Land Down Under

Sunset over the billabong
Sunset over the billabong

You can tell a lot about a person by the screensaver or desktop wallpaper on their computer. My screen usually has photos of places I’ve visited — tall mountains, tiny villages or white-sand beaches. But for the last few months, I’ve chosen to look at this photo from Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, a region so remote that it can only be reached by bush plane.

I was on an Outback safari the evening I took that photo. Our guide, Max Davidson, had taken our small group boating on the water lily-covered billabong. Crocs eyed us as we floated past, wallabies jumped along the river banks and flocks of birds soared over the waterways, their cries filling the quiet evening. As the sun started to sink below the horizon, we stopped the boat and broke out Australian wines and plates of cheese, waiting for nature’s daily show to begin.

It doesn’t get much better than that — coasting across the water, enjoying good food and company and watching the sky paint dramatic yellows and pinks across the horizon. Such times are a reminder of the peace and serenity that still exists in the world today, regardless of what the headlines say.

Australia is full of special places like this. In our in-depth section this month, Go World Travel Magazine celebrates the Land of Oz, home to some 20 million people and some of the most curious-looking animals on earth. With its unique landscape, outstanding cities and friendly people, this great southern land is one of my favorite places — and it has plenty to offer travelers.

Melbourne resident Celia Jones introduces us to her adopted hometown, known for its exceptional arts and culture, while Aussie Dave Underwood takes us touring around Tasmania. And don’t miss our first online radio feature, The Real Outback, filed from the far reaches of Australia’s Northern Territory.

From there, Gilly Pickup takes us to Scotland’s Shetland Islands and Margie Goldsmith discovers all that she missed while in Jordon. And in this month’s “Fascinating People” column, British writer Colin Miller introduces David Mitchell, a professional “Town Crier” in the English City of Chester.

We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of Go World Travel. Maybe it will even inspire you to head Down Under yourself.

Happy travels!

Janna Graber