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We watched "Sunrise" talk about Orange public toilets, so you don't have to

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By Peter Holmes

Backing out of an advertorial segment, which probed what style of overnight face mask Sunrise host David Koch should wear, the breakfast TV program moved onto toilets.

Specifically, public toilets.

"Coming up, Australia's greatest dunny hunter," teased Koch, who must surely sometimes wonder whether it's worth all the bother.

Returning from advertisements and a breaking news report about climate activists clogging up the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Koch showed that he really does give a ... crap.

"Well, we all know when you've got to go, believe me, you've got to go," Koch began. Whether he was pointing to possible personal issues related to maintaining under pressure, or merely stating the bleeding obvious, was unclear.

"Australia's greatest dunny hunter has rounded up the best thrones in the country," said the other host, Monique Wright. She is a fill-in, I'm told.

"This is just genius," added Koch, possibly over-egging the pudding.

Sean Burford was then introduced as Australia's greatest dunny hunter. It's the sort of thing you'd put right at the top of your CV.

"[He's] done all the work for us," said Koch, before asking the question on everyone's lips as they finished off breakfast: "What makes a good dunny?"

A TV moment for the ages.

Burford went on to explain that travellers often required "a dunny". He said he and others involved in this effort had tested a "surprising number of dunnies", but no total was forthcoming. A strap across the screen, however, suggested that number was 130.

With lockdown, Burford said, he'd been reduced to researching public toilets online: "It was a great way to get out of the house without leaving the house."

"Sean, I absolutely love this list," Wright chimed in, "because I'll actually do a deviation to go to places that have got a nice bathroom that's clean. But you've gone one further, you like one with views. Which are some of the best?"

"It really depends on who you are, and what you need," replied Burford, neatly avoiding the question.

"Some people are going to prioritise accessibility, other people are going to prioritise having things like a baby change table."

"To Monique's point," Koch continued, unwilling to let the question go unanswered.

"Where are the best views? I remember when the Regent Hotel was first built on Collins Street in Melbourne and everyone - well, blokes - used to go to the men's toilet because at the end of it was one big glass window, best view in Melbourne."

"Hmm, hmm," Wright agreed.

"Still is, good tip," Koch added, "um, but it's pretty posh."

Too posh even for Sunrise's audience?

The toilets on a beach. Sunrise.

"What are some of the other best views?" Koch asked, determined to extract exact locations.

Burford revealed that "the dunny hunt focused on rural toilets".

And this was our moment, people of Orange. Breathe it in.

"The Orange Botanic Gardens, it's not necessarily a great view, but it's a great dunny," Burford said. "It's one we found organically while we were out and about. We ran across this one and it wasn't on the map."

Burford, standing in front of a mural in Faulconbridge and enduring what appeared to be an Albanese moment, struggled to name a second toilet, with or without great views. "There's also the ah, ah - could you call one out for me?"

"Oh we need you for that," Wright chided gently. "But we're looking at some portaloos at the moment overlooking the water there."

On screen was a photo of a row of orange portaloos near a beach. This was the money shot, but no-one could remember where it was.

"There's one at Coward Springs Campground," Wright went on. "What's that one like?"

"That was a surprising find," said Burford, regaining his equilibrium. "It's out in the middle of nowhere. It's natural springs, about 30 degrees; travellers can jump in the springs and there's also a dunny out there that I found, so that's a nice little rest stop."

Be sure to keep one's activities separated, nobody added.

"And there's a border toilet between South Australia and NT," said Koch with a mild sense of urgency.

"Ah yes, that was one of my first finds," explained Burford.

"It's probably a popular one at this time of year with all of the school holidays travellers. I'm surprised that one wasn't on the map, that was a find."

"Yeah," said Koch.

A special moment for Orange. Sunrise.

Hitting his stride now, Burford said confidently: "And there's also Boorabin Memorial, a roadside garden memorial to three truckers who died in a bushfire in 2007 in Western Australia, so that's the history you can discover when you're researching toilets around Australia."

Digging deeper, Koch asked Burford casually: "Do you read anything on the toilet when you go?"

"Probably the same as everybody - my phone."

"Ah," said Wright in a tone that suggested she had just learned something new.

"Sean probably just takes in the surrounds," she added. "He's done some big investigations."

"Alright Sean, terrific," said Koch, winding up the segment. "Thank you for joining us. It's more a public service, isn't it?" Koch asked Wright.

"Yep," said Wright.

"News time now, here's Sally," said Koch.


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