Archive for the Down our way Category

852365 – 024

Posted in Down our way with tags , , , , on August 20, 2008 by Dean
A perfect day

A perfect day

Right here on our doorstep, some of the most amazing scenery and it’s far off the beaten track, the tourist track it’s not even a National Park but on a Cattle property.
Today we were privelege to be shown around our backyard by a couple of locals, in places there were no tracks, luckily I had a GPS, not that our guide needed it, he just followed his nose.

Now being a Land Rover man this is hard for me to say but those Toyota Troop carriers are amazing!

Mind you my Defender would have given them a run for their money, but in this country I’m glad that my Defender was safely at home and not taking a hammering, unlike the Troopy!

We crossed dried up river beds wider than the Trent and Thames, in the wet season to see them in full flow would be amazing.

Roll on November!


852365 – 023

Posted in Down our way with tags , , , , , , , on August 19, 2008 by Dean

Next time you fancy popping down to your local Tesco’s or Safeways for a lb of spuds and you stress out battling for a carpark space or fight over the last trolley you might want to reconsider and shop outback style.

Fresh Tomatoes get em here ladies

Fresh Tomatoes get em here ladies

Picture the scene this afternoon…

Today my other half a remote area nurse travelled 306km return trip to a Roadhouse to hold a clinic 256km from the nearest major town and shop. I went along for the ride.

The road, in places it was dirt. In places it was as wide as a jagged iced lolly stick. Pot holes the size of moon craters. Road trains 50 metres in length full of iron ore share it with you. It’s not for the faint hearted nor the Morris Minor. Chieftan tank, Land Rover Defender definitely!
It’s fun, it’s hair raising, it’s er I need the toilet!
Every four weeks the ladies from the stations drive into the roadhouse to meet up with their neighbours, have a chat with the nurse and buy their fresh fruit and veg, bread and milk.

Neighbours? We are not talking over the fence but neighbours that could be 120km away! Having a chat over a fence could pose a problem even for Aussies and with a megaphone!

So whilst the husbands are looking after cattle stations the size of English counties, their counterparts are getting reassurance from the nurse, maybe a chance for their little ones to get their hearing checked, babies weighed. You Brit mothers know how it is? But then all you have to do is drive 2 miles to the clinic, don’t you?

Anyway at about 2pm each week a nice little man from Iran? pulls up at the roadhouse in his refrigerated truck. The ladies from the stations help him set up shop, hang the scales off the driving mirrors and its business as usual.

Who wants lettuce, who wants a cabbage? It’s all go at the outback mobile fruit and veg store. I find a spot at a table under the shade of a huge Mango tree, grab a cuppa and watch life unfold.

Over in the corner under a canopy I see my bush nurse doing her job,. She’s taking someone’s blood pressure. I feel smug and proud. She’s a million miles from Papworth but her professionalism is just the same. Alfresco medical, it could catch on.

Roadhouse = Outback petrol station, toilet stop, showers and food.

Station= Cattle or Sheep station. Okay a very large farm usually much larger than Leicestershire, even Wales!

More stories at

852365 – 022

Posted in Down our way with tags , , on August 18, 2008 by Dean
I am the Purple one

I am the Purple one

I must be turning into a twitcher! It’s just that there is a Great Bowerbird building his bower under a bush in the corner of our garden. So I have spent a couple of hours this afternoon under my swag with camera watching the male chase the female around his bower, through his bower.

Go on chase me!

Go on chase me!

It reminds me of a Carry on film.
The male upon seeing the female entering the bower puffs up his lilac patch of feathers on his nape, drops a wing, jumps up and down in the air and tries to get lucky. Amazing really.

Female Great Bowerbird

Female Great Bowerbird

Sometimes it gets confusing well for me anyway because at times there are about 6 Bowerbirds. I thought the bower belonged to one male. It’s as if if he has got his mates round to give him a hand. Then the girls drop by and it’s game on.

Ready for action

Ready for action

852365 – 021

Posted in Down our way with tags , , on August 17, 2008 by Dean
Apostle Bird

Apostle Bird

The bird life’s a bit different up this way too and certainly different to the Sparrows I was used to seeing back home. This image of an Apostle bird was taken last week whilst on a weekend camping trip to Cobbold Gorge. To labour the point I have spent the afternoon sitting in a hammock with a pair of binoculars watching a “Great Bowerbird” show off his newly constructed bower to a possible mate.
As I was watching them the sky slightly darkened as about 80 Red-tailed Black Cockatoos flew over. The noise they made was deafening.

It’s a hard life spending Sunday afternoon in a hammock watching birds whilst eating homemade apricot and chocolate cake but someone’s got to do it!
It may as well be me!

852365 – 020

Posted in Down our way with tags on August 16, 2008 by Dean
Lifeline of the Bush

Lifeline of the Bush

The Royal Flying Doctor serving Outback Australia for 80 years.

Every two weeks he flies into town but not before my other half “The Bush nurse” makes the runway safe by driving up and down it in her Nissan Patrol clearing any stray Roo’s or cattle that may get in the way!

It’s a hard job but someone has to do it

852365 – 019

Posted in Down our way with tags on August 15, 2008 by Dean
A helping hand

A helping hand

For the people living in the Bush and outback, Frontier Services is there to help.

Major hospitals are for the city dwellers so out here it’s good to know that trained nurses are close at hand.
Of course in real times of need and  thanks to the vision of the Rev Flynn there is always the the Flying Doctor.

852365 – 018

Posted in Down our way with tags on August 14, 2008 by Dean
The Devils elbow

The Devils elbow

Devils Elbow O’Brien’s Gemfields, Far North Queensland.

It’s a lifestyle thing. Grey nomads winter up here to escape the cold and spend their days fossicking for gems and yacking!