Welcome to Life Images by Jill

Welcome to Life Images by Jill.........Stepping into the light and bringing together the images and stories of our world. I am a photographer, writer and multi-media artist.
Focussing mainly on Western Australia and Australia, I am seeking to preserve images and memories of the beautiful world in which we live and the people in it.



Tuesday 26 September 2023

Fremantle West Australia & the 40th Anniversary of Australia's 1983 win of the America's Cup

Did you know that it is the 40th Anniversary of one of AustraliĆ”'s biggest international sporting achievements? Fremantle in Western Australia has been celebrating this event over the weekend. 

On 26 September 1983, the yacht Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, made history by winning the oldest sporting trophy in the world, the America’s Cup, when they took it from the New York Yacht Club who had held it since 1851 for 132 years.  


The Australia II was owned and built by a syndicate Western Australians headed by former businessman Alan Bond. The syndicate had unsuccessfully challenged for the Cup three times, but in 1983 the Cup was theirs. 


Unfortunately holding the Cup was short lived - In a disastrous defence off Fremantle in Western Australia four years later, in the summer of 1986-87, Kookaburra III was trounced 4-0 by Stars and Stripes 87, skippered by 1983 loser, Dennis Conner. 

However the America's Cup defense put Fremantle on the international map and injected millions of dollars into Fremantle and the Western Australian economy and refurbished and enlivened the port city. 

I remember watching the footage on TV and all of Australia was cheering together. This was long before I started blogging and I don't have photos, but here is some footage and information which I borrowed off the net. 

WA Museum - America's Cup winner 1983

Maritime Museum - 40 years on

Royal Perth Yacht Club

You can still see Australia ii - it is housed in the WA Maritime Museum at Victoria Quay in Fremantle. 

I have just read that The America's Cup is currently held by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, who successfully defended the 36th America's Cup in March 2021 using an AC75 foiling monohull called Te Rehutai, owned and sailed by the Team New Zealand syndicate. However the race will not be run in New Zeland - it will be run off Barcelonia in Spain in September-October 2024. 

And a little about Fremantle - 

Fremantle was established in 1829 as a port for the new Swan River Colony settlement and was the major city in Western Australia for much of its early history. It was here that the first settlers landed on their arrival from England, and it was the first port of call in Australia for many migrants and visitors. Fremantle handles the majority of the State's imports and exports.

Fremantle is a rich mixture of cultures and nationalities -a unique blend of a lively multicultural yet relaxed lifestyle which attracts hundreds of tourists and visitors daily.

Within easy walking and cycling distance, visitors can experience contemporary circus, fine crafts, original music and theatre, galleries, museums, bookshops, buskers, cafes and restaurants, and a lively nightlife. Along with maritime history and extensive architectural conservation of its historical buildings, visitors can discover the past and present.

At the western end of High Street on Arthur Head, a headland overlooking the Indian Ocean is the Round House, Western Australia's oldest building, built as a goal in 1831 two years after the first settlement in Western Australia (the first convicts arrived in 1850). Below you can see the Round House at the end of High Street. Underneath the Round House is the Whalers Tunnel built in 1837 by the Fremantle Whaling Company to allow easy access between Fremantle and the ocean.

Below you can see some of Fremantle Harbour - the training sailing ship Leeuwin taking passengers for a late afternoon cruise, and a huge container ship being brought into dock by tug boats. Near here is the WA Maritime Museum at Victoria Quay which amongst other exhibits, houses Australia II. 

Boats, the water, and fishing are an integral part of Fremantle. Here is the lively waterfront precinct, where you can have a feed of fish and chips almost any time day or night.

The Fremantle Markets are abuzz with activity and crowds every Saturday and Sunday. It is the place to buy fresh fruit and vegetables, gifts, art, clothes, almost anything you can think of. 

The Fremantle Prison dominates the skyline and history of Fremantle. Built from local limestone by convict labour in the 1850s and decommissioned as an operating goal in 1991, and now Heritage Listed, the goal is the largest convict built structure in Western Australia. The photo you see here is the gatehouse. The goal now welcomes thousands of visitors every year - there are numerous tours including a torchlight tour if you are feeling brave, and a tour 20 metres below to explore the labyrinth of tunnels below the prison. The complex also houses the Children's Literacy Centre.

The photo below shows some of the terrace workers cottages adjacent to the Fremantle Markets. There are many more examples of these terrace houses around Fremantle.

Many of the early buildings in Fremantle were built of local limestone with decorative wrought iron lace work on their balconies. Between 1890 and 1912, following the discovery of gold in Kalgoorlie many buildings were replaced by the solid buildings we see today, many with very decorative plasterwork scrolls and patterns on their facades. In recent times many of these have been converted into private residences, art spaces, restaurants, shops etc, beautifully restored and retaining the character of Fremantle. The University of Notre Dame also occupies a great number of these buildings across the centre of Fremantle, bringing a young and multicultural vibrancy to Fremantle.

