I Love a Sunburnt Country.

I was walking down the Katoomba street on a drizzly evening holding hands with my little granddaughter, who in a few days would turn three. Out of the blue she said, I love Australia. I love the kangaroos and the koalas and the kookaburras. And I love you soooooo much, Grandma!

This gorgeous little one has a beautiful Japanese mother and will live her life with the benefit of exploring two cultures. I am so glad that she loves Australia … and me.

Australia is an island continent; the largest island in the world and the smallest continent. We have 35,877 kilometers of coastline, which contribute to Aussies being a beach/surf loving nation, and 8,222 islands lie within Australia’s maritime borders. We are a land of contrasts, from tropical rain forests, to vast eucalyptus and woodland forests, to wide open spaces, to our snowy high country and to the parched, dry interior deserts. Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent in the world. About 35 per cent of the continent receives so little rain, it is effectively desert. In total, 70 per cent of the mainland receives less than 500 millimetres of rain annually, which classes it as arid, or semi-arid.(www.ga.gov.au)

We experience cyclones, raging floods, crippling droughts and devastating bushfires; and the country is so vast that all of these can be happening at the same time in different locations. We have unique fauna and flora and some of the worlds greatest natural wonders such as The Great Barrier Reef, Frazer Island and Uluru.

We are a multi cultural nation and apart from the descendants of the pre colonised Aboriginal people we are all immigrants. As a side note, on this point there is some discussion about our Aboriginal people and when they first arrived in Australia; if interested it is possible to do some research on this.

Australia is a BIG country:Image: bing.com/images

Australia is known as The Lucky Country and to be fair we are not a bad lot! I hope you will join me as we visit some of our well known and not so well known locations in Australia.

My Country My Country – Public Domain Poetry (poetscollective.org)
20th CenturyFlight of Fancy
by Dorothea Mackellar, 1904
The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes.
Of ordered woods and gardens
Is running in your veins,
Strong love of grey-blue distance
Brown streams and soft dim skies
I know but cannot share it,
My love is otherwise.
I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror –
The wide brown land for me!
A stark white ring-barked forest
All tragic to the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes,
Where lithe lianas coil,
And orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the warm dark soil.
Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart, around us,
We see the cattle die –
But then the grey clouds gather,
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.
Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold –
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.
An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land –
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand –
Though earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown country
My homing thoughts will fly.

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