Placeholder Content Image

Calls to change "racist" beach name

<p>There are calls to rename Chinamans Beach in Sydney due to its "racist" connotations. </p> <p>The popular beach in Mosman has long been in the centre of debate around the use of the term Chinaman. </p> <p>Chinese Australian Osmond Chiu is determined to have the name of the beach changed, saying that the word is often used as a racist slur. </p> <p>“The term ‘Chinaman’ is derogatory and primarily used as a racist slur against people of Chinese or East Asian appearance,” Chiu told the <em>Mosman Collective</em>. </p> <p>“It is jarring to have a place named ‘Chinamans Beach’ in the city that I was born and grew up in as if there is nothing wrong with it.</p> <p>“We would never name a place or even refer to someone as a ‘Chinaman’ today, which speaks volumes about the term.”</p> <p>The beach's name is associated with nearby market gardens that was run by people from the Chinese community during the 1800s.</p> <p>According to SBS, a man named Cho Hi Tick leased the land and created the market gardens back in the day. </p> <p>And Chiu suggests that it should be named after Tick. </p> <p>“While it may be uncomfortable for some people, this is about having an open and frank discussion about the term [Chinaman] and its history,” he added.</p> <p>However, Sophie-Loy Wilson, a senior lecturer in history at the University of Sydney believes that the beach was previously called Rosherville Beach before it was renamed in 1977 to reflect the Chinese fishermen who liked to go fishing in the surrounding areas. </p> <p>“Before the advent of refrigeration, Chinese fishermen were very important in Australia because they understood how to cure, smoke and preserve fish,” she said.</p> <p>The push to change the beach's name has been an ongoing battle, and last year Western Australia Labor MP Pierre Yang called for a change for places with the word “Chinaman” in their names.</p> <p>There are around 300 spots around Australia with the word "Chinaman" in it. </p> <p>Yang told the Legislative Council in June 2023 that Chinaman is  a “racist term, derogatory and contemptuous in nature”.</p> <p>“In 21st century multicultural Australia and multicultural WA, this word is no longer acceptable, and that’s why we don’t hear this word often," Yang said. </p> <p>However, many are also defending the current name, including a few residents of Chinese descent. </p> <p>“Nothing racist about it in my opinion – no negative connotations. It’s a beautiful beach named after beautiful people – no dramas,” one person wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“It’s becoming more ridiculous all the time! What else will we need to change and deny from the past? It’s a beautiful beach. why would that offend anyone?” another wrote.</p> <p>Another second-generation Chinese Australian said that the name is not offensive, “and in fact, I’m currently based in Singapore living on a street called Cantonment Road – which means the same bloody thing.</p> <p>"We need to own and accept our history, both the good and bad. And stop trying to rewrite it." </p> <p>“I am of Chinese descent and I don’t find anything derogatory about it,” another added. </p> <p>A Mosman Council spokesperson told <em>news.com.au </em>that renaming places and localities is a matter for the NSW Geographical Names Board (GNB).</p> <p>“Council is not aware of any future renaming plans,” the spokesperson said.</p> <p>The GNB also said that they have not received a proposal to rename or dual name Chinamans Beach. </p> <p><em>Images: Shutterstock</em></p>

Legal

Placeholder Content Image

Quiet beach town offering $450k job with free house and car

<p>A picturesque beach town in Western Australia has found a creative way to bring jobs to the area: by offering a range of enticing bonuses. </p> <p>The town of Bremer Bay, south-east of Perth, is desperate for healthcare providers to join the small town and have offered a range of persuasive perks to a doctor who would be willing to leave a big city for the job in the regional location. </p> <p>Bremer Bay is next to the Fitzgerald River National Park and nearly 40 minutes away from the closest town. Currently, they only have one temporary doctor; the next permanent GP is in Albany, almost 200 kilometres away, and the town is looking for the "Swiss army knife of doctors" to step up.</p> <p>According to the job listing on Seek, the successful applicant will be granted a rent-free five-bedroom house and a four-wheel drive, on top of a salary of up to $450,000 a year.</p> <p>"Live rent-free in a scenic location, experiencing the true essence of rural Australia," the advertisement reads.</p> <p>"We offer a competitive 70 per cent of Billings or a generous Salary, based on your preference. In addition, you'll enjoy the convenience of a beautiful new 5-bedroom home and 4X4."</p> <p>Applicants must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency and be willing to train as a rural generalist.</p> <p>According to the <a title="Australian Institute of Health and Welfare" href="https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/rural-remote-australians/rural-and-remote-health" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Australian Institute of Health and Welfare</a>, people living in rural and remote areas have higher rates of hospitalisations, deaths and injury compared to city-dwellers, while also having poorer access to primary health care services.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

Placeholder Content Image

"This is crazy": Teenager goes fishing and emerges a millionaire

<p>A 19-year-old fisherman has reeled in a million-dollar barramundi as part of a years long fishing competition. </p> <p>Keegan Payne, a self proclaimed "mad keen" fisherman, caught the fish that had been tagged as part of a nine year long fishing competition in the Katherine River.</p> <p>When the teenager from the Norther Territory was told that he had taken home the prize, he said he planned to use his winnings to help his parents pay off their home loans. </p> <p>"This is crazy for us, we're a big family, there's eight of us. This is more money than we could ever ask for. This is just great," Payne said.</p> <p>"It means so much. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. I'm happy, really happy."</p> <p>"I can buy what I want, maybe help Dad and Mum out with the home loans," he said.</p> <p>Payne was on a fishing trip with family and a friend at the Katherine River when he caught the prized barramundi, and quickly made a call to the hotline for the competition. </p> <p>The organisers confirmed he had caught the million-dollar fish, and invited him and his family to collect the prize. </p> <p>The competition has been running since 2015, but until now, nobody had reeled in one of the million-dollar barramundi.</p> <p>Every season, more than a hundred fish tagged with special markings are released in waterways across the Northern Territory, and while most of the fish are worth $10,000, some are worth the major prize of $1 million.</p> <p>Keegan chose charity partner Cancer Council NT to receive $10,000 from Sportsbet, a sponsor of the competition. </p> <p>NT Major Events Company chief executive Suzana Bishop said organisers were "so happy and excited for Keegan".</p> <p>"We guaranteed a winner this season and we're delighted to see the prize go off," said Sportsbet chief executive Barni Evans.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Million Dollar Fish </em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

