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.
Being welcomed into the Albany Shire as a traveller and freecamping life-styler has been a great experience. We have spent two weeks in the region (and quite a few bucks) in exploring the towns, sandy tracks, shores and inlets of the beautiful region. Our friends, finding little welcome in recreational bush camps in Esperance Shire, joined us in Albany Shire and together we explored many of the sandy 4×4 tracks, inlets and bays looking for good fishing and camping spots as well as seeking out local pubs and eateries for a lunchtime feasts and roving snacks. It was a LOT of fun!
What we discovered also were traces of our ancient Australian Lore and pre-history in legend that dates back into the ice ages, the last of which was some 20,000 years ago. I love that Australia has such a long history evident in this region. I love that I am so close the bedrock of creation and I love seeking out all those wonderful legends of creation, which can be found simply in the land around us. Legends and Lore which I try to bring to readers in my novels of The Dreaming Series and the growing series of tales of The Spirit Children.
Perth … is the most remote city around the globe and ‘a world unto itself’. If Aus’ is to be considered as sparsely populated then Western Australia holds the crown amongst the States of Australia. Western Aus’ is more than 3½ times bigger than Texas and is the 2nd largest state/province in the world. It is 33% of the Australian continent. It has barely 10% of the Australian population and and 92% of this population live tucked into the SW corner of the state.
There is one place that I have always had a yen to visit. It’s a castle, up on the tablelands near Innisfail FNQ. Paronella Park has always represented for me the determination, the dedication to family and the efforts in dynastic building, which many of our early emigrants bought to Aus in the last 150 yrs or so. They bought with them their dreams for a better future and this should be celebrated.
There are times when the past comes to visit. Times when you are touched by something from your heritage and you are reminded that people, those from history, loved and lived just like you do. Their life experiences, the recount of day-to-day events from a century ago are like a window into a world that is no more. It is a wonder to visit such things.
History is a wonderful thing, it provides us with a frame of reference, a background and tales of the past, ours. It is our greatest shame that our children are not taught Australian history in our schools and are instead taught mostly English maritime history.
Australian history or the deeds and challenges of the past are epic, from the trials of the native Australians to the building of our nation, including both the good, the bad and the downright distasteful.
History… an interesting thing. At the moment we are touring the Great Rocky Mountains. We landed in Vancouver Canada (didn’t want to spend time stripping for US customs) and settled into our respite room to recover from jet lag before we headed out into the wilderness that is the Rockies.
First up was the telly… a bit of idiocy to put us to sleep but what we found was a run of the American movie, ‘Sunday Too Far Away’. Now Aussies will be saying at this point… “What the Hell?”. Yep… I hear ya. I love the Aussie classic, but although this had Jack Thompson in it and a lot of the favourites it was NOT the movie I remember.
The history of freecamping in Australia begins back to the very first days of the young colony. When Governor Phillip chose a spot to set up camp on what was Aboriginal land, he gave birth to the nations first Freecamp. The Legality of his Freecamp is still being debated in some quarters but the argument has been lost in time and the nations history. However his right to freecamp was never revoked… until most recently by some municipal Councils.
We’ve been freecamping between Bathurst and Orange now for a week, in a delightful spot called Macquaires Woods where we have been able to relax and allow one of our pup’s who had a minor run-in with a car, recuperate. Tuppi is fine now, fully recovered from her bruising and it is time to move on. I think she has learnt that a car is not quite the same as a kangaroo and chasing kids is dangerous.
Camping along the golden trail of NSW has been a delight. We have been on the Rocky River in the Northern Rivers of NSW, we’ve camped out around the gold area’s of the Clarence and the Mann Rivers and sojourned at the old Merton township, now known as Denman. We have waffled around the fields in the hinterland while we camped up at Elinborough near Wauhope in central NSW, a truly lovely camp.
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.