Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Sunburnt Country

The Bluff at Yowah, Australian Outback. April 2008. Ajr
I’ve been avoiding writing about my Australian Outback adventures because I don’t know where to start. How do you encapsulate the vastness, the magnificence, the beauty and the brutality of such a place in a few concise sentences, in a few photographs? This is a place where the locals think nothing of driving four hours to a barbecue, or driving ten hours to a meeting; a place where the letterbox can be at the end of a 30-kilometre driveway; where a single paddock can be 10,000 acres!
I flew in to Charleville, a two hour flight west of Brisbane and my ten days were spent in and around Cunnamulla, two hours drive south of there. I went to the Noorama Picnic Races in the middle of nowhere and I visited huge outback stations, the quirky town of Eulo (pop.40) and the even whackier opal mining town of Yowah. All of these sit in the Paroo Shire, in South West Queensland, which is a 16-inch-per-annum rainfall zone yet, up to November 2007, the region had received just 23 inches in total in the last eight years. The Outback is parched country. It’s beautiful country too but one false move and it will kill you. At the end of my ten days, back in Brisbane and on my way to the airport, the taxi driver summed it up beautifully: “The Outback is where you find the real Australians. The rest of us are just city dwellers who happen to live in Australia,” he said. I couldn’t agree more.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin