Copies of the Introduction to this exhibition and catalogues of previous exhibitions are available from the Rare Books Department
By David Dunstan
This exhibition is not about sex but tourism. But having got your attention can I tell you about a fanciful 1973 title How did sex begin? by Rudolf Brasch. In addition to his religious duties as a Rabbi in Ireland and Australia, the good Rabbi's wrote witty books about social practices and customs. His curious title pops up in my wandering mind whenever I ask my students ‘when did tourism begin?' – in a desperate attempt to elicit that most elusive but beneficial academic thing, tutorial discussion.
Well, when did it? Our explorers, traders, immigrants, convicts, commercial conquistadors, diggers (despite being dubbed ‘six bob a day tourists') and other such purpose and filthy-lucre driven travellers were not exactly tourists. Tourism implies a degree of leisure, wealth and even indulgence more characteristic of our times, perhaps of modernity itself. Jim Davidson and Peter Spearritt in their recently published Holiday Business (Melbourne University Press, 2000) chart tourism's course in Australia from 1870 but and even they admit that is going back a long way. Mass tourism from other parts of the world seems to have only really come about in a big way over the past two or three decades, presided over by a jolly larrikin whose sometime honest work painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge is itself a reflection of an altogether older and more remote Australia. Tourism was once an industry on the edge of things. Only in comparatively recent times that we see it full-blown, contributing massively to the economy and absorbing a large share of Australians creative and working energies, and their leisure time.
But there are interesting things to examine in the distant past. Early governor's families making for ‘hill stations' in the hot summer months, for example, and linking a fledgling industry's growth to developments in sea, railway and, finally, air transport (as Davidson and Spearritt do). This exhibition shows that mass tourism in Australia has its antecedents. Just as in other contexts we see that Thomas Cook's middle-class English ‘excursionists' followed in the footsteps of those well-to-do young men on the loose in Europe a century or so before on ‘the Grand Tour.' Or, consider those pilgrims of medieval times who, with their less spiritual requirements, spawned taverns and other less salubrious hostelries on the holy ways.
Always in Colonial Australia there were travellers with time to write and reflect on the scenery and the people. Many of them were women. Australia's cities, remote parts and spectacular scenic attractions, even if they did not at first attract great numbers of well-heeled and leisured travellers inspired image-makers. Long before the likes of world famous latter-day travel writers like Bill Bryson saw fit to visit and write about these parts we had Anthony Trollope, George Augustus Sala and Mark Twain, and many lesser names. We had our amateur writers and hacks, too, like the twentieth century writers E.J. Brady and Frank Clune who pandered to myths like ‘the real Australia and the outback' as they reconstructed them for a popular audience.
Image making has always been a part of the culture of tourism and it is interesting to see how often it precedes the fact. The illustrated magazine Walkabout sponsored by the Australian National Travel Association (ANTA) in 1934 for nearly fifty years gave Australian writers the opportunity to write about Australian subjects and Australian places, and get paid for it: Ernestine Hill, Charmian Clift, George Farwell, Robin Boyd and Keith Dunstan were but a few of its name writers – there were always copies of Walkabout lying around the Dunstan home describing the emerging cultural landscapes of our nation and our take-off tourist destinations.
Then there were the brilliant poster artists. Percy Trompf, James Northfield and the architecturally trained Gert Sellheim were but three who produced striking and evocative travel posters from the 1920s and 30s, many of them sponsored by ANTA. Professor Peter Spearritt, a great enthusiast of these images, has described how Trompf and Northfield's posters celebrated technology in the form of the railway and the aeroplane, how Australian distance had seemingly been conquered in their graphic images while, at the same time, using Aboriginal figures to denote tradition alongside these harbingers of progress in an ancient land. Sadly, poster design declined in the 1960s. Magazine editors and travel firms began to use cheaper photographic images rather than specially commissioned illustrations and the formerly ‘graphic covers' of the Australian Women's Weekly gave way to ‘photographs of cats, corgis and the Queen.' Walkabout has since given way to Holiday, Lonely Planet guides and Gourmet Traveller but have the tricks of the trade really changed?
From the start Australia, a land of curiosities, seemed to be terrain made for the traveller writer, photographer, or, for that matter, the e-zine fiend. Its vast expanses, strange animals, impenetrable forests, blue tinted seas, bright beaches and extremes of climate have proven alluring but so too have its sprawling cities and sometimes strange human settings and people preoccupied the image-makers as well. These days a potential tourist to Australia is just as likely to be confronted with images of a flesh-filled beach, catwalk parade or restaurant or street festival scene as the outback or its remote communities. Fashion rules and we can reflect on those images that have endured and those that have slipped from favour. As for that once hardy standard, a drover and his flock of sheep, forget it!
Monash University's Rare Books collection and its curator Richard Overell and his staff deserve to be congratulated for giving us this hindsight and for developing and presenting this exhibition. From the perspective of university teachers and researchers of tourism, we can say also that the point of such collections is not only to help us better understand when such things as sex and tourism began but also to help us make sense of the passing show.
Dr David Dunstan is a Senior Lecturer with the National Centre for Australian Studies. The Centre pioneered the study of Tourism at Monash in 1990. The Master of Tourism program offered by the National Centre is one of Australia's longest running and most successful postgraduate programs in Tourism.
The items on display, ranging from the mid-nineteenth century to the 1980s, are indicative of the material on tourism held in the Monash University Library Rare Book Collection.
For the purposes of this exhibition "tourist" is taken to refer to a person who visits a country for pleasure, views the sights, and returns home.
The early accounts are included as eye-witness descriptions of the conditions faced by those who ventured to the Australian colonies in the mid-nineteenth century, before the country was specifically catering for tourism.
The best source of information on the topic is Holiday business : tourism in Australia since 1870 / Jim Davidson and Peter Spearritt. (Carlton, Vic. : The Miegunyah Press at Melbourne University Press, 2000) This has been constantly referred to in preparing the exhibition and catalogue; although any errors are of course my own.
C. McHenry was an Engineer in the Postmaster General's Department. These two photographic albums contain pictures of his holidays through the 1920s and 1930s. The destinations include Blackheath and the Jenolan Caves, in New South Wales, the Grampians, Melbourne, Yallourn, and Eildon, in Victoria. Being an engineer, there is a preponderance of shots of dams, reservoirs and power stations, but there are plenty of general holiday snaps.
The second half of the first album and the entire second album are devoted to his trips overseas, to England, and to North and South America.
We begin the printed accounts with an author who came to New South Wales, and eventually settled in Tasmania. In the two books by Mrs. Charles Meredith on display she was writing as an inter-colonial tourist.
Mrs. Meredith was already an established writer, having published several works under her maiden name, Louisa Anne Twamley. In 1839 she married her cousin, Charles Meredith from Van Diemen's Land. They sailed for the colonies in 1839, and stayed at first in Sydney. While there, Mrs. Meredith travelled around Sydney and the surrounding countryside. Most notably she crossed the Blue Mountains and visited Bathurst.
After undertaking a difficult climb, described in most uncomfortable detail, the party arrived at the other side of the Mountains reaching,
the Pass of Mount Victoria, by far the most grand and striking scene in this mountain region. As we approached it a huge barrier of rocks seemed to close up the onward path, till a sudden turn showed a gorge cut in them, through which we drove, with a high wall of crags on the right hand and the lofty summit of the mount towering up on the left. Another turn brought us out of the chasm, and in full view of a most grand and beautiful landscape. (p. 74)
Mrs. Meredith was, however, immediately reminded of the fact that New South Wales was still a penal colony,
A large gang of convicts were stationed here road-making, and several of them importuned us for money or tobacco, showing such truly villainous countenances that the idea of being way-laid by bush-rangers gained tenfold horror. (p. 75)
The Australian colonies were not yet adapted to the needs of the tourist.
In late 1840 the Merediths left Sydney for Tasmania where Charles became a Police Magistrate, and in the 1850s a member of Parliament. In 1860 they visited Victoria. Her book on this trip, Over the Straits, begins,
So many years in Australia, and we had never seen Melbourne! True we had talked of going there for a long time past. Each ensuing Spring we said, "We will go in the Autumn;" and as each Autumn came, and found our hands full of other affairs, we said, "Not now, but we really will go in the Spring; the country always looks greenest then. (p. 1-2)
They eventually set out in April, only to find that the Melbourne weather was very wet. They visited many of the typical Melbourne sights, including the Botanical Gardens, then in an early stage of its development.
Very delightful to my mind was the Melbourne Garden. One chief beauty was the absence of any hideous blank in a state of transition from the freedom of nature to the tutelage of art. So far as cultivation had been carried, all was neat and trim, replete with glorious forms of leaf and bloom. But where time or funds, or other causes, had not enabled the presiding genius to effect such transformation, the native bush shrubs and trees remained, amidst native grass and flowers, with merely winding pathways cleared among them, cool and shady. Even if a portion could always be left in this unsophisticated state, it would be a pleasing contrast to the finished and radiant borders. (p. 100)
The pleasure garden at Cremorne, Richmond, is also described.
On the opposite side of the Yarra, above the ferry [i.e. at Punt Road], is the Victorian "Cremorne," which my husband and little boy visited more than once; and the latter brought me marvellous accounts of the acrobats, dancers, jugglers, singing, music, variegated lamps, fireworks, and pyrotechnic tableaux there exhibited. An outside and daylight view of this scene of enchantment revealed only dim and sadly diminished glories. Some trellised bowers, and bird-cage structures in the trees, some white filagree pagodas and temples, looking as if they had walked off a wedding-cake and got magnified; and an ungainly fabric of canvas and scaffolding, the dull material foundation for magical illusions at night, were the chief objects visible. (p. 101-102)
It is a pity her husband and small son did not convince her to accompany them, at least once.
Mrs. Clacy arrived in Victoria within a year of the discovery of gold, and returned to England less than twelve months later. Not only did she write an account of her travels, but also published Lights and shadows of Australian life (1854), a book of short stories set in the colonies.
Her journey was enlivened by such incidents as the party being ambushed by bushrangers in the Black Forest while returning from the diggings.
Her descriptions of life at the diggings are quite vivid, focussing mostly on the uncomfortableness of the conditions. However, she describes the effect women can have,
In some tents the soft influence of our sex is pleasingly apparent; the tins are as bright as silver, there are sheets as well as blankets on the beds, and perhaps a clean counterpane, with the addition of a dry sack or piece of carpet on the ground; whilst a pet cockatoo, chained to a perch, makes noise enough to keep the "missus" from feeling lonely when the good man is at work. Sometimes a wife is at first rather a nuisance; women get scared and frightened, then cross, and commence a "blow up" with their husbands; but all their railing generally ends in their quietly settling down to this rough and primitive style of living, if not without a murmur, at least to all appearance with the determination to laugh and bear it. (p. 94)
There were many descriptions of Australia published during the gold rush period by those who visited, tried their luck and returned home. Finney Eldershaw tells us in his introduction that he was twenty-one when he decided to come to Australia. After his arrival he ventured into the bush and gives us a graphic description of his first night camping out. He was travelling with an experienced bushman, and an Aboriginal, Combo. They build a fire then Finney asks about food for dinner,
for I had left everything of course (like most new chums) to the absolute arrangement of my hardy friend.
"Food", said he, "what food do you expect? We have got nothing with us but tea and tobacco."
"No food!" I replied, gasping with painful amazement at the coolness of this serious announcement; good gracious what will become of us I thought, … "and Combo too? … What will he do?"
"Oh never fear for him; he'll cut out an opossum most likely for himself, or get a few grubs; and if you are hungry, I dare say he'll find something for you. But do as I do, take a pipe or a quid, and you won't feel hungry then." (p. 52)
Finney, however was a non-smoker and followed Combo into the bush. He watched him catch a couple of possums, a feat he describes in great detail.
We returned to the camp, and immediately initiated our preparations for supper by throwing the "game" upon the burning embers to singe and roast; this, I was informed, was the orthodox way of cooking these indigenous dainties; but oh! The horrible stench it created! I shall never forget it; my furious appetite already began considerably to abate, and by the time I had singed, cleansed, cooked and disposed of the first mouthful, it was quite gone. It struck me that I had never tasted anything half so filthy in the whole course of my existence. (p. 54)
He tells us that he came to like possum, but on that first night in the bush "I turned into my blankets supperless, and was in consequence proportionably hungry and sulky" (p. 55)
From all of these early accounts we can glean details of everyday life at the time.
Heywood went to the Victorian goldfields but arrived just as the focus of the rush was shifting. While travelling to Ballarat from Geelong with Cobb and Co., he noticed the coaches coming away from Ballarat, "literally crammed with men ‘rushing' to the New Zealand gold fields." (p. 47).
Heywood's account of his tour of the colonies is useful for the descriptions of hardships endured, for example, in coach travel between the towns. After leaving Ballarat he proceeded by coach further into the gold regions,
Our course lay along the mail-road to Castlemaine, which seemed to have experienced a great amount of traffic, as it was full of great holes. No one at home can imagine the jumping, rolling, and jerking of the coach along such a road, or the shouting of the driver to urge the horses through a hole. An English coach, and an ordinary driver, would be quite out of place in such travelling; but this unseemly van on leather springs, driven by a Yankee go-a-head, is quite in its element when it jerks over a large stone, or flounders through a deep hole, or runs along a sideling in imminent danger of upsetting. (p. 51)
Further on, after leaving Carisbrook, he writes,
We descended into a plain, where our track lay over a succession of parallel undulations. To such roads has been given the name of "Bay of Biscay", because they suggested the idea of solidified waves, and caused the coach to heave and pitch like a vessel steaming against a head-sea. (p. 55)
Of the celebrities who visited Australia in the nineteenth century Trollope is perhaps the best-remembered. He was a prolific and very successful novelist but he also made it his practice to travel the world and publish the accounts of his experiences. He went to North America, the West Indies, South Africa, and, in 1871 he came to Australia. He was accompanied by his wife, and they stayed twelve months before leaving to go to New Zealand. His book, Australia and New Zealand, was published in two volumes in 1873. The edition on display is the three-volume yellowback published in 1875.
Trollope was an indefatigable tourist, visiting many out-of–the-way places. For example, he crossed the range behind Walhalla on horseback to Woods Point, not a journey he recommended to a less hardy traveller.
