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 →
It’s winter across Aus’ and for my international readers… winter does not alway mean cold, but more chill nights and shorter days in so many places in Australia. The east coast is shivering under a cold front which has moved in… to say it is chill on the east side now is an understatement. But here on the west side, the sunset side of the Aus’ continent, we have our winter warmth. The Man and I are currently camped up above the Tropic of Capricorn and the only thing chill is the wind. When the wind is quiet, the days are perfect, with blue skies, vast horizons and the delightful warm winter sun.
Near 600klm north of Perth in WA, in a quiet valley, sits Australia’s only Principality. The 75sq klm, former sheep station and wheat farm of Hutt River, sits just off the coastline of SW WA and is Australia’s only Independent Sovereign State and micro-nation. In a secession from the Government of Aus’ in 1970 the Principality was born in the controversy of a new Province. The secession was inspired because of wheat quota’s, unfairly distributed by the WA Government of the day, that would have proven a great hardship for the station, destroying the livelihood of a collection of Aussie families. Appeals against the fractional wheat quota were unsuccessful, so Prince Leonard seceded, and in doing so he created an independent province to survive. Survive he did, and what was to become the only Principality or micro nation within the borders of Australia. The Province, now a Principality was born. Continue reading →
Back in the Jurassic, in the time when the dinosaurs of Gondwana roamed along the Western Australian shores, the foundation was laid down on the floor of the ocean for the subterranean caves that dive deep into the limestone beds found around Perth. This in part is the Swan Plain Karst, a broad shore of Limestone that has been carved and fashioned by the subterranean rivers that flow beneath our feet, and in land movement over the ages. Continue reading →