Monday, 11 April 2011

The Outback is Open!

By Danielle Lancaster

As we farewell our participants today by train and plane from our Bluedog Photography Outback Odyssey Tour and we settle into our last day in Longreach, we are hearing stories of places being closed such as Birdsville – our home for four days during this past week.

People are pulling us up saying ‘You were in Birdsville? We hear it’s closed.’ And it’s made us want to shout, come on out!

Spread the word the outback is open! Yes some roads are closed but use a map, ring around (yes mobile phone service is in most towns) and you will find they are ready and waiting to greet you, and greet you they will.

The rivers are falling, autumn wildflowers are blooming and this region has never in the memory for many who live here ever looked so good.

A rare single petal wildflower in bloom - simply striking!
Image by Danielle Lancaster

Emus are running with large broods of chicks, the Eagles are huge with bellies full, Brolgas dancing in mating and the Roos have their Joeys stretching their pouches – the sight which would make most human mother’s wince! Plains sweeping in grasses blowing gently in the wind slowly fatten cattle for your next year’s steak sandwich.

Yes there are a few flies (that’s the bush) however with such a good season the dust is settled and with rivers full, the fishing is great for those keen on dangling a line.

Yesterday in Middleton, my old friend Lester told me they may have to shut the doors. Shut the doors out here means walking away from everything you have worked you your whole life to create. This has been a favourite stopping place of mine for many, many years. “The bush is almost buggered,’ he confessed, ‘stories of floods, roads swept away, rising fuel costs and the high Aussie dollar means we see less passing our way”.

Lester tells a bush poem in the shade of the verandah at the Middleton Hotel
while we enjoy damper and syrup and a cup of tea.
Image by Danielle Lancaster

The outback needs visitors like you and I. It survives on us pulling into the little pubs and stores, buying a coldie, a glass of lemonade, an ice-cream or filling our tanks with fuel – it all counts to keeping their doors open.

What a pity it would be to see this old pub, the only building inhabited in the town, close its doors; it’s such a great stopping place for travellers taking the road between Winton and Boulia.

Need cash?
Image by Danielle Lancaster

So consider a trip into Queensland’s outback some time soon. Water is never an issue – remember there is the sub artesian basin which means you can always top up in every town and let’s all work in keeping our vibrant outback and its people there for future generations. You won’t regret the visit. Join us in revisiting our Outback friends in August this year on the next Outback Odyssey Tour – details can be found at:

And 2012 dates will be announced very soon!


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