"Height of selfishness": Photo at iconic beach sparks debate over etiquette

<p>A photo taken at Bronte Beach has sparked the age old debate over whether picnickers should be allowed to reserve picnic tables by dumping their stuff on them. </p> <p>The image taken at one of Sydney's most popular beaches, showed two picnic tables under the same hut with table clothes and bags on them, but there was no human in sight. </p> <p>“There were at least half a dozen of these tables ‘reserved’ for a couple of hours on Sunday morning from very early in the day,” one annoyed beachgoer wrote on Reddit. </p> <p>“We got there at 7am and left a few hours later. No one was using the tables the entire time we were there.”</p> <p>The post has received hundreds of comments from other annoyed picnickers, with one going as far as calling it "unAustralian". </p> <p>“It's not acceptable,” one person said. “You can reserve it by sitting there yourself, but not by leaving an item.”</p> <p>“Yes, you should be actually using it, not leaving your s**t on there to reserve it for later,” another added. </p> <p>“It's the height of selfishness.”</p> <p>“Move their stuff, move yourself in, and say, ‘it was like this when I got here’,” one commenter suggested. </p> <p>“All I see is a free tablecloth and free bag,” another quipped. </p> <p>However, a few others pointed out that there were other available seats, and that there are unspoken rules around reserving picnic spots. </p> <p>"In this instance, it’s probably okay,” one wrote. “The back table is free, go grab it.”</p> <p>"As long as there’s people there minding the tables, not just throwing a bunch of tablecloths down and walking off, I’m fine with it,” another added. “First come first served.”</p> <p>“If I was bringing a few things from the car I might do this,” a third commented. </p> <p> “Like dropping off the tablecloth and backpack before grabbing the esky etc. But I'd maintain line of sight. Anything else isn't justified in my opinion.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for Waverly Council have asked people to "refrain from reserving tables and always have a back up plan". </p> <p>“Waverley is the second-most densely populated local government area in Australia outside of the City of Sydney, and we attract millions of visitors every year, so our recreational spaces are at a premium," the spokesperson told <em>Yahoo News Australia</em>. </p> <p>“On weekends and at other peak times, picnic tables and barbecues do invariably fill up. So we ask people to share our spaces so that everyone can have a turn.”</p> <p><em>Images: Reddit</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Australia's oldest person bids farewell to iconic beach house

<p>In a heartwarming tale that speaks to the enduring love for cherished places and the passing of generational torches, Marija Ruljancich, Australia's oldest person, has bid farewell to her beloved holiday retreat.</p> <p>The Sorrento pile, nestled on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, has found new hands, marking the end of an era and the dawn of a promising new chapter.</p> <p>Marija, who reached the remarkable milestone of 110 years in 2023, has been the guardian of this beachside haven for countless years. With its origins tracing back to 1960, when it was designed by the esteemed architect Daryl Jackson AO for local businessman Robert Riley, the house has stood as a testament to timeless design and cherished memories.</p> <p>The sale of this iconic property has not only captured the attention of locals but also stirred the hearts of many across the nation. Despite its undisclosed transaction sum, it's understood that the sale falls within the property's estimated range, a fitting exchange for a home steeped in history and affection.</p> <p>What truly warms the soul is the buyer's commitment to honouring the legacy of Riley House. With plans to restore the dwelling to its original glory, there's a palpable sense of joy and relief within Marija's family. The Melbourne-based buyer, driven by a passion for preserving architectural heritage, sees beyond the bricks and mortar; they envision a continuation of the house's story, enriched by their own memories and experiences.</p> <p>As Liz Jensen of Kay & Burton Portsea recounts the emotional journey of the sale, it's evident that this isn't merely a transaction; it's a celebration of life, love, and the power of preservation. </p> <p>"Congratulations to Australia’s oldest living person," Liz wrote on Instagram, "as today she successfully sells her long-held and much loved Sorrento mid century beachside family holiday home designed by Architect Daryl Jackson AO."</p> <p>The buyer's dedication to retaining even the smallest details, such as the built-in speaker nestled within the dining room cupboard, speaks volumes about their reverence for the past and their vision for the future.</p> <p>Amid whispers of demolishing the home, the decision to uphold its structure stands as a testament to the enduring spirit of community and connection. For those who walked through its halls during inspections, the house isn't just a property; it's a repository of memories, a canvas upon which stories of old Sorrento are painted with every creaking floorboard and whispering breeze.</p> <p>For Marija and her family, and for all those who have been touched by its charm, the legacy lives on – a timeless reminder of the beauty found in preserving the past while embracing the promise of tomorrow.</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram | </em><em>Kay & Burton Portsea</em></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

Surprising causes of most deaths on Australia’s beaches

<p>Worried about sharks at the beach? Turns out these fearsome fish are not the biggest killers on Australia’s coastline when it comes to non-drowning deaths.</p> <div class="copy"> <p>Instead, depending on a person’s age, it’s more likely that a heart problem or misadventure will lead to mortality, according to research from Surf Life Saving Australia, whose red-and-gold clad patrol teams provide patrol and rescue services for beaches across the country.</p> <p>More than half of non-drowning deaths in the decade between July 2012 and June 2022 were caused by cardiac-related conditions. These accounted for 319 of the 616 deaths along Australia’s coasts.</p> <p>Traumatic and collision injuries – such as blunt force trauma – were the next most common cause of death, accounting for fewer than 1 in 6 deaths.</p> <p>Falls accounted for 1 in 10 fatalities, with marine animal interactions 1 in 20.</p> <p>But the data has other insights beyond cause of death. Males were far more likely to be killed on the coast; victims in almost 9 out of 10 cases.</p> <p>And while people aged over 50 account for most deaths, primarily through cardiac conditions, those below the age of 50 are overrepresented in all other mortality cases.</p> <p>This, the researchers say, is an important consideration when interpreting the data, as deaths from any cause are highest among older people. </p> <p>“Our research showed that males were 5.2 times more likely to die than females, with younger populations found to die disproportionately along the coast with the primary causes being falls and traumatic/collision injuries,” says the study’s lead researcher, Sean Kelly.</p> <p>Kelly and the other SLSA researchers point to those all-cause mortality comparisons. People aged 70+ have 118 times greater all-cause death rate than people aged 16-24.</p> <p>But when looking at non-drowning coastal deaths, it’s only 6 times greater, highlighting disproportionate deaths among young people in these environments.</p> <p>They suggest this is due to higher levels of coastal visitation and the type of activities young people participate in. Where a person lives also matters.</p> <p>“Those living in or visiting rural and remote areas were also found to be at higher risk, largely due to poorer access to services and longer incident response times,” Kelly says.</p> <p>“<a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/nature/marine-life/shark-attack-triggers-shark-cul/">While sharks are often top-of-mind for those visiting the beach</a>, all marine creatures including sharks and jellyfish only made up 5% of non-drowning deaths and less than 2% of overall coastal deaths.”</p> <p><em>The study was <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anzjph.2023.100113" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer noopener">published</a> in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health.</em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <div> <p align="center"><noscript data-spai="1"><em><img decoding="async" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/q_lossy+ret_img+to_auto/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/12/MICROSCOPIC-TO-TELESCOPIC__Embed-graphic-720x360-1.jpg" data-spai-egr="1" width="600" alt="Buy cosmos print magazine" title="surprising causes of most deaths on australia’s beaches 2"></em></noscript></p> </div> <p><em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --> <img id="cosmos-post-tracker" style="opacity: 0; height: 1px!important; width: 1px!important; border: 0!important; position: absolute!important; z-index: -1!important;" src="https://syndication.cosmosmagazine.com/?id=300638&amp;title=Surprising+causes+of+most+deaths+on+Australia%E2%80%99s+beaches" width="1" height="1" loading="lazy" aria-label="Syndication Tracker" data-spai-target="src" data-spai-orig="" data-spai-exclude="nocdn" /></em><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/australia/surprising-causes-of-most-deaths-on-australias-beaches/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/matthew-agius/">Matthew Ward Agius</a>. Matthew Agius is a science writer for Cosmos Magazine.</em></div>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Inside Ash Barty's new $4m beach pad

