Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

Australia zoo

People all over the world are familiar with the antics and adventures of the late Steve Irwin known as “The Crocodile Hunter.” However far fewer know that the Australia Zoo grew from humble beginnings and flourished under the guidance of Steve and his wife Terri beginning in the early 1990’s.

The Australia Zoo grew out of the 4-acre Beerwah Reptile Park which was started by Bob and Lyn Irwin back in 1970 on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast. Bob Irwin was a well-known herpetologist and Lyn was one of the first Australian’s dedicated to rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife in that state. The reptile park was renamed the Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park after steady growth between 1970 and 1980 and an additional 4 acres were added to accommodate new animal facilities. In the years that followed, Bob and Lyn Irwin were capturing and relocating crocodiles in concert with Queensland’s Park and Wildlife Service. Those animals that were unsuitable for return to their wild environments were given new homes at the Irwin’s park.

Steve and Teri Irwin were successful at dramatically enhancing the parks’ popularity thanks mainly to Steve’s fame as The Crocodile Hunter and associated TV productions which were viewed extensively in Australia, the United States and elsewhere. In 1988, the park was officially renamed The Australia Zoo and has since added numerous other animal residents including a big cat display called Tiger Temple, Bird of Prey aviaries, a 1,500-seat two-story open air food court, a Rainforest, Wetlands for Wombats and a Safari transport to carry zoo visitors between these areas. There is also, of course, a unique crocodile area called Animal Planet Crocoseum.

Since the turn of the century, the Australia Zoo has set about still further growth and plans are underway to add the world’s largest Gorilla exhibit to be called “Madagascar Island”, elephants an alligator boat ride exhibit and a unique display of African wildlife and culture. The zoo now encompasses more than 60 acres of exhibits and attractions.

While the Australia Zoo has lost much with the untimely death of Steve Irwin in 2006, his Wife Teri and daughter Bindi have taken over to continue Steve’s documentaries. The zoo is truly unusual in that it features not only animals to see, but a series of exciting wildlife shows too. It now displays more than 1,000 animals that visitors can become ‘up close and personal’ with. It also has a website on the internet to keep people informed about a series of special events and attractions.


October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Australian weather

While it is certainly true that major portions of the Australian continent’s 2.9 million square miles is semi-arid desert, there are areas that have a completely different climate. The greatest portion of the land mass, in the center of the continent is commonly referred to as The Outback, is mostly dry with little if any flowing water and features flora and fauna found mainly in desert areas. However, there are exceptions. In the southeast and southwest sections of the continent, the climate is temperate. This is also where most of the population resides. The northern sections are different yet again and feature a tropical climate complete with rainforest, grasslands and swamps and mangrove swamps. There are also one or two locations with mountains of sufficient elevation to have enough winter snows to permit some limited skiing and snowboarding activities to take place.

Since weather and climate are essentially a matched pair, most of Australia’s interior is hot, dry and has little if any annual rainfall. Nevertheless, Australia is large enough to have a significant variation in weather in different sections of the continent.

In the northern tropical area, there is a wet season of about six months duration between December and March. It feels hotter than the dry season, with temperatures ranging between 30 and 50 degrees Celsius, due mostly to the high humidity from all the water in the air. There is so much rain in the wet season, that flooding is not unusual. The dry season of fall and winter also lasts about six months between May and October. Temperatures average around 20 degrees Celsius, skies are clear and the air is dry. The most difficult time in the tropical region occurs between the others and is called ‘The Build Up’. This the time when the humidity and temperature make it extremely uncomfortable and people are anxiously awaiting the rains to start.

The dry and desert parts of Australia are easily characterized by intense heat in the day and intense cold at night. Most of this area is constantly in a state of drought. The temperate regions where most people live are on the southeastern coast including most of Victoria and New South Wales. Here, we find changeable weather. Temperatures vary between 30 degrees Celsius in summer to 15 degrees in cold winter months. The winter months may be cold, wet and windy, but are quite mild compared to many European countries.

Snow is not common in Australia but does occur along the Great Dividing Range between New South Wales and Victoria to the delight of skiers. His continent’s diverse weather is as unique as anything else about it.


October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Australian car insurance quotes

The cost of insuring a vehicle in Australia follows precisely the same formula when one asks for a quote as it does in America. However, when all is said and done, the motorist will end up with a premium cost that is considerably less than U.S. rates. Some of this savings originates from the price differential between U.S. dollars and Australian dollars, but even with this taken into consideration, the bottom-line price is less.

