We’ve completed The Lap, an Aussie dream and yes… we adored our time travelling. It was all part of our retirement plan and given 18 months we feel that we took way too little time to appreciate all our country has to show us. We planned diligently and as happens, found we had commitments to meet with family and friends all along the way as well as our many adventures. These we all very much enjoyed but there was so much to see that we had to set aside for another visit a great deal and already we have made plans to return to many of these places. We also made lots of new and great friends who we continue to run into, who we follow on Facebook and with whom we will catch up with again for sure. Plans are already afoot.
We have been enjoying a special privilege, visiting one of the vast Outback Stations and at this time of year they are finishing the rounding up cattle for market before the Big Wet arrives, it is almost the end of ‘mustering’ time. This is a time in the Kimberley when the land promises its bounty under the duress of flooding rains, humid heat and scorching sun and before this bounty arrives, the market cattle need to be shipped out and the ‘keepers’ settled in to fatten over the season of abundance. Continue reading
We are camped up in Gods Own Country. It is a place well west of the coastal fringe in central Queensland. We have left the coast well behind, it is a region where life is very much frenetic at this time. It is mid-winter so the nights are freezing here in the Burnett Region but such a view we have!
Well we are now stumbling into May and June is just around the corner. Ratting around the bush this last weeks has been a great adventure but it is time to prepare for something mammoth. You might have noticed that my posts have spread out a bit and this is because preparations have been underway for something of a hiatus.
The study of the stars was an integral part of Aboriginal life, the science of the Songmen and Storytellers in preserving a history and the ancient understanding of who were perhaps the first astronomers to live by the cycle of the stars and the movements in the heavens in mans history.
It was the role of the Songmen and Storytellers who preserved the ancient knowledge and who passed down this knowledge to initiates and others while settled around thousands of campfires, and during the trials of initiation in the Aboriginal culture.
The mysteries of the Min Min lights in Outback Queensland have been around since the Dreamtime. When Australia was first colonized two hundred years ago and as the whitefella’s moved into the Outback the notoriety of the Min Min became legend.
But what are these strange orbs of light that bring portend to those who they menace? The jury is still out, but Aboriginal Lore will tell of their legend and their power.
Preparing for the SKI Trip –> Oldies at Large.
I love to travel, particularly travelling about Australia. I truly love to get out into the bush or the Outback, set up camp somewhere where the skies are open and the sounds of the wilderness are all about me. Or where the sounds of the bush are a constant carol and the shade of great trees shelter you, and every other creepy crawly, hoppy or slidy creature around which you can hear move in the whisper off in the litter of the earth, deep in the forests of this land.
Having not long come back from Mount Moffatt on the Carnarvon Plateau of central Queensland having revelled in the ancient Aboriginal art sites there which are some 25,000 yrs old, older than the last ice age, I am fresh with the want to head out again. I loved visiting these story sites created by ancient man, which are as breathtaking as the magnificent rock formations created by nature and which were simply amazing.
One of the best things about travelling around Australia is one of the things most tourists to our continent and country never see. I always thought that this was strange that tourist and holiday makers never generally understood where the essence, the spirit of our land really slumbered. Hidden as it is, silent and well away from where people gathered en-mass and where it is not so easy to go.
Most people head to the coastline or the cities, or better still a city on the coastline, including most Aussies but the best of the country won’t be found there. You will not find the true spirit of Aus. in the body of people roasting their skin under our harsh sun on the crowded beaches of golden sand. Nor will you find it commonly in the many tourist places where tour companies and groups will take you. They serve tucker there that is more often haute’ cuisine and fine dining representing many lands and cultures and as lovely as it is, this is not what I know as a Aussie experience.
These places frequented by tourist serve food that is not simply good and filling pub-grub or camp-cooking served from a well used camp-oven which is dangling over a roasting fire beneath a crystal dark sky. The places where tourists generally frequent are what commerce has made of Australia and many people do enjoy such delights quite happily, including me at times.
The real essence of Australia (not the industry) is where there are few people, where the horizons are vast and often bare or even rugged and endlessly mysterious. It is where the silence all around you is so deafening that you are left only with your own thoughts and the thoughts of what few companions you may have with you. It is where laughter fills the air along with song and poetry and the laugh of the kookaburra or the crack caw of the crow or cockatoo greets a crisp dawn and heralds a glorious sunset. This is the best part of Aus. and few visitors see it.
I have just returned from the Rooftop of Queensland, having spent time toasting my toes around the campfire at the delightful Mount Moffatt. We camped in what is part of the Carnarvon National Park, up high on the Consuela plateau where the Maranoa River is born and we explored the ancient lands of the Bidjara People.
I have visited the Carnarvon National Park many times over the years but this was the first time I could sit with the wild birds and animals, amongst the towering cyprus pines and gums on the high plateau for more than a short time. It was glorious!
Our days were filled with exploring the ancient campsites and art galleries of the Bidjara mob, photographing and documenting stencils left on sandstone cave walls in ochres of red, yellow and black along with rock etchings of the burial sites where the tribal people of the plateau buried their dead in a rich social and ritual life for near 20,000 years.