<p>Australian tennis sensation Ash Barty has made headlines once again, this time not for her remarkable prowess on the court, but for her latest investment – a breathtaking beachfront apartment on the Gold Coast. The Wimbledon champion recently secured a half-floor sky home in a striking 41.25-metre-high tower, currently under construction at Palm Beach, for close to a whopping $4 million.</p> <p>The 12-story apartment building, aptly named Kloud, is not just another luxury development; it represents a significant milestone for celebrity developer Graya as it marks their debut into the opulent real estate market of the Glitter Strip.</p> <p>Headed by brothers Rob and Andrew Gray, Graya has carved a niche for itself by creating show-stopping residences in Brisbane for high-profile clients, including sports stars like rugby league great Darius Boyd and renowned figures like rapper Example and his then-wife, model Erin McNaught, along with rugby players Quade Cooper and Izzy Folau.</p> <p>For Ash Barty, this investment signifies more than just acquiring a lavish property; it's about indulging in a lifestyle befitting her status. With earnings exceeding $30 million throughout her illustrious tennis career, Barty's purchase of this beachfront abode reflects her penchant for luxury and relaxation. It's reported that she intends to use the Jefferson Lane apartment as a lock-and-leave holiday home, allowing her to escape the rigours of public life and bask in the serene coastal ambiance whenever she desires.</p> <p>Speaking about Barty's choice, Rob Gray <a href="https://www.realestate.com.au/news/tennis-star-ash-bartys-lavish-gold-coast-property-score/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">told Realestate.com.au</a> that “the proximity to the water afforded by the beachfront location on Jefferson Lane gives the apartments such a premium luxury feel, and Palm Beach offers that relaxed holiday lifestyle. Like myself, I assume Ash and her family will want to spend every weekend there.”</p> <p>Now, let's take a glimpse inside Barty's new coastal sanctuary. Spanning approximately 200 square metres of living space, this four-bedroom, three-bathroom apartment offers panoramic ocean views that will leave anyone in awe. The design seamlessly integrates indoor and outdoor living, with soaring glass walls opening onto a private balcony complete with an integrated barbecue kitchen, ideal for entertaining guests against the backdrop of the shimmering sea.</p> <p>Inside, the interiors exude sophistication and refinement, featuring open-plan living areas adorned with European oak floorboards and a kitchen boasting sleek finishes such as a large island dining bar, integrated Miele appliances, and natural stone surfaces. The master bedroom is a sanctuary in itself, boasting plush wool carpeting, a walk-in robe, and an ensuite bathroom replete with indulgent amenities like a walk-in twin shower, dual vanity and a luxurious freestanding bath.</p> <p>For Barty, this acquisition comes at a pivotal moment in her life. Having retired from professional tennis at the age of 25 in 2022, she has embarked on a new chapter, one that sees her building her dream home in Brookwater, a residential community situated close to her hometown of Ipswich, west of Brisbane. While her tennis career may have come to an end, her legacy continues to flourish both on and off the court, solidifying her status as not just a sporting icon but also a discerning connoisseur of luxury living.</p> <p><em>Images: GRAYA \ Instagram</em></p>

Real Estate

Placeholder Content Image

Pilot captures once in a lifetime photo of the Northern Lights

<p>A pilot has captured the breathtaking moment he flew beside the Northern Lights while manning a cargo plane. </p> <p>Christiaan van Heijst, a pilot and photographer, shared the incredible image to Instagram, which shows the "turquoise aerial fire" appear in the form of the aurora borealis. </p> <p>Beneath the sea of twirling green lights, the city lights of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, illuminated the horizon in a contrasting orange glow far away.</p> <p>The extraordinary photo has racked up thousands of likes in just a few days, as Captain van Heijst shared the entertaining story of his flight and the moment he captured the picture in the caption. </p> <p>“Artificial lights on the horizon: a beacon of civilisation and connectedness to the world after many hours of isolation: no communication in my headset except for the bare minimums in regard to procedures, nor any personal interaction from my Icelandic captain, who’s been mute ever since the landing gear went up on the other side of the planet,” he explained in the post.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C41LrzMsgN6/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C41LrzMsgN6/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Christiaan van Heijst (@jpcvanheijst)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“A character known for his absolute approach to colleagues and deliberate lack of conversational depth during flight."</p> <p>“Hours later, the lights of Reykjavik are abundantly visible and without need, heed or warning, he opens up the intercom and takes his time to start his declaration for a single-person audience: me. Staring out of his window, eyes set on the distant orange glow from his left-hand window, he solemnly proclaims a few seconds later: ‘… the centre of the universe …’, allowing some moments of quiet contemplation and thought on my side, before switching his intercom off again, as if to underline this statement and retreating back in his cone of silence."</p> <p>Mr van Heijst said after the pair touched down four hours later in a cargo-airport in central-Europe, neither shared a single word “besides his solemn proclamation of Iceland’s true worth”.</p> <p>The incredible post has unsurprisingly been met with comments from stunned followers in awe of the natural beauty. </p> <p>“Wow! Incredible shot! Silence is golden indeed,” one person wrote.</p> <p>Mr van Heijst is one of the world’s leading aviation photographers, and has been lucky enough to witness the Northern Lights several times from above, capturing the moment each time to share online.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Instagram </em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Surprising Aussie beach crowned best in the world

