, Australia (TIE)

Score: 86.0 (tie)

It’s no surprise that our readers adore Melbourne: It’s “one of the classiest cities in the world” and boasts an “abundance of parks and fabulous public art.”

Plus, Melbournians are a “friendly bunch,” famous for their “wonderful sense of humor.” And don’t even start with Melbourne’s amazing nightlife, food, and hotels—we told you long ago it was Australia’s capital of cool.

1. Auckland, New Zealand (TIE)

1. Auckland, New Zealand (TIE)

Score: 86.0 (tie)

We must admit, we saw this one coming—and so did you. “The people are friendly, and their humor and view on life is something to aspire to attain,” said one reader. “Such a gorgeous city on the water” with “clear air,” “fresh food,” and “amazing culture,” others raved.

A trip to the Auckland Museum for its Maori collections and “terrific” cultural performances is highly recommended. If you’ve never been to New Zealand, this “clean, youthful, adventurous, beautiful” city is the “ideal starting place” for seeing the country.

10 beautiful Australian libraries

The Mortlock Chamber, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia.
Mortlock Chamber, State Library of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia. Photograph: State Library of South Australia
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland.
State Library of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland. Photograph: Jon Linkins/State Library of Queensland
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria
State Library of Victoria, Melbourne, Victoria. Photograph: State Library of Victoria
Surry Hills Library, Sydney, New South Wales.
Surry Hills library and community centre, Sydney, New South Wales. Photograph: City of Sydney
State Library of NSW, Sydney, New South Wales.
State Library of NSW, Sydney, New South Wales. Photograph: State Library of NSW
Murray Bridge Library, Murray Bridge, South Australia.
Murray Bridge library, Murray Bridge, South Australia. Photograph: Sam Noonan/Hassell
Library at The Dock, Melbourne, Victoria
Library at the Dock, Melbourne, Victoria. Photograph: City of Melbourne
Barr Smith library at the University of Adelaide
Barr Smith library at the University of Adelaide, Adelaide, South Australia. Photograph: University of Adelaide
Library at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia
Library at Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia. Photograph: Edith Cowan University

Craigieburn library in Hume, Victoria has been named public library of the year following a cross-continent competition by the Danish Agency for Culture. Judges called it a “democratic meeting place, open to diversity and interaction”. From opulent state buildings to state-of-the-art university architecture, here are nine more amazing libraries across Australia – which would you add to the list?

The best places to live – A data-driven ranking of the most liveable cities

NOT New York nor Paris nor Tokyo. Urbanites in Britain’s former dominions should count themselves lucky, according to data from the Economist Intelligence Unit, our corporate cousin.

Its annual “liveability index” puts eight of the taen most comfortable places in Australia, Canada or New Zealand. The index crunches 30 factors related to things like safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment in 140 cities.

Over the past five years urban life has deteriorated somewhat: liveability has declined in 51 places and improved in 31 places.

During that time, the index average has dropped 0.7 percentage points (skewed by cities in conflict areas where survival, rather than living well, is the priority). Interestingly, the top cities have not changed much over time.

The EIU notes that they “tend to be mid-sized cities in wealthier countries with a relatively low population density.” Hence those of us in London, San Francisco and Shanghai must endure the rat-race, and dream of dwelling amid Viennese coffee houses or Vancouver’s sailing and skiing.

There isn’t much understanding on Chinese’s maritime past (PHOTOS) De Zeen Magazine

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

Set to be completed in 2015, the National Maritime Museum of China by Australian studio Cox Rayner Architects will be a 80,000 square metre museum located in Tianjin, China.

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

“China has been built on water,” says Rayner. “Not only has it been very much related to the sea, but it was built on canals and that’s how it evolved.”

“There’s a feeling that there isn’t much understanding of China’s maritime past. [The Chinese government] wanted the world and also their own people to understand more about how the country evolved from a water perspective.”

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

The design of the museum features five separate halls that spread out like a fan, each of which will be dedicated to a different aspect of China’s marine heritage.

“We wanted to segment it, to stop it from becoming one very large object,” explains Rayner.

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

“The brief consisted of a series of different themes, so we felt there was a good reason to give each of those an identity. So the form you see in the plan was in part about giving them a distinction and then converging to show how each of those things might relate to each other.”

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

However, Rayner reveals that the exact form of the building is still evolving, as his team are having to redesign parts of the museum as they go to accommodate the different artefacts the Chinese government is acquiring to fill it.

National-Maritime-Museum-of-China-by-Cox-Rayner-Architects_dezeen_06

“Museums at that scale need about a million artefacts to occupy them, so the government has been very rapidly trying to collect elements to work in it,” he says.

“So the design has had to adapt post competition to fit some of the things that are going to be in there. It has been an evolving process.”

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

The design team are also up against a very strict timescale to finish the project, he says.

“The government announced that, no matter what, they wanted the project completed at the end of 2015, which in our terms is a record time to do a project,” Rayner explains.

National Maritime Museum of China by Cox Rayner Architects

“They’re about to start putting the piling in at the end of this month, so it’s a very immediate kind of start but we’ve designed it in such a way that the piling and the main floor can be put in and we’ve still got plenty of flexibility to develop the curatorial brief as we go on.”

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