These photos were way way way too big, so I have resized them. I hope they can still portray the beautiful things I found.
I am a Victorian born and bred and have very rarely been outside my homestate. But I was off to Townsville, a town of 100,000+ people, billions more during the tourist season, three hours away from Melbourne by plane and in Lovely Tropical Queensland.
Three hours later, exhaused arrived at Townsville International Airport. A bit too early to check in to my hotel, so asked a taxi driver to drop me off at a beach where I could get a bite to eat and relax.
Not Bad? View From The Strand, the main beachfront. I didn't find out until later that the beach front was man-made. That is Magnetic Island in the distance.
I will talk more of Magnetic Island in a future post. It was named by Captain James Cook because the island played havoc with his compass. Weirdly the island has never played havoc with anyone else's compasses. Sadly I could not go swimming. It was the season for what the locals (and Australians) call stingers and the rest of the world call box-jellyfish and portugese-men-of-war.
Australia is in drought. In Melbourne 99% of the fountains have been turned, off so it was quite surprising to find billions of fountains in perfect working condition. I liked the men blowing the horns.
There were heaps of frangipani around. Or as my Sri-Lankan friend called them 'Temple Flowers' as in Sri Lanka they are commonly found around temples.
This sculpture commemorates Edward Koiki Mabo and the Mabo Decision. The mosaic symbolises the ancestral Octopus that brought the laws of tradition to the Torres Strait Islands. The Warup Drum represents the strengh of Mabo's voice. And the boulder symbolises the physical, spiritual and cultural connection between indigenous people and the land.
The Mabo Decision - In 1981 a Land Rights Conference was held at James Cook University in Townsville where Eddie Mabo spoke on land ownership. Mabo and a group of Murray Islanders decided to take their claim for Native Title to the High Court of Australia and they won. This was the first case of its kind in Australia.
I have to go and pick up my brother who is doing shopping. So here is a final picture of a great Indian restaurant in Flinders Street in Townsville. Food was beautiful and so was the environment.