<p dir="ltr">An iconic Australian beach has been named the best in the world in a prestigious list of the most picturesque coastlines on the planet. </p> <p dir="ltr">Each year, <a href="https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/best-beaches-in-the-world" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Condé Nast Traveler</a> ranks the beaches from around the world to curate a list of 34 locations that every beach lover needs to visit. </p> <p dir="ltr">In the top ten list, five beaches from both Australia and New Zealand feature, living up to the countries reputations of stunning coastlines. </p> <p dir="ltr">With a “combination of leaning palm trees on powdery sand”, the publication crowned Palm Cove Beach as the best beach in the world, describing the spot in Queensland as “the epitome of a tropical paradise”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Located north of Cairns, the publication shared that Palm Cove is relatively “crowd free” and home to a range of unique wildlife. </p> <p dir="ltr">While many on social media were quick to agree with the winning location, others argued that there are beaches around Australia more deserving of the crown. </p> <p dir="ltr">“The only way you rank Palm Cove as the best beach in the world is if you have never been to Palm Cove or don’t like beaches,” one wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Eyre Peninsula beaches leave Palm Cove for dead,” another added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Best beach if you don’t ever want to go in the water. What about all the magic in WA?” one questioned.</p> <p dir="ltr">Check out the top 10 list of the world’s best beaches below. </p> <p dir="ltr">10. Die Plaat, South Africa</p> <p dir="ltr">9. Awaroa, South Island, New Zealand</p> <p dir="ltr">8. Noosa Beach, Australia </p> <p dir="ltr">7. Dune du Pilat, France</p> <p dir="ltr">6. Mona Vale Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">5. Ora Beach, Indonesia</p> <p dir="ltr">4. Wategos Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr">3. Brekon, Shetland</p> <p dir="ltr">2. Honopu Beach, Kauai, Hawaii</p> <p dir="ltr">1. Palm Cove Beach, Australia</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

International Travel

Placeholder Content Image

"She was everything": Beach Boys' Brian Wilson shares devastating news

<p>The Beach Boys singer-songwriter Brian Wilson has shared that his wife of nearly 30 years has passed away.</p> <p>The 81-year-old musician broke the news on Instagram on Wednesday morning, saying that his "heart is broken" after his wife Melinda Ledbetter Wilson died aged 77. </p> <p>"Melinda, my beloved wife of 28 years, passed away this morning. Our five children and I are just in tears. We are lost," he wrote in his post, underneath two pictures of his wife.</p> <p>"Melinda was more than my wife. She was my saviour. She gave me the emotional security I needed to have a career," he said.</p> <p>"She encouraged me to make the music that was closest to my heart. She was my anchor. She was everything for us. Please say a prayer for her. Love and Mercy, Brian."</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2vSn-zO_32/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/C2vSn-zO_32/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Brian Wilson (@brianwilsonlive)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>In his post, he also shared a tribute that appeared to come from their five children collectively, which read, "It is with a heavy heart that we let everyone know that our mum, Melinda Kay Ledbetter Wilson passed away peacefully this morning at home."</p> <p>"She was a force of nature and one of the strongest women you could come by. She was not only a model, our fathers [sic] savior, and a mother, she was a woman empowered by her spirit with a mission to better everyone she touched. We will miss her but cherish everything she has taught us," the statement read.</p> <p>"How to take care of the person next to you with out expecting anything in return, how to find beauty in the darkest of places, and how to live life as your truest self with honesty and pride."</p> <p>They added, "We love you mum. Give Grandma Rose and Pa our love."</p> <p>Brian and Melinda first met in 1986 and married in 1995, before adopting their five children.</p> <p>Their love story and relationship was portrayed in the 2014 biographical drama film <em>Love &amp; Mercy</em>, which starred John Cusack and Elizabeth Banks.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Caring

Placeholder Content Image

Tragic news after camper missing for 12 days

<p>Human remains believed to be that of missing camper Jessica Louise Stephens have been found by Northern Territory Police. </p> <p>The 35-year-old went camping at Kakadu National Park almost two weeks ago, and was reported missing by her mother on October 18. </p> <p>On Saturday afternoon police released a statement saying that they have recovered the remains on Nourlangie Rock, near where Stephens was believed to be travelling. </p> <p>Police also confirmed that the remains were located within the original search area. </p> <p>In an earlier statement, NT police reported that they found Stephen's belongings “a considerable distance from the walking track in harsh terrain”. </p> <p>It was reported that her vehicle was found <span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">in a car park near Nourlangie Rock. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, 'system-ui', 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px;">Acting </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Senior Sergeant Steven </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif;">Langdon said that the search and rescue operation for Stephens, which commenced on the 24th of October, had covered around </span><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">140 square kilometres of the national park. </span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Search efforts had been hampered by extreme heat, with temperatures reaching up to 48 degrees Celcius. <br /></span></p> <p><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Police have reported that they are in contact with Stephens' family and are preparing a report for the Coroner. </span></p> <p><em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;">Image:  ABC News/ </span></em><span style="font-family: abcsans, -apple-system, system-ui, Segoe UI, Roboto, Helvetica Neue, Arial, sans-serif;"><em>Karon Evans/ Getty</em></span></p>

