A short geography lesson! And a knitting lesson.

I tend to forget that people may have only a vague idea of Australia in general, and my state (Queensland), in particular. Those of you who do know all this stuff can go and have some coffee, tea or whatever, until my next post. However, I do have two photos at the end, if you want to scroll down.

She’s a big country, mate! In fact, at 7 659 861 square kilometers, it’s the 6th largest country. (How DO they measure all those little squiggles?) And, don’t forget, it’s also a continent. Oh, and as this image points out, an island. (We’ve also got an island that’s a state … Tasmania, home of the Tasmanian Devil.) We don’t really boast a dense population as we have only roughly 23,ooo,ooo folks, and we tend to cling to the outer edges of the country, much as a girdle clings to a plump lady!

The reason I started this long-winded yarn is because I had flown down to our state capitol, Brisbane for the week-end. Someone asked how I got there, how far was it, how long did it take, and so on.

So, here’s how my jaunt went. I drove from my home in Atherton to Cairns. This is about 90 km (about 55 miles). It takes about an hour or so, and the last bit is through a nail-biting (but don’t take your hands off the wheel), thrill seeking, no over-taking stretch of sadistic highway, with curve following curve, somewhat like an old-fashioned beauty contest, without the pretty women! This stretch of curvaceous highway is made much more exciting when it’s slippery from the rain, which it definitely was, on the day I drove down.

Then, it’s onto an airplane for the flight to Brisbane, which is roughly 1500 air miles (930 miles) from Cairns. If you chose to drive, you’d be looking at 1700 km (1055 miles).

It’s about 1500 kilometers, by air, from Cairns to Brisbane

Now, the other reason I wanted to tell you this stuff, was to be able to work these photos into the post. To get from my hotel in South Brisbane, to the airport, I caught the Airtrain. At one of the stops, I was totally charmed by a lady sitting waiting for another train, at one of the stops. She was a little knitting machine, very relaxed, watching the to and fro of commuters, never once glancing at her work. I apologise for the quality of the photos, the windows of the carriage were very scratched.

I covet her hat!


Filed under Australia

23 responses to “A short geography lesson! And a knitting lesson.

  1. I always admire people who can sit and knit without looking. How do they do that?

    We’ve found when we travel overseas we often have to explain how big Australia really is. Once an English friend, who was coming to Australia for a holiday, said to us that she would be based in Sydney and was thinking she might drive to our town in Queensland for a day trip. She changed her mind when we said it would take her more than a day just to get to where we live, and came on a plane instead.


  2. Hi, Jan

    I must find out more about World Wide Knitting in Public week, that sounds like fun! And, when I enlarged the photo, I think you’re correct about the circular needles. Oh, my knitting fingers are getting itchy. Cheers, Jan.


  3. jan pag

    Hi Yvonne, thanks for the map and info – I knew how big Q/land was but had forgotten how far south Perth is in W/Aus. I once attended a meeting and training course in Brisbane and at the last meal people were telling me how far their flights were and I was comparing them to flights in Europe – I think Brisbane to Perth was similar to Britain – New York an people did it regularly. Brisbane to Tassie I think was similar to Heathrow – Greece!
    Regarding the knitting – as an avid knitter about to take part in World Wide Knitting in Public week I think the owner of the lovely felted hat was knitting on circular needles. I would live to know what she was doing.


  4. Other Yvonne

    I never thought about how big Australia actually is. I too assumed you would be close to Brisbane… about as close as I am to Vancouver. I quess I was too busy watching Tom in Quigley Down Under to notice 🙂
    Have you got around to seeing most of it Yvonne? I’m ashamed to admit it, but I still haven’t made it to Nova Scotia etc! I blame it on Venice, thankfully.


    • Good evening, Yvonne. Yes, I’ve been around to most of it, and did enjoy that opportunity. Tasmania would rank as my favourite state, with lots of water, greenery and even snow in the mountains in the winter.

      Like you, I’ve never been to eastern Canada (aside from Montreal), and it does look like a part worth visiting.


  5. Thank You Yvonne, I had no idea how big Australia was. The map showing most of Europe fitting nicely, certainly gave it a good perspective.
    The hat is great!! Would love to find one for next winter.


    • Hi, Suzzanna. Yes, that is a great link that Melissa provided.

      And, I loved that hat, too, and her choice of colours. She looked like someone I’d like to get to know.


  6. Caroline

    I like her colour sense too!

    I really learned something from your geography lesson, Yvonne – since I know you live in Queensland, I’m afraid I’d previously have thought of you as being quite near Brisbane! Gosh, so just your flight is 2.5 times as far as Edinburgh-London – how long does it take, about 2-2.5 hours? It sounds like the whole journey is maybe the equivalent of travelling from somewhere like rural Perthshire to Venice? I’m afraid we Brits tend to forget how small our country is, as most of it is so crowded and the roads are so slow.


    • You can thank Barb for asking how I got to Brisbane, which woke me to the fact that I’d better do a little explanation. West Australia (W.A.)is even bigger than Queensland, and for the readers from the USA, W.A. is 3.5 times larger than Texas.

      Yes, the flight time is what you thought; it depends on the type of plane they’re using.


  7. Joanne Hoefer

    If they really want some fun try your drive when your use to driving in US. And if they want to judge some distance try the trip we did from Alice Springs to Perth driving……………….but worth every second even the road trains


    • Joanne, you surely were well initiated into the great distances in Australia, with not much to look at for a lot of that time! But, what an experience you had.


  8. Brian

    I didn’t realize that it was that far from Cairns to Brisbane! That driving distance (put into perspective for me in the U.S.) is about the same as driving from Washington, DC to Kansas City. That’s not terribly far from halfway across to San Francisco. You learn something new every day, huh?


  9. Thanks for the geography lesson. It is nice to visualize the various places that are mentioned in your blog.


  10. MaryK

    I needed both that impressive hat and whatever she was knitting today. Freezing, piercing wind and driving rain all day…….. and another day of it forecast for tomorrow. Well it is winter and I am located (on you map) just south of the ‘V’ in Victoria on the Southern Ocean so I shouldn’t really be surprised!
    Loved the map – particularly the scale of the wombat & koala compared to the kangaroo!


    • Good morning, Mary. Maybe I’ll stop moaning about the weather up here in Atherton, after hearing about yours. Brrr.

      And, now I know exactly where to picture you, huddled by an open fire, or a gas heater, or …


  11. Thanks Yvonne. I love the geography lesson. I’m sure she made that hat. It looks like it was a felted one. The Lady reminded me of Miss Marple. LOL…


  12. Thank you for asking the questions, Barb! (You’re up early.)

    I was on the far side of the carriage, and would have loved to lean out the window for a better look, and a few questions. It looked like one of those felted ones. I’ll bet she did it! She reminded me of the photos of flappers, back before our time.


  13. Barb

    Thank you, Yvonne. That was good information for those of us who have not been fortunate enough to visit your part of the world and whose last geography lesson about Australia took place well over 60 years ago! Now when I say “Yvonne in Australia”, I know exactly where you are.

    I also loved the hat! Do you think she may have made it for herself?


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