An Ancient Landscape (The Flinders Ranges)

Last evening we witnessed a lunar eclipse of the full moon as it was rising over an ancient landscape, the Flinders Range.

 And the colours that the setting sun cast over the hills was breathtaking.

 Click here to see where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photo: Baz, The Landy
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The Flinders Range (Brachina Gorge)

Flinders Ranges, AustraliaBrachina Gorge has an amazing array of flora and fauna and today we took a scenic drive through this stunningly beautiful and ancient landscape..

We travelled along what is often referred to as “Corridor Through Time” on a self-guided tour of the gorges.

Flinders Ranges, AustraliaHans Heysen, later Sir Hans, the German-born Australian artist spent a great deal of his life in the Flinders Ranges, capturing the beauty of the area in water-colours.  He summed up the Flinders Ranges landscape when he said it is “the bones of the earth laid bare”.

It was great to see first-hand the landscape that inspired so many of his paintings prior to his passing in 1968.

Flinders Ranges, Australia

This evening we are going to take time to watch the lunar eclipse as the full moon rises over the rugged Flinders Ranges landscape.

 Click here to see where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photos: Baz, The Landy
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The Flinders Ranges and Wilpena Pound

DSC_3316Wilpena Pound, set in the Flinders Ranges is approximately 430-kilometres to the north of Adelaide.

The landscape is breathtaking and dated to be over 800 million years old. The Flinders Ranges National Park offers a wide range of activities that you can undertake, including bush-walking and four-wheel drive touring.

Shaped like an amphitheatre, Wilpena Pound has an abundant range of wildlife, including emus, kangaroos, plenty of birds, and the endangered yellow footed rock wallaby.

There are a number of aboriginal art sites within the region, and the country is home to the Adnyamathanha people of the Northern Flinders Ranges.  Adnyamathanha meaning “hills” or “rock people” is a term now used to describe the Kuyani, Wailpi, Yadliaura, Pilatapa and Pangkala, the traditional groups in the Flinders Ranges.

Today many Adnyamathanha people live and work in the area. Nepabunna in the Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges, Leigh Creek and Port Augusta are central settlements for the Adnyamathanha people. Rock art, stone arrangements, occupation sites, graves and ochre quarries are reminders of the area’s cultural heritage and are of significance to the Adnyamathanha peoples’ connection to country.

Our camp for the next three nights will be at the Wilpena Pound Campground.

For certain, we will find a vantage point that will afford us a view of the sun setting on Wilpena Pound, the colours should be spectacular!

Flinders Ranges, Australia

Speaking of spectacular, the drive from Broken Hill was just that, and we passed many ruins of an era long gone gone, along the way.

 Click here to see where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photos: Baz, The Landy
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An Artifact that survives in the Desert (Broken Hill)

Broken Hill, Australia

Broken Hill is one Australian town that needs very little introduction. Growing from a small mining township in the 1880s it has developed into a large mining and tourism centre.

The town has been described as a living, breathing time-capsule – “an artifact that survives in the desert and waits to be rediscovered with its Art-deco shop fronts from a bygone age and many monuments throughout the town paying homage to the men and women who suffered and died so the town could survive.”

Our overnight stay has not provided us with much of an opportunity to truly explore the town or the nearby town of Silverton on this visit, but there are a couple of things worth knowing that puts some further perspective on the town.

The Great War visited Broken Hill on New Year’s Day, 1915, when two camel drivers loyal to the Ottoman Empire opened fire on a picnic train, killing five men, women, and children in what remains the only act of war to be committed on Australian soil.  You can view where this occurred on a small lane not too far from the Broken Hill caravan park.

 

 

Broken Hill, Australia

During the second-world war a large part of Australia’s gold reserves were transferred to the town and away from the coastal capital cities to protect it from the possibility of a Japanese invasion.

