Information about work, life and play in Regional Australia

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

As 2007 draws to a close, a happy new year to all. May it bring renewed peace and happiness to us all.

There were, I think, 105 posts on this blog during the year. Over 2008, I am looking forward to exploring further the remarkable variety and texture of life across the vast expanses of Regional Australia.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Australian rainfall projections - January to March 2008

Graphic: Bureau of Meteorology rainfall projections, January to March 2008

Back on 26 November I provided details of the BoM rainfall forecasts for the period December to February 2008. The forecasts suggested that the drought that had gripped parts of southern Australia was likely to continue to ease. Since then, much of southern Australia has received significant rain.

The Bureau has now released its projections for the January to March period. The biggest change is an increased chance of below average rains in a big north-south strip through the centre of the country.

The area in WA with the highest probability of above average rain has moved south. In the east, the belt of higher projected rainfall continues to be centred on southern Queensland and Northern NSW.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A Great Source of Information about Australia - The Australian Government's Culture and Recreation Portal

I have been meaning to mention this site for a little while.

The Australian Government maintains a site called Culture and Recreational Portal that is, I think, a superb site for information about Australia, including Regional Australia. I use it all the time, often getting distracted and just browsing.

Do have a look.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Is Australia the world's driest continent?

My father, who as a Kiwi, used to tease Australians sometimes that one third of Australia was desert, one third semi arid, and the other third not much use anyway! Certainly Australia is a dry continent, but is it the driest?

Looking at The Weather Doctor, I see that Antarctica is the driest continent, but it is not inhabited outside research teams and support.

If we look just at South America, we can eliminate Europe and South America from the possibilities although South America has the driest area on Earth, outside the polar continent, located in Chile. North America could have a strong argument in the northern regions, but the southern areas such as Central America are quite wet. That leaves the A continents: Australia, Africa and Asia.

Looking at the climate classification maps, Australia seems to have the highest percentage of dry climates. But the Sahara is larger in area than all of Australia. And the dry interior of Asia along with the Middle East and dry areas of China and India give Asia large dry regions.

Still, if we look at overall patterns, The Encyclopedia of Climatology gives the following facts about Australia:

  • 50% of land receives less than 300 mm/year of precipitation
  • 80% receives less than 600 mm/yr
  • Over 75%, the potential evaporation is greater than 2500 mm/yr
  • In central Australia the evaporation potential is around 4500 mm/yr, 20 times the actual annual rainfall.

This leads The Weather Doctor to conclude that Australia can fairly claim to be the world's driest inhabited continent in an overall sense.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Australia's Best Restaurants 2007 - Australia's regional restaurants rank high

Peter Wade, Head on a Stick No 12, Grafton Regional Gallery

My thanks to the Australian Regional Food Guide for drawing my attention to the Life Style Channel's national I love food awards. This covered all parts of Australia including the metros.

The national winner was Georgies Café Restaurant at New England's Grafton Regional Gallery, 158 Fitzroy St, Grafton, NSW 2460, Ph: (02) 6642 6996. Food modern Australian.

The ACT's El Torogoz (Mexican/Latin American) came in at number 5. Contact details Palmerston La, Manuka, ACT 2603, Ph: (02) 6260 7077.

This was followed at number 6 by the Ambrosia Café and Bar (modern Australian). Contact details Shop 13, 84 Bemersyde Drive,Berwick, VIC 3806, Ph: (03) 9702 0044.

The Siam Terrace Thai Restaurant came in at number 12. Contact details 9 Alison Rd, Wyong, NSW 2259. Ph: (02) 4351 4555.

Then at 15 came the The Tasmanian Chocolate Studio (Bistro/Cafe). Contact details 1 - 3 Cuisine Lane, Launceston, TAS 725. Ph: (03) 6334 7878.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Regional Australia - climate and weather

Australia's size makes for considerable variation in climate and weather across the country. All Australians know this, but our knowledge is often limited to the headlines associated with weather extremes.

To help myself better understand these variations, I am creating a new climate weather tag to draw together posts in this area.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

New Country NSW web site

I see that Peter Bailey and the team from Country Week have put up a new web site intended to help those wishing to relocate to Regional NSW.

On the surface, the site looks good and I wish them well.