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|I LOVE AUSTRALIA!!! Ok, I've never been, BUT if I win the lottery I want to move to the nicest place in Melbourne. What area would you recommend??? - Dawn|
|Grooviest thing in Melbourne||
It's a brave brave person who proclaims they love a place without even
having been there.
Let's see... the nicest place in Melbourne. That's a hard one, but you'd have a hard time going past Altona. With it's beautiful views of the petrochemical plants, and proximity to the Laverton prison.
Just kidding. It depends what you like. Parkland, nightlife, universities, café culture, high rise, restaurants, street prostitution, illicit drugs, shopping, sporting venues nearby... each area has its own mix of these, and where you choose to be would depend on your priorities. And how much theoretical money you win in this theoretical lottery, of course.
|i am writing on behalf of a friend he has lost contact with his father it is thought that he now lives in a place called footscray melbourn .His name is... - Ian, Northern Ireland|
Footscray is merely a tiny bit of Melbourne. And as it happens, someone
with the initials and surname you're looking for does look in Footscray.
(I've edited it out of the question above). Whether or not it's the right
person can only be determined by your friend picking up the phone and
If not, you may be in some trouble. Tracking someone down in a city of three million people is not likely to be easy, and your friend's father didn't choose the most convenient of surnames with which to be found!
Could you give me a month to month weather report to the whole country of Austrialia? - Anonymous
|Nope! Not because I can't, you understand, but because I'm too lazy. Australia is, after all the size of the continental United States, or the size of Western Europe, and with the climate variation to match. Far better that you get this kind of information from the very smart government experts who do this kind of thing for a living: the Bureau of Meteorology. Not only do they talk weather in their sleep, but they've set up a whole bunch of web pages especially for people like you who are looking for this kind of information!|
I am trying to find people who I went to school with at St Carmels (Adelaide). That was in the years 1960 till 1965. If you could give me some good hints I would be very greatfull. - Theo Grothues, Netherlands
I never really believed the saying that school days are the happiest of
your life, when I was at school. Looking back, I'm still not sure if it's
true, but my school years have certainly provided a heap of nostalgia
value. Last year I went to a fete run by my old primary school. Apart from
the fact that everything had shrunk, it was amazing how little of it had
Some clever soul has decided to capitalise on this, and started a web site called SchoolFriends. It's a marvellous site, involving you entering the details of where you went to school (in Australia), and being able to browse around to see who else was there that you might know. Then you can contact them and reminisce about the old times. I've been trying it out, and have been mightily surprised to find people I haven't seen in a couple of decades on the site.
I had a quick look, and couldn't find a St Carmels in South Australia. So double-check the name, and ask them about it if you still can't find it. Good luck!
(There is a Mt Carmels... thanks Anita).
Where is Tittybong and what is it like? - Louis
place names around the world
(one of about 5000 pages with the word "Tittybong" on it.)
I can only answer part of this question. Tittybong is in north western
Victoria, at 35° 46' 0S and 143° 22' 0E. From the map (Melway 418 H4)
I'd say it's roughly 4.5 hours' drive from Melbourne along the Calder
Highway. I'd also guess from the size of the dot that it's not much more
than a wide spot on the Donald to Swan Hill Road.
Unfortunately I have never been to Tittybong, and I have no idea what it's like. But I know you'll be relieved to hear that in the vicinity there is a road called the Cokum to Tittybong Road.
I have also been unable to find any information on the Web about it, apart from the fact that it exists and has an extremely amusing name.
If any readers can volunteer any information about Tittybong, I would be most appreciative. Either that or maybe one weekend I'll have to traipse out there myself and see it.
What are the types of homes you have in Australia? - Catherine, location unknown
We've got big homes, little homes, dirty homes, clean homes
Tidy homes, messy homes, tall homes, short homes
House homes, flat homes, tent homes, farm homes
Wide homes, narrow homes, hot homes, cold homes
Mansion homes, condemned homes, rental homes, mental homes
Mobile homes, stationary homes, wooden homes, brick homes
Homes on stilts, homes on boats, homes in trees, homes with moats
Homes on hills, homes on loan, homes for sale, homes with phones.