News

Placeholder Content Image

Rebel Wilson shows off the inside of her INSANE Bondi Beach apartment

<p>When you're a superstar like Rebel Wilson, directing and starring in a movie can be tough. But, as the <em>Pitch Perfect</em> actress revealed recently, it can be a whole lot easier when you have Airbnb in your corner, providing you with a luxurious penthouse that feels like a working holiday.</p> <p>Rebel, who is currently in Sydney to make her directorial debut in the film <em>The Deb</em>, <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CyZRuXyvpUX/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">took to Instagram</a> to showcase the stunning Bondi penthouse she's been staying in with her one-year-old daughter Royce and fiancée Ramona Agruma. And while the jaw-dropping views of Bondi Beach are nothing to scoff at, what really stood out was the repeated shout-outs to Airbnb for "hooking me up".</p> <p>In a series of photos that would make any Instagram influencer jealous, Rebel flaunted the opulent penthouse with 360-degree views of the iconic beach. If that's not enough to make you green with envy, there's also an infinity swimming pool and a barbecue area that screams "I'm on a working vacation".</p> <p>Rebel's fiancée, Ramona, also joined in on the Instagram love, taking to the comment section to thank Airbnb. (Because when Airbnb provides you with a penthouse that oozes luxury, gratitude is really the <em>least </em>you can do.)</p> <p>Initially, Rebel didn't specify if this was a sponsored post. But after <a href="https://www.news.com.au/entertainment/celebrity-life/celebrity-photos/inside-stunning-bondi-penthouse-rebel-wilson-has-been-staying-in/news-story/1fe2e7f9ea8ad9e0c935a32d9a0f58a9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au approached Airbnb</a> for a comment, she added the magic letters "ad" to her caption. Well, it seems even celebrities have to adhere to the rules of disclosure – who knew?</p> <p>Rebel's stay in this Bondi Beach haven comes as she takes a break from her usual LA-based lifestyle. She recently <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/property/real-estate/rebel-wilson-lists-home-and-shares-her-favourite-feature" target="_blank" rel="noopener">listed her primary Sydney Harbour home</a> for a cool $9 million, which sold for an undisclosed sum in June. She said, "There's something special about this house, its location, its vibe," before explaining that she was working overseas and wanted someone else to appreciate it. </p> <p>In addition to her Australian properties, Rebel also owns a place in London. At least, she told <em>The Sun</em> in 2021 that she "bought a place" there, and then later confirmed her relocation to the British capital in early 2022. It seems like Rebel is collecting homes like some people collect stamps or vintage action figures.</p> <p>Of course, she also has a mansion in the celebrity mecca of Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles, which she acquired in 2016. And let's not forget her apartment in New York's swanky Tribeca neighbourhood, which she purchased in 2017. All in all, it appears that Rebel is an international property mogul, and her recent Bondi Beach getaway sponsored by Airbnb is just another entry in her portfolio of luxurious abodes.</p> <p>So, the next time you find yourself gazing out of your office window at a drab cityscape, remember that Rebel is out there living her best life in a Bondi penthouse with a pool and breathtaking views, thanks to Airbnb. Who knew directing a movie could be so relaxing?</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

MasterChef star's beautiful beach wedding

<p>Former <em>MasterChef </em>contestant Hayden Quinn has officially tied the knot with his model fiancé Jax Raynor in a beautiful beach wedding. </p> <p>The couple took to Instagram to share their wedding photos in Nantucket, US, which is an up-market holiday destination off the coast of Massachusetts.</p> <p>"Mr & Mrs Quinn 🤍" they captioned the photos. </p> <p>The first photo showed the couple sharing their first kiss, followed by a photo of them smiling happily while holding hands as the sky turned pink. </p> <p>The final photo showed the newlyweds waving to family and friends as they walked down the aisle. </p> <p>Their wedding was “pearl-themed” as it was inspired by their childhood, where they group up by the beach. </p> <p>Jax, who is a model and US native, grew up by Nantucket’s Galley Beach, while Hayden spent most of his childhood on Sydney’s northern beaches, before his first appearance on <em>MasterChef</em> in 2011. </p> <p>“The Galley was the only place I wanted to get married,” Jax told <em>Vogue</em> magazine. </p> <p>“We both wanted everything to feel classic and effortless, and the Galley is such a stunning venue that we only needed to enhance its already beautiful decor.”</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cx-KIu6LBiD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Cx-KIu6LBiD/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Hayden Quinn (@hayden_quinn)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Friends and fans took to the comments to share the joy. </p> <p>"Awww gorgeous congratulations you two xx," wrote former MasterChef contestant Rose Adam.</p> <p>"Congratulations to you both ❤️❤️" wrote cook and Bumplings Perth owner Brendan Pang. </p> <p>"Congrats legends," Australian surfer Mick Fanning wrote. </p> <p>"Yes!!! Huge congrats to you both 😍," wrote one fan. </p> <p>"Awesome!!! Mazal Tov, Congrats and all that jazz. ♡" wrote another. </p> <p>The couple first met on New Year’s Eve in 2016 and fell in love at first sight. </p> <p>“Hayden was in New York on holiday with friends and I was living in the city at the time. Our meeting was very by chance, all orchestrated by a close friend of ours," Jax recalled their romance. </p> <p>“We spent the next five days together, and by the end, we both knew that this was it. I packed up my life in New York and moved to Australia on February 1, only 32 days after we first met.</p> <p>“We had been together for about six years when Hayden proposed. We had been talking about getting married since the night we met so we both knew it was something we both wanted.”</p> <p><em>Images: Instagram</em></p>