His description of Melburnians and their habit of "blowing", i.e. their own trumpets, is well-known, as is his description of Melbourne,
The city, I have said, is magnificent, - and yet no street in it is finished. Even in Collins Street the houses stand in gaps. (p. 33)
Trollope was well-known for his love of hunting; most of his novels include a fox hunt; and as the illustration used on the covers of the yellowbacks on display show a hunting scene, I will extract for you Trollope's description of the sport. Because this section was not included in the yellowback edition, I will quote from the 1874 Melbourne edition, published in one volume by George Robertson. In Australia the sport was in hunting kangaroos.
I confess that in the absence of fox-hunting I enjoyed it very much. Four of us went out in Queensland with four kangaroo dogs amidst timber that was not thick and found game in plenty. … We found kangaroos in very large mobs, - on one occasion I should think some hundreds of them together. On such occasions a great deal of cross riding takes place before any united action could be effected. If possible a very large, or "old man" kangaroo should be cut out and followed. They are very stout in running, but not so fast as the does or young ones. If a young kangaroo gets the chance of falling ground in his favour, he bounds at every leap to such a distance that it is impossible to keep near him. It is of course known by all readers that the kangaroo runs, or rather jumps, with his hind legs only. When not molested his arms come near to the ground, but when pursued he carries them high, - and looks like some mixture of a man and deer springing through the forests. The pace in hunting then is always very quick, and it is necessary to turn with the greatest rapidity among the forest trees. Ten minutes or a quarter of an hour will generally see the end of a run. … The "old man" kangaroo when hard pressed will turn round and fight the hounds, - or fight the man who comes up to knock him over. And he fights with great power, inflicting terrible wounds with is fore paws.
In New South Wales I saw a kangaroo which we were hunting catch up a terrier in his arms, and carry the little animal in his embrace throughout the run. He was not, however, able to hurt the dog, who, when the affair was over, seemed to come quite undismayed out of his difficulty. …
In this hunting there is not much jumping; but what there is requires a very quick horse. The turns are rapid, and the ground is strewed by prostrate forest trunks. There is danger too of riding against trees. This on one occasion I did, with great force; and could not use my leg for six weeks after the accident. In default, however, of anything better, kangaroo hunting is good sport. (p. 527-528)
The other sport for which Australia was noted was fishing. William Senior, like Mrs. Meredith, furnishes us with an example of the inter-colonial tourist. He lived in Brisbane, but decided to visit Tasmania for the trout fishing.
As well as fishing for trout, our tourist also visited the Salmon Ponds. This is a fish breeding establishment on the Derwent at New Norfolk, which was part of the effort to introduce salmon into Tasmania. From the beginning it was firmly on the Tasmanian tourist's itinerary.
The salmon ponds are one of the institutions of Tasmania and visitors to Hobart Town are always recommended to take the journey to New Norfolk for the sake of the cradle home of the interesting salmon family. … Many ladies and gentlemen from the British Islands, America, and the continent, making a pleasure tour of the globe, and including Tasmania in their round of calls, have confessed that at these salmon ponds they have for the first time in their lives seen the mystery of fish hatching by artificial means. (p. 116-117)
Senior describes the visit in idyllic prose,
The gentleman upon whose property the salmon ponds are situated, when we arrive at his house, invites us to luncheon before inspecting the fish, and noticing my admiration of such a garden as I have not seen since leaving England, suggests a preliminary turn through it. We enter; refresh ourselves with raspberries, cherries, gooseberries; light a cigarette in an arbour covered with roses and honeysuckles; finish it under a wide-spreading walnut tree; inhale the odour of the herb borders; notice the asparagus, peas, sea-kale, and all the commoner vegetables; and behold how the owner can literally sit under his own vine and fig tree. Everything useful and pleasant to the eye seems to be grown in this garden, and the absence of any formal system in the disposition of the flowers, fruits, and vegetables, is its greatest charm. (p. 113)
He then proceeds to describe the hop-picking also taking place on the owner's property. Following the hops was already a tradition among itinerant workers and their families in Tasmania.
This very rare travel account is presented as a series of lithographs, like a comic book. It is in the tradition of the adventures of "Master Newchamp" or of "Mr. Bouncer and Verdant Green". The storyline centres on a newly arrived visitor and his perceptions of the antipodean customs. There is a sub-text to this publication, the criticism of Melbourne's water supply from the Yan Yean Reservoir.
The book is open at an illustration of "Professor Chunk's first night in Melbourne." The caption reads, in the mock "olde" English thought amusing at the time,
He putteth up at ye renowned, and celebrated "New-Chum Restaurant" and intimateth to ye cook next morning, that "ye proud owner of ye domicile, most certainly hath ye best part of a menagerie on ye premises!"
This refers to the vermin we see pestering the sleeping Professor in the illustration: rats, mosquitoes, and a giant cockroach.
Catherine Bond came to Australia and the East to accompany her husband who was travelling for business. They landed at Albany and spent six weeks in Perth and on the goldfields. Her descriptions of the primitive conditions, the uncomfortable journey to and from Kalgoorlie, the flies and the mosquitoes, as well as the bad food would have done little to encourage fellow visitors. However she is very complimentary towards the people, and the views of the countryside.
When they first arrived in Perth they were pleased with their hotel, the Metropole, "where we have good rooms". They then went sight-seeing,
After lunch we have a drive along the Swan River, which is wide and pretty. There are evidences of a great increase in the place, road-making, and building goes on in all directions. We stop at Osbourne, where there is a fine view of the river and the ocean, and order tea out on the verandah. But when it is brought to us it is so uninviting we leave it untouched. We drive in a wagonette and pair, and in some places the roads are deep in sand, so it is quite difficult for the horses to draw us. Bananas grow here in great quantities. It is very hot in summer, but just now cool and delicious.
We are late for dinner which is at 6 o'clock. The menu is the same as at luncheon, only cold, as we are late; and as the cooks are intoxicated, we can't get anything done, and have to fall back on sago pudding. The noise in the evening was terrible; the drinking bars are under our rooms; I think there are three, and they are kept open very late. (p. 16)
The commemorative works produced to promote Australia tend to play down the role of the convicts in our country's early history. However, Australia was seen then, as it is to some extent still seen now, as having an underlying taint of convictism. An example of this is to be found in Edwards's account of his trip to the colonies in the 1890s. Although it is written in the style of Jerome K. Jerome, and comes with Punch-like comic illustrations, the author is sometimes serious, as in his description of a sunset over Sydney Harbour,
How shall I describe a sunset in Sydney Harbour? It can't be described. To the majority of people a sunset means – especially in pictures – the sun actually setting. The orb is seen sinking apparently in the sea, and creating glowing and beautiful cloud effects, but in Sydney, and in fact in all Australia, it is not the cloud effects that strike you. The whole scene appears to present a wondrous opal sky, earth and sea all blending – a quiet, beautiful eye-soothing dream, that must be really seen, and I may say felt, to be understood. I have often thought that the criminals who were transported years ago to Botany Bay and Van Diemens's Land, many of whom perhaps had never seen much beyond the foulest East End London courts and alleys, must have fancied that they had been sent to heaven for their crimes. (p. 73)
Edwards toured the colonies with an acting troupe, "with music, song and story, pictorially illustrated." He tells us that, "At enormous expense I had become the possessor of the finest dissolving view apparatus in the world." (p. 18) The illustration of the front cover shows him in Fiji where the troupe performed on the way back to England. He is surrounded with the goods given by the Fijians in lieu of cash for admission to the show.
Archibald Marshall had an altogether more realistic understanding of the plight of the convicts. He visited Port Arthur. This penal settlement east of Hobart had ceased to be used as a prison in 1877 and by the 1890s had become a tourist attraction. By the time Marshall visited, the area had been devastated by bush fires and the ruins had a suitably gothic appearance.
We went into the silent cells – deep vaults of stone, where no sound penetrates and the pitchy darkness often sent men out of their minds. This was the "model prison," where even the solace of sky and shore was denied to its unhappy inmates, where chains were doubled in weight, flesh was scored and torn by cruel floggings, food denied, and where in the centre of iniquity was a chapel in which the worshippers were penned into strong boxes just big enough to hold a man and his fetters. (p. 226-7)
After the success of the Crystal Palace Exhibition in Britain in 1851, trade exhibitions became common around the world. Melbourne hosted the 1880-1881 International Exhibition, for which the Exhibition Building in the Carlton Gardens was constructed. This event attracted 1.3 million visitors.
On display is a de luxe gift book compiled by Garnet Walch and published in Melbourne by George Robertson. It describes the colony in glowing terms, and is lavishly illustrated with engravings. Picked put in gold blocking on the front cover, we see the new Exhibition Building, through a foliage of ivy and fern-trees, illuminated by the Southern Cross.
One chapter is entitled, "Holiday rambles". It begins,
A few hours journey from the bustling streets of Melbourne are many scenes, inviting alike to the tourist in search of the picturesque and the overworked man of business (p. 44)
Ferntree Gully, Phillip Island, Sorrento, Portsea, Queenscliff, Lorne are all covered, as is Woodend. The area around Woodend includes Mount Macedon, and also Hanging Rock.
The Hanging Rock at Mount Macedon is one of the most-frequented spots in the neighbourhood, and, on Boxing Day and New Year's Day in particular, is the locale of one of those scenes so characteristic of Australian life. Races and other sports are provided for excursionists, who flock to the rendezvous from all quarters, and indulge in much holiday merriment at the foot of the huge pinnacles of rock. (p. 52)
This appeared originally in forty-two parts, then in 1886 in three large folio volumes. It was a major publishing project, initiated by an American firm who brought their own engravers and artists to Australia. Many Australians were involved in the production however; Andrew Garran was the general editor and notable among the artists was Julian Rossi Ashton. The final book included "over eight hundred engravings on wood". As well as historical scenes of discovery, exploration and the early settlements, much of the work describes and illustrates contemporary Australia. Almost every corner of the country, as well as New Zealand, is shown. Modern maps are also included.
Volume 1 is open at the beginning of the chapter on Melbourne. We see Government House from the Botanical Gardens, and the beach at Queenscliff.
Willoughby's book is similar to the Picturesque Atlas but on a smaller scale. Each colony is represented and there is a chapter devoted to the Aborigines.
This publication appeared for the 1888 International Exhibition; like the 1880 exhibition, this was also held in the Melbourne Exhibition building.
Chapter 29 in volume one is a guided tour of inner-city Melbourne. Sutherland begins by admitting that the vista of Melbourne first seen by the traveller, either the "unpicturesque weatherboard that lie between Williamstown or Port Melbourne and the heart of the city", or "the black current of the Yarra, breathing the stench from the gas bubbles that burst on its surface after rising from foul decay at its filthy bed" (p. 542) is unfavourable, "but," he asks rhetorically, "are not all great cities so environed?"
Sutherland advises the visitor to arrive at night, "when darkness has lent a kindly veil to the dismal and the unlovely – and so he may wake in time for us to guide him, some bright spring morning, to see the streets of this our Melbourne." (p. 542)
Let us start with our guest and commence at the eastern end of Collins-street, from those broad stone steps over which the Treasury raises its massy front of ruddy-tinted freestone. The view from the summit of that flight of steps is one of impressive dignity. The wide street, its wood-paved roadway and its broad side-paths, with the handsome dwellings on either side, forms a vista that is broken by the softly-tinted shades of English trees in their spring attire. (p. 542)
He describes in passing Melbourne's cable trams, "There is no great traffic in this part of the street, and the neat little trams that glide with a swan-like motion have a spacious roadway almost to themselves. (p. 543)
Sutherland criss-crosses the central business district before venturing into the suburbs.
The volume is open at an illustration of an earlier Flinders Street station, before the erection of the grand building we know today, and an engraving of the Houses of Parliament complete with a dome, "Over all there will eventually rise a great cupola, springing from clusters of pillars." (p. 549) This still has not been added, although Jeff Kennett had intended to restart the project during his time as Premier.
Because Australia is at the antipodes, and a journey there was a serious and time-consuming matter, few bothered to visit before the gold-rushes began in 1851, but numerous guide-books were published for the benefit of those who made the journey in search of gold. Fairfax's Handbook to Australasia is one of these.
Because of the predominance of Victoria during the gold rush period much of the book is devoted to a description of that colony. Of Melbourne Fairfax writes,
Melbourne has been described as the southern city of the seven hills. There the likeness to ancient Rome ceases; for it is but the growth of a single generation, and therefore possesses no monuments of antiquity, or works of ancient art of which it can boast. (p. cxxvi)
He then lists the seven hills of Melbourne, and describes the grid pattern of the streets.
The town is divided into east and west by Elizabeth-street which is at the foot of the two principal hills upon which the city is built, and forms its main artery. This street is only about 22 feet above the level of the sea, and is often during heavy rains impassable to pedestrians, in consequence of the great flow of water from the high ground. Several proposals to provide a remedy have been made, but nothing has yet been effectually done. (p. cxxviii)
As can be seen from the latter extract, Fairfax's Handbook is more realistic than rosy in describing conditions in the colonies.
One of the virtues of the book is its "List of works on Australia" (p. 229-244) prepared at the Public Library, Melbourne, the first attempt to provide a bibliography of works on Australia.
Howard Smith was one of the prominent steam ship companies operating in Australian waters. Travel between the states was most conveniently undertaken by sea. The roads were long, dusty and uneven. Travel overland was still, in 1905, and for many years afterwards, extremely tiring.
This guide-book deals comprehensively with all the states, and includes many photographs and a great deal of information, both descriptive and informative, e.g. details of Sydney cab fares are listed (p. 117). The advertisements are also important. There is, for example a double page spread on Hans Irvine's Great Western Vineyard, featuring photographs of the underground storage vaults, as well as of the vineyard itself. The wines are praised for their "tonic restorative properties", and the "Sparkling Hock and Burgundy and "Special Reserve" Champagne" are singled out for mention. (p. 40-41)
The tourist who visits a country for medical reasons was a well-established type in the nineteenth-century. People suffering from consumption, or tuberculosis, were encouraged to visit warm, dry climates. Italy was a favourite destination. In the latter part if the century there was a body of thought among doctors that Australia could provide a suitable climate for those with this disease. Among his other duties, Dr. Samuel Dougan Bird was physician to the Immigrants Aid Society in Melbourne. He was a specialist on consumption and had made a study of the latest findings as to the effects of climate on the illness, so, for the times, his advice would have been authoritative.
