Australia: You’ve Been Warned!!

You don’t have to be Einstein to know Australia is a land of rugged extremes. A place where you just need to dip your toe in the water and it could became a battle of life and death against any number of foes.

Naturally, you’d be mad to ever set foot in the place. Indeed, it really is a mystery to modern science how locals have ever managed to survive.

Of course, all sorts of theories abound. Personally, I reckon that daily dose of Vegemite toast probably makes us so toxic and unpalatable to wildlife, that they don’t even want to take a bite.

Our climate is just as extreme, dangerous and potentially deadly as our wildlife.

Moreover, it’s almost ludicrous to think that while one part of the country is experiencing ferocious, destructive bush fires, the Northern Territory has severe flooding. Moreover, the fact that it’s Christmas never seems to enter the equation either. Nature doesn’t care.

Vintage Ettalong Santa Truck 2008 Pearl Beach

An Australian Christmas, Pearl Beach, New South Wales.

So, if you’re in the UK experiencing floodwaters, thank your lucky stars you’re nowhere near the Daly River in Australia’s rugged Northern Territory where rising flood waters are the least of your worries.

Those very same waters are infested with large, man-eating saltwater crocodiles. Snap! Snap! While most of Australia’s dangerous wildlife doesn’t actively seek out humans, crocs are a different story. They’re aggressive predators and quite happy to add you to the menu. You can read the full story here:

Meanwhile, on Christmas Day, 116 homes were lost in horrific bush fires on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria. An incredible inferno, this blaze is still going.

The extremes of the Australian climate and landscape are encapsulated in a historic poem written by Dorothea McKellar, which probably rouses more national pride than our national anthem. It has quite a number of verses but this is what usually gets recited:

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!

Indeed, it is a land where drought and flood have somehow become strangely interconnected.  Bush fire is so common that it’s even required  for some plant species to germinate, bringing about new life. You’d have to say that’s just proof this place is insane. How could anything so destructive ever have any redeeming features?

Meanwhile, Geoff and I are enjoying a very lazy, comfortable day parked in the couch at home. Geoff’s watching the cricket while I’m blogging while the dog sleeps on my feet. I should tell him to thank his lucky stars he’s nowhere near the Daly’s River either. Dogs have sadly become snack food up there, while Bilbo and Lady and been enjoying eating post-Christmas treats.


Enjoying the easy life!

One of these days, I’ll be expecting complaints from the Australian Tourism Commission: “Stop scaring away the tourists”. I know I should only be sharing the nice fluffy stories about lush green pastures and stunning golden beaches but where’s the fun in that? Snakes, spiders, crocodiles, bush fires, floods, crazed drop bears…this is the real Australia.

Enter at your own risk!

Have you been game?

xx Rowena




32 thoughts on “Australia: You’ve Been Warned!!

  1. roweeee Post author

    Trent, I know many will agree with you. My husband calls it “axle grease”.
    It was quite freaky that after wrestling man-eating crocs and surviving, Steve Irwin was killed by a stingray.

  2. roweeee Post author

    And you survived! You were brave coming out here at the peak of Summer. It can get very hot, although it’s been quite mild this week. I even mentioned to Geoff that it was cold as I sat here in tank top and shorts. He thought I was nuts. He comes from Tasmania so knows a lot more about the cold than I do. Actually, it’s currently 18.5 degrees but it’s night. I’m relieved to be able to move around without sticking to the couch.

  3. Deborah the Closet Monster

    I remember being introduced to it the summer I was in British Columbia. I enjoyed it more than the uni (sea urchin) I tried that summer, but only barely! My husband, OTOH, spent a couple weeks in Australia and now loves the stuff!

