February 23, 2020

Holiday Here This Year - Great Aussie locations for your next holiday

#RecoveryWeekend #HolidayHereThisYear #tourismdrivesgrowth


By Dallas Sherringham

The push for Australians to take a holiday in the drought, flood and bushfire ravaged regions of our nation has gained great momentum in 2020.

So, I would like to introduce you to some special places in my heart – the country towns of regional Australia.

To get as many towns as possible in my list of places to go I have kept descriptions of the towns to a minimum. You can find more details simply by using the links.

So here we go:


A historic little town set beside the Murrumbidgee, halfway been Sydney and Melbourne. Check out the Dog on the Tuckerbox and the statues of Dad and Dave and family.



This town may well be the most beautiful in regional Australia. The way the parks, gardens, clock tower and streets all intermingle perfectly remind me of a European village. It is just off the Sydney to Melbourne Highway and you could easily spend several days just relaxing and breathing in the fresh air.



Cloncurry’s links to Qantas are well known, but it is a real Outback town with wide streets, great pubs and cafes and friendly locals wearing big hats.



There’s not much to see and do in Tea Gardens – but there is tranquility.  It is the kind of place you relax, walk around, have coffee and talk to the locals. I have spent a couple of relaxing short breaks in Tea Gardens and nearby Hawks Nest. Best of all, you can catch the ferry to Nelson Bay and there is a good chance you will see Dolphins on the way.



Photo: DNSW

Historic town in a stunning riverside setting with beautiful Cameron Park stretching the length of the main street. The Wellington Caves are breathtaking and a perfect place to camp or stay. Right next door is the 18-hole championship golf course, which has the best setting of any course in regional Australia



Words can’t really capture the superb Boomerang, Blueys and Elizabeth Beaches. Seal Rocks and Forster are a short drive away. Make sure you have breakfast and/or lunch at Kembali Café, the best beach eatery on the entire Coast.



A thriving, friendly, historic town with a long history of mining, cattle and war service. You can attend the cattle sales, explore the bunkers from WW2 or just sit in the main street and watch the country folk go by. The town even had its own Stock Exchange in the roaring days. You could easily spend a week looking at the historic pubs, homes, parks and public buildings.



If you love trains, you’ll love Peterborough. It is Australia’s railway town with big steam locomotives on display, historic plaques and tributes to the men who “worked the line” rain, hail or shine. There's also a great little motorcycle museum.



Palace Hotel, Broken Hill
(c) Darren Schiller

Another regional city where you could easily spend a week or more exploring. History abounds and the mines are fascinating with the “hill” perched beside the main street. Silverton, 20 minutes out of town, is the movie capital of the Outback. Lots to see and do in a city that really makes you feel welcome. I stay in the original home of Broken Hill’s first doctor, which has been lovingly restored to its original grandeur.


And a few more towns I love to visit: Echuca with its paddle steamers, Temora with its historic aircraft, Bendigo with its trams, Young and its cherry orchards, Roma with its oil museum and history galore, Tibooburra with its artistic pub, Barrington Tops with its unique forests, Coonabarabran – gateway to the Warrumbungles, Gulgong – The Town on the Ten Dollar note…and the list goes on.

So much so, we will have many more amazing country towns in the weeks to come.

As so many areas have been hit by nature, we recommend that you check with the local authorities that the area is open for business,

Follow this link to Tourism Australia and check out the attractions in each State and Territory: https://www.australia.com/en

Words and images: Dallas Sherringham

Feature supplied by: www.wtfmedia.com.au

February 02, 2020

Yamato Museum: Japan's largest warship

BOB ANTHONY finds there’s no argument that the main drawcard for tourists visiting the Japanese city of Hiroshima is its place in history as the site of the first atomic bomb attack.
The vast majority of visitors spend time at the Peace Park and A-Bomb dome building, looking at the memorials and museums and learning about the tragic loss of life which occurred at 8.15am on August 6, 1945.

However, there is also a museum just a 30-minute local train ride from the city centre which marks a Japanese wartime achievement which, at the time, instilled a sense of pride in the nation - the battleship Yamato.

Located in the harbour port city of Kure, the Yamato Museum marks the city’s longship building history with the World War II battleship its focal point.

The Yamato was one of two giant battleships - the biggest ships ever built at the time with the biggest naval guns afloat (46cm or 18.1 inch).

Artist's impression of Yamato's last stand

Despite its huge size and power, it only fired shots against Allied forces once and was sunk by US carrier planes on a suicide run to Okinawa to fight the US Pacific Fleet.

However, the ship holds a place of pride among many Japanese due to the technological advancements it represented.

To this day, the Yamato is honoured through modern cartoon series for, set in the future where it is a space-going vessel fighting pirates.

The museum features a 1/10th scale replica of the ship, 26.3m in length, where visitors can walk around it, get up close and appreciate just how huge it was in real life.

Also on display are replica models of many other Japanese naval vessels of the period which came through the Kure naval yards, Japanese midget subs and human torpedoes, a Zero fighter and naval artefacts.

There is also a celebration of Kure’s shipbuilding achievements post World War II where some of the biggest commercial vessels in the world have been built.

The museum has an interactive kid’s zone where they can learn about shipbuilding technology and operate displays. There is an English audio guide which explains the various exhibits and some of the history behind the displays.

The museum opens out onto the port area of Kure which is a hive of activity with ships of all shapes and size coming and going.

You can even walk the wharf created to service the giant battleship and step out its length.

I have been to Hiroshima three times now - the first was to visit the Peace Park and towards the end of the day learned of the Yamato Museum.

Unfortunately, time prevented me from visiting it that day and I had to leave Hiroshima the next day.

My second time to Hiroshima a couple of years ago was with friends who had never been and I wanted to show them the park and then head to the museum.

Alas, my plans to see it on that visit were thwarted by the fact the museum is closed one day of the week - Tuesday.

What day was I in Hiroshima - you guessed it, Tuesday!

This time my focus was clearly to see the elusive museum and I am glad I did.

I have a fascination for history though this isn’t just a place for history or war buffs but does it does provide an insight into what life must have been like for the Japanese during the Pacific conflict.

Aside from marking the huge war machine, it also marks a turning point in Japan’s modernisation.

As the brochure states “ The museum builds dreams and hopes for the future by educating people about the history of modern Japan and by having them acknowledge the importance of peace.”

And if you were ever into models, this is the Holy Grail of model ships!

The Yamato Museum in Kure can be reached by local train from Hiroshima Station. If you have JR Rail Pass, the trip is free.

Entry to the museum is 500 yen per adult and it is open from 9am to 6pm, six days a week (not open Tuesday).

For details visit https://yamato-museum.com

Words and images: BOB ANTHONY

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