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Tim Richards
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South Australia & Northern Territory
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Transcontinental gems
Journey Beyond, 7 December 2023

"Standing at the end of Busselton (Undalup) Jetty provides me with a lesson in nature. The view over Geographe Bay is humbling – the expanse of water is a nod to the sheer force of nature, and you can’t help but feel introspective when looking out. The 1.8-kilometre structure I’m standing on – loved by the township – is one of the many highlights on the epic eight-day Gems of the South West holiday package. It's is a sparkling example of why this trip across the country is so special..."

Describing a tour combining the southwest corner of Western Australia with a ride aboard the Indian Pacific train from Perth via Adelaide to Sydney, Australia

[Read the full article here]

Australia’s third great train journey is an epic cruise on wheels
Traveller, 7 October 2023

"Not that we have the Ancient Mariner’s other problem to contend with. There are plenty of drops to drink aboard this very long train, some of them from the Adelaide Hills through which we passed earlier. For the Great Southern is – like its sister trains, The Ghan and the Indian Pacific – an all-inclusive “rail cruise” which includes in its substantial fare all meals, drinks and excursions, as well as transport and accommodation. The day began at Adelaide Parklands Terminal with our train comprising two locomotives pulling 26 carriages at a total length of 663 metres..."

Taking a luxury rail cruise between Adelaide and Brisbane (stopping at the Grampians, Canberra and Coffs Harbour

[Read the full article here]

Goolwa to Victor Harbor: Classic Aussie Holiday with a Twist
Escape, 18 July 2022

"I have another historic rail journey to take – and a rare one. From Victor Harbor, a horse-drawn tram runs across the causeway to Granite Island. Each of the trams is a magnificent two-level vehicle with an open top and lined with wooden benches and timber flooring, accessed via a tight stairway at each end. Painted green and yellow, and featuring a hand-tolled bell, the trams are a pleasing apparition from the past – especially when attached to the mighty Clydesdale horses that pull them..."

Riding a heritage railway and horse tramway in regional South Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Overland Train from Adelaide to Melbourne
Senior Traveller, May 2022

"The other benefit of Red Premium makes itself evident as dawn breaks and our train slowly progresses into the Adelaide Hills: a hot breakfast featuring a spinach and feta omelette, served to our seats. As we enjoy our food the train creaks and sways, suburbia melts away and we're immersed in a hilly forested landscape. Occasionally a gap opens amid the trees and we have glimpses of the city below and the ocean beyond. Meanwhile a light mist rises from the paddocks of farms we pass, creating a ghostly aura as dew sparkles in the morning light..."

Catching the historic Overland train from South Australia to Victoria, Australia

[Read the full article here]

Sustainable Australia: Top Tips to Minimise Your Carbon Footprint and Travel Slow
lonelyplanet.com, 14 April 2022

"Australia is such an enormous nation that the instinct of both locals and visitors is to fly between its many far-flung attractions. But in this era of ‘flight-shame’ and increased environmental awareness, it’s possible to reduce your carbon footprint in Oz by traveling by surface transport, seeing more of the country on the way. Here are a number of possibilities..."

Outlining how to avoid flying by opting for rail, sail, cycling and hiking while visiting Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Holidays in Australia by Rail: Seven Great Places You Can Travel to by Train
Traveller, 7 April 2022

"Along with most other Australians, I have childhood memories of the great Aussie road trip. For our Western Australian family it was usually a drive to a holiday house in Augusta, past Margaret River in the state's southwest. Now in 2022, with spiralling petrol prices, the great Aussie road trip is said to be endangered. To which I say, "So what?" You can have more fun travelling by train at a set fare, and help cut your carbon emissions at the same time. Here are some affordable Aussie train trips to replace those treks from the city by car..."

Describing seven great long-distance rail trips in Australia.

[Read the full article here]

A Walking Tour Unearths a Story of War, Disaster, and Survival
Sunday Life, 3 April 2022

"Darwin was eventually founded as Palmerston in 1869, then renamed in 1911, and its development has been far from plain sailing. 'Darwin has been destroyed four times in its history,' John tells us. 'Three times by cyclones, and once by wartime bombing.' Those disasters account partly for the CBD's very modern appearance, dotted with bland apartment buildings and office blocks. But they make up for their lack of distinctiveness with artistic opportunity, and many bear large commissioned murals..."

Admiring art and history on the streets of Darwin, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Harbour Cruise Brings History to Life
Traveller, 2 April 2022

"On February 19, 1942, the Japanese military carried out a bombing raid on the northern city, with many vessels sunk and lives lost. The city has never forgotten that rude awakening early in the Pacific War in World War II, and there are several ways for a visitor to explore the story of that dark day. Arriving around the 80th anniversary of the Bombing of Darwin, I've decided to get out on the water on Darwin Harbour, where much of the deadly action occurred..."

