Sunday 29 January 2012


In another new thing for me, I'm featuring in a series of advertisements for Australia - or at least my words are. The urgent but nice little earner that kept me anchored to the sofa for two whole days right before Christmas, writing 150-word blurbs for various Aussie experiences, has gone live on Stuff, and of the 20-odd paragraphs in the first batch (of which 13 are mine) they've chosen my Freycinet one to feature in full-page ads in Fairfax papers. So there I was, not just quoted, but referred to, not once but in three different sections of the Sunday Star-Times. What glory!

Except that of course it's not really the words that swung the decision, but the image they could run with them - and there's no beating that view of Wineglass Bay from the top of the rocks. It's a stunner. I was there in 2003 with the Firstborn, on my first proper travel assignment, set up by Tourism Tasmania after an experiment in chutzpah by me that worked like a dream ("I'm a travel writer. Here's a copy of my latest published story" - true, but also, at the time, actually my only published travel story).

They sent us to Hobart and thence on a 10-day self-drive circuit via Port Arthur and Freycinet, up the east coast and over to Launceston, and then back down the middle. There was much good eating (the FB still speaks wistfully of the day that included a chocolate factory, cheesemaker's and raspberry farm), lots of exotic animals, not all of them flat on the road (though one poor wallaby that was, was down to me alas), terrific rocks, burn-offs, convicts, pretty stone bridges and mills, tall trees, a chairlift across a wide gorge, prayer flags on a mountain top, crafts and opium (poppies, that is: Tasmania supplies 40% of the world's morphine). It was a fabulous trip and we had a great time, so waxing enthusiastic for the ads was a doddle.

This first batch is the Coastal theme: still to come are Journeys, Nature, Festivals and Food & Drink. Watch, as they say, this space...

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