The insurance quotation follows a familiar step-by-step series of questions about both car and driver. It typically goes like this: Start date for policy; where is vehicle parked overnight (postcode, suburb, state); type of garaging; driver’s date of birth, gender; years since last claim; year Australian license obtained and type of vehicle (year, make, model, transmission type). Step 2 is a series of questions including: vehicle accessories; type of financing; installed security devices; private or business use; any No Claim Bonus (NCB) and whether or not you want restricted driver coverage or rental car coverage following an accident.

Once this information is provided, either personally or online, the quote follows. In a typical example, a quote was requested for a 2000 Volvo C70 for a car garaged in Lower Belford township in New South Wales. The comprehensive coverage features purchased included legal costs, towing, a rental car after an accident, trailer and caravan cover, emergency repairs, transportation costs, re-keying and re-coding and coverage for personal effects inside the vehicle. Claims on his policy also provided $900 for an undeclared driver, $600 for an inexperienced driver and $500 for a driver older than 75 years. Standard liability coverage. Property damage, medical coverage and theft coverage applied. The final quote came to $854.85 annually or $71.24/month AUD.

A policy with very-similar coverage in Los Angeles, California, for example would run somewhere between $1,250 and $1975.00/year USD. Even with the difference due to monetary exchange rate considered, the Australian coverage represents a significant annual savings.Australian insurance quotes from three other agencies showed little difference in the bottom-line annual cost for coverage.

Quotations for automobile insurance coverage in Australia can readily be obtained online
from numerous providers and agents. It is necessary to know where in Australia you will be living including the 4-digit postcode for that location and to have an Australian drivers license to receive coverage. A quote, however, can be obtained prior to leaving for Australia if one states that they have an Australian license on the application. This will give you a ballpark idea of what to expect when you finally arrive in the country.


October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 1 Comment

Australian tours

There seems very little doubt that Australia is home to many exciting tours for worldwide visitors. The natural diversity of the landscape, climatic differences and abundant scenic vistas assure this. So does the warmth and friendliness of the country’s ethnically-mixed citizenry and culture. This is the tourist destination that many people want to return to again and again

Australia maintains an internet website, dedicated expressly to detailing the many different and diverse tour possibilities that are available.

In general, Australia is a continent and a country which is quite apart from other places. It is the location of the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef and a well-known attraction in and of itself. The country is famous for its crystal clear waters, unique plants and animals, extinct volcanoes, wilderness areas, scenic mountain chains, extensive coastlines, tropical islands, wide rivers and the globe’s oldest rain forest.

New South Wales is ideal for outdoor sports and contains the populated eastern coasts. It is the site of Australia’s biggest city, Sydney and has mountain ranges containing both Eucalyptus forests and alpine forests on high peaks. It is paradise for climbers, hikers and backpackers and has snowy mountains for ski enthusiasts in the winter months.

The Northern Territory is well-known for its Outback, indigenous culture, wetlands and daunting adventure-travel. It is very sparsely populated.

Queensland contains the Great Barrier Reef and virtually endless scenic seashores and remarkable rock formations. It has long been considered one of Australia’s best tourist destinations. It has distinct seasons and weather patterns plus lots of sunshine year round. There are tropical cyclones during the rainy season.

South Australia is the country’s desert-like area with drinking water, forests and shelter hard to come by. It does, however, feature craggy mountain ranges that can challenge climbers, hikers and cyclists. It also features the huge Murray River which is a favorite spot for both kayakers and canoeists.

Tasmania, with its bleak weather, is nonetheless very attractive to the adventure-minded visitor. This offshore island features wild rivers popular with rafters, sheer cliffs for climbers, caves for exploration and sheltered coves ideal for ocean kayaking. It also has extensive, marked trails to facilitate exploration and many tourist and guide services.

Victoria is a state with very diverse terrain where the Great Dividing Range provides a mecca for climbers, hikers, backpackers and snowy area for skiiers in winter.

Western Australia is another sparsely-populated state containing another large and modern city, Perth. It features many rivers, caves and mountains but they are generally separated by wide expanses of Outback hat is extremely hot in the summer months. This state is a paradise for river runners, hikers, backpackers and walkers alike. Owns along the seacoast contain many good eateries and accommodations but these are few and far between in the interior areas.

