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.
Camped-up along the Peel River near Nundle, tucked into the hills, is a special delight. For The Man it is the pull of gold, that of wresting the golden flecks and the lucky occasional nugget from the earth. Most people think that this is it… in its entirety; and they couldn’t be more wrong. You aren’t going to get me down there in that cold water puddling. Me… I would rather sit in the sun and entertain myself in other ways.
The best of travelling when your retired is time, the time you can take to do the things you love. For me this is watching… noting the world around me, and exploring the places we go and meeting the people from different worlds as we share our experiences. These are the things that stay with you the most.
We are camped up in one of our favourite haunts… along the Turon River near Sofala, deep in the hinterland of Central NSW. When most Grey Nomads are on their northern sojourn, chasing the sun, The Man and I have elected to winter in the chill southern States this year. We are looking forward to enjoying the frosty mornings, the sweet morning chorus of the birds as they choose their winter mates, and prepare for the deep winter and the break of spring that will bring the promise of a new generation.
I am resting now, in a quiet place under the Southern Cross and it’s a peaceful time. It wasna’ so peaceful during my life but it was fun I had, my bonny lasses and me. I have a want to tell you my story, as sorry and as sunny as it was. So listen up, and hear my tale. It’s an Australian tale, tho’ it wasna’ Australia then. No, back then it was the harsh penal colonies and Van Diemen’s Land for me. It was said to be the land of the giants… and aye… that’s what it was. It was the trees that was the giants tho’ and we little understood it at the time. Continue reading →
We’ve been exploring the NSW hinterland up the remote regions of the Clarence Valley, part of the Great Dividing Range. There are some real gems to be found out here, both mineral and emotional. In Aus. there are some destinations where the road is the attraction, places such as The Great Ocean Road, The Daintree with the Bloomfield Track and the Nullabor which I have written about and many still to explore but I do love it when I come across roads, which are destinations in themselves.
We have been on the Gold Trail in NSW now for several weeks and it has been a wonderful experience. I have written about it in a number of my posts but today, as we contemplate leaving the gold trail I want to tell you about something about which we know very little, and acknowledge even less.
I love research, and when I go into an area to explore I love to delve into the history related to where I am. It is one of my passions, but with moving into the gold fields I found it hard to discover the older history of these places, that which related to Australia’s unwritten history. It was difficult to find out information about the Aboriginal tribes of the area’s we visited, as with others.
Acknowledging that people of Aboriginal heritage actively participated in colonial history and particularly in the gold discoveries of the mid 1800’s is a reality that is rarely recounted.
Like all things you soon fall into a pattern for life around a new camp and so it has happened around our first big camp. Our pattern is not entirely new to us, but it holds certain elements that bring us a huge amount of entertainment. The pups of course offer their own entertainments and travelling with dogs has some huge advantages and a couple of quaint disadvantages too.
I have told you about Tuppi, my little miniature poodle once or twice. She is my companion, my friend and my guardian. Our other pup, Scotty Dog, is strictly speaking not ours. He belongs to the Baby Boy (our 3rd son) but while maintaining his loyalties to his owner and master has attached himself to hubby. This created a dilemma for us all when we decided it was time to ‘hit the track’.
It was as hot as blazes in SE Queensland last week and due to the wave of heat… we are talking 40C… we have upped camp and moved south into the back plateau country of Northern New South Wales. This is beautiful country, they call it the Northern Rivers country closer to the coast but where we are is the Clarence River Catchment, otherwise known as Gold Country.
The Great Dividing Range runs down the eastern seaboard of Aus. separating the coastline and the rolling plains beyond with the hinterland regions. Then westward it sweeps across the great western farming plains. The rivers that drain west from this dividing range had the adventurers and surveyors looking for an inland sea, which the Aboriginal people said was one of stone and sand. They should have believed them. Continue reading →
I’m basking under the sunshine in Cairns in Far North Queensland, Australia, at the moment enjoying a delusional early return to Spring. When I get back down south I will be back there in the close of the Aussie winter months but for now I can pretend it really is Spring.
They gazetted Cairns 1876, so it isn’t very old in Northern Hemisphere terms but that has an upside. Not many have tramped the escarpment on the lookout for golden dust or even the stray nugget, aside from our brief goldrush days of course. This city, for it is a prosperous city now, was named after some bloke who was then Governor of Queensland. It was to serve as a centre for those headed to the Hodgkinson River Gold fields tracking up through the beautiful Barron Gorge. But the Hodgkinson River gold field served the old miners badly as it was not the alluvial gold they sought but a quartz-reefing field where gold was hard won.