Okay I think you've got the idea now. The bulk of the population of Australia live in big cities, in a variety of types of homes. Generally these homes have doors, windows, walls, roofs and floors, furniture, that kind of thing. Pretty much like everywhere else in the population centres of the world.
provinces and states of Australia - Unknown, somewhere on the planet, and obviously a master of brevity
|State and Territory web sites||
Provinces? None. Zilch. We do have a couple of territories to make up for
Basically, it goes like this. Territories:
And a bunch of states:
There is also the Australian Antarctic Territory, and a few other little islands and things.
which direction is North in Australia ?? - Anonymous, probably Ireland
|National Geographic Map Machine||
See, I only really do this page so I can get questions like this one. You
(I mean you out there, the general readership of this page, rather than
the guy who asked this) probably only read it for questions like this one
Okay, so I realise this kind of stuff might not be obvious to someone with no sense of direction and a geography bypass. And I shouldn't take the piss, because it's awfully amusing. I'll just try and give a straight answer. After all, you can't tell if I'm sniggering while I write this.
Here on planet Earth, north is north is north is north is north. The direction "north" is approximately* the direction of the North Pole. The North Pole doesn't move in any way if you happen to travel below the equator. The direction "north" doesn't change either.
We have another pole down here in the southern hemisphere too, it's known as the South Pole. That's in a southerly direction. By golly I believe it may be in the same direction even if you're in the northern hemisphere.
*We could get into a complex discussion about magnetic north vs true north, but it's probably beyond the scope of this page.
I'm coming over to work in Melbourne, I live in Edinburgh, Scotland and want to know what is the biggest difference between the two cities/people/culture. I know from your excellent diary that you visited Edinburgh on your grand tour. PS Why is Sydney shite??? - Paul, UK
|Lonely Planet: Edinburgh||
I don't think Sydney is shite. I quite like Sydney actually. I just prefer
Umm, the biggest differences between Edinburgh and Melbourne... well on the superficial side, the obvious one has to be that Melbourne doesn't have a ruddy great castle on a big rock overlooking the city, though we do have some pretty impressive cathedrals. We have trams instead of double-decker buses, and almost none of the buildings are as old. Both have parks in or near the city centre.
As for people, well we have a different silly accent to your silly accent. Just say it slowly if you come across somebody who has no idea what you're talking about. I confess I was in Edinburgh for less than two days, and I didn't meet a great many people. Glancing through Lonely Planet, I notice they reckon Edinburgh has a multicultural population - that's certainly also true of Melbourne.
I gather Edinburgh is well known for having a heroin problem, though I don't know how much of this is just reputation because of people taking Trainspotting too seriously. Melbourne's got one too. I don't know how the two compare, but I'm sure this and other similarities will have you feeling right at home!
received an announcement in email regarding an engineering conference but
I wanted to get your feedback, since I've never been to Melbourne:
The FUZZ-IEEE 2001 conference will be held in Melbourne, Australia, one of the most beautiful and exciting cities in the Southern Hemisphere. Melbourne is also one of the safest, healthiest, and cleanest cities in the world, and is Australia's pre-eminent centre for arts and culture, education, fine food and dining and exciting shopping experiences.
Is what they're saying here about about Melbourne true? Please be objective. - Sunita, USA
|FUZZ-IEEE 2001 conference||
What on earth is a FUZZ-IEEE? Sounds like some kind of monster from a
nerdy science fiction show.
Well, It's been a few years since Melbourne was voted by an international panel to be the most liveable city in the world. Since then, not much has changed. Perhaps we'll look at the claims one by one:
If you choose to come, please enjoy your visit. Bring lots of money and spend it copiously. You'll pick up some bargains because the Australian dollar is so woeful, and we'll make good use of your tourist dollars, be assured of that.
|What is the average temperature in australia? - Gordon, probably USA|
23.52 degrees Celsius.
At least it probably is somewhere. But then, on a land mass roughly the size of Europe or the continental United States, there's probably just a little bit of variation depending on if you're talking the big cities, the deserts or the snowfields. So you might need to be a little bit more specific.
|Since the entire world has oohed and aahed over how wonderful the Olympics were, and what a beautiful city Sydney is, what are you guys in Melbourne saying about it? - Anonymous, probably USA|
"Been there, done that."
No, actually, I think most people in Melbourne enjoyed watching it on telly. We're not all raving Sydney-haters, at least, not when we're sober.
|is there a city in Australia named Ireland? Can you give me the names of the cities in Australia? - Chrissie, USA|
No, there is no city in Australia named Ireland. There is an Ireland
Creek, an Ireland Park and an Irelands Bridge Reserve, all in New South
Wales, but no city called Ireland.
