Thylacoleo carnifex, Australia's lion! Naracoorte Caves, South Australia

OZ Top Spot #12 – Naracoorte Caves National Park, South Australia

The dim yellow light cast a long dark shadow flickering balefully over the seeping rock as we descended deeper into the gloomy cavern. Treading carefully over the uneven rock floor, we dodged the oozing columns towering high above as we rounded the corner to leave the daylight behind. Channelling ‘Becky’ to Pilchard’s ‘Tom Sawyer’ in a weird re-enactment of Mark[…]

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Between Boulia and Bedourie, Western Queensland Outback

Aussie Icons #6 – Min Min light, Boulia, Queensland

The benign, blue sky stretches away to infinity around western Queensland’s Boulia, mostly unrelieved by clouds, birds or planes. Unremarkable – at least by Outback standards – Boulia’s boundless blue backdrop is the ultimate Big Sky luring travellers to the Outback. But it’s not the splendidly panoramic sky of daylight hours that attracts visitors to this remote capital of the[…]

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Plesiosaur at the Stone House Museum, Boulia

Aussie ABC – F is for Fossils!

The ancient landscape of OZ, eroded by time, long disappeared sea beds and a harsh climate has given rise to weirdly unique and bizarre creatures. Well … their remains, anyway! I knew this. But I DIDN’T know the present day Outback fossil fields near northwest Queensland’s Richmond, would engender a creature more fantastic than any of them. And I was[…]

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Toompine Pub, Outback Queensland

A Day Trip to Toompine, Outback Queensland

With an official population of two, tiny Toompine is barely a blip on the radar! And yet, all roads seem to lead there in the western Queensland Outback. A simple distance measurement between the outback towns of Eulo, Thargomindah and Quilpie yields Toompine’s coordinates almost exactly. Is that enough reason to visit? Of course not! But finding out why the[…]

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Sand Dune Survivor, Windorah QLD

Aussie ABC – D is for Dune!

It’ll take massive advances in virtual reality to develop a lounge-room based version of ‘sand dune sports’ – if it ever can be! BUT for the moment, pretty much the only way to slide down, climb up, frolic in, pose on, admire, photograph or otherwise enjoy the dunes of Australia in their many guises, is to actually visit them. Luckily,[…]

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Track on the Whispering Wall Dam Wall, Adelaide

Only in OZ #13 – The Whispering Wall, Adelaide, South Australia

Compared with other states, South Australia works hard to preserve the sanctity of its reservoirs. Their waters are generally unsullied by boating, skiing, fishing or swimming activities – and poorly maintained facilities tend to discourage visitors from lingering. But the Barossa Valley Reservoir’s Dam Wall is an exception. A short drive past Williamstown, north of Adelaide, the outlook from the[…]

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Mining Machinery, Irvinebank

Off the Tourist Trail #6 – Irvinebank, Queensland

As an antidote to the Atherton Tableland mist and drizzle, Irvinebank was working just fine. A few kilometres beyond Herberton, we’d crossed the range to clear skies, warmth, and a spectacular setting – another universe far, far away from yet another day of dampness. Just what Dr Pilchard ordered! Sadly, no bakery but the monster plate of chips accompanying the[…]

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Off the Tourist Trail #3 – Woomera, Outback South Australia

Woomera? Or Stepford?!?!? Was our July 2008 visit during a particularly slow time, or are the wide, open streets normally this neat, quiet and uninhabited? I guess we’ll find out next time we visit – and there WILL BE a next time, because this unusual outback South Australian town just off the Stuart Highway en route to Roxby Downs and[…]

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Troubridge Lighthouse, Troubridge Island, South Australia

Favourite Place #4 – Troubridge Island, SA

You’d think Troubridge Island and lighthouse would already be several years into a conservation program to preserve this unique South Australian heritage icon, but the SA State Government has different priorities.  The costly shrines to its self indulgence are in urban areas where the votes are, meaning this unique spot is at risk of being lost forever. Think I’m being a little melodramatic? The fine[…]

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View from Baldy Top Lookout, Quilpie, Outback Queensland

Why Quilpie is a TOP Aussie Town

  Spending a fun filled week in Quilpie is easy.  In the photo above, this Outback Queensland opal mining town is visible way off in the distance from landmark lookout ‘Baldy Top’ just out of town.  But just because it (almost) disappears into the distance from any vantage point doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do there. About 955 km (593[…]

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