Any Australian state you choose for a vacation adventure will certainly not disappoint you.


October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

Trading post australia

Australia’s Trading Post Group Pty Ltd (TPG) is the country’s leading publisher and internet classified advertising business in the country. It was recently acquired by Sensis, another large company that publishes the country’s Yellow Pages and White Pages directories. TPG has publications in every category and geographic region with the two oldest dating back to 1966 and 1968, respectively. TPG keeps it’s primary attention on their generalist Trading Post paid advertising/paid circulation publications. Their Melbourne Trading Post and Personal Trading Post editions offer users pay-on-sale advertising which sets them apart from standard newspapers. They also publish numerous publications for specific market niches.

TPGs strength has historically been in it’s offline publications. However, as the internet continues it’s growth as a business generator, the company has duplicated their successful and widespread offline products as internet vehicles as well. They now offer five online publications which have been very successful as Australia’s number one online classified site. TPG began it’s internet site Melbourne Trading in 1996. Their online classified content comes from business print databases where advertisers can list their products for sale online. It was so successful that TPG launched their second online service, Personal Trading Post in 1968 and it has also developed into a major site and renenue producer.

TPGs rapid growth has come as the result of continuing product enhancement, new publications and penetration of new geographical areas with new catgeory websites. An annual growth of 15-20% is anticipated in future years as his program of expansion continues throughout Australia. People all over the country are rapidly discovering that ads in Trading Post publications are highly effective in selling their offerings.

By acquiring TPG, Sensis offers the company significant value to help it continue growing as Australia’s online classified market leader. As the country’s leading information resource, Sensis’ popular products help Australians, find, buy and sell their offerings. In addition to their well-known Yellow and White Pages directories, they publish other publications including Trading Posts, City Search, UBD, Gregorys and Where is. Advertising services are currently provided o more than 420,000 Australian buisnesses. Thus, the new combination of Trading Post Group and Sensis represents a very-good mix of related products for a growing business ansd consumer population in Australia.

October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 5 Comments

Sydney australia


Sydney is the largest city in the Australian state of New South Wales. It has a resident population of approximately 180,000 culturally diverse citizens, a strong economy and a large number of ‘must see’ sites that attract more than 2.5 million visitors annually. Sydney is also a “young city” with half of its residents between 20 and 40 years of age, 30% of which speak some language other than English. The City of Sydney Local Government Area (LGA) occupies about 26 square kilometers which includes the central business district, Millers Point, Ultimo, the Rocks, Surry Hills, Woolloomooloo, Kings Cross, Elizabeth Bay, Darlinghurst, Camperdown and others. The former city of South Sydney has been merged with Sydney proper and is comprised of still other suburban areas.

Sydney has an excellent climate that boasts an average of seven hours of sunshine for seven hours each day. Average winter temperatures range between 9 and 16 degrees Celsius while summer temperatures are between 16 and 26 degrees. The rainy season occurs between March and May and produces about 1183 mm of rainfall annually.

The strong economy of Sydney which generated better than $63 billion dollars in revenue between 2003 and 2004 alone, produces a strong employment base with some of the best annual earnings of any city in the Asia-Pacific sphere. Unemployment is low and job opportunities are generally plentiful. It is also a prime education center for this part of Australia with one quarter of all city residents attending an educational institution. More than 18,000 residents attend either a TAFE or University and 9,000 or more do so an a full-time basis.

Sydeny has a very-diverse ethnic mix with almost 50% of its residents having been born overseas. Native languages spoken at home include Chinese, Russian, Greek, and Indonesian. The city itself has fewer teenagers, children and elderly than those who live in the suburban metropolitan areas. It’s also interesting to note that better than 50% of all city residents over fifteen years old have never married, so there is an obviously large population of singles compared to comparably-sized cities.

Economically, the average median yearly income of Sydney’s workforce is $860 per week or more than $44,000 per year. This is one key factor that underlies the area’s strong economy. On any given workday, there are more than 345,000 employed in the workforce, one-third of which can be classed as professionals and another 27% as managers or associate professionals.

Finally, Sydney is one of the most visited tourist destinations in this part of the world, with visitors arriving annually from every corner of the globe. This is due not only to the many well-promoted sights to see, but also by the ready availability of hotels, transportation, fine restaurants and entertainment combined with excellent prices.


October 29, 2007 Posted by | Blogroll | 12 Comments