Tag Archives: Australia

Waltzing Matilda at Uluru

This post is part of the April 2015 A to Z Challenge. Find the challengers via the Blog Sign-Up or on Twitter using #AtoZChallenge.

You may have heard Australia’s unofficial anthem, Waltzing Matilda. In it, “a jolly swagman camps by a billabong, under the shade of a coolibah tree.” But to fully understand the lyrics, you need to know the lingo.

A swag is a traditional Australian sleeping bag. They are rolled up and carried on your back during the day. These days, they are sturdy things made of canvas, and some even have a bit of padding on one side to act as a mattress. A swagman therefore, is a traveller or worker who is camping out in one of these swags. A billabong is a waterhole and coolibah is a type of eucalyptus.  Matilda is the nickname the men gave their swags.

Now imagine camping out in the vast Outback of Australia, where there’s no light pollution, sleeping underneath millions of stars in the shadow of Uluru (Ayers Rock). Sounds amazing, right?

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Pit-stop in Quorn

This post is part of the April 2015 A to Z Challenge. Find the challengers via the Blog Sign-Up or on Twitter using #AtoZChallenge.

You’d be forgiven for not knowing that Quorn exists. These days, this small, sleepy town in rural Australia acts as a gateway to the Flinders Ranges, but it was once a bustling place.

Quorn used to be at the cross-roads of two of Australia’s important railway lines and hotels still line the street opposite the old railway station. The town used to be one of the stops on the Old Ghan Line, the main narrow gauge railway line from Port Augusta to Alice Springs, as well as the Trans-Australian Express from Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie. Everybody travelling north-south or east-west on the railway had to pass through town, Both of these services switched to standard gauge though, completely bypassing Quorn.

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