Victoria is the colony he recommends. He quotes "from the journal of a friend who arrived in Australia several years ago, having left England with softening tubercules of the lungs." (p. 88) After leaving the ship and taking the train into Melbourne, the friend took a hansom cab to see the city.
"Having driven or walked about the streets for several hours, I began towards midday to feel very hungry, a sort of carnivorous hunger, a sensation of the faculty of almost unlimited digestive powers, unknown since my school-days. … I went into the Café de Paris and eat a hearty luncheon of (I am afraid to say how much) solid meat; so much so that I was almost afraid to look the waiter in the face, for I felt after paying my score, that I could eat another slice with great gusto, if no one was by. In short I got up from the table with what till then I should have considered a very good appetite. A thermometer hung near the door which to my exceeding surprise, stood at 90º; but so far from feeling the indolence or oppression which a large meal in the middle of the day in England would have caused (especially in hot weather), I rode on horse-back about the suburbs all the afternoon, and eat a hearty dinner in the evening."
Such then, is usually the first effect of the climate of continental Australia in its temperate regions on the new-comer – an increased appetite for food, with a rapid and efficient digestion, assimilation, and excretion – a sensation of high spirits and a desire for muscular exertion. (p. 89-90)
Melbourne was, apparently, good for the consumptive invalid, but the warm, dry Victorian countryside was better. Among the colour plates in the book is one showing Mt. Abrupt, near Dunkeld, in the Western District of Victoria. The text facing this illustration advises that the patient should,
at once proceed to some friend's station up the country and lead the life of an Australian squatter, whose main feature is constant employment in the open air, principally on horseback. … Nor will our quondam invalid find that such a life is irksome to him. As he gallops after wild cattle, or wilder emus and kangaroos, through the grassy park-like glades of the Australian bush, breathing a pure, warm, invigorating air, which permeates like a gaseous elixir vitae through every fibre of his frame, he feels that life, health and vigour are in themselves sources of the highest physical enjoyment. (p. 95)
Bruck's guide book was specifically compiled for medical tourists and their doctors. It included entries for all the Australasian sanatoriums, giving their services, their facilities and rates. Mineral springs and mineral waters are also dealt with. In addition, Bruck provides a classification which acts as an index, specifying the resorts best-suited for particular ailments.
New South Wales
Sydney has always been the city which tourists most readily identify with Australia. Many people come to Australia and base themselves there. The Tourist Bureau in this publication suggested a variety of trips in the city and nearby. The illustrated advertisements for "touring cars", or charabancs, are interesting, as for many of the longer excursions the tourist is recommended to take a car.
Unlike Melbourne with its grid pattern of streets, Sydney's streets are built around the harbour and many tend to intersect at angles. It can be very easy for a tourist to lose his way. The sub-title of the book includes the phrase, "for strangers and those who think they know and don't". Robinson began his career publishing maps for cyclists.
The Sydney Harbour Bridge is the best-known Australian icon internationally. Construction was begun in 1923 and completed in 1932. The opening was promoted as a tourist attraction as well as a celebration by the people of Sydney. Events on the day of the opening, Saturday 19th March, featured an aerial display by the RAAF, and "speed launch manoeuvres by the combined yacht clubs". In the evening there was a "Venetian carnival on the harbour". The most notorious event was unscheduled; the cutting of the official ribbon at the opening by Francis de Groot, a member of the New Guard. He made this gesture as a protest against the Labor Premier Jack Lang.
This brochure was issued shortly after the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in March 1932. As well as the aeroplane on the front cover, planes were rather unconvincingly introduced into the background to three of the thirty photographic views.
Apart from the Harbour Bridge, Sydney is known for the Opera House. It is situated on Bennelong Point at Sydney Cove. The Bridge and the Opera House dominate Sydney's spectacular harbour. The visual concept of the white sail shapes on the Opera House echoing the yachts on the harbour succeeds despite the controversial modifications made to architect Joern Utzon's original design.
Construction began in 1959 and the building was completed in 1973.
King's Cross is an area just outside the centre of Sydney, noted for its night clubs, and general raffishness. The heyday of Kings Cross was perhaps during the war when the area was patronised by US servicemen, but it retains its reputation of illicit pleasure.
King's Cross Calling features on its cover a portrait of Rosaleen Norton, the "witch of King's Cross".
This promotional booklet was sponsored by some of the major establishments of "The Cross", the Chevron-Hilton, the Whisky Au Go-Go, the Pink Panther Club, and even the Rev. Ted Noff's Wayside Chapel.
Mecca of Australia's night-life! From the four corners of the continent they come: the rich, the poor, and the in-between; the playboys, the playgirls, but mostly they just come to look, stare, observe the most fabulous square mile in the land.
One of the best-known attractions, the all-male revue, "Les Girls", has a double page spread.
The Bachelors Guide is a seduction manual; its aim is to inform the traveller how to impress Sydney women. Its strong period flavour helps to make it useful for the study of the sexual habits of the time, as well as the differences in behaviour patterns between Australians and the sophisticate from overseas.
It gives detailed summaries of the pros and cons of every major night-club and party scene from Kings Cross to Double Bay. In addition, our bachelor is recommended to visit the Wayside Chapel, though not for worship.
If you're an arty type … and want to meet your intellectual counterpart, THE BACHELOR must recommend a Sunday evening sojourn to the famed WAYSIDE CHAPEL in King's Cross.
It's an experience.
And girls of every breed – anarchist, communist, hippie, school teacher, disillusioned secretary, political science major, socialite seeress and wasted wanton – are there. Brainstorming universal truths with the remarkable Reverend Ted Noffs. A youngish minister who's King of King's Cross. … Friend of banker, bookie, and bum. The Kahlil Gibran of the humanists, and the devil's advocate of the realist Christians. (p. 38-39)
Since the establishment of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1979, Sydney has become known internationally as the "gay capital of the Southern Hemisphere".
This guide-book begins,
Sydney – it's Oxford St. with its vibrant nightlife; it's warm sunny secluded beaches; it's surf lifesavers in Speedos; and it's the annual gay Mardi Gras, one of the largest night-time parades held anywhere in the world. (p. 5)
The book provides a list of gay hotels and guest-houses where the tourist can stay, and a list of gay bars, although the author laments, "Sydney is yet to produce the great gay restaurant" (p. 61).
Rural New South Wales
This guide first appeared in 1927. It includes maps, but is mainly devoted to descriptions of each region and its towns, with illustrated advertisements for hotels, guest-houses and service stations.
Frank Clune was a wanderer and adventurer who was wounded at Gallipoli. He began to write books in the 1930s and published over sixty, some two dozen of which were travel accounts. He and Ion Idriess, were perhaps the most popular writers if their time. Clune's books about travel in the outback did much to popularise Australian tourism locally. The advent of the motor car as a mass form of transport during this time helped the push to "see Australia first". His travel books are a readable mixture of history, personal anecdote and local colour.
Originally known as the Fish River caves, this site became popular with tourists as early as the 1850s. They were re-named the Jenolan Caves in 1884. Their attraction was partly that of the Romantic and Victorian interest in grottoes, and increasingly in the latter part of the century interest was stimulated by theories on the geological evolution of the earth.
Cook's account of the caves first appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald, but is here re-published in a substantial, well-illustrated book. Cook writes in his Preface,
The author is conscious that neither tongue, nor pen, nor pictorial art can convey an adequate idea of the magnificence and exquisite beauty of these caves. Words are too poor to express the feelings of admiration and awe which are experienced by those who wander through the marvellous subterranean galleries embellished with myriads of graceful and fantastic forms of purest white alternating with rich colour and delicate tints and shades. Of all the caves in New South Wales those at Jenolan are the most beautiful, and well-travelled men admit that they are unrivalled in any other part of the world. As they are so little-known this book may be interesting, and serve to give some impression concerning geological transformations and the slow processes of Nature in the production of works at once grand, ornate and unique.
The first edition of this guide appeared in 1899. The 1915 edition included here, is open at a colour photograph of tourists arriving in cars. The visitor to the caves had originally to travel by horseback and be prepared to camp out en route. The train went through to Tarana in 1872 and visitors were encouraged to write to the caretaker and have him arrange to meet the train with a buggy. The original guest-house was destroyed by fire in 1895 and the Government built a new one complete with kiosk in 1898. Trickett gives figures for numbers of visitors. "During 1911 Jenolan was visited by 8,460 persons, who paid 21,325 visits of inspection to the various caves, … whilst in 1914, 10,467 visitors attended, no fewer than 29,447 inspections being made." (p. 6)
The regulations forbade anyone entering the caves without a ticket or without a guide. The tickets cost 2/- to 3/- per person, with special provision for a party of six to visit any cave "provided a guide is available for the purpose", at an additional cost of £1. The cost was partly to cover the expense of the "artificial lights". Electric light was installed in 1887, and since 1890 the electricity had been powered by a dynamo, driven by the underground streams.
The Blue Mountains and Katoomba
The Blue Mountains are situated behind Sydney and served as the colony's hill station. Katoomba is the main town. The country, found by Mrs. Meredith to be uncomfortably rugged in the ascent, provided spectacular vistas when one reached the top. A railway was built, and the "Great Zig-Zag" track became an engineering wonder, a sight in itself.
Once access was made easier, Katoomba became the pre-eminent honeymoon destination in Australia. The Hydro-Majestic Hotel is the most magnificent of the many establishments in the Mountains.
This map shows the tourist centre of the Blue Mountains. We see the Great Western railway which stops at Katoomba en route between Sydney and Bathurst. The Three Sisters, Echo Point, Katoomba and Leura Falls are all clearly marked.
This is open at views of the "Cascades above Leura Falls" and the typical Blue Mountains scene, the "Three Sisters".
The cover shows a "Bird's eye view of the Blue Mountains looking north from Mt. Solitary."
The central panorama from this book shows the main view of the Jamieson Valley. The Three Sisters, and Echo Point can be seen to the left.
The scenic railway is operated by cable and descends a steep decline, dropping about one foot in every two. It was formerly operated as part of the Katoomba coal and shale mine. This brochure also promotes "The new scenic skyway", a cable car which crosses the Katoomba Falls, called here the "finest tourist attraction of the Commonwealth."
Open at the "Panorama of Brisbane."
The colour illustration on the cover shows the view from inside a Brisbane tram. The booklet gives details of hotel and boarding house tariffs, cab fares, and "places of interest". It also suggests half-day, one day, and week-end trips, and includes excursions by tram.
The Great Barrier Reef
Saville-Kent was a scientist and Commissioner of Fisheries in Western Australia, Tasmania, and Queensland. The exhaustive treatment he affords the reef in this book focusses mostly on the biology of the reef, i.e. the coral, the tropical fish etc. His chapter on "Potentialities" promotes the exploitation of the reef for commercial fishing, the beche-de-mer trade, coconut farms, and the possibility of establishing a pearl industry; the coral itself could be used for "decorative purposes". He concludes the chapter by making a case for setting-up "biological stations" at several points along the reef. No mention is made of the tourist potential of the Reef, although he refers to the possibility of living on some of the islands, which could be "profitably developed" as "working centres" for those involved in one or other of the local industries. (p. 333).
The great virtue of the book is its abundance of chromo-lithograph plates of the fish, and the coral.
The attractions of the reef for visitors was evident to others however, and by the 1920s there was quite an industry in providing services such as glass-bottom boats and cruises among the islands.
This "popular account" of the reef deals mostly with its natural history. It has a section entitled, "A lonely region",
The mainland beaches that face the Barrier Reef are at present vacant, but will probably be utilised for cocoanut plantations in the future. The northern end of the Great Barrier Reef faces one of the most lonely coasts in Australia or in the world. Pioneering is not yet finished here. There are no settlements along the Cape York Peninsula for the hundreds of miles that intervene between Cooktown and Thursday Island. Some day the fine scenery and healthy climate will attract visitors from the South. No more delightful place for a yachting cruise could be imagined. (p. 25-26)
The Whitsunday group of islands lies south of Townsville. The writer of this booklet is loud in his praise of the area,
Whitsunday Passage, a beautiful stretch of water … studded with islands … is unquestionably one of the most picturesque spots in the Southern Hemisphere. The superlative beauty of the scene is of the most entrancing description and it is no wonder that tourists from the southern portions of the Commonwealth of Australia, passing through the Passage for the first time, are dumbfounded for words to adequately describe its wonderful charms. The fame of the Whitsunday Passage as a marine Eden has not only reached to the four corners of the Australian Commonwealth, but to other parts of the civilised world. No one is louder in praise of this natural beauty spot than the globe-trotter, who unhesitatingly asserts that there is nothing more fascinating or more amazing in its wealth of diverse splendours. Sheltered from the fury of the elements by the Great Barrier Reef and groups of islands … the sea within the passage is almost as unruffled as a millpond. (p. 36-37)
We are given a glimpse of the habits of visitors to North Queensland at that time,
Though thousands of tourists from the Southern States pass through the Whitsunday Passage every year on their way to the famous Barron Falls, only a very small percentage of these break their journey at Bowen in order to make a close study of the idyllic places seen from a passing steamer. Were more to do so, Bowen would soon become the rendezvous of thousands of Southern tourists every year. The oftener the place is visited the more bewitching it seems to become. As a matter of fact, its infinite charms simply intoxicate beholders, … and make them feel, for the nonce, in the "Seventh Heaven of Delight." (p. 37)
The railway reached Cairns in 1926 and made the area more accessible to southern tourists. Although the journey by boat was more picturesque, the "Sunlander" as the train came to be known, was more convenient.
He describes many of the islands in the area, some of which have subsequently been developed as resorts,
Lindeman Island had been in occupation as a sheep and goat run for a number of years by Captain Adderton. At the present time Mr. W. R. Nicklin is breeding sheep on the island. The situation and charming surroundings of this island make it an ideal position for a tourist and health resort, from which excursions to the other islands of the group could be arranged. (p. 40)
By the early 1950s Ansett Airlines had begun to develop two of the Whitsunday islands, Daydream and Hayman. The Queensland Government Tourist Bureau was already promoting Lindeman, Brampton and South Molle Islands.
