And now for the Itinerary you’ve been waiting for......
The Apocalypse Tour for Cashed –Up
Climate Change Deniers
See Bleaching Reefs, Creeping Desserts, Experience Extreme Weather, Cradle Orphan Animals, Go Shooting – Australia has it all
Experience the Tour of a Lifetime - everyone’s Lifetime.
Early Bird Special - free Deluxe P2 masks for the first 500 bookings!
Image by Herbert via Pixabay
I have often been asked to lead tours or suggest an itinerary for visitors to Australia, so here is a very special one for those who still think that (a) There is no climate change (b) That the earth is flat. (c) That the latest bushfires, heatwaves and erratic weather are a natural phenomenon or (d) They were caused by arsonists or the Greenies for not allowing us to burn off and log everything. There are after all no bushfires or dead animals when everything has been paved over. No food either, but that’s another story. For the rest of you, just come anyway. Australia is vast and there are still very beautiful places to visit. However, the places that have been burnt out need you the most, so come on down.
Tour guests may not fly here in their private jets or with commercial airlines, like they do at climate summits. If they don’t have their own luxury yacht, perhaps they could get together with a few friends and charter one or build a Kontiki -style raft - a great team -building exercise! That way, assuming you are leaving from your tax shelters in the Caymans, you can take in additional wonders of the modern world such the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the sinking villages of Kiribati while you still can and as you pass by New Zealand, do stop by and get a glimpse of the vanishing glaciers on its West Coast.
Where to stay – you will enjoy a variety of accommodation, from nights under the stars to emergency shelters set up for bushfire evacuees, rustic glamping amid the remains of luxury lodges in what used to be bushland, and any shelters you have been able to cobble together yourself from twisted corrugated iron, half -burnt fence posts and scrap fencing wire. There will be a prize for the most innovative design and winners will be featured on a popular Home and Garden show.
Most meals will be supplied -Real bush tucker made from the abundantly available barbecued wildlife, served with delicately smoke tainted wine or sautéed fruit bat with a side of freshly deconstructed roadkill from our highways, where animals are either seeking food after bushfires or fleeing from destruction of their remaining habitat by loggers
- We will begin our tour with a visit to one of the Natural Wonders of the World - The Great Barrier Reef. Here you will be able to see an eight thousand year old coral reef bleaching before your eyes as the oceans warm. The contrast will be even more dramatic if you have seen how beautiful the reef was before.
Photo Credit Jane Jenkins courtesy of Coral Reef Image Bank
- From there we will traverse through drought stricken farmlands and past empty dams to shake hands with embattled farmers who fear they have been forgotten in all the fuss about the fires. See how much water is still being granted to foreign nationals for mines, for cotton growing or for bottling, despite country towns being on water restrictions and having to truck in water. Some communities are having to buy water at inflated prices amid a whiff of corruption.
- Our next port of call will be the Gold Coast or any other region which is currently experiencing flooding. Feel the adrenalin rush as you race through flooded creeks in Zodiacs helping to rescue stranded people and stock without being washed away yourself. If you are lucky you may even have the thrill of encountering an unscheduled cyclone, a dust storm or golf ball sized hailstones. Severe storms are becoming more frequent and more erratic. Designer Hazmat suits will be supplied in areas where sewerage systems are overwhelmed by flood waters
- As we move inland, you will be able to try your hand at fishing in the stunted Murray-Darling River System– you won’t even need a rod – the fish are already dead and can be scooped up in nets without a struggle and you can also admire slowly dying ancient red gums. Marvel at the agreements in place which allow wealthy cotton farmers to take more than their share without prosecution while forcing downstream users off the land.
- From here we again travel overland - here's where the camels will come in handy. Explore 370,000 hectares of ruined farmland which has been affected by salinity due to irrigation and over -extraction of ground water. You may even be able to do some shooting, since feral camels are competing for the remaining feed and water. The more tender -hearted may prefer to do the side trip to Kangaroo Island and enjoy hand -feeding orphan animals and endangered wildlife amid the ruins of their sanctuary. Since we are now in South Australia the next must do on your list will be the wine trail through the Adelaide Hills to try the new ash varieties. With Ash cheeses taking off around the world I see no reason why this couldn't become a new export industry. Impress your friends and take some home today.
- Who doesn't love trains! The next leg of our journey will be via the Overlander to Melbourne. This will take 10 hours and thirty five minutes and only happens twice a week. We then take another train to Bairnsdale which takes around four hours. Fortunately, this train goes three times a day. From here we take a bus (hopefully electric, though I have yet to see any charging stations along this route) for the remaining 3 hour 30 min journey to Mallacoota. This will require a break of journey and an overnight stop in the community hall where you will be able to enjoy sharing facilities hundreds of people who have lost their homes and all their possessions.
- For the next and last stage of our journey, there are two options:
- If the fires are out, horse treks via the Snowy Mountains, --henceforth to be known as the Smoky Mountains, to Canberra, traversing through 60 million hectares of burnt out bushland. For the Gung -Ho hunters among you there may be even be a little shooting available here to stop wild horses (brumbies) competing with any remaining wildlife for the last bits of vegetation and inhibiting its regrowth. From Canberra -weather permitting – i.e. no hail storms, dust storms, electrical storms, soaring temperatures or choking smoke to ruin visibility and your lungs, our intrepid adventurers will be able to take a balloon flight to Sydney via the Black Mountains, formerly known as the Blue Mountains and then rejoin their yacht or craft.
- In the event that the fires are not out, you can listen to firelight stories on the beach while waiting to be evacuated by the armed forces. Then you will be taken on a scenic cruise up the East Coast past popular holiday spots such as Eden, Bateman’s Bay and Bermagui to say a cheery "Hi!" to people who are still waiting for relief packages and government assistance because they were silly enough to save themselves and their families instead of their paperwork and electricity bills when the fires raged through.
- Our Tour will conclude with a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony to cleanse the soul and purge you of evil spirits, but there will still be an opportunity to purchase some great souvenirs such as a couple of lumps of coal, our special two for the price of one camel offer, a box of genuine ash from our fires or two pillars of salt, but be quick, these offers can't last!
This picture is of Lake Hume in 2007 but it's the only one I can get under Creative Commons at short notice
Image by suburbanbloke -[CC-By-SA]
CORRECTION : About the Red Cross. I stand corrected re the amount retained for administration. However, according to Charity Watch Site The Good Cause, they are still ahead in terms of transparency and effectiveness. Let’s hope they do the right thing with the other 60 million which have not yet been given out. The world will be watching.