Cycads are extremely slow-growing, fire-resistant plants found throughout the tropics, with tough, palm-like fronds – relics of the age of dinosaurs. Female plants produce large cones that break up into bright orange segments, each containing a seed; these are eaten (and so distributed) by emus, among other creatures. Despite being highly toxic to humans – almost every early Australian explorer made himself violently ill trying them – these seeds were a staple of Aborigines, who detoxified flour made from the nuts by prolonged washing. They also applied “fire-stick farming” techniques, encouraging groves to grow and seed by annual burning.

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Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Undiscovered Australia: 7 places to get off the tourist trail

Australia is a vast country, though most visitors stay on the same tried and tested track, ticking off well-touristed pitstops along the way. But, of course, …

07 Aug 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

The rebirth of Perth: how the city got cool

Sun-soaked and healthy? Perhaps. A decent gateway to Western Australia? Definitely. But a cool place to spend a few days? Until recently Perth just couldn’t …

27 Apr 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
12 tips for backpacking Australia

12 tips for backpacking Australia

Backpacking Australia will almost certainly exceed your expectations. It’s not just that the places you’ll see will be more stunning than you had imagine…

09 Mar 2017 • Ros Walford insert_drive_file Article
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