From Docker River to Boulia, the scene is that of an ancient landscape, weathered down over eons of time from an epoch in Earths history that saw the very earth rusting. Born of this time are the burnt ombre’s, reds and sun bleached sands left by time. Travelling on what is the end tail of the Outback Hwy you will encounter both dirt track and welcome tar. The most spectacular highlights are the ancient rocks of the Red Centre, the magnificent gorges of the MacDonnell Ranges… or the Caterpillar Ranges, to use an Aboriginal description that has been a reference for thousands of years. Continue reading →
Traveling between Leonora and Docker River stretch of the Outback Hwy of WA & NT, is mostly all dirt… 870 odd klm of it with more to come, notoriously it is seen as the ‘better’ bit of track. This aside from one or two sealed bits at the two or three road house stops where the flying doctor can land. They are straightening out the kinks along this stretch in preparation for sealing by 2028 and you can see where the new sections have been prepared which makes the going easier. You do need a permit to travel along this stretch and this can be obtained online at www.daa.wa.gov.au/en/Entry-Permits/EP_Y_PermitForm/ They usually allow 3 days to traverse the distance.
We’re on an adventure at the moment, crossing the continent on Australia’s longest shortcut travelling some 4,600klm. Strictly speaking this is a outback route, largely a dirt road, one that stretches from Perth on the sunset side, through the centre of Aus’ and onto Cairns, this on sunrise side or vs vs. This route across Aus’ is also known to take in the remote stretch of track known as the Outback Way, which is nearly 2800klm travelling from Laverton WA to Winton Qld, and is presently from Laverton to Kata Tjuta (The Olga’s) a notorious 1000klm strip of dirt track that is subject to some extreme weather conditions and which is currently still rough and ready. Though they are threatening to tar this route over the next decade or so, at the moment it is very much an adventurous run.
At the moment I am thick into another trip plan… one coming up soon, and as usual I have two or three of these trip plans sitting on my desktop as I develop them as the mood takes me. A number of travellers like to just go with the flow, and there are certainly times when this is the fun way to go, but then at other times planning is a part of the enjoyment of discovery and I wouldn’t even consider not building up a plan for any given tour… Even the roughest of rudimentary plans is a good option.
Traveling as we do as a lifestyle choice, as opposed to a 2-4 week or month stint across the country, we do have a broad based guide that gets us to where we want to go and then there are times where we just head off in a general direction… or in pursuit of a general goal or season respite… or even in pursuit of an interest, but the trip plan is an essential part of our future plans and I wouldn’t be without it. Mind you these trip plans are very malleable … such as this years primary plan which was to have seen us up in the Kimberley, but instead saw us spending 6 months in and around Perth… exploring, instead. Plans change as does your focus, and often. It is best to roll with the waves and enjoy the ride. Continue reading →
Learning about, and interpreting the Ancient Lore and Legend of Aboriginal Australia is an aspect of my writing that I have studied for most of my life. One of these fascinating avenues of Australian Lore is that of the Mimi people. That mystic and secretive Lore of a people who lived once amongst us and who still, today, drift through the stories told and the experiences of Australian Lore.
Western Australia certainly has unique features. The least of which are the sands, both of the desert and the coast. It is flat… unlike the east coast of Aus’ though after a time even the flatness takes on a rolling outlook. The SW corner of WA is the most familiar of landscapes to those from the Sunrise side of the nation. This corner of WA is also the most fertile and most populated region of the State.
There are only around 2 1/2 million odd people living in the largest of Australia’s States, a State with a land area 1/3 of the nation. If I was to choose the most remote of places in Aus’ many of them would be found in Western Australia. It is undoubtably a frontier of our country… even today.
Half way up the stretch of coastline that is Western Australia is the seaside coastal town of Kalbarri. We were drawn to Kalbarri, as it is surrounded by the Kalbarri National Park which has some spectacular gorges, and the township sits at the mouth of the Murchison River, being the only town on the entire river length. It is also the region that offers some magnificent wildflower displays and hereabouts the wildflower season is the longest to be found anywhere in the State.
North of the 26th Parallel on the Sunset side of Australia, the most southern place in Aus where the sun can sit directly overhead and the Gateway to the Greater North West, is a world like no other. This circle of latitude also defines our State Borders. That between the southern cities and commercial mammoths, and the wilder northern frontiers.
The southern edge of the Pilbara sits snugly just above this parallel. It is an ancient landscape with some of the worlds oldest regions still sitting above water, area’s rich in iron ores which were born when the world was rusting.