Stories About Wonder, Fireworks and Vegemite

The Australia Letter is a weekly newsletter from our Australia bureau. Sign up to get it by email.This week’s issue is written by Natasha Frost, a reporter in Melbourne.

At The New York Times, we call it “counterprogramming”: stories that may provide a breath of fresh air for readers exhausted by tales of hardship, peril and acrimony.

These stories come from Australia and New Zealand a little more often than you might expect. The countries, like anywhere else, have their own challenges, and we cover those too. But one of the great pleasures of covering this region, as my departing colleague Yan Zhuang wrote last week, is the capacity to write about joy, beauty and wonder.

Here are stories from the bureau that you might have missed from the last 12 months.

The Australia Letter is taking its annual summer break. We’ll be back in January. In the meantime, enjoy the holidays — and don’t hesitate to send us your own examples of antipodean wonder.

Here are the week’s stories.

Are you enjoying our Australia bureau dispatches?
Tell us what you think at

Like this email?
Forward it to your friends (they could use a little fresh perspective, right?) and let them know they can sign up here.