Panorama of Reid Street in Wilcannia, New South Wales, Australia. Impressive historic buildings may be the last thing travellers expect in this remote part of Australia but Wilcannia had once a population of 3,000 people.
Wilcannia is over 700 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, over 800 kilometres north of Melbourne and over 900 kilometres west of Sydney.
Situated on the Darling River, Wilcannia was the 3rd largest river port in Australia during the 1880s. Most of the wool from north-western New South Wales passed through this town during the riverboat area.
Aboriginal people lived in this region for 40,000 years before European settlement and continue to live in the area after European settlement started to decline when riverboats were replaced by railway and road transport. In recent years the decline of the town appears to have slightly reversed and a newly opened courthouse cafe with a small gallery for local aboriginal art invites travellers to stop and take in the outback atmosphere on the Darling River.
There are no kangaroos in Austria. We're talking about Australia, the world's smallest continent. That being cleared up, let's dive right in! Australia is a sovereign state under the Commonwealth of Nations, which is in turn overseen by Queen Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth. The continent was first sighted and charted by the Dutch in 1606. Captain James Cook of Britain came along in the next century to claim it for Britain and name it "New South Wales." Shortly thereafter it was declared to be a penal colony full of nothing but criminals and convicts, giving it the crap reputation you may have heard at your last cocktail party. This rumor ignores 40,000 years of pre-European human history, especially the Aboriginal concept of Dreamtime, an interesting explanation of physical and spiritual reality. The two biggest cities in Australia are Sydney and Melbourne. Sydney is more for business, Melbourne for arts. But that's painting in very broad strokes. Take a whirl around the panoramas to see for yourself! Text by Steve Smith.