Arkaroola: Australia’s Wilderness Adventureland!

Lone Gum at Stubbs Waterhole

For a place explored, surveyed and ravaged by pastoralism, mining and smelting; overrun by sheep, camels, donkeys, rabbits and dingoes; and more recently under threat from an avaricious government looking to sell off uranium mining rights, Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary is looking mighty fine! That’s due to the extraordinary Sprigg family* – visionaries, eco-tourism pioneers and explorers – who bought this

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Beauty and the Beasts: Bruny Island Cruises

Sea Cave Bruny Island

As far as I could tell, the fashion police hadn’t made it down to Bruny Island’s Adventure Bay. Just as well. If they had, they’d have been handing out infringement notices left, right and centre on board our purpose-built Naiad as we donned the Bruny Island Cruises complimentary waterproof onesies – our only protection from the winds and open waters

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8 Random Adventures on the Kanawinka Geotrail!

On the Lake Surprise circuit track, Mt Eccles National Park, Victoria

My first adventures on the Kanawinka Geotrail pre-date Pilchard by quite a few years But they also pre-date both owning a camera AND knowing that the Kanawinka Geotrail even existed!! Now I know the Geotrail connects 60+ significant sites across South-Eastern South Australia and South-Western Victoria in Australia’s first UNESCO Global Geopark – one of the largest regions of volcanic

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Postcard from … Marree South Australia

Hi there! Tiny town Marree South Australia is the first major sign of civilisation in over 500 km (~310 miles) for travellers heading south down the iconic Oodnadatta or Birdsville tracks – both LOOOOONG stretches of dirt, rocks, gravel and bulldust. But we approached it over several days from the other direction – a straight run from Adelaide of nearly

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6 Random Moments at the Broome Bird Observatory!

Roebuck Bay, Broome Bird Observatory

1 The Gun Birder* As far as I could tell, driving a bouncing 4WD with 4 passengers along a rough station track in search of Australia’s rarest bird wasn’t cramping the gun birder’s style one bit. All I could see were the vast, rolling plains of grass and samphire stretching to the horizon against an endless blue sky. But our

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Aussie ABC: N is for Nullarbor

90 Mile Straight, Nullarbor, Ten Budget Travel Tips

I was 4 – nearly 5! – the first time I crossed the Nullarbor. Xmas day, and we were on the Indian Pacific* heading for Adelaide. We’d spent Xmas eve in a pub somewhere in rough as guts Western Australian gold-mining town Kalgoorlie, but I don’t remember that – maybe I blanked it out … In September 2012, I made

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Ride the Ragged Ranges: The RED HOT Arkaroola Ridge-top Tour!

Coulthard Lookout View, Arkaroola Ridge-top Tour

‘Now we’ll see some REAL scenery!’ Doug announced, herding us away from the spectacular outlook from Coulthard’s Lookout towards our convoy of two vehicles. I was sceptical. The ragged mountain ranges (yes, I’m channelling Aussie poet Dorothea Mackellar*) glistened and glowed in a glorious 360° panorama in the perfection of a clear Outback day. I thought Doug was joking. He wasn’t.

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Weird Stuff #9 – Magnetic Hill, South Australia

The Magnetic Hill Magnet, via Orroroo, South Australia

Discovering the Daleks of Khancoban in a remote Snowy Mountains hideaway was, I thought, the pinnacle of my paranormal participation in the world of real-life Australian sci-fi. But that was before Magnetic Hill South Australia struck back. Pushing for a place in the paranormal pantheon, and surrounded by this mid-North peaceful pastoral panorama, the sign promised a strange and bizarre

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Aussie ABC: M is for Mount Kosciuszko

Mt Kosciuszko from Charlotte Pass Lookout, Snowy Mountains

‘Good on ya, love,’ a bloke sang out, one of a trio of pensioners trotting past me as I trudged wearily up the last slight steady impossibly steep incline before the Mt Kosciuszko lookout. Leaving the summit behind I only had 2km of the 13 km (8 miles) round trip summit hike to go, and altitude sickness was kicking in.

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Birds, Ballads and Billabongs: Australia’s Wild West!

En Route to Marlgu Billabong, via Wyndham, Western Australia

It’s hardly surprising, given the lyrics of Aussie folk ballad Waltzing Matilda* are responsible for most people’s entire knowledge of billabongs**, that to visit a real one raises certain expectations. So the unexpected dearth of swagmen, coolibah trees, jolly jumbucks and troopers at the Marlgu Billabong, oasis in the Kimberley west of Kununurra, was a staggering disappointment. BUT … at

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