It sounds to me like it would be a very odd name to use for somewhere, but considering that the people who name things seem to continually name things after other things, I suppose it's not beyond the bounds of probability that there might have been a city called Ireland. Though come to think of it, you don't see a lot of places named after actual countries.
There is only one city in Australia. I believe it is called Syd-a-ney, at least, that's how I remember it being pronounced on TV some years ago. I've never visited it myself, but from what I've heard, quite a lot of people live there, possibly several hundred.
No, actually, naming the cities in Australia could take... well, some time. I suggest you inspect an atlas.
|I found myself catching the skybus from Tullamarine to the city (Melbourne) a coupla weeks ago. The grey concrete monotony was broken wonderfully by what appeared to be a huge yellow steel wavy-wall sort of barrier with a big phallus projecting out over the road, and a little lake with lots of red columns coming out of it. Did I actually see this or was it some sort of hallucination? Can we expect to find this on your list of the grooviest things in Melbourne? Who had this idea of putting modern art along the expressway, what drugs were they taking, and can we somehow get them to take some more? - Troy Smith, ex-pat Aussie, USA|
Are you out of your mind? A yellow wavy wall, big phallus and lots of red columns?!
Oh wait a minute - THAT yellow wavy wall, big phallus and lots of red columns, right, with you now.
Yes, some architect working for the tollway company, Transurban, was pondering what should go there, and decided on a bloody big yellow thing, with some smaller red things, a little lake.
Some of us locals tend to think of the red columns as dinosaur ribs. And as for the huge yellow thing over the road, it is pretty phallic, there's no doubt about it. It's just one of a number of huge angled things built in Melbourne over the past 5ish years, including the roofs of the Exhibition Centre (aka Jeff's Shed, aka Bracks' Shack) and the new Museum.
Officially, the whole set forms the International Gateway, though it's not very international, and doesn't look much like a gateway. But they appear to have decided that a huge set of structures like that should be a something to welcome visitors to Melbourne, though the visitors themselves may be left thinking "what the hell is that?"
Unfortunately you probably didn't see the sound tube, which is a bit further south on the road, and just as interesting looking, but unlike the other bits and pieces on the road, actually serves a purpose - reducing the amount of traffic noise to nearby high-rise residents. Though given that they're all Ministry of Housing residents, I must admit I'm a little surprised that they bothered.
|There is lake near Canberra called Lake George. Sometimes it's full and other times empty and the farmers let their cattle graze. My parents swear that there is a lake in New Zealand which fills up when Lake George is empty and empties when Lake George is full. Can you confirm this please. - Wilma, Australia|
From my (admittedly minimal) research, I can confirm the following things:
As for the counter-lake bit, I haven't heard this one before, but it makes a great story, doesn't it.
A quick search around the Web reveals that some pretty heavy research into wave patterns has been done there. A skim through the results doesn't highlight anything unusual like a bunch of university people with PhDs in lake studies screaming out to the world "Omigod, you'd never guess what we found at Lake George! A big tunnel that goes to New Zealand!!!"
So it sounds like a bit of a myth to me, in fact one government study says that myths have developed over the varying water level.
Anybody with any evidence that it's true?
|What is the capital city of Australia? - Richard, UK|
|Links:||It could be Sydney, because
that's the biggest city, but it isn't. It could be Melbourne, but it isn't
(though it was for a while). In fact the capital of Australia is Canberra,
especially built for the purpose in the 1920s.
"Canberra" is an Aboriginal word meaning "meeting place". Given that it's the home of Parliament, they could have used "place where people shout at each other all day paid for by the taxpayers", but it probably wouldn't have had quite the same ring to it.
|I have a friend in the US who wants to know some weirdly named things in Australia like restaurants, places, etc. Any ideas? - Laura, Australia|
|Links:||There's heaps of odd place names. Some that I found a while ago
looking through a postcode list are:
Readers have suggested some others, including:
|When you ask an American(USA) to name places they have all ways wanted to visit, they consistantly name Alaska, and Australia. Where are the places Australians wish to visit most? - India99, location unknown|
|Links:||(Hold on, you can't fool me -
Alaska is in the USA.)
Australians and their ancestors come from all over the planet. And there's probably not a nook or a cranny in the world where Australians don't have relatives. So many Australians go "back" to these places when they travel overseas.
