Simpson Desert or bust

  Although I find the Australian outback fascinating and a little scary, I am unlikely to join the increasing numbers of people whose bucket list item is crossing the Simpson Desert. It’s not just that we don’t own a 4WD. I/we lack the essential Australian pioneering ability to fix things that break down. Regardless, thousands of people trek across the Simpson Desert each year, from Birdsville in Queensland to Dalhousie Springs in South Australia. The…

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Caravan maintenance and the art of journaling

No 6 in a six-part travelogue. As we start out on the last six days of a six-week caravan adventure, now is the time to dig into my journal for publishable insights and ironies. We found quite by accident an oasis in the outback called Theresa Creek Dam, 22km south west of Clermont. The dam was built here in 1985 by Blair Athol Coal to supply Clermont with drinking water. It’s a tranquil lake spanning…

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Cape York or bust

No 5 in an outback series On the last day of Queensland’s school holidays, a steady line of dusty 4WD’s returning from Cape York are queuing up for the Daintree River ferry crossing. Many of these road-beaten vehicles are rentals from Cairns. You can tell the real deal 4WD by the snorkel (a vertical exhaust above the cabin – designed for crossing creek and rivers without killing the engine). Kids or even adults have written…

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Longreach to Winton via Mystery Road

From Hughenden: No 3 in an outback adventure series So we’re driving into Longreach from Barcaldine, a journey rarely punctuated by a bend in the road, when snippets of a song jump into my head. “I dunno why they call it Longreach, it doesn’t seem that far to me,” goes the line from one of Mick O’Halloran’s songs.   . Unlike much of the outback, at least you know when you’re coming into Longreach, 1,175 kms…

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