Learning about history on a cruise in Darwin, Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Cockle Train a Classic Ride
Senior Traveller, April 2022

"We pull out with a few bumps, following the curve of the harbour before slipping tightly between houses. Then, as we head toward Port Elliot (a stop with a famous bakery), we receive the scenic payoff - the line runs along the top of coastal cliffs, with the beach below and the ocean stretching to the horizon. I'm told you can spot southern right whales here in winter, and a passenger on the previous train told me she'd seen a pod of dolphins. I'm not as lucky, but the views are marvellous..."

Riding the Cockle Train from Victor Harbor to Goolwa, South Australia

[Read the full article here]

Book excerpt: Heading South - Far North Queensland to WA by Rail
The New Daily, 16 October 2021

"Dinner was taken outside the train at Rawlinna, another ghost town that lay next to a vast sheep station of the same name covering 10,000 square kilometres. I was feeling antsy as we were led through two carriages as a group, to disembark and be marked off a list. The Indian Pacific crew shared the mother hen characteristics of their Overland colleagues, though in a place this remote it was understandable. Except for the short stop in Cook, I’d been aboard the train for almost twenty-four hours and was I dying to get outside..."

Dining under the outback stars on the Indian Pacific train journey from Adelaide to Perth, Australia

[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 via Adelaide, 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 from Brisbane via New South Wales 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]

Australia, This is Us
Senior Traveller, February 2021

"A recent episode of ABC TV's advertising-related show Gruen challenged agencies to make ads encouraging Aussies to travel within Australia. Because at this stage, that’s all we can do. In one of the ads, the voiceover segued from the mighty wonders of nature to exploring local bakeries. And that is exactly one of the things Aussies do when we visit a new country town – we make a beeline for the local bakeries to discover which one is the best. Which made me wonder – what other things do we take an interest in, which might not interest the average overseas tourist?"

Examining the domestic travel habits of Australians; with reference to places in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia

[Read the full article here]

Here's How to See Australia by Train
lonelyplanet.com, 23 March 2019

"Australia is such a huge country that it seems logical to cross it by plane. But there is another option, one that becomes a memorable holiday in itself: the train. Piecing together connecting routes, it’s possible to take a great rail journey across the continent from savannah to forests to tropics, immersed in ever-changing scenery. Here’s how to do it..."

Describing how to travel around Australia by rail
, from Queensland through NSW, Victoria and South Australia to either Darwin or Perth.

[Read the full article here]

A Rail of a Time
Spring/Summer 2018

"Then it’s time to hop aboard the most impressive train of all: the Indian Pacific. A two-night journey west to Perth includes top-quality dining, stark desert scenery, and dinner in a remote ghost town. It’s a fitting finale to an almost 8000 kilometre rail odyssey..."

Detailing how to catch trains from Far North Queensland through NSW, Victoria and South Australia, all the way to Western Australia.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

[Read the full article here]

Eat Streets, Art Streets
10 November 2017

"Huge, colourful images of geishas line a brick wall off Adelaide’s Rundle Street, and they’re far more glamorous than the alley they overlook. A fine example of the street art to be found scattered through the city’s Central Business District, they’re attached to the wall of a nightclub called Sugar. Which seems appropriate, as the next stop on the Adelaide Feast tour is a chocolate shop. Or more elegantly, a chocolatier..."

Enjoying food and street art on a walking tour through Adelaide, South Australia.

[Read the full article here]

52 Weekends Away: Indian Pacific
Good Weekend
, 28 October 2017

"One of the world's great rail journeys, the Indian Pacific crosses the continent over 4352 kilometres of track – including the longest dead-straight section in the world, 478 kilometres across the flat and empty Nullarbor Plain. It's a spectacular route through mountains, cities and vineyard country, past outback ghost towns, and across stark deserts..."

Detailing the experience aboard this long-distance train from Sydney via Adelaide to Perth, as part of a collection of recommended accommodation.

[Read the full article here]

Coast to Coast: Across Australia by Rail
www.lonelyplanet.com, 12 June 2017

"For almost half a century, Australia's Indian Pacific train has traced a three-day journey by rail between Sydney and Perth. Its 4,352km route between the Pacific and Indian Oceans takes in mountains, native bushland, desert, wheat fields and urban sprawl. Those taking this trip gain a close-up experience of Australia’s immense size and diversity, as its dramatic landscape slides past..."