  4. trentpmcd

    It was pretty awful with Steve Irwin, after living a life of danger he should have been pretty safe… Right now there are awful brush fires in California, killer tornadoes in the US south, flooding in the east and snow in the mid west, so in ways we have you beat weatherwise 😉

  5. roweeee Post author

    I heard about the tornadoes. They were dreadful and quite a few people have died. I must admit I was quite surprised to hear of tornadoes during Winter but Geoff said some places get them all year but that said, it’s the worst tornado they’ve had there.
    As if I wasn’t concerned enough about terrorism and global warming, we watched a documentary about the tide of space junk circling the planet threatening trouble. New watching TV was bad for your health! xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    Didn’t realise your husband has been out here. Where did he go? I’m from Sydney and have also lived in Western Australia in Perth, Fremantle and Geraldton.

  7. roweeee Post author

    Van, I assume you’ve never tried it? It has a salty yeasty kind of taste. I love it but Mum sent me to school with Vegemite sandwiches for year and it took time to get used to it. My daughter loves it but both my son and husband don’t. MY son quite likes Promite. xx Rowena

  8. trentpmcd

    In some parts of the US tornadoes can happen any time of the year, but winter tornadoes are relatively rare and usually aren’t as bad as the ones they had at Christmas. Yes, watching TV can be bad for your mental health!

  9. Deborah the Closet Monster

    He says mostly Sydney, but also the wine country around Sydney: “Sydney and the suburbs.” It was where he and his fellow Survivor folks stayed after being voted off while the rest of the game played out.

  10. Midwestern Plant Girl

    Hmm. I also was hip to the song many moons ago about Vegemite. Couldn’t imagine the flavor at all. Salty I love, yeasty not so much. I will try to see if I could find some here. . Most likely, I’d have to order online.
    Here in the US, as trentpmcd mentioned, we have all kinds of fun weather also. We are also both huge countries, with lots of diverse weather patterns. Not like a small country, where all the weather is the same.

  11. Ralph

    Just what I thought!

    And 13 days and counting until my arrival… I’m in trouble…
    Anyway I have tried those Vegemite toasty things from my Humans and they are just awful… I need Marmite!


  12. merrildsmith

    The Vegemite graphic made me chuckle. No, I’ve never had it. I remember an Australian grad student talking about it when I was in grad school.
    As others have mentioned, we have quite diverse weather here in the US, too, because the country is so large (especially if you include Alaska and Hawaii). I’m glad you got to enjoy a lazy day with your husband and dogs–and no crocodiles. 🙂

  13. roweeee Post author

    Yes, we’ve really needed a days at home. We’ve both spent a bit of time doing jobs, which is inevitable but we made good progress. I’ve had Geoff already put up something like 12 picture frames and we probably have the same to go. He accuses me of collecting picture frames which is fair enough but I’ve also got piles of photos and there’s some sort of gap in my brain which has failed to link the two.
    Am particularly grateful for no crocodiles although if I have any food, the dogs circle around like sharks. xx Rowena

  14. roweeee Post author

    I actually heard about the terrible tornadoes you’ve been having in the South. I assume you haven’t been affected where you are. Yes, the US is huge like us. Distances take on a whole different meaning.
    Hope you can find some Vegemite. It’s worth trying, even if it’s just for the kudos xx Rowena

  15. roweeee Post author

    Good location. My aunt lives there. I lived there for a few months quite a few years ago now. I’m a real arts and history buff and I love the markets and the cafes spilling out on the footpaths. My aunt wrote a book about the last woman to be hanged in WA, Martha Rendell: “Murdering Stepmothers” by Dr Anna Haebich. She’s a Professor at Curtin University.

  16. Midwestern Plant Girl

    We just got a thick layer of wet snow here. Although, it is very odd to hear thunder with snow, it happened all day. We call these kinds of snow ‘heartattack snows’ as its only about 4″ (10 cm about) but so heavy because of the high water content. Poor grandpa goes out to make a path and its harder than he thinks… 😱

  17. Tails Around the Ranch

    Diverse weather seems to be more the norm these days, worldwide. And while there are plenty of scary critters in the Northern Hemisphere, there is little to compete with the Land Down Under which leads to even more fascination. I should think your Dept. of Tourism has nothing to fear that those incredibly curious will stop coming to experience all that your fascinating continent has to offer…vegemite notwithstanding. 😉

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