And surprisingly, in Sturt Park there stands a monument to the musicians of the ill-fated Titanic that was erected in 1913. It would seem extraordinary that an inland community in Australia has a monument to the tragedy that occurred in the icy-waters of the Atlantic Ocean on the other side of the world…

Standing on the urban boundary we looked westward as the sun drifted low onto the horizon, the town at our back and nothing but the red desert ahead of us, as far as the eye can see.

 Click here to see where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photo, Baz – The Landy
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The Australian Outback Beckons (Go West, Young Man)

Tullamore, Australia

Today we pointed “The Landy” down the driveway and bid farewell to Sydney for a couple of weeks.

Making our way west over the Blue Mountains via the Bell’s Line in a modern four-wheel drive vehicle we did give some thought to the early explorers’ who headed this way, journeying on foot, horseback and bullock dray. 

Our drive took us through the larger rural towns of Bathurst and Orange before diverting from the usual route west, the Great Western Highway, to travel through the township of Parkes and the smaller rural towns of Trundle and Tottenham.

Trundle Hotel

Situated 55-kilometres north of Parkes, Trundle is at the centre of a wheat, sheep and cattle farming area.  Of interest is the Trundle Hotel, a majestic building in the town’s main street, which is National Estate, listed and has the longest verandah in New South Wales, coming in at a long 87.6 metres. The town’s main street is also the widest in New South Wales measuring 60 metres.

Leaving Trundle behind we passed through the closest town to the geographical centre in New South Wales, Tottenham. We varied our route to visit the geographical centre, which is located 34 kilometres west of the town along the Cockies Road.

Tottenham is also at the centre of large scale agriculture cropping and sheep grazing and boosts a large hotel, The Tottenham Hotel, which overlooks the main street.

We arrived at Nyngan to a tranquil camp next to the Bogan River at the Riverside Van Park.

Bogan River, Nyngan

In 1835, explorer, Major Mitchell was the first European to document a journey along the Bogan River, describing the area around Nyngan as ‘a long pond, with many birds, ducks, and brolgas’. The local aboriginal word ‘Nyingan’ is said to mean ‘long pond of water’. In 1882 the town’s site was surveyed and buildings from an earlier settlement at Canonba 30- kilometres away were moved to the present Nyngan Township.

 Click here to find out where Baz, “The Landy” is today…

Photos: Baz, The Landy
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We’re off to the Australian Outback – (Saturday)

Diamantina National Park

We’re excited, ahead of us is two weeks of soaking up the beauty of a red-ochre coloured landscape, an ancient landscape that stretches to the horizon, where it kisses a never-ending blue sky…

Sometimes it is simply impossible to capture it in a photograph, but we will be trying, and of course part of the attraction of touring the Great Southern Land is the characters you meet along the way; they are the heart and soul of the Australian Outback…

The Landy is packed full of Janet’s wine, TomO has claimed a seat in the front, Janet and Fay (me mum!)  are strapped into the back.

And don’t forget to check in over the next couple of weeks to see what we are up to.

Bearing in mind, one of the attractions of the Outback is the inability to communicate, at times.  Shoosh, that is the story I run with my boss at work, so we might be out of range every so often ;)

 

Photo: Baz, The Landy
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The Birdsville Pub (An Icon of the Australian Outback)

TomO and mate

The Birdsville Pub is synonymous with the Australian Outback and has been the watering hole for many a weary traveller, both in days gone by and still today.

And over many years of outback travel we have often gone out of our way to quench our thirst in the front bar of the hotel.

A bar where you can hear the different accents of the many foreign tourists who come to wonder at the splendour of Australia’s Outback mixed amongst the laughter and our unique Aussie Drawl.

TomO is very accustomed to the Birdsville Pub.

Oh, but don’t worry, he is yet to quench his thirst with a beer, perhaps that will come in time, but he has made many friends over the years in the front bar. Plotting adventures with a local boy, playing snooker with the many visiting pilots, and even fallen in love with the policeman’s daughter, at the tender age of three!

And he tells me he is looking forward to this visit…

What do you think he will find this time?

Photo: Baz, The Landy
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