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Mike's Australia

In the 230 odd years since the arrival of the first European settlers,
Australia has developed a distinctive architecture of its own.
My father-in-law was a keen photographer and took hundreds of photographs
of old buildings when he visited us from England. As he said, Australia is a
very young country compared with Britain but that doesn't mean it has no
historic buildings.
The old colonial buildings were designed to suit the needs of a pioneering
society. They are very different from the buildings of Europe and they are
very different from those going up in Australia today.
If you are travelling round Australia and have an interest in beer and
architecture, check out the old hotels. The picture (above) is of Buchanan's
Hotel in Townsville. It was taken by my father-in-law before it was destroyed
in a mysterious fire. Buchanan's was used by General Douglas Macarthur
during the War in the Pacific. Many stories are told about those memorable
days and their aftermath. They were the inspiration for my mystery thriller
The Suitcase.
Colonial architecture is not confined to drinking houses. Domestic
architecture soon took on a distinctive Australian look. When the British
arrived on Australian shores they were not strangers to tropical living. The
Indian experience influenced architectural thought and continued to do so
during the early years of settlement. It can be seen in military barracks and
buildings for ordinary people.
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