This is an example of a tourist venture undertaken in conjunction with the aboriginal people. The flight advertised here took the tourists along the north coast of Queensland from Cairns to Cooktown, then inland across Cape York Peninsula, past Laura to Jowalbinna on the "Quinkin Reserve". This is the home of an Aboriginal community made famous by Percy Trezise and Dick Roughsey through their series of illustrated children's books. These deal with the dreamtime legends of the area, as shown in the characteristic rock paintings.
44. Mountain and seaside resorts of southern Queensland from Noosa to the Tweed : tourist guide affording concise information and direction where brief or extended holidays may be spent / compiled and issued by The Queensland Government Intelligence and Tourist Bureau. Rev. ed. (Brisbane : The Bureau, [1923?])
This publication has details on all the tourist attractions from Noosa southwards to the border. It includes the sea-side and mountain resorts. Many of the guest houses are illustrated in the advertisements. Brisbane's bay-side beaches are well-represented. Until the late 1950s these were still the most popular destinations for holidaying families from Brisbane's suburbs.
45. Queensland : the land of sunshine. (Brisbane : S.G. Hughes, [193-?])
This brochure from the 1930s is open at a view of the "Esplanade, Southport" Queensland's Gold Coast, which stretches from Southport to Coolangatta, began to be developed in the 1920s. In 1925 the Surfers Paradise Hotel was opened. Property developers began to sub-divide the land along the foreshore, using such American names as Miami, Palm Beach, and even Los Angeles. The name "Gold Coast" was not officially adopted until 1958. Before that, it was often referred to as the "Sunshine Coast", a name now used for the area around Caloundra and Noosa, north of Brisbane.
46. Queensland : land of the sun. (Brisbane : State Public Relations Bureau, Chief Secretary's Dept., )
This covers all of the state's tourist attractions. It refers to the Gold Coast as "Queensland's premier holiday resort", but also pays attention to the islands of the Barrier Reef. Under a colour shot of women on a beach, the caption reads,
Lovely Lindeman Island, one of the Barrier Reef holiday resorts in the Whitsunday Passage, looking across the placid blue waters to Royal Seaforth Island. Princess Alexandra stayed at Lindeman during her visit to Australia in 1959, and many thousands of tourists flock here each year. The Whitsunday Passage is one of the scenic gems of the Australian coastline.
Princess Alexandra had visited Queensland during the centenary celebrations in 1959 and had made quite an impression. A new hospital was opened in Brisbane and named after her, and Russ Tyson a popular radio announcer had a hit with a song in her honour, "Alexandra, a princess we're proud to know"
47. Palazzo Versace : Gold Coast, Australia / Script, Anne Jamieson; illustrations, Cliff Sheldrake. ([Gold Coast, Qld. ?] : Sunland Group Ltd., 1998)
The Gold Coast has been heavily developed in the past thirty years with high rise apartment blocks being built along the foreshore. Although it is not a high rise project, Palazzo Versace, on the Spit at Southport, is an example of developers attracting overseas property investors at the top end of the market. Other examples are Port Douglas, north of Cairns, Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, and Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast.
In this de luxe promotional book Palazzo Versace is described thus,
A place for the world to enjoy. A place of Renaissance beauty, serenity and grace. The magnificent redevelopment of an historical site on the Broadwater known as Fisherman's Wharf. With a 263 room luxury international hotel and 72 condominiums, ‘Palazzo Versace' marks the beginning of a new experience in design and living. (p. 9)
These booklets were distributed at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco in 1915 to encourage trade and investment, as well as also tourism.
The "carnival season" was September to November, and featured the Agricultural Show, the cricket, lawn tennis, Henley on the Yarra, rifle shooting, the Grand National Eisteddfod of Australasia (held in Ballarat), and of course the Melbourne Cup.
Collections of views such as these are important, partly for the streetscapes they show from the time.
The Melbourne Cup is always held on the first Tuesday in November. The carnival runs for six weeks, from Caulfield Guineas day through the Caulfield Cup to the Derby, the Melbourne Cup, the Oaks, and the Sandown Cup (now the Sandown Classic).
The centenary cup in 1960 was won by an outsider, Hi Jinx.
51. Travel in Victoria Australia. (Melbourne : Victorian Railways Commissioners, )
Another Victorian Railways publication, this promotes the obvious attractions such as the Murray River, the Alps and the Grampians, but also has sections on areas close to Melbourne such as Warburton and the Dandenongs.
Brady was a man of letters who wrote many travelogues. This publication promotes the network of bay cruises which flourished until the 1950s, although it also gives details of motoring to pleasure spots around Port Phillip.
These guidebooks for tourists in Melbourne give details of various excursions or "outs" around the city and suburbs. The first edition has the terms "Outs" embossed in gold, in a rustic typeface on the front cover. This was a contemporary term for what we would perhaps call "outings".
The copy of the first edition has a manuscript inscription on the title-page, "To Miss Margaret Milne from her Uncle George on the occasion of her visit to Melbourne, Dec. 1868." We wonder what walks and drives Miss Milne would have been encouraged to take. The table of contents has the following headings, "Outs for fishing, Outs for picnic, Outs for shooting, Outs for scenery, Outs on the bay, Outs on the Yarra, Outs for walking, Outs for driving and riding."
"Ferntree Gully" is the first of the "Outs for scenery". To us, this has long been one of the most popular destinations for tourists on day tours out of Melbourne, so it will come as a surprise when Hingston begins his description thus,
"But twenty miles from Melbourne," you say to yourself, "and so little known. All these pretty waterfalls constantly on view and none to admire them. These arcades of wonderful ferns – trees that are themselves a novelty; these delightful bowers of coolness and shade, these picturesque groupings so changing and so kaleidoscope-like in their indescribability – all but unvisited, all but unknown." All this exhibition going on day and night and none to admire it. These cascades in their way quite bijous of waterfalls, wasting all their prettiness of water power – all these curious effects of sunshine and shadows made by the thatchwork of fern leaves, that "dim religious light" and that "curious lattice work of shade," all going a-begging for admiration, all "unhonoured and unsung" I was about to say, but if not so, then nearly so, perhaps known to one in five thousand amongst us. (1868, p. 25)
In the second edition of the following year, Ferntree Gully has been dropped from the "outs" on offer, and replaced by Heidelberg.
This is one of the earlier Melbourne guide-books. It begins with a description of the central business district, then gives details of twelve "drives" into the surrounding suburbs. As with the "outs" described in the Guide for Excursionists, these are written by James Hingston.
The guide ends with lists of the routes for the horse-drawn omnibuses, where to go for "cabs, wagonettes, and other suburban conveyances", and a list of coach fares.
This guide has a fold-out sheet of the "Suburbs of Melbourne and how reached", giving details of the public transport options, mostly by train.
Among the advertisements for hotels we find the original Chevron on the corner of St. Kilda and Commercial Roads. The illustration shows the stately home before it was demolished for the present brick structure, itself now undergoing extensive renovation.
56. The Melbourne book / photographs by J. Kauffman ...[et.al] (Sydney : Art in Australia, 1931)
This forms part of the Art in Australia monograph series. The cover features an aerial shot looking east along Collins and Flinders Streets.
The magazine, Art in Australia in some ways set out to be the arbiter of national taste, but it was noticeably Sydney-centred. The text of this book reflects the everlasting rivalry between the two major Australian cities. The author writes with a distinct air of "faint praise". He refers to Melbourne's grid system of streets in the CBD as "that square heart of bricks and mortar" but sees compensation in the parks and gardens around the city's perimeter. He finishes the passage however, with a glancing blow at Melburnians and their habit of littering.
All these open spaces are popularly resorted to, and on Sundays, Saturday afternoons and holidays give splendid proof of the esteem in which they are held by the numbers of people who flock to them. Visitors express themselves as impressed by the evident yet orderly enjoyment shown by these Melbourne crowds and remark on their general good looks, good conduct and appearance of well-being. They undoubtedly add to the attraction of the gardens themselves, and fit well into the landscape. Those who cannot get to the hills have therefore no legitimate cause for regret at inability to be among verdure. Still, if they can manage to get away, a little distance suffices to take them to delightful places, where all the year round they can tear down and carry home colossal bunches of gum leaves, and for some months of the year exhibit a like regard for wattle blossoms. Their good fortune also sticks to them in granting them freedom from oppressive surveillance when it comes to freely littering the ground with newspapers, picnic residue and dead marines. Still one must expect to find the bonds of discipline in places where nature itself is disciplined, and it is they which have made the Melbourne of which its citizens are so proud and fond.
57. St. Kilda by the sea. (Prahran [Vic.] : Prahran Telegraph Printing Co., 1914).
58. St. Kilda the beautiful / [issued by the St. Kilda Shore Publicity Committee ... from information compiled by F.L. Dawkins]. (Melbourne, Victoria : Holbain-Whyte Publicity Service, in conjunction with H. Hearne and Co., )
St. Kilda by the Sea was an annual which ran from 1913 to 1916 to publicise the best-known of Melbourne's bayside resorts. Both of these publications bear witness to the time that St. Kilda was a place to which people flocked for their holidays. They would stay in the guest-houses or private hotels.
St. Kilda boasted theatres such as the Lyric, and the Follies along the Esplanade. An elaborate pavilion was set up on the beach at the corner of Fitzroy Street and Beaconsfield Parade, where the "English Pierrots" appeared. Luna Park had been opened in 1912, next to the Palais de Danse, and, opposite the band stand, was the Palais Cinema.
59. Beautiful beaches : seven hundred miles of glorious seaside along the Victorian Coast are calling the tourist and the holiday maker. (Melbourne : Victorian Railways, 1930)
The leaflet begins, with the heading, "The Call of the Seaside",
Along Victoria's 700 miles of gold and azure coastline are scores of delightful holiday resorts. Some are substantial towns where all the comforts of city life may be enjoyed. Others are small but delightful watering places, secluded and peaceful. GOLDEN sweeps of firm, wide beach alternate with the precipitous fronts of towering cliffs, and, where the mountains slope into the sea, forest and beach sometimes merge. SHOOTING and FISHING are alike excellent, and each resort is linked with the metropolis by rail direct, or by combined rail-and-road or rail-and-steamer services.
60. Typical mountain scenery of golden Australia. [Melbourne?] [s.n.] [192-?]
This pictorial souvenir brochure consists mainly of photographs of the forest walks around Marysville and Narbethong.
61. Geelong the favorite holiday resort and industrial centre. (Geelong : H. Thacker Pty Ltd., [192-?])
Geelong is not usually seen as a tourist destination, although it held some favour with Western District families. The section entitled "Geelong's charm for the tourist" has a sub-heading, "proximity to famous watering-places". This refers to visitor to such beach places as Torquay, Anglesea, and Ocean Grove. Having said this, our author is careful to add,
But it is not necessary even to visit any of these outside places in order to ensure an enjoyable holiday at Geelong. The city and environs provide ample attractions. Corio Bay affords full scope for sea-bathing. Until recent years swimming was confined to the bathing houses; but now open sea-bathing is quite common. On the eastern Beach, in hot weather, hundreds of men, women and children disport themselves in a beautifully clear pool with sandy bottom and unlimited scope for all classes – swimmers or non-swimmers. Further round towards North Geelong there is another popular rendezvous for the open-sea bather. (p. 89)
The woollen mills are referred to as another attraction to which visitors to Geelong were "cordially invited to pay a visit of inspection" (p. 35) and much is made of the fact that the Ford Motor Company had recently set up there.
In his introduction, Pescott describes the Grampians, the last outcrop of the Great Divide, as you approach it,
Sixteen miles out of Stawell we come right to the Grampians. The scarred peaks stand out against the western sky facing us during the whole of the journey – a serried rampart of wonder, of mystery, and of entrancing beauty.
The photographs are almost all of rocky outcrops, and groups of climbers, but Pescott, who was a botanist and horticulturist, also draws our attention to the wild flowers of the Grampians,
Do we love flowers? Our senses will be gratified to the fullest extent with wild flowers in great abundance, in beauty and in rarity. Indeed there are flowers to be found there that grow nowhere else in the world.
Lorne is the most popular resort along the Great Ocean Road. It began to be a tourist spot in the 1870s; in 1878 its Grand Pacific Hotel was opened. However it was not until the Great Ocean Road was opened in 1932 that the area really took off. Prior to that it could only be reached overland through some almost impassable country.
Despite this, when Austin wrote his account he could already call it "The most popular tourist resort in Victoria". He gives an account of arriving by coach
along a spur of the Otways, which dips down 800 feet in the last two miles of the journey, so that one gets unexpected and varying views of the little sea town at the foot of the hills, and through the trees, faint glimpses of the sea, in which ultra-marine blue and forest green are commingling tones. Here as elsewhere in the mountains the coach road follows the old bullock track. … Considering the character of the road, accidents, it must be admitted, have been singularly few, and even to those with poor nerves, the fancied perils of the coach ride are soon forgotten in its manifold pleasures.
At that time, there were already two large hotels there, the Grand Pacific and the Royal, also known from its proprietor as Rooke's, but not much else. Most of the attractions as outlined in this illustrated booklet are waterfalls and mountain scenery.
64. A Trip to Portland the watering place of the west. (Melbourne : Arnall & Jackson, printers and stationers, 1880)
Portland was founded by the Hentys in 1834 and pre-dates the settlement of Melbourne, a fact alluded to at the outset in this booklet presented by the Portland Borough Council. Travel was by rail in a journey taking twelve hours. Portland's benefits are placed before the reader in a modest style, typical of the period,
The object of this unpretending brochure is neither to "puff" the place nor claim for it any undue attractiveness, but rather to suggest it as the pleasantest possible resort for the tourist, weary of the dust and heat of Melbourne or hotter towns inland, and desirous of gaining a closer insight into mixed phases of colonial life and character than can be obtained from a brief, and possible exciting, residence in the busier haunts of men.
"Tanjil" describes his trip by rail in great detail. He travelled with a group, and describes the beginning of the journey thus,
Taking our seats in a comfortable compartment of one of the railway carriages specially reserved for our party, through the courtesy of the general traffic manager (Mr. John Anderson) everything seemed to indicate an agreeable journey. By the way we may state that it is always best to make up a party of six or eight when going for a holiday, and the railway authorities will, at any time, meet their wishes by reserving a carriage. (p. 15)
The great attractions of the Gippsland Lakes are the abundance of fish and game, and the cruises on the water. "Tanjil" is also the name of one of the Lakes Navigation Company's steamers. The booklet is open at the map of the Lakes showing the routes of the steamers.
