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Dunnies

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An Australian architectural treatise

(Ed;  Not a good start GOF. No-one's going to take you that seriously.)

dunny,  sl. australian, a toilet

One of the things I like about Australia is that most little towns have a conspicuously located sanitary "public convenience".

Perhaps the appreciation is due to my many years spent squatting over pit toilets in New Guinea.   In Australia I have never, in the dark of night, had a large snake drop from the thatched kunai-grass toilet roof onto my head then slither down my torso, between splayed legs before disappearing down into the pit.

Dunnies are seriously enthroned in Australian culture.

We have official awards for outstanding design and function.
Innovative waterless urinals fill us with national pride just like Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, Crocodile Dundee, and Kylie Minogue.
The town of Wyndham has a charity fundraising  Great Dunny Race where teams of 6 people propel carts, each of which must have an installed dunny bowl, along a race track.

The Government even has an official website
(here)  providing directions to every public toilet in Australia.

This is comforting for me to know.  

In my younger days I would plan journeys based on the availability of pubs, motels, tourist attractions, cricket matches, and sand dunes overlooking nude beaches.

Today it is far more comforting to know only that the road ahead is adequately supplied with dunnies no more than 60 minutes apart.

Here are a few from my recent travels.

The final one is the highly awarded facility at Mossman.

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About GOF

"Life is like a sewer. What you get out of it, depends upon what you put into it." (Tom Lehrer)

27 responses »

  1. You can't fool me, GOF. The cassowary is inside. I must admit though, that I never knew that they provided dunnies for them now.

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  2. Wow. We just take an exit with a McDonalds or a gas station and use the restroom there. Funny, in the USA, how they warm women never to go to the public rest areas. I suppose they are dangerous because they are back off the road and perhaps the crime rate is high there. We only stop there if the whole family is together. Looks like your system is more successful than ours!

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  3. Ahhh public loos – wonderful things!I remember the "excitement" in my old home town when their new loos were opened – complete with an official opening ceremony of course – yes, there is a plaque in place!!

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  4. Makes me want to dig out the photograph of the billy cart derby from when I was ten. I won best decorated for the pan loo I stuck on my cart with purple and yellow crepe paper and a toilet brush "scepter".
    It was called (of course!) "The Royal Flush!"

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  5. I wish our country took this need more seriously! Women especially would appreciate this. Squatting here can be hazardous although it's mostly from poison ivy.

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  6. There are no public "facilities" like that in America (at least not around here) and God help you if you try to use the toilet in any of the local businesses.

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  7. I never knew that they provided dunnies for them now. Shhhh……I've just received a Government grant to provide cassowary relief stations…..it's totally inhumane making them use the bush.

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  8. Looks like your system is more successful than ours! The only trouble I have ever found trying to find a public toilet in Australia was in the middle of Sydney. Petrol stations everywhere have attached toilets but a lot of owners would prefer that you bought some fuel before using their facilities, and sometimes you have to request the keys from the operator to gain access.

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  9. a great source of pride to myself as my very own mother painted it…love anonymity)I love these simple things which provide lasting memories of those who made contributions to our towns.In Cairns there is an artistic bench seat on the footpath not far from the markets including the words "yummy in your tummy" inscribed into the tiled base. Not many would know, but it is in memory of a dear old lady who for 20 years sold fish products attracting customers with this catchcry.

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  10. Makes me want to dig out the photograph of the billy cart derbyThat must be a fabulous memory with maybe a few scars on the knees still remaining to remind you. Perhaps billy cart races are no longer politically correct.

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  11. Squatting here can be hazardous although it's mostly from poison ivy. I don't think we have poison ivy here, but bull-ants probably provide a similar deterrent effect.

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  12. if you try to use the toilet in any of the local businesses. Most business toilets here are also well and truly locked and not available to the public, except in shopping centres of some size.

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  13. Nah no scars from that one. They are all reserved in memory of the following year, in which I converted a pram "The Love Buggy", but neglected to remove the suspension springs, so it bounced around so much, it ended up in the ditch. πŸ˜›

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  14. I converted a pram "The Love Buggy",I am wondering what you first drove when you got your proper licence given that Dr Phil maintains that "the best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour.":-)

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  15. A 100cc ag bike, of course!!
    Though…. it wasn't decorated, so I'm not sure my past behavior actually predicted this. πŸ˜›

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  16. A 100cc ag bike, of course!!Damn, you would have out-powered me in my 90cc Honda postie bike πŸ™‚

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  17. I love that you can stop at a park in any Australian town and go to the 'loo. I like also that they are called "toilets" because that is really what one is looking for – not somewhere to "rest".

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  18. Ouch, bull ants! That does sound more painful than poison ivy depending on how far up they can crawl (maybe too much information….)

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  19. That does sound more painful than poison ivy depending on how far up they can crawl (maybe too much information….) A research opportunity for the next generation of biologists? πŸ™‚

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  20. I love that you can stop at a park in any Australian town and go to the 'loo.I have been surprised from the comments of others that the US does not have a similar supply of public toilets…..just assumed it was a social trend we acquired from them.

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  21. There used to be public toilets in every park … but vandalism and other criminal activity put an end to most of them. Our state even did away with "rest stops" on Interstate Highways, because they were turning into places where a lot of … uh … "less than family friendly" activity was taking place. Now, on a road trip thru Oklahoma, you have to stop at a McDonald's, truck stop, or convenience store to "go." We do have beautifully designed and modernly updated 'palaces' run by our Department of Tourism … but they're only unlocked from about 8am to 5pm, so are kind of pointless.

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  22. Thanks for that story GOM. A few of our public park toilets have been closed through vandalism, but it usually results in more community vigilance to get them re-opened. We have some fantastic rest stops on the main highways and during school or other holiday periods volunteer groups also supply free coffee as part of a "stay awake, stay alive program".

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  23. enthronedEven in my early 20s, a friend referred to my 2 months or so across GB as "her toilet tour" cos I stop about every 45 minutes for a wee. πŸ™‚ I'm still doing that and suppose not getting worse is something of which to feel proud.I love the dunnies, particularly the stout little "brick house."

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  24. Haa, the stories I've heard. Wish I could find a link to the girl who got a slug up her nose (was researching lemurs in Madagascar)

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  25. Haa, the stories I've heard.Sounds like a blog composition opportunity for you Emmi πŸ™‚

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  26. "her toilet tour" cos I stop about every 45 minutes for a wee. πŸ™‚ Sounds very much like GOF and Globets Victorian tour last year…..neither of us let a public toilet go past without using it πŸ™‚

    Reply

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