Climbing Mountains and Travelling the Australian Outback
I'm on a journey to climb one or more of the world's 8,000 metre mountain peaks, and if all goes well an attempt on the summit of Mt Everest.
And when I'm not climbing, travelling and enjoying the Australian Outback!
One of the things I like to remind myself of each and every day, is there are no ordinary moments; no ordinary people; no ordinary lives...
Outback TourOutback Trip - Birdsville TrackApril 12th, 20144 months to go.
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Perhaps this will come as little surprise, but today we were Out and About in the Australian Bush…
TomO was having a sleep over at a friends place, although the term sleepover is used merely to highlight that he wasn’t at home with us, because if I know those boys there would have been little sleep happening.
Hell, come to think of it, the poor bloke was probably cleaning up the aftermath of the dinner party we enjoyed with the parents of TomO’s mate last night…
Now nothing ever seems to happen in our house before a cup of tea has been taken, which shouldn’t be that surprising as Janet’s father, Archie, was a tea importer, so after our mandatory cup of tea this morning we boarded The Landy, camera gear at the ready, and headed about 50-kilometres to the north of Sydney into Yengo National Park.
This park is a favourite of ours and we have spent many hours atop Devil’s Mountain watching the sun set on the the park’s western horizon, or Burragurra as it is known by Australia’s first inhabitants.
The mountain has many aboriginal rock engravings etched into its surface, including the spirit footprints of Wa-boo-ee, the creator of heaven and earth. In aboriginal legend he stepped from here to Mount Yengo in one stride and then ascended back into the sky.
All this, just to the north of Australia’s most populous city, strewth, how did we Aussies’s get so lucky?
And you know how I tend to rave on about the Australian Bush and Outback, well just take another look at the beautiful example of a Fringed Lily. They are so minute and in flower presently.
And as harsh as the Australian Bush can be it is such a fragile environment producing what can only be described as Living Works of Art…just like the Fringed Lily!
Crikey, all together now, say it!
(Big Bad) Baz, we wouldn’t wouldn’t be dead for quid’s!
Photos: (Big Bad) Baz, The Landy
A few weeks back I was wandering around in the Outback enjoying the big sky country when I snapped this shot along the old Cobb & Co Coach Route between Broken Hill and White Cliffs.
Taken nearby to the old Rockholes Hotel, a refreshment point for travellers along the dusty route in days long gone but little more than rubble these days, I just laid back in the red dust and closed my eyes.
In an instant I was transported to another time, lost forever!
Strewth, you just wouldn’t be caught dead for quids, hey!
Photo: Baz ,The Landy
We spent the past weekend touring through the Hill End region nearby to Sydney in our new Outback Touring vehicle, a Toyota 79 Series Dual Cab.
Dare I call it “The Landy”.
And it proved to be popular with the locals who mobbed it as we neared the historic gold mining town.
This was a Gold and Ghouls weekend, for it was in the early 1850s that the discovery of gold at Ophir, not too far from Hill End in the State’s Central West, that created Australia’s first gold rush.
It was almost over as quickly as it began and very few found the fortune that they came in search of, and of course those that prospered most were the people who ran the stores, supplying equipment and provisions to the miners, and the many hotels that quenched the thirst of those who were looking for the “big strike”.
Hill End is a historic town administered by the New South Wales National Parks. There is a pub, a store, and plenty of old buildings that give a glimpse into how life might have been in those heady gold fever days. For the more energetic, there is a walk to Bald Hill where there was a lot of mining activity.
And the Royal Hotel is a great place to have a beer, or two, and a meal in the bistro.
Leaving Sydney we travelled the Great Western Highway via Bathurst and the small township of Sofala.
We camped at Glendora campground, which is located about 1.5 kilometres from the pub and is well equipped to take caravans and camper trailers, with powered and unpowered sites available and self-registration. In fact this is a good spot for larger groups with full facilities including electric barbecues and hot showers.
There is also a campground in the centre of town, which was about half full…
Leaving Hill End on Sunday we travelled back to Bathurst via Dixon’s Long Point Road, a four-wheel drive track that winds its way down to a rocky creek crossing on the Macquarie River.
“The Landy” had its first workout and performed admirably, although it was hardly taxing for the big V8-engine housed under a bonnet as big as a football field.
The views are spectacular and you can camp by the river and wile away the day under a deep blue sky…
The drive down to the river takes about one hour, depending on whether you stop along the way to visit the Cornish Roasting Pits, which we didn’t do on this particular occasion.
Travelling on you eventually come to Ophir Reserve which is located in a gorge where the Summer Hill and Lewis Creeks converge, and it was from here that the gold in the gold medals presented at 2000 Sydney Olympics was mined.
A great spot for a picnic, and it didn’t take long before TomO found a rope swing.
Leaving Ophir it is less than an hour drive to Bathurst and another couple of hours back to Sydney.
And what about the Ghouls I hear you ask?
The National Park Rangers do a Ghost Tour that takes in a number of properties in Hill End and can be organised with about a week’s notice. It was uncertain whether “The Landy” would be finished in time for this trip so we thought we’d keep the ghost tour up our sleeve, giving us a reason to return again soon…
For anyone visiting the central west of New South Wales, Hill End and a tour of the region is well worth the experience. And there is some good four-wheel driving to be done, if you are inclined. Otherwise the Dixon Long Point Road is easily traversable and will reward you with some stunning vistas of the Australian Bush…
Photos: Baz, The Landy, and Janet Planet…
You’ve got to love the sound of the Australian Bush, but crikey, put a few of these blokes together and the sound is deafening…
Yeah, we’ve got a few creepy crawlies, but these little blokes are nothing to worry about…
Hey, what are you doing on my hat!
Photo: Baz, The Landy
Sunday morning at Hill End, a historic gold mining town about 3-hours drive from Sydney…
And how cool is this, my new truck is finished, well almost, I just need to have the mural put on the side this week, but here is a little peek at it.
Janet took this great shot as I was crossing the Macquarie River earlier today…strewth, how good is the Australian Bush hey!
Photos by Baz – the Landy and Janet Planet…