Relationships

Placeholder Content Image

Top End tourism surge after massive search for fake Aussie town

<p>In an absolute boon to Top End tourism, it appears that Google users have been working overtime trying to locate a little slice of Northern Territory paradise known as Agnes Bluff and its nearby neighbour Mia Tukurta National Park. Why, you ask? Because they're convinced it's the next hidden holiday hotspot. But here's the catch: it's completely made up.</p> <p>This newfound obsession with Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park is all thanks to Amazon Prime's latest hit series, <em>The Lost Flowers Of Alice Hart</em>. People have been binge-watching the show and drooling over the stunning landscapes, causing Google searches for these places to shoot up like a rocket on a sugar rush. </p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/northern-territory/google-searches-surge-for-agnes-bluff-an-aussie-town-that-doesnt-exist/news-story/59f00cc1e89074de0e6464c0072ae4b8" target="_blank" rel="noopener">news.com.au</a>, Google searches for Agnes Bluff skyrocketed by a whopping 1640 per cent between July and August in Australia, and then another 40 per cent in September, all thanks to the series. And it's not just our fellow Aussies on the hunt for these mystical places – folks from Spain, Canada, the UK, the United States and Italy are also joining the imaginary treasure hunt.</p> <p>Can we blame them for trying to uncover these hidden gems? After all, in the show, Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park look so darn spectacular that even the Loch Ness Monster might want to visit. But chin up, dear travellers! While you can't exactly book a one-way ticket to Fantasyland, you can still visit the real-life locations that inspired the series.</p> <p>This show was born from the creative genius of Aussie author Holly Ringland, who drew inspiration from her time living on Anangu land in Australia's Western Desert. In her news.com.au interview, she said, "To know people are Googling these places I fictionalised feels like a shot of joy straight to my heart – I don't know that there could be a greater compliment given to my writing." </p> <p>So, where was the series actually filmed? Well, it turns out they filmed all over Central Australia, including places like the Alice Springs Desert Park, Simpsons Gap, Ooraminna Station, Standley Chasm and Ormiston Gorge – just to name a few.</p> <p>And that crater that had everyone drooling? It's called Tnorala, or Gosses Bluff, and it's a mere 175km from Alice Springs.</p> <p>In fact, search interest in Gosses Bluff crater has hit a 15-year high in Australia, increasing by a whopping 500 per cent in August alone – so, it seems like people are genuinely eager to find their own piece of Alice Hart's world.</p> <p>Now, if you're wondering about the burning question that's on everyone's minds, it's this: "What is the crater in <em>The Lost Flowers for Alice Hart</em>?" And let me tell you, Gosses Bluff, or Tnorala, is the crater-du-jour.</p> <p>But here's the best part – this place is absolutely real; it's not a mirage or a figment of some writer's imagination. You can actually go there, touch it (not the crater itself, though), and breathe in the stunning views. Sure, you can't frolic inside the crater, but there are viewing points that will have you oohing and aahing like a kid in a candy store.</p> <p>And so, while Agnes Bluff and Mia Tukurta National Park might be the stuff of dreams, Gosses Bluff is the real deal. So it could be  ime to pack your bags, grab your camera and get ready for an adventure that's so real, it'll make your Google searches feel like a distant dream. </p> <p><em>Images: Prime Video</em></p>

Domestic Travel

Placeholder Content Image

Mystery object washed up on WA beach finally identified

<p>Ok space enthusiasts and beachcombers. Here's one for the X-Files – Intergalactic Travel edition.</p> <p>Picture this: A strange and baffling object, looking like it's straight out of a sci-fi flick, decided to take a little trip to Green Head beach, about 250 kilometres north of Perth on the pristine WA coastline.</p> <p>As soon as the locals caught sight of this extraterrestrial-looking thingamajig, the news spread like wildfire, and it made international headlines faster than a speeding rocket, with all kinds of fascinating theories popping up as to what on <em>Earth</em> (or not on Earth) it could be.</p> <p>Was it a UFO? A top-secret government experiment gone awry? Well, turns out it was nothing that exciting. The Australian Space Agency put on their Sherlock Holmes hats and deduced that this enigmatic piece of debris probably came from a satellite launch vehicle. Eureka! Case closed!</p> <p>Of course, when something weird and otherworldly shows up on your doorstep, you can't be too careful. So, the local authorities played it safe and put the object under police guard for an entire week. (Better safe than sorry, right?)</p> <p>And who needs a red carpet when you have a front-end loader to transport your newfound cosmic artifact? The experts were summoned to figure out where this space junk came from, and they concluded it was most likely a fuel tank from some rocket launched by the Indian Space Research Organisation. </p> <p>Professor Alice Gorman from Flinders University explained to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-07-31/australian-space-agency-identifies-space-junk-green-head/102669472" target="_blank" rel="noopener">ABC News</a> that this fuel containment vessel was meant to fall off after launch. And it turns out that statistically, we've been pretty lucky not to have had more collisions with falling rocket parts. Imagine explaining that to your insurance company? "A rocket booster landed on my house. Is that covered?"</p> <p>But here comes the tricky part: What to do with all of this space garbage? Should they ship it back to India like some interstellar postcard, or leave it Down Under as an intergalactic souvenir?</p> <p>While India is technically (and legally) responsible for their space debris, they could decide to gift it to Australia if they so choose. It could be like an exotic space decoration for the country - "The Land of Kangaroos and Rocket Wreckage."</p> <p>Even better, the Green Head community itself appear to have come up with a few fabulous ideas. Forget the Sydney Opera House: let's make the space debris a tourist attraction! Move over, Eiffel Tower - we've got our own piece of space history right here.</p> <p>The WA Premier even suggested storing it next to space debris from NASA's Skylab space station (remember that?) in some kind of attempt to build a cosmic cabinet of curiosities. </p> <p>Of course, the local council is also very keen on keeping this celestial treasure. They're hoping the Indian government won't come back to claim it, to the point that everyone in the surrounding Shire of Coorow is buzzing with excitement over the possibility of having their very own space souvenir to draw crowds of star trekkers.</p> <p>And so while the mystery of the object on the beach has been solved, the debate over its fate is just beginning. Will it become a star attraction in a local park? Or will it be shipped off to India like an interplanetary package return? Only time will tell.</p> <p><em>Images: Nine News</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Why can’t we just tow stranded whales and dolphins back out to sea?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vanessa-pirotta-873986">Vanessa Pirotta</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p>On Tuesday night, a pod of almost 100 long-finned pilot whales stranded itself on a beach on Western Australia’s south coast. Over the course of Wednesday, more than 100 parks and wildlife staff and 250 registered volunteers worked tirelessly to try to keep alive the 45 animals surviving the night.</p> <p>They used small boats and surf skis to try to get the pilot whales into deeper water. Volunteers helped keep the animals’ blowholes above water to prevent them drowning, and poured water on them to cool them down.</p> <p>Our rescue efforts were, sadly, unsuccessful. The animals (actually large ocean-going dolphins) able to be towed or helped out to deeper water turned around and stranded themselves again, <a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=228337910167574&ref=sharing">further down the beach</a>. Sadly, they had to be euthanised.</p> <p>Unfortunately, towing whales and dolphins is not simple. It can work and work well, as we saw in Tasmania last year, when dozens of pilot whales were rescued. But rescuers have to have good conditions and a fair dash of luck for it to succeed.</p> <h2>Rescuing beached whales is hard</h2> <p>When we try to rescue stranded whales and dolphins, the goal is to get them off the sandbars or beach, and back into deep water.</p> <p>Why is it so difficult? Consider the problem. First, you have to know that a pod has beached itself. Then, you have to be able to get there in time, with people skilled in wildlife rescue.</p> <p>These animals are generally too big and heavy to rely on muscle power alone. To get them out far enough, you need boats and sometimes tractors. That means the sea conditions and the slope of the beach have to be suitable.</p> <p>Often, one of the first things rescuers might do is look for those individuals who might be good candidates to be refloated. Generally, these are individuals still alive, and not completely exhausted.</p> <p>If rescuers have boats and good conditions, they may use slings. The boats need to be able to tow the animals well out to sea.</p> <p>Trained people must always be there to oversee the operation. That’s because these large, stressed animals could seriously injure humans just by moving their bodies on the beach.</p> <p>There are extra challenges. Dolphins and whales are slippery and extremely heavy. Long-finned pilot whales can weigh up to 2.3 tonnes. They may have never seen humans before and won’t necessarily know humans are there to help.</p> <p>They’re out of their element, under the sun and extremely stressed. Out of the water, their sheer weight begins to crush their organs. They can also become sunburnt. Because they are so efficient at keeping a comfortable temperature in the sea, they can overheat and die on land. Often, as we saw yesterday, they can’t always keep themselves upright in the shallow water.</p> <p>And to add to the problem, pilot whales are highly social. They want to be with each other. If you tow a single animal back out to sea, it may try to get back to its family and friends or remain disorientated and strand once again.</p> <p>Because of these reasons – and probably others – it wasn’t possible to save the pilot whales yesterday. Those that didn’t die naturally were euthanised to minimise their suffering.</p> <h2>Successful rescues do happen</h2> <p>Despite the remarkable effort from authorities and local communities, we couldn’t save this pod. Every single person working around the clock to help these animals did an amazing job, from experts to volunteers in the cold water to those making cups of tea.</p> <p>But sometimes, we get luckier. Last year, 230 pilot whales beached themselves at Macquarie Harbour, on Tasmania’s west coast. By the time rescuers could get there, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2022/sep/27/44-pilot-whales-rescued-and-returned-to-sea-after-mass-stranding-at-tasmanian-beach">most were dead</a>. But dozens were still alive. This time, conditions were different and towing worked.</p> <p>Rescuers were able to bring boats close to shore. Surviving pilot whales were helped into a sling, and then the boat took them far out to sea. Taking them to the same location prevented them from beaching again.</p> <h2>Every stranding lets us learn more</h2> <p>Unfortunately, we don’t really know why whales and dolphins strand at all. Has something gone wrong with how toothed whales and dolphins navigate? Are they following a sick leader? Are human-made undersea sounds making it too loud? Are they avoiding predators such as killer whales? We don’t know.</p> <p>We do know there are stranding hotspots. Macquarie Harbour is one. In 2020, it was the site of one of the worst-ever strandings, with up to 470 pilot whales stranded. Authorities were able to save 94, drawing on trained <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/sep/25/death-at-hells-gates-rescuers-witness-tragic-end-for-hundreds-of-pilot-whales-on-australian-coast">rescue experts</a>.</p> <p>We will need more research to find out why they do this. What we do know suggests navigational problems play a role.</p> <p>That’s because we can divide whales and dolphins into two types: toothed and toothless. Whales and dolphins with teeth – such as pilot whales – appear to beach a lot more. These animals use echolocation (biological sonar) to find prey with high-pitched clicks bouncing off objects. But toothless baleen whales like humpbacks (there are no dolphins with baleen) don’t use this technique. They use low-frequency sounds, but to communicate, not hunt.</p> <p>So – it is possible to save beached whales and dolphins. But it’s not as easy as towing them straight back to sea, alas.</p> <p><em>The Conversation thanks 10-year-old reader Grace Thornton from Canberra for suggesting the question that gave rise to this article.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/210544/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/vanessa-pirotta-873986">Vanessa Pirotta</a>, Postdoctoral Researcher and Wildlife Scientist, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/macquarie-university-1174">Macquarie University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty </em><em>Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/why-cant-we-just-tow-stranded-whales-and-dolphins-back-out-to-sea-210544">original article</a>.</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

