I, Writer
Tim Richards
Freelance Writer

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I have two books coming out in 2021!
1. Heading South, about an epic round-Australia rail journey, will be published by Fremantle Press - learn about it here;
2. Ultimate Train Journeys: World will be published by Hardie Grant. Follow me or the publishers on social media for updates.

Ten Most Recently Published

The Melbourne Blockbuster Exhibition Your Kids Will Love
Australian Traveller, 11 June 2021

"There’s no need to take things too seriously, after all, at this fun new show at Melbourne’s ACMI which features a colourful collection of original sketches and rare artworks. Ahead, through the doors, is a wall-sized projection of Mickey in his first-ever appearance in the 1928 cartoon Steamboat Willie – a big deal as this was one of the earliest animated films with sound..."

Describing the delights of the new Disney exhibition at ACMI, Melbourne, Australia

[Read the full article here]

Royal Exhibition Building: Australia's World Heritage-listed Vaccination Centre
Traveller, 11 June 2021

"As a global pandemic hits Australia, Melbourne's grand Royal Exhibition Building is pressed into service to help combat the virus. Opened in 1880 as a symbol of hope and progress, it's now a crucial part of the city's fight against an insidious invisible enemy. Sound like 2021? Actually, it was February 1919. With the so-called Spanish Flu sweeping the world, a temporary field hospital was opened within its cavernous halls to help relieve crowded hospitals. Now, more than 100 years later, the Royal Exhibition Building is again part of the response to a global health crisis, as a state government-run vaccine hub..."

Exploring the history of Melbourne's Royal Exhibition Building, and its role in the fight against pandemics

[Read the full article here]

Trees and Teas
Traveller, 22 May 2021

"Our guide Boramey sits in front of an array of white porcelain cups, dishes and pots, pouring intently from one to another. This tea ceremony involves five variants of oolong tea: green, pure, aromatic, dark, and black. It's called a wet ceremony, and so it is – lots of liquid sloshing around as it's poured in graceful arcs by our guide, finally ending in cups for us to sip. You could be forgiven for assuming we're somewhere in Asia, but we're not – this is Hamilton, New Zealand, and the farm we are visiting is called Zealong..."

Having a genteel day out, touring a tea farm and beautiful gardens in Hamilton, New Zealand

[Read the full article here]

How to Go from North to South by Rail
Traveller, 22 May 2021

"In the early morning light, with Auckland's Sky Tower on the horizon, there's a hint of adventure in the air as I wait to board the train waiting at the city's Strand Station. Via three such trains – each comprising a sleek set of modern carriages – and a ferry, I'm about to undertake a great rail journey across both the North and South islands of New Zealand. I'm looking forward to a trip involving beautiful hilly scenery, dramatic volcanoes, and a multitude of tunnels and viaducts built to carry the rails across New Zealand's challenging terrain. I can't wait to see what's out there..."

Taking three great long-distance rail journeys across New Zealand

[Read the full article here]

After the Quake: Exploring the 'New' Christchurch
Escape, 18 May 2021

"You’d think Christchurch would want to put the quakes behind it and focus on the future. However, there’s a strain in the local consciousness – call it a stubbornness, or determination – that wants to remember the event and draw strength from the city’s survival. Both the science of earthquakes and the human response to adversity is on display at Quake City, an exhibition dedicated to explaining the disaster. From the front desk, with its giant clock faces from a demolished railway station, visitors are led past a vibrant audiovisual presentation of Ruaumoko, the Maori god of quakes and volcanoes..."

Visiting a selection of post-earthquake highlights in Christchurch, New Zealand

[Read the full article here]

Move Over Melbourne, Bendigo is Australia’s Surprising New City of Gastronomy
The New Daily, 15 May 2021

"There’s a city in Victoria that’s famous for its food and wine. It has good coffee and laneway bars and trams and lovely old buildings, and it’s just been declared Australia’s first UNESCO City of Gastronomy. No, it’s not Melbourne. Step into the foodie spotlight, Bendigo! And if that seems surprising, this is all you need to know: of UNESCO’s Creative Cities categories, from film to literature to design, only gastronomy takes in the region around the nominated city. Thus Bendigo’s successful application was backed by nine local government areas, covering a vast swathe of the historic goldfields area around it..."

Exploring the food delights in and around Bendigo, Victoria

[Read the full article here]

Back on Track
Sunday Life, 18 April 2021

"It's been a long time between drinks for passengers of the Indian Pacific, the famous transcontinental train that runs between Perth and Sydney. And as the beverages are included with the fares nowadays, that's a lot of missed cocktails since the service stopped running in March last year. But now it's back, and the Indian Pacific is once more covering the 4352 kilometres of track linking west and east. When it launched in 1970, this train was public transport. But nowadays it's a full-blown 'rail cruise' with the fare including all meals, drinks and off-train excursions..."

Riding the rails from Perth to Sydney once more, aboard Australia's longest train journey.

[Read the full article here]

What it’s Like Travelling North on The Ghan in the Era of COVID-19
The New Daily,17 April 2021

"After a rigorous check-in procedure involving temperature checks, I entered my Gold Service cabin to find pandemic-era extras including alcohol wipes and hand sanitiser. Other measures include seating only travelling couples or groups together in the dining car, rather than mixing people; and an encouragement to distance where possible in the lounge bar. Otherwise, The Ghan is as it was before the virus: a three-day rail trek from temperate Adelaide through the desert north to the tropics at Darwin, an impressive logistical exercise undertaken by 36 carriages pulled by two sizeable locomotives..."

Describing the journey of The Ghan train from Adelaide to Darwin, with border entry procedures in Alice Springs

[Read the full article here]

Ocean to Outback: the Great Southern Train
Senior Traveller, April 2021

"Food (beautifully prepared and presented) is a major highlight of the train, as is socialising in the bar; and all food and drink is included in the fare. Sadly I met no international visitors among the passengers this year, but we Aussies on board were determined to have a good time. Several told me how delighted they were to be travelling again, and some had even booked the return leg from Adelaide..."

Taking the luxurious Great Southern train all the way from Brisbane to Adelaide, with excursions en route

[Read the full article here]

Australia State Border Closures: Closing Due to a Single Case Feels Like 'Security Theatre'
Traveller, 8 February 2021

"I was sitting on a plastic garden chair in a draughty tent outside the Royal Adelaide Hospital, on an unseasonably cold day for a South Australian summer, while I waited for two hours for a COVID-19 test. That requirement had been suddenly sprung by the South Australian government on arrivals who had been in Melbourne at any time since January 28. A city which I now read had recorded zero new cases, amid the 'crisis' caused by a single case contracted by a hotel quarantine worker. Meanwhile, the Northern Territory had declared Melbourne CBD a 'red zone', meaning I was suddenly banned from boarding my train north..."

Arguing for a more proportionate response from Australia's state governments to minor COVID-19 outbreaks.

[Read the full article here]

Travel: Australia | Europe | Pacific | Asia | Americas | Africa & Middle East | Rail Travel.
Other: Arts.Life.Sci/Tech.Pets

I'm a freelance writer with published articles on various topics: including travel, lifestyle, the arts, science, and pets. 

My writing has appeared in newspapers, magazines and websites around the world. I'm also a writer of travel books for Lonely Planet.

I'm available to write on any subject, and also undertake business writing jobs such as proofreading, editing and copywriting.

Learn more about my published work and writing services.

All articles in this archive are available for republication (fee to be negotiated). Articles can be rewritten to meet your style or length requirements. Please contact me by email with your query.

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Tim Richards
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I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land I work upon in Melbourne/Birraranga, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation.

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