The author also describes a visit to the Lake Tyers Aboriginal Station, and includes a page of illustrations (p. 36-39).
Daylesford began its life during the gold rush, as the "Jim Crow Diggings". After the gold gave out, it became an agricultural centre and supported two woollen mills. However, its major claim to our attention is as a spa resort. Mineral springs were discovered at nearby Hepburn, and the town became a popular centre for those who wished to take the waters.
In this pamphlet from the 1880s we find that there are springs close to the town of Daylesford, although some of them have been buried by the debris thrown up by the mines, "But the mineral waters of the district par excellence are those of the Hepburn Mineral Springs." (p. 20) Several testimonials from doctors are given to show that the waters are a cure for such ailments as dyspepsia, diarrhoea, rheumatism and gout, as well as diphtheria and even consumption. The waters are palatable as well as being medicinal.
Enormous quantities of the water can be taken without any ill effects, it being no uncommon thing for visitors and persons residing in the vicinity to drink from 15 to 20 pints daily. (p. 20-21)
The establishment nearest the spa was "Rolleri's Mineral Springs Hotel". The "Wanderer" concludes his chapter on the springs with this summary,
From the foregoing analysis and medical testimony it will be seen that the visitor to Daylesford can not only obtain the benefits of pure air, magnificent scenery, freedom from hot winds and dust, but can also have for the taking one of the most valuable medicaments in existence for the wearied and worn-out business man, the dyspeptic and the invalid. (p. 24)
67. The Garden city : being a series of 36 magnificent panoramic views of Ballarat and district, with special descriptive article, Ballarat revisited. (Ballarat : H.J. Summerscales, [190-?])
68. Ballaarat Begonia Festival : souvenir pictorial 1962, March 2nd to 12th. (Ballarat [Vic.] : Ballaarat Begonia Festival Association, 1962)
69. Bendigo, the golden city, Victoria, Australia : containing 19 views of the city of Bendigo. (Bendigo : Cambridge Press, [190-?])
Ballarat and Bendigo were the main gold rush towns in Victoria. They were extremely prosperous and their civic fathers spent large sums of money on buildings and general beautification of their public spaces. However, by the turn of the century, the gold had begun to decline and tourism became a focus. Sovereign Hill, a recreated township of the gold-rush era, and the Begonia Festival held in March each year, are two of Ballarat's current attractions.
70. Mildura : scenes from the land of winter sunshine. (Melbourne : Published for G.V. & W.R. Hiscock by Valentine Publishing, [1939?])
The area around the Murray River is typically promoted as a warm destination for those suffering from Melbourne's cold weather. One of the hotels illustrated here is the Hotel Wintersun. "It provides luxurious accommodation equal to that found usually only in the capital cities."
Trips on the river itself are recommended. We are shown the "P.S. Marion in lock no. 11, … one of the Paddle Steamers used in passenger cruises along the river Murray – the greatest waterway of Australia." We also see some of the motor launches, and are told that trips aboard these "afford great enjoyment to trippers and tourists, while several of the owners live aboard their launches."
71. For your industry or your next holiday select Echuca on the Murray (Victoria) : in the centre of rich grazing and irrigation land : delightful climate, fishing, boating, shooting, swimming : the holiday spot of the north. (Echuca, Vic. : Advance Echuca & District League, 1941)
As is typical with much of this promotional material, it is aimed partly at potential investors and partly at tourists.
Echuca is situated on the Murray, 155 miles north of Melbourne. Its relative convenience to Melbourne makes it the most attractive of the tourist destinations on the River. The pamphlet groups the "Pleasure places' under the headings of fishing, boating, shooting and motor tours.
72. Souvenir -- Buffalo Mountains, Victoria, Australia / issued by the Mines Department, Melbourne. (Melbourne : Dept. of Mines, 1910)
73. Mt. Buffalo National Park, Victoria, Australia. [Melbourne : Victorian Railways, 193-?]
74. Mt. Buffalo ski championships : the Chalet, 31st July-13th August. 1937 official programme. (Melbourne : Mount Buffalo Alpine Club, 1937)
The first guest-house was opened at Mount Buffalo in 1891. It was mainly used during summer months, and the earliest tourists went there for the scenery. The area was proclaimed a national park in 1898. As snow sports began to become more popular in the early twentieth century, so the attractiveness of this resort grew. A road was opened in 1908, and the chalet in 1910. The establishment was taken over by the railways in 1924 and they offered package tours, by rail, with a connecting bus and special rates for staying at the chalet. The colour brochure on display has the slogan, "Mt. Buffalo, high above the clouds of daily worries."
Skiing grew in popularity as a sport especially in the 1930s and after the war; in fact, much of the earlier publicity emphasises toboggans rather than skis.
Garnet Walch, the author of Victoria in 1880, was born in Tasmania. He compiled this guide-book at the request of the steamship Company, Huddart, Parker. They had begun a new service to Tasmania, a colony which had recently invested heavily in a railway network and seemed set to become the favourite destination for mainland tourists coming south to avoid the heat.
76. Illustrated guide to Tasmania, the holiday resort of Australia / [prepared by] Tasmanian Government Railways. ([Tasmania] : Tasmanian Government Railways, )
As can be seen from this and many similar illustrated publications, Tasmania is very picturesque; the fact that the landscape and climate is closer to that of England than any of the other Australian states, has helped popularise it with both migrants and tourists.
77. Tommy's trip to Tasmania / issued by the Tasmanian Government Tourist Department. (Hobart : The Dept., [ca. 1905])
The image on the front is of the map of Tasmania with the face and bowler hat of a Cornish tin miner. Miners from Cornwall were among the main emigrants to Tasmania in the 19th century. This pamphlet is presented in the form of a journey to Tasmania by a young boy and his family. He has to talk his father into going there for the Christmas holidays.
I told him that between 16th December and 1st January, he could get return tickets from Melbourne to Launceston, and Launceston to Hobart, for £7 3s 0d. First-class, and that we could come back any time before the end of January. Father nearly had a stroke when I told him how cheap it was. (p. 5)
This travelogue/tourist guide has the benefit of Hal Gye's illustrations. Gye is best remembered as the illustrator of C. J. Dennis's Sentimental Bloke.
We are satisfied Tasmania is Australia's vacation place, during the summer especially. In Hobart the native during business hours, is conspicuous only by his absence. When we went onto the restaurants and the tea shops of the capital we met mainlanders and still more mainlanders. Squatters from Queensland; pastoralists and business men from New South Wales and Victoria; and mining magnates from West Australia. There were even a few tanned Northern Territory residents. And out on the streets, and at all the beauty spots within striking distance of the city, more mainlanders grew fat and happy in the pure Tasmanian air. (p. 34-36)
This is a kit presented in a folder, consisting of maps and brochures on Tasmania, its scenery, suggested tour routes, accommodation and the distinctive wildlife.
Like Franke Clune and Ion Idriess, Charles Barrett was a prolific writer. He lived in Victoria and produced mainly natural history books, but also wrote travel accounts such as this one. Barrett toured Tasmania in 1943-44, going literally everywhere. He trekked through the mountains, explored underground at the Hastings Caves, went to Port Arthur and the Huon Valley, went up and down the East and West Coasts and spent periods in Launceston and Hobart. His book is an engaging and cheerful account of the beauties of the island and the friendliness of the people. It must surely have encouraged people to take holidays there.
Many of the photographs are by Frank Hurley.
81. Launceston and Northern Tasmania : handy guide / compiled and presented by the Tourists' Association, Launceston. (Launceston : [The Association], 1904)
82. Don't look inside if you do not require everything to guide you while on tour in Northern Tasmania / compiled and presented by the Northern Tasmania Tourist Association. (Launceston, Tas. : The Association, [1905?])
There has always been rivalry between the two major cities of Tasmania, Launceston in the north and the capital, Hobart, in the south. Travellers by ship from Melbourne usually landed at Launceston, or Georgetown at the mouth of the Tamar. These guide-books are meant to encourage tourists to make the most of their stay in the north. Launceston's premier attraction is the Cataract Gorge just outside the city.
Don't look inside, has a cover illustration of a policeman pointing at the reader, while half-concealed behind a wall. We get the feeling we are being warned off. Add to that a title full of double-negatives, and the reader is bewildered before he has even opened the book.
The Cradle Mountain and Lake St. Clair National Park is the part of Tasmania most favoured by hikers. This book is essentially a guide to bushwalkers and has information on routes, huts and scenery as well as geology, flora and fauna. Under this latter heading, the writer devotes a couple of paragraphs to an annoying phenomenon the hiker will most likely encounter, the leech.
"Every visitor makes the acquaintance of the leech, an objectionable but interesting creature". There follows a nature study lesson on the leech, which includes unusual facts such as, "Leeches can swim"; the reason why, when they bite you, it is hard to stop the flow of blood; and the fact that "twenty-two expandable pouches enable the leech to store as much as three times its own weight in blood, and a single meal may serve its needs for perhaps a year." You are mentally screaming. "OK. Just get it off me!" when Boss-Walker finally tells you, "Leeches may be easily removed by applying a drop of brandy, a little salt or a lighted match." (p. 32)
85. Views of the wild west (Queenstown [Tas.] : J. Hartnett, [1901?])
The west coast of Tasmania is certainly a wild place. It is sparsely populated and bears the brunt of the westerlies, the "roaring forties". As well as the severe weather, the towns are tough mining settlements, not the normal tourist destinations. In the early days there was a convict settlement at Macquarie Harbour, perhaps best remembered now as the place from which Alexander Pearce escaped more than once, each time in company with some of his fellows, only to eat them en route to Hobart. Marcus Clarke immortalised Pearce as Gabbet in the convict novel, His Natural Life, although he had him escaping from Port Arthur.
The area became a mining centre and the hillsides around the mines were denuded of trees, giving a rather stark and forbidding aspect to such towns as Mount Lyell.
Port Arthur is one of the best-known, if most notorious, tourist attractions in Tasmania. It was a prison to the south-east of Hobart, on a peninsula joined to the mainland by Eaglehawk Neck. Despite the title, this book includes much more than the reprint of Burn's excursion in 1842. J. W. Beattie was active in publicising the site, even when there was a tendency on the part of many inhabitants of Tasmania to try to distance themselves from their convict past.
On Sunday 28th April 1996, Port Arthur was the scene of a mass killing when a young, mentally-disturbed man, Martin Bryant, opened fire, more or less at random, and murdered thirty-five people. This had a disastrous effect on Tasmania's tourist industry in general and on Port Arthur in particular. The industry has taken a long while to recover
As we see from the cover, at that time South Australia included the Northern Territory. This was the case from 1863 to 1910.
Chapter 4 of the book on display is entitled "South Australia as a field for settlers and tourists". It begins with a reference to "homes made under skies as blue as Italy's" in "a land of golden fleece and golden grain, of luscious fruit and choice wine, of orange groves and apple orchards, (p. 17) The tourist the South Australians hoped to attract was one who could be encouraged to break the journey at Adelaide while en route to Melbourne or Sydney.88. R.S. Frearson's views of Adelaide old and new, 1836 & 1902. (Adelaide : Robt. S. Frearson, )
This is a typical booklet of views. The theme here is to match contemporary (i.e. 1902) views with artist's impressions of the scene in 1836. But, as with many of these publications much of the research interest lies in the advertisements for guest-houses, hotels and eating establishments. These help to give us an insight into the expectations of tourists of the time. Here we have an illustrated advertisement for Covent Garden Café.
All visitors to Adelaide should visit Covent Garden Café, Fruit and Lollie Palace, 50, King Wm. Street. … This old established business is noted for choicest fruits and purest confectionery. Fruit luncheons and light refreshments at all hours. Breakfast, 8 till 10. Dinner, 12 till 2. Tea, 5 till 7. 3 courses, 1s. Ladies' lavatory. Gentlemen's lavatory.
These were companion volumes for sale as mementoes to tourists. Ernest Gall was a photographer with a studio at Alma Chambers, Grenfell Street, Adelaide. He prefaced the earlier volume with the statement,
In compiling this booklet our aim has been to give a general and up-to-date idea of Adelaide and its environs in an artistic style – concise, compact, and comprehensive – unmarred by advertisements, and at a popular price.
91. South Australia illustrated : the central state of the Commonwealth : a land of progress and possibilities /issued under the authority of the Hon. the Minister of Education by the Government Intelligence and Tourist Bureau, Adelaide, Victor H. Ryan, Director. (Adelaide : Govt. Intelligence and Tourist Bureau, 1924)
The features of South Australia emphasised in this booklet include "the pleasant suburban health resorts by the sea", and of course the state's scenery,
Owing to its great extent, the State offers scenery of a kind that includes the most typical of the varied of Australia landscapes, a fact that artists at home and abroad appreciate, as galleries and private collections in the Northern no less than the Southern Hemisphere attest. (p. 3)
The deference to the audience "at home", presumably in England, is further underlined when Kangaroo Island is presented as the "Australian Isle of Wight", so called "on account of its salubrious climate". (p. 6)
The book begins with a description of the city laid out in a square according to the design of Sir William Light, bounded by the North, South, East and West Terraces, and with a park in the centre. The square of the inner city is also surrounded by parklands, making what is still a very pleasant impression on the visitor.
As a safety valve to the hygiene of the City of Adelaide, the parklands are of countless value. It is almost impossible for an epidemic to get footing in Adelaide. This large unpopulated area, with its boundless tree foliage, acts as a natural respirator, absorbing the used-up city air and dispensing a bountiful supply of oxygen in its place. (p. 11)
This fine production of the Hassell Press, illustrated with sketches by the author, gives us a guided tour of Adelaide in 1933. We begin in the parklands next to the river; then proceed along North Terrace, where we find the beautiful public buildings: the University, Art Gallery and Library. Our guide then takes us into the city proper,
Slipping through Stephens Place, we suddenly become lost in a bustle of business amongst the stores of Rundle Street, Adelaide's shopping centre. Window-dressers are busy here, window-cleaners there, while probably some nearby shop is being altered, the craftsmen unconscious performers before the usual city crowd, and working to the primitive rendering of popular airs by street musicians – followers of the modern trend in art. Posters announce sales at below cost. Sales chase each other in and out of the modern store, year out and year in; but the store goes on merrily, a model of financial wizardry. Adelaide is well served by its shops, the service being reflected in the well-groomed appearance of its citizens, (p. 32-34)
94. You'll want to see South Australia, the friendly State, before or after the XVI Olympiad Melbourne, 1956. [Adelaide : South Australian Government Tourist Bureau, 1956]
The object of this brochure was to encourage tourists who had come for the Melbourne Olympics to also visit South Australia. The caption heading is "An entirely different Australia". The idea was to promote the state as offering experiences Victoria could not deliver. The text begins,
As you will now know, South Australia and its capital Adelaide, is very close to Melbourne in point of travelling time so that you are within a couple of hours of an entirely different Australia.