Tragic and eerie images emerge after 51 whales stranded on WA beach

<p>Heartbreaking and haunting scenes have surfaced after 51 majestic whales met a tragic fate, stranded on a Western Australian beach, leaving a somber and desperate atmosphere as wildlife experts struggle to save the remaining 46.</p> <p>Amidst a desolate backdrop, a once-thriving pod of long-finned pilot whales was spotted, their lives hanging by a thread perilously close to Cheynes Beach, 60km east of Albany, on Tuesday morning.</p> <p>As the day progressed, the pod's slow and ominous movement toward the shore was closely watched by officers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, fearing that the worst was about to transpire.</p> <p>In an eerie twist of fate, moments before the tragic stranding, the officers were taken aback as the pod formed a loose heart shape in the vast ocean. A haunting drone camera captured the poignant moment, further intensifying the melancholic atmosphere.</p> <p>“Crews captured this remarkable behaviour from a drone camera, shortly before the whales moved towards the beach,” a spokesperson for the DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service said.</p> <p>By 4pm, the once serene shoreline turned into a heartbreaking spectacle, as the beach became a resting place for the floundering bodies of these magnificent beings.</p> <p>DBCA Parks and Wildlife Service staff, along with Perth Zoo veterinarians and marine fauna experts, set up a vigil, their heavy hearts dreading what lay ahead for the dwindling pod.</p> <p>The initial estimation of 70 whales involved in the tragedy was quickly shattered, as the grim tally soared to 97 on Wednesday.</p> <p>The news of the stranded whales brought forth an outpouring of compassion from hundreds of individuals who wanted to help. But as the sad reality unfolded, authorities politely urged the public to stay away from Cheynes Beach, acknowledging the myriad hazards, including the presence of distressed and potentially sick whales, sharks, powerful waves, heavy machinery and vessels.</p> <p>Wildlife experts are attempting to discern the reasons behind this heart-wrenching event, speculating on stress or illness within the pod. Yet the enigma of why whales strand themselves remains unresolved.</p> <p>The availability of drone footage depicting the pod before their tragedy sets this event apart from previous strandings. The haunting visuals of these social creatures huddled together in distress leave a lasting impact, a stark reminder of how unusual and deeply troubling this occurrence truly is.</p> <p>Pilot whales, known for their close-knit familial bonds, rely on a follow-the-leader mentality, which may be one of the reasons why multiple individuals find themselves stranded in such circumstances. The complexity of their relationships only adds to the heartache surrounding their plight.</p> <p>To view drone footage of the incident, <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/jul/25/wa-mass-stranding-pilot-whales-beached-cheynes-beach-albany-caravan-park" target="_blank" rel="noopener">click here</a>.</p> <p>Images: Cheynes Beach Caravan Park / Facebook / WA Government.</p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

