Because hubby works on sharks we spent much of the last 4 years traveling back and forwards from Scotland to Oz. We stayed in Brisbane, Queensland, on the far Eastern edge of the continent.
Brisbane is about as different from Manitoba as Earth is to Venus. They both have rivers, dirt and people, and the similarity ends there. LOL.
Brisbane is one of the hilliest places on the earth. Undulating, steep inclines that put my home area (the Ironbridge Gorge) to shame. Winnipeg is FLAT. Brisbane has a sub tropical climate, Winnipeg is just extreme weather (-50 to +30). I remember being pregnant and pushing the stroller up and down these hills in Brisbane, a two year old reclined lazily in its folds. I remember leaving the house early and getting wherever I was going before 9 am when it got too damn hot to do anything. I remember sweating with my daughter besides me, lying beneath the ceiling fan (because hot and humid as it gets, few people in Australia have air conditioning).
I'm not a bug person, even though as a biologist I can appreciate their importance in the ecosystem--I hate the bloody things. Australia is not the place for bug-haters. We had a pet scorpion on the ceiling outside our second apartment (the second trip when son had arrived and was just a tiny baby in a hot world), they sprayed for roaches regularly, and the spiders...Lord God, the harmless orb-weavers filled me with terror and the poisonous Red-backs made me a paranoid visitor to unfamiliar toilets :)
But the very best thing about Australia are the Australians and one in particular. A very good friend of mine and a fantastic artist, Noel Miller. I am salivating at this man's work and long for the day I can buy a few of his gorgeous works. I have one...but it isn't enough. I have just discovered his website click here and thought I'd advertise for him.
And a quick note...had hubby not got this job in Manitoba, we'd probably be living in Brisbane again, and he'd be wrestling crocodiles with Steve Erwin. So thank GOD we are in Winnipeg...because I'd hate my hubby to be chewed up and spat out by a big hungry croc, not to mention my crazy son!!!