Activity: Australia, Then and Now- Spot the Difference!

I started my teaching career teaching Year 9 Geography and History, so I must admit that I love a good field trip; especially one that compares the past to the present.

This is Australia was first published in 1970. Apart from the addition of updated notes page, the text and illustrations remain unchanged in the re-published edition. The age of the book is obvious in the style and the content of the illustrations. It is an ideal invitation to  look at how much our country has changed in 40 years.

This is Australia, by Miroslav Sasek (Universe Publishing)

The Activity:

1. Take some time to read This is Australia with your child, focussing specifically on the illustrations.

2. Plan a trip to your closest city and visit the locations described in the book. Listed below:


  • Sydney Harbour
  • Bent Street
  • Australia Square Tower
  • Harbour Bridge
  • Opera House
  • The Sydney Lace Terraces of Paddington
  • Kings Cross


  • Lake Burley Griffin
  • Civic Square and Canberra Theatre
  • The National Library
  • The Law Courts


  • Yarra River- Flinders Street Station
  • St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • Burke Street (How did that typo get passed?)
  • Royal Arcade
  • Myer Music Bowl
  • Royal Botanical Gardens


  • Hobart  Harbour
  • Liverpool Street
  • Cat and Fiddle Square
  • Cascade Brewery


  • Brisbane’s Harbour from Story Bridge
  • Anzac Memorial
  • Kemp Place

(N.B. It may be inappropriate to visit Brisbane at the moment, but when the city is back in action you could have some very interesting discussions with  your children about change over time)


  • Smith Street
  • Darwin Botanical Gardens

Alice Springs

  • Anzac Memorial
  • Parsons Street
  • Ayers Rock (Now known as Uluru)


  • Adelaide from Light’s Vision
  • The Park on the River Torrens
  • St. Peter’s Cathedral
  • Leahy’s Eagle Hotel


  • Perth from King’s Park
  • St. Andrews Presbyterian Church and Super annunation Building
  • London Court
  • Barracks Arch
  • Old Mill

3. At each location play a game of  ‘spot-the-difference’. Talk with your child about the changes that have occurred in your city and you might even talk about why the changes have taken place. FASCINATING STUFF!

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