"Get out of the water!" Huge shark spotted at crowded beach

<p dir="ltr">Dramatic footage has revealed the moment a shark was spotted swimming in shallow waters at a crowded beach in Florida.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the video filmed at Navarre beach on Monday, a sizeable fin can be spotted zipping past swimmers as panicked onlookers screamed for them to get out.</p> <p dir="ltr">"Get out of the water!" one person screamed, as stunned swimmers ran for their lives.</p> <p dir="ltr">However there was an eerie lack of urgency for a few others who took their time exiting the waters, with no worries whatsoever to the frustration of a bystander who commented: "They're still out there."</p> <p dir="ltr">Cristy Cox, who filmed the footage, told the <em>Pensacola News Journal</em> that the shark was simply chasing a fish, but warned people to be aware of their surroundings.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It all happened so fast! A dolphin was actually side by side with the shark at first and then just disappeared,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The shark was just trying to feed as they are expected and just passed by swimmers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Everyone was stunned as it moved down the beach chasing the school of fish. We all just have to remember this is natural and we are in their home, so stay alert!”</p> <p dir="ltr">Beach Safety Director Austin Turnbill confirmed to the publication that a shark had been spotted at the beach, but for people to not be alarmed.</p> <p dir="ltr">“There’s sharks in the Gulf, everywhere. We see sharks almost every day and there’s nothing to be alarmed of for 99.9% of the time,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Cristy Cox Facebook</em></p>

Travel Trouble

Placeholder Content Image

The world’s most magical places to swim

<h2>Red Beach, Santorini, Greece</h2> <p>A crescent-shaped island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, Santorini was once a massive volcano – archaeologists say it blew its top way back in the Bronze Age. It left behind a fascinating place where whitewashed buildings cling to the edge of towering sea cliffs, and beaches come in many colours, including black, brown, white and even red. At Red Beach, iron-rich sands – and the cliffs that hem them in – have taken a curious and beautiful rust-coloured hue, which forms a stark contrast when they intersect with the beach’s deep blue waters.</p> <h2>Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia</h2> <p>While the pristine, azure waters of Whitehaven beach on North-East Queensland’s Whitsunday coast are superlative-worthy in themselves, it’s the sand that really makes it unforgettable. Soft and blindingly white, it is made of almost 98 per cent silica – a mysterious geographical phenomenon that scientists can’t explain – but that you simply have to experience burying your toes into. While the waters are divine to swim in year round, it’s worth remembering that stinger season is from October to May, when warmer waters attract larger numbers of Box and Irukandji jellyfish – a stinger suit is recommended for extra protection.</p> <h2>Blue Lagoon, Fiji</h2> <p>In many ways, Fiji – a cluster of 330 islands in the South Pacific – is the ultimate paradise, an almost mystical place where the palms seem taller, the water always feels bathtub warm, and coral reefs extend themselves and their aquatic bounty before snorkellers from all over the world. While pretty much any spot in Fiji would do for a dip, one of the most beautiful places you can swim is the remote Blue Lagoon. Part of the Yasawa Islands, Blue Lagoon is a spot where the water seems bluer, the often empty beaches appear whiter, and the aquatic wonders, from starfish to seahorses to sharks, are truly mind-boggling.</p> <h2>Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil</h2> <p>One of the world’s best places to swim (and be seen swimming), this curving beach is a major draw for visitors to Rio. While it’s perhaps most famous for the skimpy bikinis (and, yes, Speedos) that can always be found here on a sunny day, this it truly is a great place for a dip in the South Atlantic. Afterward, dry off with a game of foot volley, a form of beach volleyball unique to Rio and its cariocas.</p> <h2>Panama City Beach, Florida, USA</h2> <p>While much of the good press goes to the sun spots further south on the peninsula (think Miami, Tampa and Key West), Florida’s very best beach is up on the panhandle. With sugary white sand (composed of quartz, not the grainier, brown silica found in most of the state), Panama City Beach sits at the heart of the Emerald Coast, a stretch of very clear, very warm, very emerald Gulf of Mexico water. Walk the beach, then spend the evening at Pier Park, a remarkable shopping complex that’s steps from the sea and keeps up the beach theme.</p> <h2>The Amazon River, South America</h2> <p>Contrary to popular belief, the warm, brown, slow-moving waters of the Amazon are actually safe for swimming – if you know what you’re doing. Yes, you will be sharing the river with caimans (a kind of crocodile), piranhas and the bizarre-looking pink freshwater river dolphins (called boto) that are found only here, but an experienced guide can tell you where, and when, it’s safe to dive in. You may even get a visit from a boto – a favourite excursion takes swimmers out to a mid-river sandbar, where you wait for the arrival of this mysterious, playful animal.</p> <h2>Ha Long Bay, Quang Ninh Province, Vietnam</h2> <p>Southeast Asia definitely has a wealth of beautiful swimming spots and this one also happens to be a UNESCO world heritage site – and its easy to see why. With its stunning limestone islands jutting out of the water crystal-clear water the temperature of bath water, bathing doesn’t come with much more of a stunning view than this. From small, peaceful Titop Beach to the vast Ngoc Vung beach, you’ll be assured of a blissful experience wherever you go.</p> <h2>Manly Beach, Sydney, NSW, Australia</h2> <p>Reachable via what has to be the world’s most breathtaking ferry ride – the boat directly passes the city’s world-famous opera house and provides on-the-water views of the towering Sydney Harbour Bridge – Manly is everything a beach should be: soft sand, lovely water, and people-watching a-plenty. If calm waters are more your thing, bypass Manly’s main beach to nearby Shelly Beach, a protected marine reserve with clear, shallow waters featuring a large variety of marine life, ideal for scuba divers and snorkellers for its large variety of marine life. Post-swim, take the winding track up the headland for a scenic view of North Head and neighbouring beaches, or wander through the shops and eateries of the Corso, a pedestrian mall.</p> <h2>Cartagena, Colombia, South America</h2> <p>This beautiful, historic city – think horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone lanes and squares bordered by aging church clock towers – sits at the heart of a Caribbean playground. Just beyond its own sun-kissed beaches lie the 27 Rosario Islands (above), reachable by a short boat ride, which are filled with palms and fringed by aquamarine waters. Spend your day on the beach, then dance the night away in the city’s amazing array of salsa clubs.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/travel/destinations/the-worlds-most-magical-places-to-swim" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>.</em></p>

International Travel

Our Partners