18 July 2012

Strange Australian Towns

St Helena Island
St Helena Island is Queensland’s most historic island. This National Park is located four kilometres from the mouth of the Brisbane River in Moreton Bay. St Helena Island was once a quarantine station which then became home to colonial Queensland’s foremost maximum security prison for men, where severe punishment - the lash, the dreaded dark underground cells, the gag, and energy-sapping shot drill once took place. The toughest years on St Helena were undoubtedly the early ones, and the ruins on the island testify to the hard work that the prisoners had to do. While on St Helena Island, why not take a ghost tour by night?

Moreton Bay, Brisbane
Moreton Bay, Brisbane                                                                                                   
White Cliffs
Situated in the north-west area of New South Wales, White Cliffs, like Coober Pedy, is an underground town, due to the searing temperatures reaching around 47 degrees in summer. During an opal mining boom, White Cliffs had a population of 4,500, which has now depleted to a mere 150. Upon your visit to this underground town you can fossick on the old mine dumps by day, or visit the town’s main focal point, the Dugout Underground Motel.

Nimbin is a village in New South Wales, near Lismore. This small town is known as the ‘Rainbow Region’, and has been described by many as ‘the alternative capital of Australia’ and a ‘social experiment’. Nimbin has a high tolerance for alternative lifestyle. Here you will find an abundance of hippies, living alternate lifestyles, particularly in communes. Nimbin celebrates their unique culture annually with the Mardi Grass Festival.  

Northern NSW scenery
Northern NSW scenery
The town of Tully, situated midway between Townsville and Cairns in Queensland, is known as the wettest town in Australia, but also holds the title of Australia’s most popular UFO hotspot. This small town is ranked number 1 in Australia and Asia as a UFO hotspot, with a number of ‘close encounters’. Many Tully residents have confessed to seeing extraterrestrial activity for sometime, dating back to the early 1960’s. The world’s original crop circle, the so-called ‘Tully Saucer Nest’ was discovered here in 1966.

Zeehan is a small town on the west coast of Tasmania, near Queenstown. Once known as the thriving ‘Silver City’ at the turn of the century, the once silver rich mining town had a population of 10,000 (with 27 pubs) but has since declined to 800 due to a depletion of silver. Left remaining is an array of historic buildings still used regularly by townsfolk.

Zeehan, Tasmania
Zeehan, Tasmania

Tantanoola is a small town situated near Mount Gambier in South Australia. Many areas of Australia have their stories about panthers and tigers roaming in the bush but this one is a bit different in that there is some basis in fact. In the 1890’s a man named Tom Donovan shot the mysterious predator, which turned out to be a Eurasian wolf - equally out of place in the Australian environment. The creature now resides in a glass case in the Tantanoola Hotel.

Principality of Hutt River
The Principality of Hutt River is located north of Perth, near Geraldton. In 1970, after ongoing disputes with the Australian Government over wheat quotas, Leonard George Casley, one of the residents of this town succeeded from Australia and created a separate country, declaring himself ‘King Leonard’. Thousands flock to this historically strange place each year, but there are only 30 permanent residents. This ‘micronation’ is not officially recognised by Australia or any other country. 

No comments:

Post a Comment