We are currently back where we began many years ago.. in fact we are fluffing around what could be considered “Country”. The meaning of the term, in the Aussie modern vernacular, means a great deal. It is where you find your world, where you are at home even though it may not be your home anymore. It is often the place of your birth and passage to adulthood as within the Aboriginal meaning.
There is nothing quite like the dawn as it sweeps through the forest in the early break of day. These are the things that I love about camping in the forestry. The forests are a place of mystery for me, a place of quite contemplation where you can sit with the giants of the land. Here in Victoria it is a wonderful place to enjoy the forests. Having recently been in the west coast forests of the US where the trees are mostly pine, I can truly appreciate the diversity of Aussie forests. It is coming on winter here… autumn has settled and the beautiful gums are shedding their coats of bark, littering the forest floor. The colours are breathtaking. Continue reading
Visiting the Nullabor Caves has been something we have wanted to do for some time. It is commonly believed that there are only a few caves along the Eyre Highway and while most caves are within reach of the highway there are many more than you can count. Continue reading
Most Australians believe the Nullabor, known historically as the Oondiri, is a desert wasteland. In general one sparsely populated with people who would choose to live elsewhere, and they couldn’t be more wrong. The Oondiri is a fascinating place, with a human history that stretches back 18,000 years at the very least. Descendant’s of the ancient tribes who once sparcely populated the waterless plain are now mostly settled in desert towns such as Norseman and Kalgoorlie. They wander the plains no more and this is a choice they make, as do we the vast majority of us. Continue reading
The Nullabor, the name has always irritated me because it is such an enigma to what you actually find. The vast ancient region was named in August 1865, while an explorer was travelling from the east across the Hampton Tablelands, along the most arid of sections. E. A. Delisser in his journal named both the Nullabor and Eucla. This was how the largest limestone karst in the world received its European name. Its meaning is found in the Latin Nullus Arbor (It seems Delisser spelt it Aus’ style) the meaning is however ‘No trees/plants’. This is simple a misconception as the vast region is most certainly not treeless.
I was born a city girl, one who grew up in the bush on the edge of the city, on the wrong side of the river my Great Grandparents would say. My Grandfather crossed the Georges River to the wilder south side of Sydney near a century ago, despite the advice of his parents. He built a home for his family amongst oyster leases, fishing huts, native camps and Chinamen who worked in those wonderful Chinese gardens in the cities of yesteryear. It was on the southern edge of Sydney in the 1920’s at Oyster Bay. Things have changed a lot since then … it is now considered millionaires row and the beautiful isolated peninsula is a much sort after suburb.
While we are preparing to point our noses east across the ‘Nullabor’ once more, (colonial spelling here), having dawdled around the shores of the SW corner of Western Australia, there is a history here that has become more evident. It is an unexpected tale perhaps. We have all heard of Australia’s whaling history, where the giants of the sea were once harvested indiscriminately along our shores and particularly along the shores of the SW WA, while settlement and colonization crept across the land. The harvest that is believed to have begun around 1837 was huge and bountiful and it decimated the whale population leaving a lasting impression on places like Albany, Esperance and much of the south west coast in a vivid history. The industry lured the French and Yanks to our shores as their ships cargoed the convicts and then turned their interests to whales in season. On the return run back to their home port they took the bounty of our seas with them. This oceanic massacre however eventually led to the industries own demise as whale numbers declined steadily over the decades of indiscriminate hunting and killing. Continue reading
Albany Shire has long held a reputation for welcoming the traveller. She sits on the middle shores of the Great Southern Ocean in Western Australia. Her beaches stretching into inlets and bays are now the precinct of the fisherman and boaties alike. It was once where whalers and sealers hunted, where emigrants passed by following the coast seeking the path to inland gold, the often sad tears of the sun and where traditional natives feasted and followed their Songlines and sandy trails in an endless cycle of surviving the seasons of the sun and wind. It is a region of immense beauty with tall giants settled into her forests and winding tracks of soft and solid sands offering recreational entertainment for the 4×4 enthusiast. The shire is RV friendly with a number of rest area’s, many that could do with a loo or two, yet she sits proud amongst those coastal towns of WA offering welcome within her region and a myriad of activities and entertainments. Continue reading
We headed south of Perth this week, down into the South West corner towards the forests and the Southern Ocean, somewhere I have been wanting to get back to for quite some time. It is a delightful area, tall trees, rocky shores and glorious stretches of sand. Most important though, is the promise of fishing.
“Out on the Never Never” is a true Australian adventure in traveling our land. One celebrating the love of our Land as two Grannies, two pups in a ‘Bitch Box’ set out to cross the continent in their little caravan… join them on their journey to discover modern-day Australia.
Celebrating our love of the Land and our Freedom. This is the original meaning of the peoples celebration known as Australia Day, the 26th January.
Down through the history of Australia many groups, factions and Governors have tried to hijack what is and always was the “peoples” celebration, this to their own cause but it is truly time we reclaimed what rightfully belongs to the people.