One notable building, is the old Bond Store bulding.  Built in 1851 from local limestone by convicts to store food, clothing and equipment, and later converted into a Customs House and Bonded Warehouse, it now houses the Maritime Museum Shipwreck Gallery where you can see relics of shipwrecks run aground on the Western Australian coast on their way across the Indian Ocean to the Dutch East Indies - a fascinating place to spend a few hours.

High on a hill overlooking Fremantle and the port is the war memorial, remembering those who have lost their lives during war.

I hope you have enjoyed this little look at Fremantle and the winning of the America's Cup. Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Monday 18 September 2023

McKinlay Queensland, Australia - and Crocodile Dundee

Hi everyone, I hope you and yours are doing well. Last week I introduced you to the Australian Brolga and the first part of our Queensland road trip across Australia. If you missed it you can see it here - Sighting the Australian Brolga.

Today I am sharing some more of our trip with something a little different - Walkabout Creek Hotel at McKinlay in Queensland - one of the filming locations for the iconic Australian movie Crocodile Dundee - have you seen it?

Our son loves to see movie locations - and had been talking about Walkabout Creek for a few years - at least ever since we visited the Northern Territory in 2019. 

Finally this year we made it to Queensland, after having to postpone in 2020-21. 

Made famous by the world wide box office hit, Paul Hogan’s 1986 movie, Crocodile Dundee, the main attraction in the tiny town of McKinlay, located 101 kilometres south of Julia Creek, in outback Queensland is the Walkabout Creek Hotel. The pub was on the list of our son’s must does when we travelled through outback Queensland in July-August 2023.

Who could forget Paul Hogan’s iconic Mick Dundee. Paul Byrnes, film critic and journalist, writes, ‘Mick Dundee is all things to all people – self-made man, tough guy, bush philosopher, romantic lead, old-fashioned knight, defender of women, tamer of wild animals, and wandering free spirit.’National Film & Sound Archive of Australia

The hotel, originally named the Federal Hotel, was one of four originally in McKinlay. It was built in 1900, licensed in 1901, and owned by Mrs Kate Machett.

from Filming Locations of Crocodile Dundee - MovieLoci.com

Along came Paul Hogan in 1985 and The Federal Hotel was fitted with a false faƧade to become the dusty outback Walkabout Creek Hotel for the Crocodile Dundee movie. After the worldwide success of the film, the hotel’s name was officially changed. In 1996 the hotel was relocated about a kilometre around the corner to Kirby Street on the Landsborough Highway, following the redirection of the popular Matilda Way tourist drive. The hotel was renovated, and the interior capitalises on the pub’s association with Crocodile Dundee with photos and memorabilia making it a tourist attraction.  

The movie set for the inside pub scenes was given to them by the film’s producer John Cornell, and can be seen out the back of the hotel. The Never Never Safari truck is parked out front.

The Walkabout Creek hotel movie set from Crocodile Dundee

Paul Hogan’s character Mick Dundee was loosely based on a real life Australian bushman and buffalo hunter, Rod Ansell. However if you want to see more of the Australian movie locations you will need to travel to Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, over 1600 kilometres away – there are no crocodiles in McKinlay!  And Charlie the buffalo? He now has pride of place on the bar of the Adelaide River Inn south of Darwin.  

Interestingly - There are two versions of the film: the Australian version, and an international version, which was slightly shorter and had much of the Australian slang replaced with more commonly understood terms. It became Australia’s highest grossing film worldwide.

Here is a little promo movie clip from Youtube


The European history of McKinlay goes back to 1861 when Scottish born explorer John McKinlay led the
South Australian Burke Relief Expedition from Adelaide to the Gulf of Carpentaria in search of explorers Burke and Wills who had perished during their crossing of Australia. He named the McKinlay River which subsequently gave the town its name.


In 1883 a receiving office was opened, and in 1888 a staging post for Cobb and Co Coaches was established, and McKinlay became gathering point for local graziers.  Water for stock was an issue until the first artesian bore was put down in 1884. The railway line from Richmond reached Julia Creek, 101 kilometres north of McKinlay, in 1908, and Julia Creek was established as a maintenance town for the railway line. The McKinlay Shire Council offices, originally located in McKinlay, were moved to Julia Creek by wagon in 1930.

flat cattle grazing country around McKinlay

After Qantas was formed in 1920 there were two air services per week in McKinlay. On one occasion a plane piloted by Lester Brian hit a fence and the top wire tangled around the axle pulling the plane over. It is said that a lady passenger was travelling with her pet cockatoo which kept up a constant stream of chatter.

The McKinlay school which opened in 1897, closed in 1985 and by 1986 there were very few buildings left in McKinlay. Population of the town is now only between 10 to 15 residents. 