Travelling by rail through New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia

[Read the full article here]

Melbourne to Sydney to Adelaide by Rail
, 5 February 2017

"Catching a train from platform one of Melbourne's Southern Cross Station is like boarding a flight from gate one of an international airport – rarely done, and all the more special for that. With its undulating wave-like roof, Melbourne's main station is an exciting place from which to depart on a long-distance rail adventure. This is a full-on rail trek, which will take me to three state capitals through a range of terrains, and home again – without boarding a single plane..."

Travelling through three Australian states via three different long-distance trains

[Read the full article here]

10 Things in Australia You Can Only Experience by Train
, 29 August 2016

"It's a big country, and there's no better way of experiencing its vastness than by train. Australia is blessed with two transcontinental rail journeys: the Indian Pacific which runs east-west to link Sydney with Perth; and The Ghan which runs north-south between Adelaide and Darwin. Along these two routes, and others, there's an array of unique experiences..."

Discussing unique aspects of long-distance train travel in Australia
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Five Remote Corners Which Define Australia's States
, 9 September 2015

"Borders have always fascinated travellers. In some ways that's strange, because they're just invisible, imaginary lines on a map. Even internal borders can be objects of interest, and Australia's more than most. For where each of our state and territory borders meet another one at an angle, 'surveyors' corners' are created, each marked by a pillar at the meeting point..."

Describing the location and appeal of remote state border intersections in Australia.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Converts' Guide: Long-Distance Train Travel
The Sun-Herald
, 15 March 2015

"There are many types of long-distance trains, from regularly scheduled services to those that resemble luxury cruise liners. What they have in common is ever-changing scenery. A train is a unique mode of transport, akin to a small town on wheels; always in contact with the world outside, but also slightly separate. It's difficult to get bored as the entire planet passes by your window: people, farms, forests, dramatic landscapes, and the normally hidden backyards of vibrant cities..."

Promoting the benefits of long-distance rail travel, in one of a set of travel essays; including the Indian Pacific and The Ghan trains.
Available for republication (print only).

[Read the full article here]

Indigenous Darwin on Foot
Discover, Summer 2012

"Once he’s rattled off an impressive list including saltwater crocodiles, snakes and jellyfish in his calm delivery style, I find myself slightly nervous. Visitors tend to experience Aboriginal culture outside the city, on tours into the Northern Territory’s spectacular landscapes. But Mills, a member of the local Larrakia people, runs walking tours in the heart of Darwin, sharing indigenous knowledge of the land and its seasons under urban dwellers’ noses..." 

Joining the Batji walking tour highlighting the Aboriginal heritage of Darwin, Australia.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

Australia's Edgiest Arts Venues
Medical Observer, 14 September 2012

"The Alice Desert Festival is Alice Springs’ annual celebration of the arts. Where it departs from your standard big-city arts festival in its use of the incomparable desert environment which surrounds Alice. Last year, for example, saw the premiere of a new play about Olive Pink, the eccentric custodian for many years of a nature reserve near the town centre. It was performed in the reserve, now the Olive Pink Botanic Garden..."

Exploring cutting-edge arts venues & companies in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart & Alice Springs.

Sophisticated, Trendy, Cool... Darwin?
30 August 2012

"I glance around at the interior of the tapas bar. Dark and moody with orange-yellow illuminated panels beneath a bar with angular black bar stools, it could be anywhere in the hipper suburbs of Sydney and Melbourne. Instead, I'm in Darwin. If I had a little dog, this is the point at which I'd say 'We're not in Kansas any more, Toto'..."

Exploring some fine places to drink and dine in Darwin, Australia.
Available for republication (print only).

Images available.

[Read the full article here]

Destination, Cool
The Sunday Age, 29 July 2012

"This laneway has a special vibe, which evolved after an old-fashioned fruit and vegetable market closed. The market’s spacious interior was redeveloped into modern apartments and neat intersecting streets, including this one. As a managed laneway, it’s a little less grimy and unpredictable than Melbourne’s equivalents. But what it lacks in grit, Ebenezer Place has in street cred..."

Exploring Ebenezer Place, a cool laneway in Adelaide, South Australia.

[Read the full article here]

Deadly Enemy on High
Escape, 23 June 2012
(News Ltd's Sunday travel section)

"Within this space a huge animated film, the Bombing of Darwin Experience, is projected across a series of glass panels. It’s brilliantly done, mixing cutting-edge computer graphics with period photography and an urgent soundscape. It’s an immersive experience that rolls back the decades and gives a sense of what it was like to stand in Darwin on that darkest of days..."

Visiting Defence of Darwin Experience, an immersive wartime exhibition in Darwin.
Available for republication (print and Web).

