A double edged sword: hopes and fears for children as fast internet reaches Pacific

New fibre-optic cables to Pacific islands have been cautiously welcomed amid warnings over harassment and violence linked to online platforms From the narrow bay of Sydney’s Tamarama Beach, a cable twice as thick as garden hose, carrying optic fibre thinner than human hair, stretches along the ocean floor linking Australia to Papua New Guinea and […]

Getting out of town: Australians rush to rent in the regions

Australia’s housing market is being turned on its head by Covid-19, with fierce competition for regional rentals as city properties stand empty A “no vacancy sign” has been hung over regional Australia, as the coronavirus crisis sparks an exodus of city dwellers seeking lower-cost housing or a lifestyle change in the country or on the […]

Viv Albertine: ‘I’ve done everything bad I wanted to do. There’s only boring stuff left’

The musician and writer on body hair, DIY shows and what she wishes she’d told her mother Born in Australia, Viv Albertine, 65, was guitarist and songwriter in the all-female punk band the Slits from 1977 to 1982. She went on to become a film and TV director. In 2012, she released a solo album, […]

‘Brain fog’: the people struggling to think clearly months after Covid

Doctors grapple for answers as more patients report post-coronavirus cognitive impairment Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage For Mirabai Nicholson-McKellar, Covid-19 brought an onslaught of symptoms from chest pains to an 11-day migraine, three positive test results, and a period in hospital. Seven months later, the rollercoaster is far from over: the […]

Sun, sand and coronavirus: Australia aims to enforce a Covid-safe summer

Surf lifesavers will minimise contact with beachgoers but authorities worry about repeated scenes of overcrowding As temperatures rise and state borders ease, Australians are looking forward to getting back to the beach for daily swimming and domestic holidays. Warmer weather in the autumn was a pressure test of the public’s ability to adhere to Covid-19 […]

From boom to despair: Sydney’s west to suffer Covid symptoms ‘for generations’

Before the pandemic the region was looking up but the weak local jobs market will ensure it faces tough times for decades Before the coronavirus outbreak, there was a sense that western Sydney – despite its challenges – was on the up. With a booming population, it had become the third biggest economy in Australia, […]

Pasta and cream may be an Australian classic – but it has no place in a proper carbonara

Perhaps Australia’s most hybridised pasta dish, the secret to a properly rich and glossy carbonara lies in really good eggs Creamy pasta dishes are an elemental feature of Australia’s regrettable food history. Once, we did not know there was any other sort. They usually featured mushrooms and ham or bacon, sometimes chicken or smoked salmon, […]

Welcome to my nightmare: researchers to investigate the strange world of Covid dreams

Vivid and more frequent dreams during the pandemic are not just a topic of idle chatter – cognitive neuroscientists, psychologists and philosophers are also interested How Covid-19 is impacting people’s dreams is the subject of a study being run by a cross-disciplinary team of academics from Australia, the UK and Finland. “Pandemic dreams” are already […]

Chilling out: cold-water surfers in Australia – in pictures

Victoria’s coronavirus travel restrictions have meant the surfing community on Phillip Island have had the local beaches to themselves this past winter. While temperatures will rise with the onset of spring, these surfers brave chilly waters that plummet to 11C to find their own piece of isolation in the water. Photographer Alexandra Nielsen captured the […]

Experience: I thought I’d never meet my newborn son

Our baby was on the way when Thailand banned commercial surrogacy. Clinics were raided. Calls and emails went unanswered My husband and I were on holiday in Greece when the email arrived to tell us we were having a baby. Our surrogate was pregnant after the first embryo transfer. This was the news Bill and […]

Up to half of world’s water supply stolen annually, study finds

As water scarcity increases from factors including climate change, so do drivers of water theft, an ongoing problem in Australia Between 30% and 50% of the world’s water supply is stolen each year, mainly by agricultural interests and farmers, yet the crime itself is not well understood, a new international study led by the University […]

How to build a spud tower: an edible treasure hunt with a guaranteed bounty

It doesn’t take much effort to grow your own potatoes, and across most of Australia, now is the perfect time to plant them Prolific and versatile, the potato is one of the most consumed vegetables on planet Earth and a staple in our diets. They’re also easy to grow. Doing so is an activity best […]

The Mono awards 2020: Australia and New Zealand’s best black and white photos – in pictures

Now in its second year, the competition run by Australian Photography and Capture magazines gives entrants a simple brief: the best single black and white image in any one of three categories – people, animals or places Sea creatures: the driftwood sculptures bringing joy to Australian beaches Continue reading…

‘A matter of when not if’: New Zealand begins battle against ‘Covid fatigue’

Spooked by outbreaks in Australia and Hong Kong, authorities are urging ‘constant vigilance’ Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Customers stream into a central Wellington cafe, past a QR code posted on the door that allows people to check in on the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 tracing app. None pause to pull […]

Parts unknown: whole animal recipes from Feather and Bone

From crispy pig’s ear banh mi to butter lamb tongue, cooking with unusual animal parts may seem intimidating – but it can be easy and delicious Traditional whole-animal butcheries have become a rarity in many developed countries. The overwhelming majority of domestic and export meat in Australia is traded through the commodity meat market. Much […]