Here in South Australia is scenery ranging from vast stretches of sun-drenched wheat lands, through lush pastoral, orchard and vineyard country to a red soil and saltbush country of the Far North, home of the Australian Aboriginal.
This is a facsimile of a book originally published in 1849. The Barossa was not yet a vineyard area. Its main industries were a marble quarry, two copper mines and pastoral leases.
96. Sightseeing guide to the Barossa valley. (Nuriootpa, S. Aust. : South Australian Government Tourist Bureau, )
Probably the greatest number of the tourists who now visit South Australia do so for the wine. The vineyards and wineries are mostly in the Barossa Valley about forty miles north-east of Adelaide.
This brochure shows a group of happy people on the cover in German dress. The South Australian wine industry was begun and has been developed by German immigrants.
97. Touring the Flinders Ranges, 1962-63. [4th ed.]. [Adelaide] : Royal Automobile Association of South Australia, 
Another area of the state which is popular with tourists is the Flinders Ranges. This area begins near Port Pirie and stretches for about 270 miles north. Wilpena Pound is perhaps the best-known section of the Ranges, partly because the artist Hans Heysen painted many of his landscapes there. Campers and bush-walkers make up a large proportion of the visitors.
98. The Mystic charm of the south east. (Adelaide : South Australian Government Publicity and Tourist Bureau, )
To the north and west of Adelaide, South Australia is predominately dry and arid, but to the south-east it is fertile and offers much in the way of traditional scenery. There are also special features,
The subterranean caves of Naracoorte and Tantanoola contain many weird and unique formations of stalactites and stalagmites.
The crater lakes of Mount Gambier and the wildlife of the Coorong, a stretch of salt water pools and beaches near Lake Alexandrina at the mouth of the Murray, are also popular attractions.
99. Coloured views of Mount Gambier, South Australia. [Mount Gambier : 191-?]
This is open at a fold-out panorama of the Blue Lake, a crater lake near Mount Gambier. The monument on the left was erected to the memory of the poet and steeplechase rider, Adam Lindsay Gordon, who "made a reckless leap over the fence surrounding the Blue Lake, landing on a narrow ledge above the precipitous cliffs."
100. Goolwa, the New Orleans of Australia. (Goolwa, S.Aust. : P.M. Wells, 1929)
It is understandable that the tourist brochure writer will try to present his locale in terms visitors will recognise. We have seen the Australian Isle of Wight (aka Kangaroo Island) but perhaps the most outrageous example of this tendency is Goolwa, as "the New Orleans of Australia". Goolwa is a small town eight miles from Lake Alexandrina, the mouth of the Murray, near Hindmarsh Island.
If the Murray was the Mississippi, then perhaps Goolwa might be New Orleans, but the photographic illustrations show a quiet country town with a sparsely populated main street; giving the booklet's title an unintended ironic twist.
101. Views of Western Australia : cities, scenery, and industries. (Perth [W.A.] : Gordon & Gotch, [between 1890 and 1909])
Kalgoorlie and Coolgardie the two gold mining towns about 400 miles east of Perth, where gold was discovered in 1893, feature prominently in this turn-of-the-century publication. It is open however at a panorama of Perth.
102. Picturesque travel in Western Australia. ([Perth, W.A.] : Govt. Pr., 1935.)
The pitch here was to travellers en route to the eastern states. The booklet opens with the headline, "Break your journey at Australia's western gate". It was pointed out that "Overseas passengers by vessels of the Orient P & O, and other lines are permitted to break their journeys at Fremantle." Of the attractions themselves, the tourist is urged to visit Perth and its seaside resorts, the caves at Yanchep, north of Perth and the "golden mile" at Kalgoorlie. There is a special colour feature on the wild flowers.
103. You are invited to Western Australia, the glorious golden West / by the Government Tourist Bureau. (Perth [W.A.] : The Bureau, [193-?])
At times Western Australians feels themselves isolated and forgotten by the rest of the country. This WA Tourist Bureau publication was an attempt to lure Easterners across the continent.
This booklet is issued by the Western Australian Government Tourist Bureau for distribution throughout the eastern States of Australia to draw attention to the tourist and holiday attractions of the great Western State and more particularly to make known the fact that a representative of the Bureau is now stationed in the Victorian Government Tourist Bureau, Queen's Walk, Melbourne.
The text begins under the heading, "Visit Western Australia the different state."
When you think of a holiday in Western Australia what are the pictures that pass before your eyes? Let us prompt your imagination, for these mental pictures, like a talkie trailer, should be a compelling influence upon you to make a trip west.
The climate, the scenery, the goldfields, the beaches are all described. The "Northern resorts" from Geraldton to Wyndham are paraded as attractions different from those to be found elsewhere in Australia. Under the heading, "Nature's wonderland" the variety of West Australian fish and birds are described, but in a tone we are now apt to find exploitative,
Strange fish and strange creatures live in these parts. It is the home of the dugong, the sea cow with flesh like bacon. Fish of tropical hues are caught on hand lines, and some of the rock cod taken in these waters are of such size as would defeat the most zealous fisherman. In the season whales pass up and down the coast, and large hauls of shark have been made. Such places as Shark Bay are noted for their large whiting and salmon, and the Monte Bello Islands for their turtles. Aviaries of wealthy fanciers abroad contain birds trapped in the Kimberleys, the birds ranging from tiny finches, with their brilliant feathers and unusual markings, to giant cranes that wing it without effort.
104. Australia is shrinking. ([Perth, W.A.] : W.A. Government Tourist and Publicity Bureau, )
The distance of Perth from the eastern capitals has always been a major hindrance to its tourist industry. The theme of this brochure is that air travel has removed this obstacle.
Yes, Australia is shrinking! Its capital cities are coming closer together. Modern, comfortable airliners have reduced inter-capital journeys to a matter of hours.
If you hail from Sydney, Melbourne, or Hobart, you can breakfast at home and sup in Perth, but if you hail from Adelaide you can delay your departure for the western capital until after lunch. If Brisbane is your home town you must stay overnight in Sydney or Melbourne on the forward journey.
Certainly, from the 1950s it quickly became the norm for tourists to use planes rather than trains or boats to reach their interstate or overseas destinations.
This is a collection of articles on the north-west of Western Australia by Henrietta Drake-Brockman, reprinted from Walkabout. The frontispiece show three photographs, Perth, the "metropolis in the morning", Broome, the "port of pearls by sundown", and Wyndham, "cattle town by noon next day." This was of course possible by air. As with many of the WA tourist publications, the message is that the vast distances can be minimised.
One of the chapters is entitled, "The blue asbestos gorges". It begins, "But", cried Sister Hamersley, "You must see the blue asbestos gorges." The author and the nurse were sitting in the hospital at Marble Bar, the "hottest town in Australia". (p. 49) "Over in the Hamersley Ranges," said the sister, "there is nothing to equal the blue gorges." (p. 50)
In the Hamersley Ranges gorges it is estimated there is enough blue asbestos to last Australia, at a rough estimate, and based on present-day requirements of course, at least a thousand years! (p. 51)
Henrietta visits the gorges accompanied by a man who was going there on business. She goes to Wittenoom, where Lang Hancock was developing an asbestos mine. The workings are described in enough detail to interest Slater & Gordon, but it is the beauty of the place which is emphasised.
a spur of the gully lay a deep circular pool above terraces one could scarcely
believe had ever been man-touched or cemented – a natural pleasure garden if
ever there was one. Here too were genuine native carvings, and wind-bitten
crevices, high up; also a twenty foot rock python our fox terrier gave tongue
about at the very moment I saw it flowing like a ripple of bronze-green
quicksilver in my direction.
106. The Patron's Interstate Surf Carnival : conducted during the period of the British Empire and Commonwealth Games, Scarborough Beach, Western Australia, Sunday 25th November, 1962. ([Perth? : Surf Life Saving Association of Australia], 1962)
Surfing is the Australian sport par excellence. The beach is a well known tourist attraction in New South Wales and Queensland. Everyone has heard of Bondi, Manly and Surfers Paradise, but the beaches around Perth are also special, and are quite close to the city. The surf carnival advertised in this programme was organised to coincide with the Commonwealth Games held in Perth in 1962.
There has long been a feeling that the essence of Australia is in the bush, not the city. On that theory the most Australian location is in the centre, around Ayers Rock, and Alice Springs.
Richard Sampson was an MP from Western Australia who decided to travel up through the centre and come back along the Western Australian coast. This was in the pre-tourism days when such a route would have been to most people impassable. On the advice of Senior Inspector Dix of the South Australian Police he accompanied Sam Irvine the mail contractor. The rough roads, and the effects of a recent flooding are graphically described. There are many photographs in the book, but usually not of the type one would see in a tourist brochure. In fact a group of three have the caption, "Unattractive scenery" (p. 6). His comments, while full of interest would also displease the Tourist Bureau copywriter.
He had travelled to Alice Springs by rail, after visiting Coober Pedy, already a curiosity for its opal miners and their underground houses. He ends a rather bleak description of "The Alice" on a sceptical note, "Alice Springs is claimed to possess attributes as a health resort." (p. 11)
There is much here on the condition of the aborigines and in particular on the "half-caste problem".
Madigan's book had first appeared in 1936. This edition has four new chapters and substantial revisions as well as new photographs. The new material reflects to some extent the interest in the area current in 1944 with wartime activities up though the centre to the "top end". This meant that many more people had experience of the centre than would normally have been the case. It was hoped this would transfer to post-war tourist interest in the region. The illustration on the dust-wrapper shows some of the convoys heading north, under air force guard.
He has some advice to travellers in the area,
It seems simple and safe enough to motor about on the known tracks in Central Australia today, but there is still danger when things go wrong, dangers not realized by the novice, who is often foolishly wise. When the unexpected happens, panic sets in where anyone with a little experience and knowledge of the country would see no danger at all. Airmen who have made forced landings have left their planes and wandered aimlessly, drunk the compass spirit, travelled in the heat of the day instead of at night, thrown away their food and then gone back for it. A young schoolmaster from New South Wales set out for Ayers Rock from Alice Springs on his motor cycle, and never returned. He was found dead. Someone was to blame for allowing him to start on such a journey. Ayers Rock is still a safe trip only for camels. (p. 272)
Ayers Rock is 280 miles south-west of Alice Springs. Apart from its inaccessibility, it was not open to tourists without permission from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
This is another of Frank Clune's books on the outback, published at the same time as Madigan's revised Central Australia. Clune gives the full story of Ellis Bankin, the schoolmaster motor cyclist, who died en route to Ayers Rock in January 1936.
As with Madigan, Clune feels the war has made Australians more interested in the interior of their own country. In his first chapter, "Red or dead?" he writes,
The "Dead Heart" is a Red Heart, pulsing with beauty, tragedy, comedy and kindness. It needed a war to make tens of thousands of Australians realise that Centralia is one of the strangest and loveliest regions in the world. (p. 2)
Clune was particularly impressed with Ayers Rock. He visited it with a government geological party. They travelled from Alice Springs on camels and camped out for five nights to get there. They sighted it on the fifth day,
Now it could be seen on the western horizon, an amethyst jewel breaking the monotony of the plain. Between us and our destination were a thousand sand-hills; but every hour of the morning brought us nearer to the majestic monolith. It loomed larger and larger, until, by the middle of the afternoon, it half-blocked the sky ahead.
So huge is this stone that it dwarfs the distances, and even when you are ten miles away from it you seem to be only one mile from its sheer sides. The clear dry air, and the absence of any other feature for comparison, makes judgment of distance impossible. The Rock keeps on getting bigger and bigger, but still you don't reach it. It looks like a solid mirage, ever-increasing in size; and the bigger it gets the smaller you feel. (p. 23-24)
Clune tells us "The natives name it "Oolera." (p. 24) and proceeds to refer to it by that name, acknowledging that "To the ancient Aborigines it was a holy place." (p. 25)
"Oolera" still has power to throw its magic spell on the beholder, and no man could feel egotistical as he stands in its mighty shadow. Five miles round the base, it rises in sheer cliffs, indurated with caves worn by sand-blasts, to a height of twelve hundred feet above the plain … without vegetal cover. At its foot are a few deep and clear water-holes, filled from the catchment area of the dome.
About five in the afternoon we came gratefully into "Oolera's" solid shade, thrown far across the sand by the late afternoon sun. The transition from heat and glare to coolness and peace was like entering heaven after purgatory.
Our camping-place now seemed near; but it was not until nine o'clock at night that we reached the water holes at the base of the Rock, laved our sun-dried faces, and lay down to rest. All night long the wind roared into the caves on the cliffs, making the music of gigantic Pipes of pan. It seemed that we had come to the home of the Ancient Spirits of Creation. As we yarned for a while around the camp-fire our voices echoed, and re-echoed, high overhead against the stone. … And then came sleep, lulled by the music of the wind whistling through "Oolera's" flute-holes and organ-pipes. And with sleep came dreams, as though the spirits of the Ancient Aborigines were haunting us. (p. 25-26)
This is a programme for a self-made "epic sound and color film on outback Australia", two and three quarter hours long, featuring Keith Adams, his wife and his sister. They travelled through Western Australia and the Northern Territory shooting film of the countryside, the wild life and the Aborigines. To recoup their money they then showed the film through the eastern states. This programme is stamped, "Hawthorn Town Hall … Last Days … then Sydney." Mr. Adams says of his movie,
Some of the film is perhaps cruel and ugly, but it is displayed thus to substantiate its authenticity, the abuse of game laws and the many ways that the wild life of not only this country is being exterminated.
Given the opportunity, most people (myself included) would or have destroyed some form of wild life, protected or unprotected, and when the size and population of this country is considered, it is impossible to police and enforce its game laws – thus it would appear that the most satisfactory and practical solution is the abolition of fire arms.
