Are Travel Boycotts Effective?

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald asked whether travellers should boycott countries that abuse human rights or otherwise do not behave as good world citizens. What do you think, do you avoid travelling somewhere as a protest against their behaviour?



Five Adventurous Activities for Australian Visitors

To many travellers, Australia is a large nature park with stunning red desert vistas, deserted beaches and the strangest animal menagerie on the planet. Australia is beautiful but you can get the heart pumping harder if it is adventure you crave, try these five less traditional Aussie activities:

Take flight in a Warbird

Experience Australian aviation history by taking flight in one of the many warbirds maintained by Australian enthusiasts. There is a range of options from scenic Tiger Moth flights to air combat training but for my money nothing compares to 20 minutes in a classic fighter like the P-51 Mustang.

Climb our Bridges

The Sydney Harbour Bridge symbolises Australia for many visitors by rather than just looking at it, climb to the top for spectacular views of the most beautiful harbour city in the world. Bridge Climb Sydney offers to experiences; the original straight climb or more detailed experience of the working bridge, each lasting about 3.5 hours.If Brisbane is part of your itinerary, conquer two bridges by climbing the Storey Bridge over the Brisbane River.

Drive a V8 Race Car

Australia offers a range of opportunities for the motor enthusiast to experience racing from a hot lap ride to a group event for up to twenty of your friends but a few laps behind the wheel of a V8 race car is good value for money. Offered throughout the country, you can experience the same conditions as Australia’s premier motor racing teams.

Learn to Surf

Australians love the beach and surfing is a popular sport (some would say lifestyle) that you can experience. Former World Pro am Champion Merrick Davis has training packages for novice or experienced surfers.

Dive with the Great Whites

For shark lovers, a six day package to cage dive with the most perfect predator on the planet is an opportunity you cannot miss while in Australia. Living aboard the dive boat off Neptune Islands, you will also have the opportunity to see the variety of fauna in this beautiful region.


“Bad Lands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil.” A Rick Steves Interview

Rick Steves‘ podcast takes listeners to unexpected destinations as he interviews fellow travel writers and guides about their passion. In a recent episode he interviewed Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet, about his latest book, “Badlands: A Tourist on the Axis of Evil.” Tony visited Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Libya, Burma, North Korea, Cuba, and Albania in an expanded itinerary of evil inspired by George W Bush.

Cuba, Albania and surprisingly Iran featured as the most traveller friendly destinations but these journeys show us all that almost anywhere is reachable with proper planning. Take the time to listen, and travel with Tony.


Tracks Through Australia – The Stuart Highway

Stuart Highway, NT Australia

The Stuart Highway knifes through Central Australia like a Roman road connecting the Adelaide in the south with  Darwin but we are heading north from Alice Springs to Tennant Creek today. This is the Outback, a road dotted with tiny settlements consisting of a service station, a pub and accommodation for tired travellers meandering through some of the harshest terrain on the planet.


Aileron, 130km north of Alice Springs, welcomes visitors into their aboriginal art gallery, meet local artists and watch them create their unique objects. Displayed in the roadhouse are numerous original landscapes by Albert Namatjira.

Ti Tree

At Ti Tree, the local dingoes welcome visitors but do not succumb to their wily charms and provide a free meal to the scavengers. Dingoes look as docile as your neighbour’s collie but they are wild animals and should be left alone to live naturally.

Barrow Creek and Wycliffe Well

Further up the Track, you can visit the telegraph repeater site at Barrow Creek, a vital communications link in the 19th and early 20th Centuries but today it is a lonely backwater. Whycliffe Well is often visited by out of towners from the far reaches of the universe. If you believe in landings by extraterrestrial beings then this is where they come most often, why I’m just not sure unless they love a beer (the bar serves the largest selection in the Territory).

Karlu Karlu (Devil’s Marbles)

Uluru gets the press but I think Karlu Karlu is the most spectacular natural sight in the Northern Territory deserts. Commonly called the Devil’s Marbles, the massive granite slabs have been wearied by time to form the marble field. Campers should set up their tent in the campgrounds and enjoy the changing colours of the Marbles at sunset and sunrise, take the self-guided walk and learn about the bounty in this country that sustained the aboriginal people for thousands of years.

Tennant Creek

Tennant Creek, 100km north of Karlu Karlu, is the largest town between Alice Springs and Katherine with good accommodation choices, and everything a weary traveller needs to recover and refuel. It is also a natural jumping off point for the long trip to Mt Isa in Queensland. Originally settled to mine the local gold deposits, Tennant Creek is a thriving community and many locals recall arriving for a ‘short stay’ 20 or 30 years ago. While in town, relive the mining boom at Battery Hill, relax at Lake Mary Ann and listen to bush poetry and enjoy a taste of bush tucker with Jimmy Hooker.

Driving Tips

Carry water and food, while the road is well travelled dehydration occurs quickly in this environment.

Take frequent breaks. The long straight road can be mesmerising and single car accidents are common.

Road trains hauling 3 or 4 trailers ply the road night and day, take extra care overtaking these behemoths.

The Northern Territory Government recently imposed a 130kph speed limit on their highways and is establishing a demerit points system for Australian drivers.

On my most recent drive up the Track, I had to submit to a random breath test at a police check point well outside any significant township. The .05 blood alcohol limit is strictly enforced even in this remote area.


Tracks Through Australia – A New Series Starting Soon

This weekend I will post the first of a series of posts called Tracks Through Australia helping you discover the parts of Australia less travelled by the press and renew my acquaintance with a few more famous tracks. A series for travellers of Australia or travel vicariously with me through each post. Subscribe to the RSS feed so you do not miss an installment.