PNG’s biggest drug bust: the plane crash, the dead man and the half tonne of cocaine

Five men have been charged in Australia and another man in Papua New Guinea after the bust A light plane crashes at an illegal airfield outside Port Moresby: the plane is registered to a dead man, there is no pilot, no passengers, no cargo. Days later, the biggest drug bust in Papua New Guinea’s history […]

Life and death: what readers in Australia are seeing post-bushfires

After last summer’s deadly bushfires, Guardian readers have found tentative signs of renewal in the charred landscape Read more stories from our After the Bushfires series From the eerie absence of birdsong to green shoots sprouting from burnt-out trees, Guardian readers in Australia have shared their stories and pictures of nature in the aftermath of […]

Gabriel Bergmoser: ‘There is a brand of country Australian masculinity that is particularly threatening’

The 28-year-old’s gripping horror debut The Hunted has already landed a film deal. He talks about writing Amish erotica and his theory about small Australian towns Gabriel Bergmoser’s debut adult novel, The Hunted, is dark as all get-out, an Australian horror-thriller that manages to combine Wolf Creek, The Hills Have Eyes and On the Road, […]

‘A meteor will go by, and everyone gasps’: meet the world’s most dedicated stargazers

Every year, amateur telescope makers gather under starry skies in the US and South Africa – to trade tips and tales from across the universe You have to be rigorous. You need perseverance. You must be meticulously clean. But even if you possess all these skills, none of them matters if you are in a […]

Being heard: how frontline health workers are recording history as it happens

History has shown that health workers’ stories are vitally important. Now, technology lets us hear their voices in real time When 54-year-old Jenny* finishes her shift as an intensive care nurse at a hospital in one of Australia’s capitals, she doesn’t go immediately home. She’s spent a day on the coronavirus frontline and she needs […]

‘They wanted tandoori chicken’: Australia’s slow embrace of regional Indian cuisine

Indian food has always been as complex and diverse as the country itself. That variety is now being represented in Australian restaurants In an episode of the Netflix food documentary Ugly Delicious, chef Padma Lakshmi is asked if she thinks Indian food is the most underrated cuisine in the world. “Indian food is really, really […]

‘We can’t blame animals’: how human pathogens are making their way into vulnerable wildlife

Australian scientists have found evidence of antibiotic resistant bacteria in about a dozen species, including bats, penguins, sea lions and wallabies For 13 years now, scientist Michelle Power has been grabbing samples of human waste and animal poop from Antarctica to Australia to try and answer a vital question. Has the bacteria in humans that […]

Which countries can UK holidaymakers visit without restrictions on arrival?

A guide to countries that UK tourists can now visit, in light of the government’s updated travel corridor list Last week, the government announced the countries that UK nationals could take holidays to without facing quarantine on return, also known as travel corridors. However, confusion remains over which countries Britons can visit without facing restrictions […]

How we stay together: ‘I’m very happy to be proven wrong by my wife regularly’

In seven years, Rachael and Jonny Casella have faced more tragedy than some couples do in a lifetime. Together they got each other through – and changed Australia’s healthcare system in the process Names: Rachael and Jonny CasellaYears together: SevenOccupations: Police detectives Whenever Rachael and Jonny Casella are having a rough day, they look at […]

What are those glowing orbs that dart across the sky the world over?

Are they bad omens? A freak of nature? Huge, ghostly clusters of light – spotted from Australia to South America – have baffled scientists for decades One of the stranger children’s programmes from the 1980s was Willo the Wisp, featuring an evil TV set, a Cockney caterpillar, a lumpy dog-thing called the Moog and a […]

Quarantine salad: ‘What two weeks in an isolation hotel has taught me about eating well with less’

It’s remarkable what you can do with a bowl, some roasted nuts and a few packets of miso For reasons that I will not get into now, I have spent much of the Covid-19 lockdown period overseas, away from my family. I’m home in Australia at last, but as with all arrivals, I’ve been in […]

Going gangbusters: when winter passionfruit starts to blossom

Warm summer temperatures have set up passionfruit growers for a bumper winter crop. Here’s how to make the most of the tangy treat Passionfruit farmers are reporting a bumper haul of fruit this winter, following the warm summer and wild autumn temperatures. The fruit, which is native to Brazil, is a year-round crop in Australia, […]

‘A beautiful change’: Australia in bloom after drought-breaking rain – a photo essay

Above-average rainfall across New South Wales has brought hope to rural communities suffering through the most intense drought in living memory ‘It’s dire’: farmers battle their worst drought in 100 years – photo essay ‘Relentless’ farmers continue to battle the big dry Since late 2016, much of New South Wales has been in the grip […]

Technique Critique: indulgently addictive web series dissects your favourite performances

Is that accent dire? Is that disguise realistic? Could that car chase have really happened like that? This YouTube series brings in the experts To put on an accent is to invite criticism. We all remember those performances in which an actor has taken a flying leap at mimicking a linguistic form that is not their […]