Take a wander around the streets to see the few remaining buildings including Queensland’s smallest library. Used as Never Never Safari Tours office in Crocodile Dundee, the library is not sadly not currently operating. The McKinlay war memorial and John McKinlay’s statue, unveiled in 2012, are located across from Centenary Park, where there is a playground for the kids to burn off some energy. The storyboards at the park share some interesting historical information.

In June the McKinlay Races attracts people with horse racing, foot races, tug of war, fashions on the field, and family friendly events, as well as live music at the pub. 

99 kilometres south west of McKinlay is Combo Waterhole on the Diamantina River at Kynuna. It is said to have inspired Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda based on an incident believed to have happened there in the 1890s.

During our visit we saw that the Walkabout Creek Hotel is up for sale if you are wanting to buy a slice of Australian movie history. They have regular events at the pub. Drop in any time and say hi and buy a drink.


WHERE IS IT? McKinlay is located 1,597 km from Brisbane via Longreach and the Landsborough Highway. It is 101 km south of Julia Creek and 240 km north west of Winton. The arrow points to it on this map. 

Walkabout Creek Hotel has 18 single workers rooms, and a caravan park with powered and unpowered sites.  Counter lunches and dinners are served seven days during the busy period from March to September.

The At The Creek Visitor Information Centre is located at 34 Burke Street, Julia Creek



Julia Creek Visitor Information Centre – www.atthecreek.com.au

Thank you so much for stopping by. Do you llike visiting movie locations? Perhaps you would like to rell us about it in your comments. 

I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 

I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!

Sunday 3 September 2023

Sighting the Australian Brolga

 We have been away on a long caravan trip around Australia for the last nine weeks. 15,561.9 kilometres in 9 weeks - a long way. Our destination was Queensland on the eastern side of Australia, but regardless if you go over the top of Australia to get there from the south west corner of Western Australia (where I live), or choose to go across the bottom, it is about 5,500 kilometres just to get to Queensland... which is probably why this was our first trip to Queensland. 

Here is a map with the red line showing our track to give you a bit of an idea. We live near the coast in the south west corner. 

Over the next few weeks I plan to share a few pics and experiences. 

Today the Australian Brolga -  Antigone rubicunda - a member of the crane family, and native to northern Australia, and New Guinea.  The Brolga is one of the largest flying birds, standing between 1 and 1.3 m tall (3ft 2”- 4ft 2”). Their wingspans are between 1.7 and 2.4 m (5ft 5” – 7ft 8”). Males are often larger than females. 

I was lucky to get this image below - taken in the caravan park in Longreach in Queensland. I think someone had put down some grain for them. We saw them often around the caravan park - they seemed to be very used to people. We also saw them walking in the street in Longreach! 

When we were in Queensland it was wonderful to see many more Brolgas than we had ever seen before. Previously we had only seen a few birds in the Kimberley and Pardoo in Western Australia. The photo below was taken at Pardoo on the Western Australian Pilbara coast.

When we were in Queensland we saw 100s of them picking in the burnt road verge just south of Normanton near the Gulf of Carpentaria, and also in Longreach, Winton and Charleville. We often saw them in groups of three. I learnt they mate for life and it is usual for a pair to be seen with one or two juveniles.

The plumage of male and female is the same, but juviniles have a paler head.

They have an elegant walk and I learnt that when you point a camera towards them they will turn their back and walk away. Unfortunately I don't have a long birding lens and couldn't always park off the road when we saw them. Here they are walking away.....

Brolgas have an elegant and elaborate courting dance (we were lucky to see this at Pardoo a few years ago). They mate for life, both build the nest, incubate the eggs and care for the young, which stay with them for about a year.

They can live for about 30 years in the wild, but loss of habitat and preditors such as the fox, are a threat.

Brolgas don't migrate but they do move areas based on rainfall. They form large groups following the breeding season.

Here is an image I took at Pardoo of a brolga courting his lady.

We also saw the Sarus Crane - Antigone antigone - at the Mutton Holes Wetland Reserve near Normanton. The Sarus Crane is very similar to the Brolga with a few differences - see the pics below. The red on the head of the Sarus crane extends further down the neck, and the Brolga has a dark dewlap under the chin. The legs of the Brolga are grey to black and the Sarus Crane has pinkish legs. The Sarus crane is a slightly bigger bird.

Unfortunately I don't have a birding lens, and we couldn't always stop on the side of the road when we saw them, so I apologise for the quality of these images. The close up was taken in the caravan park at Longreach. I think someone had put down some grain for them.

For more information on the Brolga you can click below. The link also has a short video. Operation Migration - The Brolga Ultimate Guide

Brolga artpiece - Karumba 

I hope you have enjoyed this little look at the Brolga. I hope to return with more from our trip over the coming weeks.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I value your comments and look forward to hearing from you. I will try to visit your blogs in return. Have a wonderful week. 
I am linking up to the link-ups below. Please click on the links to see fabulous contributions from around the world - virtual touring at its best!