Australia is well known for its natural wonders, unique flora and fauna, and fascinating historical sites. Therefore, for medical professionals here in Australia, there are ample opportunities to explore and experience this stunning, sun-kissed country. Famous attractions such as the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Uluru, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Great Ocean Road are hugely popular tourist destinations, but we’ve singled out some of our favourite, lesser-known attractions for those keen to discover the natural beauty, and historical background of Australia.
S.S. Ayrfield, Sydney, New South Wales
Commonly referred to as Sydney’s “floating forest”, the S.S. Ayrfield (pictured above) is an abandoned, 1140 tonne, 79.1 ft, collier that has been moored in Homebush Bay since the early 1970s. Having been built in 1911, and brought to Australia in 1912, the S.S. Ayrfield (then known as the S.S. Corrimal) was used during WWII to ship supplies to the American forces in the Pacific region, before it was utilised as a coal-carrying vessel in the 1950s and 60s. The Ayrfield eventually found its way into Homebush Bay, which had been deserted in the mid 20th Century after the area became a dumping ground for industrial waste and a site for ship-breaking operations. The S.S. Ayrfield remains afloat, and is today a fascinating, even surreal sight, as it has become thoroughly overgrown by a dense forest of mangrove trees. Entangled in the roots and branches of the mangroves, the ship’s framework is becoming steadily weaker and will eventually collapse into the water to join the rest of the wrecked ships in Homebush Bay. The S.S. Ayrfield, along with the other wrecks of Homebush bay, offers a mesmerizing glimpse at Australia’s maritime history.
Burning Mountain, Wingen, New South Wales
Located near the town of Wingen, Burning Mountain contains the world’s oldest subterranean fire. For 6000 years a natural coal seam fire has been smouldering in the heart of the mountain. The fire was perhaps started by a lightening strike, or a bushland fire occurring thousands of years ago. The mountain is best observed via the Burning Mountain Walk (4km return, 1-2 hours), which winds through the Burning Mountain Nature Reserve, from the car park to a viewing platform at the head of the coal seam, where visitors can view the smoke emanating from the ground, and study the way the extreme temperatures have transformed the landscape. The track is also furnished with many information panels describing the science behind this incredible natural phenomenon, and its Aboriginal heritage. Entry into the reserve is free, so you need only bring a hat, sunscreen, water, and perhaps a pair of binoculars for the birdwatchers!
Coop’s Shot Tower, Melbourne, Victoria
9 storeys high, and containing a 327-step staircase, Coop’s Shot Tower was once one of the tallest buildings in 19th century Melbourne. The tower was originally owned and managed by the Coop family, who oversaw the weekly output of 6 tonnes of shot up until the 1960s. Now listed on the Victorian Heritage Register, the tower now stands beneath an 84m-high glass roof, and serves as a historic aspect of the Melbourne Central Complex in the CBD. The Shot Tower Museum is close by, exhibiting the tower’s fascinating history, and giving insight into the broader industrial history of the city. Coop’s Shot Tower is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the industrial development of Australia’s cities.
Giant Tingle Tree, Walpole, Western Australia
Just a 7km scenic drive out of Walpole in Western Australia, deep within a magnificent red tingle and karri forest, keen nature explorers can find the Giant Tingle Tree. The Giant Tingle Tree is the largest known eucalypt tree on earth; it stands 24 metres high, and has been naturally hollowed out by fire. Surrounded by beautiful native flora and fauna, the Giant Tingle Tree is a fantastic spot for walking, nature photography, and picnicking. Benches and information panels are placed at intervals along the 800 metre track that loops from the car park to the giant tree. Shady and cool in the summer, and bursting with colour and life in the spring, the Giant Tingle Tree, and the stunning forest that surrounds it, is an ideal place to escape and relax while enjoying Australia’s beautiful natural landscape.
These are just some of the unique and beautiful sights on offer in Australia. There are countless further opportunities for our doctors to explore and learn about the country’s history whilst between locum placements.
To enquire about the many exciting job opportunities for doctors in Australia, contact our friendly team at Ochre Recruitment today.