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.
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 →
We finally made it to a destination that I have wanted to visit for a long time, The Pinnacles Desert of Nambung National Park. This landscape is a natural mystery and The Man and I have now toured the hard sand loop through the pinnacles, marvelling at… and arguing over the mystery that is these pinnacles, which emerge from the sand, just south of Cervantes in WA, 200 klm north of Perth. Continue reading →
One of the greatest farces of Australian History is that commonly the history taught to our children only takes into account the last 200 years or so of cultural development. It is almost as though our centres of Education, chose not to acknowledge that our history is over 50,000 years and more of continual cultural development. Culture is about us all… and the many facets of a land, facets which make the gem, that is Aus’, dance in the light. Our culture, in all its facets, is the longest continuing culture in the world. It is that which is still within our reach to preserve, given the tools available to us… writing and the building of record, this to share down through the ages. It is not only a farce that we ignore what is a real treasure in our own time, but a tragedy that we should be so ignorant.
Research is a large part of my writing, the stories I scribe and the tales I tell. Recently I came across a remarkable Doco’ … Did I mention that I love YouTube as a resource amongst other assets of the Internet… Well I came across a wonderful piece of work and I wanted to share it with you. Its a Doco… largely presenting the culture of Arnhem Land and its a treasure, well worth the hour to watch.