Images available.

Little Drop of Heaven
Medical Observer, 16 March 2012

"My companions on the bus today make a varied group, from New Zealand, France, Germany, Britain and Brazil. The two Brazilians, Fernando and Flavia, are on a break from their studies in Sydney, while the rest are visiting Australia on holidays of various lengths. 'It’s wine time!' we all think, as the bus climbs into the hills. But not quite yet - it is a bit early for alcohol..."

Taking a relaxed winery tour through the Barossa Valley of South Australia.

House of Repute
The Sunday Age, 5 February 2012

"In the centre of Australia stands a set of low sand-coloured buildings behind a fence topped with barbed wire. For half a century this was Alice Springs’ prison, a place of misery, punishment and despair. Nowadays the Old Gaol is the home of the National Pioneer Women’s Hall of Fame, celebrating women’s achievements in the outback and beyond..."

Investigating the National Pioneer Women's Hall of Fame in Alice Springs.
Available for republication (print only).
Images available.

Flashpack Chic
Medical Observer, 17 September 2010

"Most flashpacker hostels are full of super-slick modern architecture, but this Adelaide hostel is distinguished by its classy colonial-era premises. Built in the 19th century, the two-storey building has a typical facade of the time, with high ceilings, stone walls and a balcony above the street."

Detailing upmarket 'flashpacker' hostels across Australia and New Zealand.

Things That Go Bump in the Night
Jetstar Magazine, October 2008

"PrismTeam Haunted Tours takes a investigative approach to spectral sightings in its Haunted Tour of Adelaide. 'We started investigating the Hindmarsh Rectory in 1999, after a call from a gentlemen who used to rent the place,' says Laurie Pearce. After undertaking research, he discovered that a small girl had died in the front room when a candle got too close to a curtain."

Delving into the paranormal via ghost tours across Australia. 

A Growing Passion
Jetstar Magazine, June 2008

"On Kangaroo Island off the South Australian coast, another member of the Lark family is applying his hand to liqueurs. 'I probably eat too much, and I like to drink,' says Jon Lark, co-owner of Kangaroo Island Spirits. 'I couldn’t afford to build a bar, but I could afford to set up a distillery, and that’s what I’ve done here. It’s a lot of fun.'"

Revealing the artisan distillers of Australia, from rum makers to sake brewers. 

Adelaide on a Plate
Medical Observer, 14 March 2008

"There are more amazing chocolate-coated wonders in store. As Beverley talks, revealing the intricacies of chocolate manufacture in a lively, engaging style, two women just beyond the glass are coating reddish-brown spheres in successive layers of chocolate. It turns out they’re creating sparkling shiraz truffles."

I sample the food and beverage delights of the South Australian capital.

Pints and the Paranormal
Jetstar Magazine, December 2007

"'There’s no reason to be scared of any of the ghosts, just talk to them normally.' So says Francis Thompson casually about the resident spirits of the Port Dock Brewery Hotel, including the much-sighted ‘lady in white’. But then, he’s known them for a long time. He beckons me down to the hotel’s cellar to see if we can spot the other ghost, a seaman from the hotel’s rough-and-tumble early days, but he’s not home today."

Investigating the classic 19th century pubs of Port Adelaide. 

Into the Valley
Kaleidoscope, December 2007
(LOT Polish Airlines inflight magazine)

"Not only has the group now drunk more than enough wine – those small tastings eventually add up – but it’s a sunny day, and the combination of food, drink and the warm sunshine are inducing a feeling of deep relaxation. Add in the amazing view, and you can understand why those early settlers thought this was the place to settle down."

A journey into South Australia's famous Barossa Valley wine region.
Available for republication (print and Web).
Images available.

Adelaide's Seven Sins
The Australian, 26 June 2004

"What is it about Adelaide? All those churches, that clean-swept look, the history unmarred by the 'convict stain'. It all looks pretty innocent. Which is why I decide to put the city of churches to a test. Can the seven deadly sins be recreated in this historical monument to wowserism and good behaviour?"

A tale of temptations in the South Australian capital.
Available for republication (print and Web).

More travel writing: 
Australia: NSW & ACT | QLD | TAS | VIC | WA
World: Pacific | Europe | Asia | Americas
| Africa & Middle East | Rail
Travel: South Australia & Northern Territory

I'm a member of the Australian Society of Travel Writers. This page contains examples of my travel writing, organised by location.

I also have a selection of high-quality digital images available, depicting a variety of international locations. 

If you'd like to republish one of these pieces, or would like a new piece written about the same location, please get in touch via the contacts below.

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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