One of my favourite examples is the type of house often referred to as a
Queenslander. They are found across northern Australia and are well suited to hot
climates. The typical Queenslander is of wooden construction and perched on stumps .
It has a corrugated iron roof and extensive verandas . Rooves are often curved and
ornamented with ventilators and decorative ironwork . Louvered blinds hang above
veranda rails to provide shade and decorative panels fill the space below . High
ceilings and ornate mouldings help to create pleasing interiors.
A friend of mine researched the origins of the Queenslander as part of a
postgraduate degree. He started off with the idea that the design was inspired by the
wooden-framed buildings of California and received an American grant to go there and
further his inquiries. The idea proved to be mistaken but he enjoyed the trip.
The Californian house is superficially similar to the Queenslander but quite different
in its basic construction. After further inquiries, my friend discovered that the Essex
house is a more likely contender.
The wooden buildings of that part of England look very different from their Australian
counterparts but the basic construction is the same . Terms such a base plate, top
plate, strut and noggin testify to a common origin. As my friend points out, the ultimate
origin can probably to be found in Scandinavia. The Essex house appeared when the
English ran out of oak for their half-timbered dwellings and started to import softwoods
from the Baltic.
9 Backpacker Hostels
The modern backpacker hostel came into existence about twenty-five years ago.
My involvement began when I was working as a divemaster on boats taking
tourists to the Great Barrier Reef. I have friends who got into the business
through mountaineering and others through sailing. We saw a need for cheap
basic accommodation and set out to provide it.