Saturday, November 07, 2009

Oz, land of extremes

Over the years I've often told visitors who ask about the weather, what to wear, what to look out for, that Australia is a land of extremes.

Partly the weather is different in different parts of the country due to it being a hell of a long way from north to south. The far north is way up towards the equator so is wet tropics while the far south has nothing but water between it and Antarctica.

But it's not only that, we really do get extremes at the same time in roughly the same area.

When we went back in February for a couple of weeks we flew into Sydney and then drove north into Queensland to the Sunshine Coast just north of Brisbane.

I couldn't finalise the trip until a couple of days before we were ready to go because the area we'd be driving through had floods and bushfires.

See what I mean about extremes.

By the time we were ready to set off the fires were under control. We were planning to visit friends living in Bellingen, pop 3,000, who were cut off by floodwater but fortunately the access roads became passable the day before we arrived.

The prompt for this post is that in today's Aussie papers there's news that the same areas of the mid-north coast have again been declared natural disaster zones because of flooding.

Bellingen is isolated again by floods. The Bellinger River peaked at 7.2 metres so it broke its banks, brought bridges down, cut roads.

Why do people live in such areas?

It's beautiful country:


The town had 351mm of rain in the 48 hours to early this morning - over a foot in the old money.

The access roads look like this:

Photo: Nerrida Johnson. ABC

At the same time the Rural Fire Service in NSW is listing fourteen bush and grass fires on its current Incidents List.


Adriana said...

What part of Australia are you from? I've only recently started reading along with your blog, and enjoying it!

I'm originally from rural Australia, I can always remember getting sent home early from school during flood weather, and getting 'flooded in' at home.

Seabee said...

Thanks Adriana. Our home is Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast.

Adriana said...

Oh how beautiful, I've never been but I'm aware of the area. I'm originally from Mullumbimby, the small inland town from Byron Bay

Seabee said...

Never stopped overnight but we've driven through Mullumbimby on trips north.

If you hit my 'Australia' label you'll find some pics of Terrigal which I've posted every so often...