Outback cattle truck
In the outback, distances are vast and the area in my state alone is the size of several small European countries. The outback is a mixture of gulf wetlands and waterholes, red desert and sand dunes, pockets of lush grasslands, and enormous cattle stations. These stations truck cattle to market by road trains, semi trailers pulling one, two, or three trailers, or dogs. These road trains take up the full width of most outback roads so travelers learn quickly to get off onto the side of the road when you see a large cloud of dust coming towards you, because chances are it’s a road train and the driver is hurrying to get the cattle to shipping ports or to saleyards and abattoirs.
You can drive for hours on outback roads and not pass another car, though you see plenty of animals. At dusk, you need to be alert because kangaroos feed from the green grass at the edge of the bitumen and you never know which way kangaroos will jump and they can really damage a car.
Along the way, you can see emus running beside the roads, along with wild pigs or goats. Sheep and cattle often graze in paddocks with no fences so they can also wander onto the road. It’s always an adventure.
Outback towns are a fascinating mix of old and new, both in shops and the characters you meet there. And of course there is always the main gathering place of every town, the local pub. Everyone knows everyone and the pub is a great place to meet people if you’re new to the town or visiting the outback. Many of these pubs have backpackers from all over the world working behind the bar. It’s a great chance for travelers to see more of the countryside and it gives local businesses a ready supply of eager workers.
Many outback towns have individual quirks, such as having all their streets named on a theme. Longreach, one of my favorite towns and the birthplace of Qantas, Australia’s domestic and international airline, has streets all named after birds. The main street is Eagle Street and all the streets running east-west have the names of water birds and the streets running north-south after named after land birds.
But the best part of the outback is the ever changing scenery. Sunsets on red dirt plains are stunning and when it rains in the outback, creeks and rivers run and lagoons fill up. These creeks are great for catching yabbies, small fresh water crayfish, and for some delicious fish. They’re also a great place to cool off on a hot day or to meet up for a group bar-b-q.
There si so much to see that it’s hard to talk about it all, but the best thing to do is to come and visit Australia and go to the outback. It’s an experience you’ll never forget.
Suzi Love now lives in a sunny part of Australia after spending many years in developing countries in the South Pacific. Her greatest loves are traveling, anywhere and everywhere, meeting crazy characters, and visiting the Australian outback. She adores history, especially the many-layered society of the late Regency to early Victorian eras. In and around London, her titled heroes and heroines may live a privileged and gay life but Suzi also likes to dig deeper into the grittier and seamier levels of British life and writes about the heroes and heroines who challenge traditional manners, morals, and occupations, either through necessity or desire.
Embracing Scandal by Suzi Love
Embracing Scandal is an historical romance and the first in my Scandalous Siblings Series featuring five siblings who are all scientifically-gifted. Lady Rebecca Jamison, a mathematical genius, saves her family from financial ruin by dabbling in the London stock exchange.