As well as advocating the "abolition of fire arms", he also puts forward the idea that the Aborigines are happiest living in their own fashion, and that assimilation "once completed, the true enactment of the arts and cultures of these remarkable and ancient people will be lost."
111. Northern Territory, a way of life. (Darwin : Government Printer, [1980?])
Much has changed in the Northern Territory since Madigan and Clune travelled there. These changes have included a greater emphasis on tourism, and the underlying structure needed to support it. Now there are roads to Ayers Rock for example, and in 1995 the name of the Rock was officially changed to "Uluru".
Cyclone Tracy hit Darwin on Christmas Eve 1974 and flattened the entire town. People were evacuated and the town had to be re-built. This allowed more modern facilities to be installed, and Darwin has benefited in the long run. It is now a multi-cultural city with much to offer the visitor.
The Uluru area is a National Park, now under the control of the local Aborigines, the Anangu. The situation is explained in this tourist guide.
In October 1985 the area around the site was handed back to its traditional owners by the Australian Government. At the same time, a leaseback of the park under a joint management agreement between the traditional owners and the Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service … was negotiated. (p. 45)
113. Manyallaluk : the dreaming place. Aboriginal cultural tours. (Katherine, N.T. : Manyallaluk Aboriginal Tourism, )
Beginning from the late 1980s, Aboriginal involvement in tourism has become more professional. An example of one of the early promotional fliers is on display.
Manyallaluk Aboriginal Cultural Tours was set up in 1990 as an community based venture by the Aborigines near Katherine. They now have a web-site where they offer as a tour a "Full day with the aboriginal people, sharing their culture, learning their ways and trying some of their skills." With such activities as "Basket weaving, spear throwing, fire lighting, painting, learning the didjeridoo. Short but informative walk learning about bush medicines and bush tucker."
The best-known area of Aboriginal tourism is Kakadu. Situated 200 km. east of Darwin around the Alligator Rivers, the locality was established as a National Park first in 1979, with the area increased in 1984. It is between Darwin and Arnhem Land.
114. Attention tourists : if you frequent a hotel devoid of Aboriginal people, you may be supporting oppression and racism in the N.T. [Northern Territory] : P.A.R.I.A.H., [2000?]
This political flier by P.A.R.I.A.H. (People Against Racism In Australian Hotels) was handed out to tourists in the territory in 2000. It takes the form of a very realistic comic strip showing Aborigines being refused accommodation at a Backpacker establishment and being refused service at a bar. They have to ask a white man to buy a cask of wine for them. He agrees, but says, "Yeh, but I keep the change OK?"
The message is addressed squarely to the tourist,
Attention tourists. If you frequent a hotel devoid of Aboriginal people you may be supporting oppression and racism in the N.T. Racism is the major cause of imprisonment in the N.T.
Australian Capital Territory
115. Canberra, federal capital, 1927. ([Sydney? : s.n.], 1927)
116. A Descriptive guide to Canberra / compiled by Harry Grover. (Melbourne : Brown, Prior & Co., 1927)
Canberra, the capital of Australia, is 150 miles south-west of Sydney, in the Australian Capital Territory. The ACT is an area of 910 square miles, acquired by the Commonwealth Government from New South Wales in 1911. The area was grazing land. A competition was held for a design for the national capital, and was won by Walter Burley Griffin of Chicago. The construction began in earnest in 1921. The official opening of Parliament was held on 9th May 1927, with the ceremony performed by the Duke and Duchess of York. There were few buildings there even then. The Governor- General's residence, Yarralumla, originally the home of one of the local pastoralists, was easily the most imposing building, apart of course from Parliament House itself.
The Descriptive guide begins defensively, the writer being only too aware of the jokes being made about our "bush capital". His section headed, "Discovering a great city" begins,
Now just where is Canberra? You swoop down in your car from Queanbeyan, and, with the judgment of an experienced bushman, sense that it must be somewhere near, because of the fine tarred thoroughfare. It augurs well for Canberra. A good road is a balm after several hundred miles of mostly bad and indifferent roads, which serve as links to the two state capitals. A row of tin sheds flash past; a string of cottages on the left; a big building on the right; then on into what seems like open country. Was that Canberra? Have you missed it?
A sharp turn to the right brings you to the crest of a rise – and you feel you are on the scent. Several big white buildings loom up, and serried ranks of stripling vegetation along the roadside, cheer you on. The squatting white shapes look very isolated. Then suddenly, right before you, is – Parliament House. You know it well. Its picture has been published more often than Miss Australia's. You find it lives up to its picture.
So this is Canberra! But where? Do its people dwell, in holes? You've heard they do, but thought the statements exaggerated. … Canberra is there all right, and its people live well. It is all around you. … Only a few buildings surround Parliament House, because it is set in a vast reserve of trees and lawns – though a lot of it may just be scratched up earth at the moment.
The scatter of cosy villas, with their profuse
gardens, which you passed nearly two miles back is the suburb of Eastlake. …
Further over, a mile or so beyond Eastlake, are several other groups of
dwellings forming the genesis of future suburbs. In your hustle you overlooked
them. … Ahead, a mile or so, is Ainslie, destined to be the real Canberra so
far as trade and commerce go, and already redolent of the restless activity of a
117. Canberra : a city of flowers ; official tourist guide to Australia's national capital / arranged and compiled by Gwen Cameron in conjunction with the Federal Department of the Interior. [Canberra : Dept. of the Interior, 1934]
Although this is a comprehensive guide-book, its emphasis is on the beauty of its natural setting and its gardens.
Only after you have visited Canberra will you realise how difficult it is to describe the beauty of this City of Flowers. Your friends might listen to you – put you off with the exclamation: "Oh, yes – Canberra! That's Australia's National Capital!" – never dreaming, as you never dreamed, that a modern city of today could at the same time be a fairyland of trees, shrubs, blossoms and exotic blooms. Canberra is more than a city. Set like a gem in a sweeping expanse of flowering park land, merging into the dreamy blue vistas of encircling hills, horticulturally it is the wonder city of the world.
To some, Canberra is a wonderful garden. To others it is a Sportsman's Paradise, with swimming, golfing, tennis, bowling, shooting and trout-fishing , all within easy reach of the city's palatial hotels. Still others find in the quaint and ancient aboriginal relics and prehistoric drawings in time-worn caves on the mountain-sides, a never-ending source of interest, and for tourists generally there is the magnetic attraction of Federal Parliament House. (p. 5)
118. To Canberra, the capital city of the Australian Commonwealth, by train. ([Sydney] : Commissioner for Railways, )
Written in a rather defensive tone, this brochure begins with the heading, "Glorious in its isolation".
"Whatever made them put it here?" That question is frequently asked by visitors to Canberra. Less than thirty years ago, the site of this wonderful city was as undeveloped as any other of the broad acres which graze Australia's flocks and herds. And, unless the person queried is versed in the history of the Commonwealth, almost certainly he will not know why Canberra is at Canberra,
Thus soon has been forgotten one of the major issues that had to be decided at the Federation of the Colonies of Australia. (p. )
The reference is to the inter-colonial rivalry between New South Wales and Victoria as to the site of the new capital. Eventually it was agreed to locate it within NSW, but in its own Territory, and more than 100 miles from Sydney.
The final paragraph concerns the original Aboriginal inhabitants of the site. It is worth quoting for its resonance regarding issues being debated now.
In the suburb of Ainslie is Corroboree Park, where foretime, the aborigines conducted their ceremonials. One speculates whether the spirits of those Australian natives, looking down from their mountain fastnesses, can see the transformation that the white man has made in the country he took from them.
119. Your guide to Canberra. Rev. ed. (Canberra : Dept. of the Interior, 1959)
This is a very business-like publication published by the Department of the Interior. Its emphasis is firmly on the functions of the capital.
Canberra is first and foremost a Parliamentary city.
It is only natural then, that the visitor to Canberra should set out to see Parliament House first. Parliament may be sitting, in which case he may like to call on his own representative. If Parliament is not in session, he will be met at the entrance by a guide who will show him over the building. (p. 7)
The beautiful cover design, however, lifts this booklet above the merely prosaic.
Herbert Thomson was the first person in Australia to build a motor car. The background is explained in the "Introduction" to this book,
In 1896, Mr. Herbert Thomson, a clever young engineer at Armadale, Victoria, was fully convinced that motor cars would become the vehicles of the future, and in order to give the matter thorough investigation, resolved to build a car in his spare time. Having no recognised data to work upon, progress was slow, each part having to be well studied. However, the vehicle grew apace, and in 1898 the first trial run was made successfully. Naturally, in such a new invention, there was always room for improvement, and by this time, having a practical, as well as a theoretical experience to work upon, the car quickly became an "article of commerce." Early in 1900 a strong syndicate company was formed to procure patents throughout the world, and introduce the car generally, with a view of establishing large manufacturing companies throughout Australia.
Although the car had been exhibited at the Melbourne, Bendigo and Maryborough Agricultural Shows, and has run upwards of 2000 miles on its experimental trials, no authentic record existed of its adaptability to the Australian colonies, and its enduring powers. It was the object of proving these to the public that the Thomson Motor Car Syndicate despatched Messrs. H. Thomson and E. L. Holmes to Sydney to exhibit the car at the Easter Agricultural Show, and return to Melbourne by road.
In fact they exhibited it also at the Bathurst Show and began the trip back from there. The writer points out that the car made the journey achieving the objects of giving publicity to the car and returning safely. He adds, "the fact that in no case were "hay motors" brought into use, proves beyond doubt the entire suitability of the car for long distances, rough roads, and Australia."
The popularity of motor cars grew quickly by the 1910s and 1920s, certainly proving their suitability to Australian conditions and revolutionising the promotion of tourism within Australia. The local sights became easily accessible and people were more likely to take their holidays here rather than aborad.
The trip itself was full of incident and the account makes interesting reading. After leaving Kilmore on the approach to Melbourne, they climbed "Pretty Sally" Hill,
Over the top we cut off the motor, in the prospect of a good "coast," and away we went like the wind. The motion of travelling at fully 40 miles an hour was terribly exciting. One cannot imagine the tremendous excitement and pleasure of going at this terrific pace over the roads with the car seemingly alive under us. It was glorious, it was sublime; till, with a series of rapidly decreasing hisses, and increasing bumpings on the road, we realized that our back tyre had punctured, after carrying us over 470 miles of wretched country. (p. 15)
On arrival in Melbourne,
After a brief welcome we continued our drive to the city, stopping at the "Australian Cyclist" office to be photographed, and arriving at the GPO at 12.23, after having completed the first Australian motor car journey (Bathurst NSW, to Melbourne, 493 ¼ miles nett), our actual riding time being 56 hours 36 minutes. (p. 15)
They had set out from Bathurst on 30th April and arrived in Melbourne on 9th May. "Average speed, 8.72 miles per hour" (p. 16). The Thomson motor car was an open carriage and the weather was bad. One of the photographs shows them driving with an umbrella up. Holmes wrote that as they neared Melbourne they were being "slowly frozen", but adds,
Thomson swears that he will devise a way of heating the car in winter by the exhaust steam. This will be a feature of future vehicles. (p. 15)
121. Pearson's cyclist's and traveller's road map of New South Wales / J. Pearson, H.E.C. Robinson. (Sydney : H.E.C. Robinson, [1912?])
Australia followed England and the US with a cycling boom in the 1890s. Parties of cyclists went on tours into the countryside. This Cyclists and travellers road map marks the transition from the pattern of the cyclist as tourist to the motorist.
J. Pearson ran a business in Sydney as "The Athlete's Outfitter" where, according to his advertisement on the back of this publication, "all cycling and motoring garments are obtainable."
As we have seen from his street guide to Sydney and his road map to New South Wales, Hector Robinson began his career as a publisher of maps for cyclists.
His Official motor road guide consists mainly of strip maps giving details of every corner and dip in the road, along with any tourist spots along the way. Close reading of such guide unearths long-forgotten facts such as this note accompanying the details of the trip from Sydney to Melbourne via the Hume Highway,
Motorists intending to enter Victoria are advised to carry both their licenses and registration papers as it is necessary to report at the nearest police station across the border and to obtain a permit, without payment to drive through Victoria. (p. 13)
There is a similar note in the details of the route from Melbourne to Sydney via the Princes Highway,
At the nearest police station across the NSW border the motorist must exhibit his papers and obtain a visitor's permit. (p. 16)
The interstate guides shown here were published back to back, with Melbourne to Sydney reading one way and Sydney to Melbourne the other.
As with Robinson, George Broadbent became a publisher of tourist maps from a background in cycling. He was a competitive cyclist who at one stage held most of the Victorian and Australian records. His first publication was in 1896, a map of Victoria for cycling tours. He was involved in the formation of the Country Roads Board in Victoria, and in 1914 became the manager of the Royal Automobile Club of Victoria's Touring Department. He was also active on the Trust appointed to plan the Great Ocean Road.
In his introduction to the Melbourne guide on display Broadbent draws on his own experiences to summarise the importance of tourism in Victoria. Under the heading, "The Holiday Map. Fifty miles round Melbourne", he writes,
This map has proved to be most useful and educative and interesting; it has become the guide for walkers, drivers, cyclists and motorists; it shows scores of roads and tracks to places suitable for half-day, full-day, week-end, or more extended excursions, according to the method of travel. It is also consulted by those adopting the railway, as it gives not only the location of any resort, but also a general idea of the surroundings, and has proved invaluable to the week-ender. Further it has been a potent factor in popularising the Holiday Places within its limits – Fifty Miles Round Melbourne; and in inculcating the habit of "Seeing Victoria First," to the direct advantage of all concerned; and many of our citizens are quite satisfied that their home state contains more than sufficient in the way of pleasant holiday haunts, delightful scenery, improved roads, and adequate railway services to remove any necessity for their going outside the state to spend their holidays, and, incidentally, a large amount of ready cash. As a matter of fact it has been one of the chief objects of the compiler of this Map and Guide to create a desire with citizens to see more of their own land, and he, with other cyclists of the period – away back in the ‘eighties – inaugurated what is now known as week-end outing. With their tall machines of those days, the wheelmen left the city on Saturday afternoon and rode to various places – Geelong, Melton, Bacchus Marsh, Gisborne, Kyneton and Kilmore, which then had the best connecting roads, returning on the day following, or even on the Monday, if circumstances permitted; moreover it has helped to diffuse the metropolitan population, and, rendering localities popular and attracting settlement, has been and still is a big factor in Decentralisation.
