New meets old in Perancak’s Emerald Ecosystem

By Chris SawyerHanggar meets us with a warm smile and we know we are in good hands. His English is very good and he communicates a passion for conservation as he explains the itinerary for the day and we set off. Being on first name terms with the local people, he’s treated like a family member. We can ask many questions and feel like we’re in the heart of a real community for conservation. Everywhere there are good news stories to be told by the local people who are happy...

Symphony Violinist Who Orchestrates Alien Night-Animal Images

Tan is a violinist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra and between concert seasons, leaves his prized antique Italian violin at home to explore the Pacific. Tan will be speaking at this years Underwater Tour from 9 - 14 May, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide & Perth A world previously exclusive to scientific academia, if you've seen everything and dived everywhere, William’s images are guaranteed to pique your curiosity and have you wanting to set out on new ad...

Inspiration, adventure and discovery with NG legends Doubilet and Hayes

National Geographic Legends Doubilet & Hayes talk LIVE in AustraliaDoubilet and Hayes, National Geographic legends and undoubtedly the world’s most recognisable and inspirational ambassadors of the oceans, are on their way from upstate New York to Australia to keynote the Underwater Tour 2019.  Logging 26,000 and 11,000 hours beneath the surface respectively, it’s no wonder they have earned their place as revered underwater photographers and international treasures...

Raja Ampat - A Fantastic Voyage

To visit Raja Ampat is to dive inside a gigantic living organism; to navigate through its nervous system, ride the rush of currents passing down networks of ancient channels, highways for cells and plankton that feed the organs of its being: reefs and ocean fronts where miniature forces combine on a massive scale, giving and supporting life. In the 1996 Vernes-style cult classic The Fantastic Voyage adventurers were miniaturised and injected into the body of a scientist to...

Birds of God in the Heart of Paradise

"The people told us that those birds came from the terrestrial paradise, and they call them bolon diuata, that is to say, 'birds of God'" Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1491 – c. 1531)In the absence of natural predators, Birds of Paradise have evolved elaborate plumage and displays that correlate with males’ sexual prowess and fertility. It’s the undercurrent of an evolutionarily stable strategy, that’s to say a way to ensure populations remain balanced perfectly at carrying capacit...

From the Realms of the Dead: Killer Whales in Raja Ampat

Latin Orcinus (“of the realms of the dead”), from Orcus + -inusAfter breakfast we resume our hunt for whales and dolphins heading south west into the heart of the Dampier Strait. A slice of nutrient-poor Pacific Ocean water pushes into the narrows from the east to meet bountiful currents and upwellings from the other side. In this three-dimensional world, fish and squid concentrate in the layers between vast water masses. At their boundaries, currents extend,...

The Ghost Net Story

When Ghost Nets Australia began, the combination of science and art brought the Aboriginal communities of northern Australia together with fishing communities in remote eastern Indonesia. The project has been instrumental in cleaning up ghost gear in the Arafura Seas, supporting Indigenous rangers and saving endangered sea turtles.This is the story of a Ghost Net (for more, read https://www.ghostnets.com.au/) 

Arts of the Sea People

By Sue Ryan, image maker, storyteller and architect of the Ghost Net Art ProjectBack in 2014 the Ghost Net Art Project created Jidirah a four metre long Southern Right whale at Ceduna Arts with Ceduna artists and the help of some visiting Yalata women.  Jidirah travelled to Europe for the blockbuster exhibition Taba Naba — Australia, Oceania, Arts of the Sea People at the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco, after which went on to be exhibited in Pari...

Facing Challenges Through a Love of Nature

From an early age, Olympic Swimmer Libby Trickett trained for 35 hours a week, 52 weeks a year. In 2008, she became the fastest woman on Earth over 100m.Libby met Michael Jeh when she was 19 and thanks him for her success outside sport. "I never had any confidence at that age, and thought I'd be lucky to make it through my degree," she says.Michael, a Sri Lankan-born refugee and former professional cricketer, is an Australian sports life skills trainer. "In our sports people we...

Golden Bridge Gate to Serene Ceningan

Sunset’s last rays turn Mount Agung’s summit amber, it’s eruption-scorched cone cutting a foreboding shape above evening mist, as the fast ferry carves its way through lazurite seas toward the lights of Lembogan island’s resorts. Half an hour from Sanur Harbour (Bali’s Charing Cross for fast ferries), the island was once haven for those seeking peace from the mainland. These days arrivals are met with the familiar endless beachside restaurants, resorts and guest houses that have prolif...

The Way That Rainforests Work

Staring at lowland rainforest for the first time, it’s uniformity is confusing. It lacks the grandeur associated with mountainous cloud forests. Yet, you’re observing the by-product of thousands of years of ecosystems at work. The warmth, light and humidity of the tropics, creates ideal conditions for things to grow.  Our flight into Pankalan Bun crossed the southern coast of Borneo, the world’s third largest island. The region, known as southern Kalimantan, c...

TEN Small Islands that Changed the World

Three hundred and fifty years ago last July, the Dutch traded New Amsterdam to the British (which was to become Manhattan) for two small islands, bringing to end the second Anglo-Dutch war (1665-1667) and securing a monopoly over the global trade of nutmeg. These islands were Ai and Rhun, the latter bring the smallest and western-most of 10 Banda Islands but still of great economic importance at the time.      The spice trade monopolies brought by the Europe...