One of the biggest drawcards, even for those who don't have relatives there, is Britain. I doubt the weather is a big drawcard - it's probably something to do with Australia having been a British colony. Because Australians under 27 can work in England for up to 2 years, many go over on working holidays after completing high school or university, using London as a base for travels in Britain and the rest of Europe.
It's much quicker that way than the 20+ mindnumbing hours it takes to fly to Europe from Australia. Imagine for a moment living for a whole day on airline food, and you'll quickly realise the appeal!
With growing awareness of Asian cultures closer to home, many Aussies are also heading to Asia. Thailand, India, Hong Kong and Singapore are especially popular, as well as to holiday resorts in Fiji and Bali, where one can sunbake, eat, drink and sleep.
|How did Mt. Shadwell, north of Mortlake get its name? - Anonymous|
|From time to time, questions get asked here
that I am in no way equipped to answer. This is one of them. In this situation, I normally
reach for a book on my bookshelf, which has a bunch of useful Australian information in
it, including some stuff on various places, and how they got their names.
But I can't find the book. And I don't know. So I can't answer. If I find the answer later, or someone lets me know, I'll post it here. I promise.
And as far as name origins go, I really really really want to know about the origins of Wanke Crescent in the Melbourne suburb of Dandenong.
|A long time ago, on a TV far, far away, I saw an episode of "Australia, You're Standing in It" in which it was said that Melbourne has the world's largest furniture showroom. Is this true, and if so, please put a photo in the Files so the whole world can see it. - Neil Gerace, Australia|
|Ah yes... "Australia, You're
Standing In It" was a truly classic show. Through their skilful marketing of
Chunky Custard, they may have even influenced the name of this humble journal.
They were probably referring to the Saba showroom, which was well known during the early-80s for being pretty massive. Their adverts featured Dave and Mabel, a couple of parrots who greeted showroom visitors from a cage. I never actually visited them, or the unmemorable bloke who presented their ads, so I'm not in a position to judge whether or not it was the world's largest furniture showroom.
I seem to remember that once on Hey Hey It's Saturday (back when it was a morning show) they kidnapped Dave and Mabel. Or did I dream it?
Saba has passed on to that great franchise in the sky. I have a feeling that the building is still there, and is now used by Harvey Norman or some other big superstore chain. From memory, it's either on the Frankston Road in Dandenong, or the Dandenong Road in Frankston. Either way it's on the outskirts of Melbourne. If I'm ever heading down that way, I'll be sure to take a camera.
|Do they have a Harley ride service for tourists in Sydney like they do at Surfers' Paradise? - Dina|
|Although I'm not in Sydney, I am informed by a couple of
Sydneysiders that if you head down to The Rocks area, you'll find them. (Thanks
to John Clarke and Sue McLellan for the info.)
They also have them at St Kilda Beach in Melbourne. Every sunny afternoon you can see the enterprising bikies and their massive noisy bikes down by Luna Park hanging around waiting for daredevils to hire them for a ride. There are also groups that do custom trips, so if you've ever wanted to arrive at work or at your grandmother's birthday party on the back of a Harley driven by a bloke covered in black leather and scary-looking tattoos, you can.
If you're ever in Melbourne and want to find the bikies, the bulk of them seem to hang around near the corner of LaTrobe and Elizabeth Streets in the city, making an interesting lunchtime mix of bikies, office workers and shoppers.
|When I visit Melbourne, where should I go first? - Dianne in Brisbane|
|The airport. Unless youre arriving by bus or
train, in which case I recommend going to the train or bus station first. Going first to
the point of arrival of your vehicle avoids the inconvenience of trying to alight before
it arrives. If youre arriving by car, then... well, it doesnt really matter.
After that, spend some time exploring the city centre. If you ride the free City Circle tram and pick up a few brochures youll get some ideas of where to go and what to do. Where you end up might depend on what sort of things you like to visit - parks, markets, museums, galleries, restaurants, nightlife, beaches... theres plenty of everything to see.
|Why is Ayers Rock, a tourist sight, located so far out in the outback that you have to take a train to get there and then there is no major city to screw around in after looking at the rock. I hate waiting around for the return train in a burg so small I can walk thru it without seeing any action. ciao - The Mansfield Moonlight Surfer, somewhere in America|
|They have considered moving Ayer's Rock (now known as
Uluru) to a more populated area, but then they realised there wouldn't be any space for it
in a more populated area. It is, after all, quite massively big. They were also worried
that the large number of bulldozers and other assorted earth-moving vehicles they'd need
to do the job would make it prohibitively expensive.
