Passengers from ice-bound ship set foot on land

THE 52-strong passengers rescued from the Russian Akademik Shokalskiy are finally on solid ground after the ship was first beset by ice on Christmas Eve.

More predictable conditions earlier this month allowed the Antarctic adventurers and researchers to be airlifted from the Shokalskiy and on to the Aurora Australis.

The Australis arrived in Hobart on Wednesday morning, with the crew of the Shokalskiy earning the praise of expedition doctor Andrew Peacock.

"Antarctica is an unpredictable place and things can happen down there," he told ABC.

"We felt that the people looking after the ship were experienced and knew what they were doing, and we trusted the people that were down there."

UPDATE: Bruce Hwy reopened, trains restarted after bush fire

FILE PHOTO: Dave Hodgson from Mount Maurice Rural Fire Brigade in 2011.

The fire caused significant smoke across the highway.

MODEL SEARCH: Could you be the next face of Gladstone?

WORTHY CAUSE: The 'RACQ 2018 Face of Gladstone' competition will be held at the Grand Hotel tonight from 5pm.

Model search will raise spirits - and funds - for a good cause.

McCosker's purr-fect solution to a muddy problem

APPRECIATIVE: Betty Bridge with cat Pixie, 10 months, has recently had her driveway fixed by McCosker's.

No more muddy prints on the floor for kennel volunteers.

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