In episode eight of No Place Like Home Bob Kelly travels to the remote town of Weipa in northern Queensland, Australia to trace the roots of another recently arrived visitor to Ireland.
Bianca Graham is a 21 year old backpacker, who like many Australians, come to Europe on a gap year. However, unlike many of her peers she ventured beyond the bright lights of Dublin and settled in the seaside town of Dungarvan in County Waterford.
On Bianca's instructions Bob heads for Oz with strict directions to bring back a stockpile of vegemite and of course relay a message from Bianca to her parents.
Bob first samples a little of the backpacker life in Cairns as he snorkels off the Great Barrier Reef. He then takes the dusty red road to the mining town of Weipa. Finally, he arrives in Weipa where he attends a local wedding and survives a fishing trip with Bianca's Dad in shark infested waters.
Factfile on Australia
7,682m sq km
Mainly English with some other European, indigenous and Asian languages
Australia lies between the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Although the country's land mass is half as big again as that of Europe, most of Australia is unpopulated. The population is centered predominantly in the South Eastern coastal cities of Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Adelaide while the interior of the country - the Outback - is comprised of sparsely populated semi-desert and tropical wetlands.
Predominantly Christian with Buddhist, Jewish and Muslim
Canberra - population 328,900
By far the largest part of Australia is desert or semi-arid. Only the south-east and south-west corners of the continent have a temperate climate. The majority of the population lives along the temperate south-eastern coastline. The northern part of the country, with a tropical climate, has a vegetation consisting of rainforest, woodland, grassland, mangrove swamps and desert.
Australia has a prosperous, Western-style mixed economy, with a per capita GDP slightly higher than the UK, Germany and France. The country was ranked third in the United Nations' 2006 Human Development Index and sixth in The Economist worldwide quality-of-life index 2005.
Facts on Australia
- Australia is the only continent on earth occupied by only one nation
- To prevent the rival cities of Sydney and Melbourne battling for the honour of being the nation's capital, the city of Canberra was founded halfway between the two in 1927
- 95 per cent of the world's opals are mined in Australia
- Australia is home to the top ten most deadly snakes on the planet
Kylie Minogue; singer
Steve Irwin; wildlife expert and television personality
Mel Gibson; actor
Rolf Harris; artist and television personality