Our holiday in the outback wasn’t as long as we had expected. However, it was the best five days I have spent holidaying in a long time. The outback of Western Australia is spectacular. The colours and the scenery you have to see to believe. As we drove around, we were taken back in time, passing through the Wool Wagon Pathway and the Mail Run Pathway. Our pioneers of the outback would travel these almighty long and dusty roads in wagons or on horseback to move cattle and sheep from one end of the state to the other. Amazingly, water was aplenty. There were wells everywhere, with troughs for the animals to drink from, or if there weren’t wells, there were creeks, rivers and water holes for them. This was a big eye opener for me when I realised just how much water there really was in the outback, even when the rain was sparse. When the cyclone season hits to the north west, they cross inland, dropping their rain into the creeks and rivers, sending cascades of water down and often times flooding the area so bad, that no one can get in or out. It was heading into summer and hot weather was forecast, the day we set off. I was a little worried that we didn’t have enough water. You can never be too sure out in the bush. We had plenty of food to keep us going, even if we did break down, however I hoped that wasn’t going to happen. We did however get a flat tyre in the camper trailer, the first night out, so that was a little disturbing. But Bob is a handy man and has changed many a tyre in his time, he’s also a ‘jack of all trades’ so I was not fearful the whole time we were away, even the day we got to Mount Augustus and the 4WD wouldn’t move. It stopped, dead in its tracks! We’d pulled over at Cattle Pool for some lunch, then when we went to leave, the vehicle started, but it just wouldn’t go anywhere. We rolled back down to the pool where another vehicle had parked just after us, but before we called for help, it suddenly started to move. Yay! Whatever that little glitch was, we don’t know. It never happened again, thankfully.

That first night saw me going back and forth to the 4wd, trying to work out whether the food I wanted was in the esky (Cooler for those of you in the US) or in the Waeco fridge/freezer. I’d get back to the kitchen and realise I needed something else. Back to the 4wd I’d go, not before realising what I wanted was on the other side of the vehicle. By this time, I was getting a tad frustrated with camping!! But, it did get better. We spent 2 nights at the camp site, exploring the area. Climbing over rocks and tree stumps, stopping every now and then to take in the view or just to listen and watch the birdlife. We did see a few snake tracks, but fortunately no snakes.

There was no escaping the dust, so it was a relief to be staying at a camp site that had showers. Not that I stayed clean for very long. Each time we moved on, we had to collapse the tent and fold it back over the trailer, then zip up the dust proof cover. I’d hate to see what everything would be like if that wasn’t there. The zip of course got full of dust, so by the time we had everything all secure, we really needed another shower. But of course everything was packed away by then, so it was a quick wash with the onboard water and away we went to the next spot. The dust wasn’t really a problem, you knew you were going to the outback, so dust was par for the course. The 2nd day out, the temperature climbed to 37c (98.6f), not hot by any means, but too hot to stay out exploring for too long. So we came back to the camp for some lunch and sit in the cool shade. I had opened up all the zippers on the doors to let the breeze through and was sitting down reading, when we heard this sudden roar. OMG! Before we could even jump out of our chairs, this willy willy came through and whipped up the dust, sending it all over the camper, through the bedding, all over us. Thankfully all the food and our clothes were in covered plastic boxes. Now that was fun. Not! But it is a story to tell. You have to stories, or there’s no point on going on adventures! On the third day, after we’d explored all over Mount Augustus, we headed over to The Kennedy Ranges. This was wonderful, the ranges went for miles and miles and the camping spot, although no showers, did have an outback “dunny” (toilet) as we call them. The ground was pretty hard, but we could still pitch the tent.  This was another great place to explore, lots of dry creek beds to walk along and so many birds. It would be wonderful to see after the rains. Maybe another time.

It was blissfully peaceful and quiet. Even though there were other campers nearby, it was so so quiet. Bob and I watched the sun go down behind the range and the first stars started to come out. The sky was as clear as could be. Not a cloud. It got so dark, the sky was pitch black, and the millions and trillions of stars shone brightly. It was heaven on earth. Magic. Indescribable. There is no way you can get the same experience from home, with the lights from our houses and the street lights, the sky would never look as black. It was just amazing. I lay back in my fold out chair and just stared up at the sky, watching the stars, listening to the quiet. Yep, and even my tinnitus was quiet. Gotta love that! We’d been having problems with our new fridge/freezer from day 1. All the frozen food had started to thaw out. We had plenty of dry food, but we decided to start heading home with maybe one more night on the road, however as we got further and further along the road, the thought of putting the tent up for one more night and eating out of a tin, just didn’t entice us very much. We were only a couple of hours from home, so we continued on to our own beds. We were covered in red dust, but a quick shower soon had that removed and several loads of washing the next day, saw our clothes nice and clean again. The experience was fantastic. I would do it again, but this time with maybe an Off Road Caravan that can take the dirt roads. We’d love to go further north to the Kimberley’s and Bob has always wanted to go to Darwin in the Northern Territory. You just never know. All in all we travelled 1751 kilometers (1088 miles) and used 205 litres (66 gallons) of fuel at a cost of $AU347.77 @ an average of $AU1.80 per litre (1 litre = 3.78 gallons). Thanks to NomadNotes on the laptop for accurate recording!

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15 Responses to Blog: Outback Adventure

  1. Janice says:

    I loved reading this Jenny. It felt like I was sitting right next to you while you were telling me your stories!!! What a fabulous experience – dust, breakdowns, bung fridge and all!

  2. pamelajb says:

    Great blog and story of your adventure Jenny. One has to experience that “red dust” to fully appreciate just how fine it is and how it covers everything! Oh dear, after that willy willy it could have had you heading for home earlier! So glad you enjoyed it and are ready to take on more of the outback. Not in a camper trailer though!

  3. Jenny, you made your trip so real for us. You are such a wonderful story teller. Thank you for your showing us your awesome country.

    • Jenny says:

      Awww thank you Barbara. I wasn’t going to tell it ‘warts and all’ but decided this is what happened. Sometimes things don’t go to plan but you still have to appreciate the adventure.

  4. Anne says:

    This looks and sounds like a fascinating trip!! So glad the snakes were absent! Loved you describing the stars – brings back memories of lying on the sidewalk, waay back when, with my dad pointing out the constellations. No street lights back then to block the view.

  5. Tina Bruderer says:

    Wow you are definitela awriter i bet your storybooks are awsome

  6. Jan says:

    Sounds so awesome, Jenny! I know what you mean about the stars – that would be spectacular! I enjoyed the small taste of the Outback you shared with us – now I want more!! Just one thing – I’m pretty sure a liter is about 1/4 of a gallon, not the other way around. Otherwise you were paying about 45 cents a gallon for gas! I remember those days!

  7. sistersunshine says:

    Love love LOVE hearing about your adventure. I especially love that you and Bob were truly ‘free’ spirits… that you were comfortable in letting the adventure end early… and that by doing so you left yourselves avenues for future adventures. (I know way too many folks that HAVE to stick to their original plans even if it kills the adventure) hubby & I plan a road trip next summber on the way to Showcase in Denver… visiting places we have never been… I’m looking forward to it… it’s fun to travel with your best friend isn’t it?! *U* Kathleen

  8. Linda DeLaughter says:

    Where is the Honeycomb Gorge? I will have to make it back Down Under so that I can experience that!

  9. roseanne Roberts says:

    Jenny I love your pages and journalling. Im from wa too and have many similar pics and u are inspiring me how to digi them. Love it

  10. judychronicles judychronicles says:

    I loved reading about your adventures. I can even taste the dust. It is certainly a beautiful country and each part of it so different. Thanks Jenny

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