If you don't want to make the journey out into the wilderness to see it, you could always get a picture of it instead. It might lack a bit on the atmosphere though.
|I am considering visiting Austrailia this summer, which I think is your winter? So how cold is an Austrailian winter? - Caleb, probably in the USA|
|Firstly I should point out before you visit that it's
probably advisable to learn how to spell the name of country you're visiting. Otherwise if
the spelling you happen to be using corresponds with another location, you may find
yourself quite surprised when you step off the plane.
Yes, summer in the northern hemisphere is winter in Australia. How cold it gets depends on where you visit. Remember it's a big country, as big as the continental USA, and the weather varies from Tasmania to Queensland about as much as it does from Illinois to Florida.
For more information about Australian weather than you can handle, visit the Bureau of Meteorology at http://www.bom.gov.au.
|Having recently moved to Melbourne from Sydney, I would really like to know *why* you Melburnians persist in maintaining that silly rivalry thing when we gave it up as a bad joke about fifteen years ago? - Anonymous|
|Ha! So Sydney gave up, huh? Couldn't take it, HUH!??!
Are you all just really immature, or are you still jealous that your waterfront really sucks?
Our waterfront does not suck! It's superb! It's great! Look at it! Loads of dark grey concrete overlooking a muddy brown river! You can't get better than that! Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah!
Your buildings are pretty, but the people in Melbourne, especially shop assistants, are so rude!
That's because they know you're from Sydney!
|Here in the US when our kids dig a deep hole in the ground we tell them that they will come up in China. Since Aussies are located below the Equator and not in line with China what do you tell your kids when they dig in your backyards? Nobody asked, I am just nosey. - Joseph|
|It's not a particularly common thing to tell the kids
here - though I seem to remember hearing it in American cartoons. I don't remember being
told that when I was a kid digging in the garden. What I do remember is getting covered in
According to my calculations it looks like if you did dig a hole from Australia, you'd end up somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. And actually, it looks like if you do the same from the United States, you'd end up not in China, but somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Maybe it depends on the angle you dig at.
|How long does it take to fly from Los Angeles CA to Sydney? - Claire|
|Sydney and Los Angeles are an awfully long way away, so
far in fact that most people do prefer to fly the journey, rather than do something really
dumb, like try and swim it.
The time taken varies according to the method of flight that you use. Some people have attempted to fly from LA to Sydney by hang-glider. Most of these have failed miserably, and the few that have made it have taken well over a year to do so, having been blown most of the way around the world by whatever sea winds they happened to encounter along the way. It's also very, very awkward to go to the toilet on the way.
A few foolish souls have attempted to make the trip using a large catapult. This too, has invariably led to failure, drowning, or both.
The easiest and most often successful way is to fly by commercial jet. It takes about 16 hours, depending on the number of stops along the way
|Why do Sydney and Melbourne continually fight one another? - David, somewhere in Australia|
Can't think of any right now.
|. The rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne goes back
close to 150 years, and continues to this day, with citizens of each cheerfully pointing
out the detractions of the other.
At first I thought just because I live in Melbourne that I wouldn't be able to answer this question impartially. But after some consideration, I think it's perfectly possible for someone who has happily lived in Melbourne for most of his life to weigh up the arguments, examine the evidence, and come up with a completely fair and honest answer.
Basically, it's because Sydneysiders won't admit that Sydney is a complete dump.
|I am considering moving to Melbourne to pursue a career interest. What wonderful things will I experience in your fair city...? - Alex of Cleveland, USA|
|Related sites:||Alas, many of the sights mentioned in the Tour Of
Melbourne way back in TCWF 147 are no longer
around. (The odd thin woman is still around, but she's odder than ever, and she's got a
There's still plenty to see...
|Do you really get all the seasons in one day in Melbourne? What's the weather like down there anyway? Does it snow? - "In memory of Mighty", Queensland|
|Related sites:||No no no, it's just a myth that we in Melbourne get all
the seasons in one day. We actually get all the seasons in about an hour.
On the occasions that it snows in Melbourne (which are but once in a blue moon), the flakes of snow, if you could call then fully fledged flakes, have generally melted before that hit the ground, which means they don't really hit the ground, they just kind of drip. So in summary - no.
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Toxic Custard Guide to Australia
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