But it remains for the Government to thoroughly develop the Tourist Traffic, which in other countries is a lucrative business. Tourist Traffic using the railways receives direct encouragement from the Government through the department concerned. With the advent of the self-propelled vehicle – the motor-car and cycle, and the chars-a-banc – together with the great improvement of the roads, there is another branch of the Tourist Traffic that eventually must be encouraged and reorganised, for it than would not only ensure our people spending most of their holidays in the state, but would be the means of attracting visitors from other parts of the Commonwealth, and even from more distant countries, which eventually would prove profitable to Victoria, more especially if the state as a whole were included in any government scheme. (p. 13-15)
124. The Tourists' road guide for South Australia. 9th ed. (Adelaide : W.K. Thomas & Co., 1918)
As well as maps and details of all the tourist attractions, this guide includes the South Australian road regulations. There is a chapter of "Useful hints for motorists" which begins with the advice that you should coat your windscreen with soap to prevent raindrops from obscuring the view.
125. Tourists information & accommodation guide, 1915-16 : arrange with Webster, Rometch Ltd. to see you through Tasmania. (Hobart : Webster, Rometch, )
126. The Tasmanian motorists' comprehensive road guide, for the whole island of Tasmania : with sectional maps. (Hobart : Leeson Publishing, 1916)
Both these guide-books stress the growing popularity of the motor-car as the best form of transport round the island state. However, when we look at the tourist groups being taken up Mount Wellington behind Hobart, the photographs still show mainly horse-drawn carriages and charabancs being used.
127. The Herald road guide : motor roads of Victoria & routes to Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Alice Springs, in speedo maps. [Caulfield, Vic. : printed and published by Edgar H. Baillie for the Herald and Weekly Times, 1934]
The Herald called its strip maps "speedo maps". Although mainly devoted to maps of Victoria, this edition of the guide contains speedo maps for the trip from Adelaide to Alice Springs, via Ooodnadatta. Despite the grim travel anecdotes met with in such books as Clune's and Madigan's, the Herald makes light of this route. The only warning included is this,
On this run the Finke River has to be crossed many times. Some of the crossings – as at Afghan Crossing – should be carefully studied before being attempted. Where loose sand is met it is best to rush it in second gear. (p. 168)
128. Gregory's road guide to N.S.W. : containing a complete series of high-class and up-to-date interlocking maps of the roads of N.S.W., drawn to scale & classified... (Sydney : Published in association with N.S.W. Government Tourist Bureau by The Australian Guide Book Co., [194-])
129. Gregory's road guide to Victoria, also routes to Canberra, Sydney and Adelaide, containing a complete series of high class and up-to-date interlocking maps of the roads of Victoria, drawn to scale and classified. (Sydney : Gregory Publishing, [194-?])
Gregory's Publishing Company is based in Sydney and is usually associated with New South Wales guides and directories, but the firm also produced Victorian road guides.
This package of material provided by the RACV to one of its members in the 1950s consists of strip maps of the routes Melbourne to Sydney via the Hume Highway; and Sydney to Brisbane, via the Pacific Highway and via the New England Highway. In addition to the three strip maps there are brochures including one entitled, "South coast: the Riviera of Queensland." This dates from the time before the term "Gold Coast" came to be commonly applied to Queensland's south coast.
Camping and Hiking
131. Australian camper's manual & road guide. Vic. ed. (Melbourne : A.E. Lamard, )
The purpose of this guide is to encourage people to take a motoring holiday and camp at night rather than stay at hotels. The "Introduction" begins,
Inexperience should not deter one from going motor-car camping. Of the increasingly great number who are yearly enjoying this healthful life outdoors, even the "old timers" were beginners once. Breathing the pure ozone day and night, eating the meals with an appetite and increasing relish, coupled with the exercise necessarily associated with camp life, will soon bring a glow of health back to pale cheeks.
Then motor-car camping is of course, relatively inexpensive when compared with hotel bills. In fact a party can make quite an extensive camping tour very economically, as to some extent the commissary supplies can be procured direct from the farmers and generally near the chosen camp site from day to day. Do not hesitate on account of poor health, unless a positive invalid. The continual change, healthful rest, and, above all, the pure air is a panacea for frazzled nerves and run-down systems, the tired mind and body. (p. 3)
The map of Australia on the cover contains the motto, "Save our forests". This was a call to help prevent bushfires by being careful to extinguish camp-fires, matches and cigarette butts. There are further reminders of this theme at the top and bottom of pages throughout the book.
Croll was the Vice-President of the Melbourne Walking Club. His book begins with "A survey by way of preface" in which he describes the attractions and benefits of bushwalking and the popular phenomenon it had become.
The train, the car, the buggy, the bicycle are excellent means of getting from place to place; none of them gives a man leisure to note what lies between. That is peculiarly the walker's gain. It is then that he gathers the harvest of the quiet eye, and he sees not only the landscape, but also the details of nature's plan. … He may go where no vehicle may follow, and at night, with twenty clean bush miles behind him, he can know what rest really means as he takes his ease at his inn, or, stretched by his camp fire on a quiet hill top, seem so removed from the troubled world as to feel that he owns the sunset, and that the whole round earth and its fullness are his.
Never has walking had a greater vogue than it enjoys today. A few years ago, an epidemic of walking races raged like a disease, and everyone took off his coat and did ridiculous things in fast time on suburban roads. It was essentially a class craze – stockbroker competed against stockbroker, butcher against butcher. (p. 1)
Croll summarises the walking opportunities available from the various clubs in Melbourne, and, in the body of the book, gives details of walks in most areas of the state, beginning with "City Strolls" in Collins Street and the Botanical Gardens, and ending with "Extended Tours" to Lorne, Mount Buffalo, Kosciusko, and Bogong.
133. Planned hikes : selected walking tours in Victoria, Australia. ([Melbourne] : Victorian Railways, )
The theme of this pamphlet is to catch a train into the country and go hiking.
The writer begins with the heading, "Invigorating pleasures of hiking."
Tramping in the open, with a sunlit sky above and the soft, green beauty of the Australian bush to enchant you with a range of pictures that only Nature can paint, is one of the most alluring prospects.
To an increasing number of young men and women, as well as a sprinkling of older enthusiasts, this is the elixir of recreation.
Convenient train services connect with the starting and finishing points of the various walks. (p. 1)
Various services were offered to the bushwalker by the Victorian Railways, including, "Hikers' tickets for round journeys"; "The purchase of tickets in bulk for sale at club meetings etc. before walks"; and "Reservations on trains for large hiking parties".
The walks are described and clear maps are provided.
This attractive booklet was published by the company that ran the Sydney ferries, presumably to encourage people to catch the Manly ferry, go hiking, then catch the ferry home. Once again, the "Preface" contains important contextual information, significant for the researcher trying to understand the motivations of people in the past.
Hiking, tramping, trailing, walking, bush-walking, call it what you will.
About four years ago the whole Commonwealth was seized with the craze; young and old indulged in this "new" and fascinating pastime; every city and large town had its "hike trains" and "mystery hikes," and hiking Clubs were formed, many of them still being in existence. Almost everyone indulged in what the appealed as a new, novel, educational and health-promoting recreation. (p. 4)
However, the writer detects that this craze has fallen away to some extent, perhaps because the hiker has covered all the well-known tracks,
but, lacking sufficient enthusiasm to plan his own tours … the real hidden beauty of the country remains a closed book to him. He is ever willing, however, to undertake new walks if he is authoritatively advised thereon. Of this latter type there remain thousands in the city and suburbs, and to this particular type referred to, this publication will be of the utmost value. (p. 4)
The Preface is followed by an "Important Notice" stating that, "The Port Jackson & Manly Steamship Company Ltd., or the author (Mr. E. Caines Phillips) cannot accept any responsibility in the event of hikers becoming lost." (p. 5)
The author includes his contact number, with the offer that, "Leaders for hikes can be found by ringing Mr. E. Caines Phillips at L2667." (p. 5)
Bush walking & camping : Paddy Pallin's handbook of Australian bushcraft. 6th ed. (Sydney : Paddy Pallin, 1959)
Paddy Pallin is the name most often associated with camping and bush-walking supplies in Australia. He began his first store in Sydney in 1930, in the middle of the hiking craze. It was in George Street, opposite Wynyard Station and is advertised in the 1933 publication shown here, under the motto, "There's a reason why campers of experience choose Paddymade gear". The chapters give much information of rucksacks, what to pack and how much items weigh. Sleeping bags were a novelty at the time. Under the heading, "Blankets or sleeping bags" Paddy writes,
A big improvement on blankets is a down sleeping bag. It should be stuffed with the best quality down you can afford. Kapok or feathers, or mixed down are useless for our purpose. (p. 13)
The small format of the book itself is in keeping with the strong emphasis placed in it on the size and weight of all hiking accessories.
The later edition has a "Dedication" which gives the impression of the somewhat Puritanical attractions bushwalking and camping hold for the devotee,
To the people of the little tents this book is dedicated. To all those men and women who feel the call of the wilderness, who have struggled out of "the cradle of custom" to follow that call to journey in a lonely land. Theirs is not always the pleasant, easy way. The good walker plans his trip with scrupulous care. On the way he oft-times must endure hunger and thirst, heat of summer sun, drenching rain and cold of mountain top. Difficulty and Danger are often his companions, but he is rewarded by an enduring satisfaction which continues with him down the years. (p. 6)
This booklet contains sections on rock-climbing, caving, paddling and ski-touring.
136. Australia to-day. (Melbourne : United Commercial Travellers' Association of Australasia, 1904-1973)
Australia to-day was the Christmas annual for the magazine, Australian traveller.
The sub-title for the annual was, "for migrant and tourist". It was a large format publication with specially designed covers by artists such as Ernest Buckmaster, although the most collectible copy is that for 1917 with Norman Lindsay's patriotic World War I cover.
It carried many stories about Australia's tourist attractions. The copy for 1928 has for example an article, "Australia for the tourist", by H. Roy Gollan, of the Victorian Government Tourist Bureau. It begins with a general background on the state of tourism at the time,
It has become increasingly apparent during recent years that people throughout the world are acquiring what has been aptly described as the "travel habit." Journeys which a decade ago were looked upon by the majority as out of the question are now taken as a matter of course. One of the factors behind this urge to travel has been the improved services offered by the railways, steamships and aerial services of all countries, in addition to the development of the motor age with the consequent improvement of the pubic highways. Even the person of average means may now satisfy his longing for travel. (p. 51)
The point Mr. Gollan makes is Australia's remoteness from the rest of the world, but he stresses the novelty of our country for overseas travellers jaded with the Continent.
137. Walkabout (Melbourne : Australian National Travel Association, 1934-1974)
This is the primary magazine for the study of Australian tourism. It was a monthly issued by the ANTA, the Australian National Travel Association. This association was founded in 1929 to co-ordinate the efforts of the state tourist bureaux in the promotion of Australia as a tourist destination. Charles Holmes one of the directors of ANTA was the managing editor of Walkabout. The choice of the title is appropriate. Much of the material deals with the Australian "outback" and many of the articles have Aboriginal themes. The sub-title was "Australia and the South Seas" so there was also a good deal of picturesque coverage of the islands in the tropics.
In its second issue Holmes wrote of tourism as a "novel industry". His editorial is headed, "An export commodity that costs nothing to produce!"
Meeting the "hurrying to and fro" demands of the world's people, whether by train or tram, ship or ‘plane, car or camel, constitutes, in the aggregate, a tremendous industry – there is none greater! The traveller's spendings have built up monumental industries to cater for his requirements; his pounds, shillings and pence, or their equivalent, scattered over six continents, are the payment for an "invisible" export commodity – that is, the attractions of the land he visits; and where the stream of travel is thick, the tourists' money has become a vital factor in assisting in the balancing of international payments.
In this novel industry of exporting its scenic and climatic attractions, a country has an inexhaustible commodity that costs nothing to produce, a commodity which can be exported anywhere and everywhere, without suffering tariff restrictions. Apart from the obligation to advertise, man, in his partnership with Nature, is required but to give service when the visitor puts down his money – service of the highest quality is a fundamental of the success of the travel industry. (Dec. 1934, p. 7)
He ends his editorial with, "It pays to advertise – nationally!" Certainly Holmes was successful in attracting advertisers to his magazine, and the pages of Walkabout are an unrivalled source of information for the study of tourism in Australia for the thirties through to the early seventies, although by then it had become more of a bland, promotional publication, using publicity releases from the various State Tourist Bureaux, rather than pieces by professional travel journalists.
138. Australia : national journal. (Sydney : Ure Smith, 1939-1947)
Sydney Ure Smith, the editor of this magazine, was formerly the editor of Art in Australia, and Home. It was a stylish publication originally in folio format, but after 1940 reduced to octavo size because of wartime paper rationing. There was an annual which accompanied it, the Australia week-end book (1942-46)
This covered a variety of subjects in the fields of the arts and lifestyle, and also carried many wartime colour pieces. There were also travel articles designed partly to encourage US servicemen to see some of the country on their furlough. Although one effect of having so many foreigners here seems to have been to create self-consciousness. The August 1945 issue included an article, "Sydney could be beautiful",
Sydney could be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is not. Its natural beauties have been cancelled out by man-made ugliness. Sydney could be one of the most agreeable cities in the world to live in. It is not. In spite of being an important air and sea port, with a constant stream of visitors from more civilised centres of the world, it retains many of the crudities of a gold-rush town.
We have lately been made self-conscious about our city. For the past few years we have been more closely under observation by visitors than ever before. The influx of Allied servicemen has included many intelligent observers. They have, in the kindest possible way made us more keenly aware of our possibilities and our shortcomings. First of all they are politely shocked by what – we must admit – is the slovenliness of our streets. (Aug., 1943, p. 12)
The other problems seen by the writer are drunks on public transport after the pubs close at 6.00 pm, the licensing laws themselves, and women tram conductors not wearing their proper uniforms. He ends with a plea to extend "the cultural amenities of Sydney" for "lovers of art and music",
This more than any other reform would help to make Sydney rank with those gracious cities of the Old World, which act as magnets to attract those who love beauty and distinction in life. (p. 14)
Is this an early example of the attitude A. A. Phillips called "the cultural cringe"?