KathSwinbourne » Having it all and enjoying every minute of it ... mostly

Sep 28 2016

Tips for driving in outback Australia

Birdsville-trackOn this trip I’ve driven the Birdsville Track, unnamed dirt roads between main roads, gorges and canyons in the Flinders ranges, the Strzelecki Track, and the Old Strzelecki Track. I’ve gone through sand, gravel, clay, and water.

And I still don’t know if I’m doing it right.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/tips-for-driving-in-outback-australia/

Sep 18 2016

The romance of sleeping in a swag

Sunrise over my swag ParachilnaHow romantic is it to throw out your swag and lie there looking at a million stars while you fall asleep?

To wake up with birds singing, and kangaroos hopping around your campsite.

Then get up, rekindle last night’s fire and brew some coffee for breakfast.

Aah, freedom.

There is another side.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/the-romance-of-sleeping-in-a-swag/

Sep 02 2016

The Corner Store: where all the kangaroos hang out

Three states Cameron cornerI’m sitting at the Corner Store.

Not the one down the street from home, the one at Cameron Corner, where three states meet: New South Wales, Queensland, and South Australia. I’m not sure which state I’m in, or should that be what state I’m in.

And I drove the Strzelecki and Old Strzelecki tracks to get here.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/the-corner-store-where-all-the-kangaroos-hang-out/

Aug 23 2016

Women adventurers in the Australian outback

early am swimInnaminkaI’m going to go out on a limb here, commit sacrilege, and say I am sick of boys’ own adventure stories in the outback.

As you do when you’re in Maree waiting to drive up the Birdsville Track, I began re-reading Tom Kruse’s story of forging the Birdsville Track for the mail run from Maree to Birdsville.

I heard and read a lot about Burke & Wills’ (doomed) expedition, Ludwig Leichhardt’s disappearance somewhere in the desert, Reg Sprigg’s crossing of the Simpson, Charles Sturt, early pastoralists battling the elements to open up the outback, and a seemingly never ending parade of other blokes doing bloke stuff.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/women-adventurers-in-the-australian-outback/

Aug 21 2016

Wildflowers in the Australian desert

Australian desert wildflowersI cannot believe how absolutely, stunningly, jaw-droppingly, beautiful the Australian outback, and the desert countryside is.

If I could put more superlatives into that sentence I would. The desert is beautiful, and I am in awe. I don’t mean beautiful in the way that ‘deserts have their own beauty’, I just mean beautiful.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/wildflowers-in-the-australian-desert/

Aug 15 2016

Flinders Ranges photos

Champagne on the Ghan Parachilna_02It’s been an amazing four days at Arkaroola.

I’ve done the Ridgetop tour, and looked at millions of stars in deep space at one of the observatories.  I’ve laid in my swag and looked at millions of stars visible to the naked eye – as long as you’re far enough away from city lights, and outside.

I’ve had a campfire every night (except the first when I arrived after dark), and rekindled it every morning for my coffee (after breaking the ice on the swag).

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/flinders-ranges-photos/

Aug 14 2016

Where to collect wood for a campfire in the bush

Power station at the top of the Spriginna walk, Flinders RangesI’ve discovered where all the firewood is in the park. Unfortunately it’s not even close to my campsite.

I went for a walk to Spriggina Lookout today after I got back from the Ridgetop Tour. I’m doing the startrails tour tonight, so just wanted a short walk to get some exercise. It’s only 2km up to the lookout, then 2.2km back along a track in a loop.

There, at the peak of the walk, by the power station, was wood that would be perfect for a campfire.

Unfortunately it was 2.2km back to my campsite and I really didn’t feel like walking that far dragging a log of firewood. Especially not along a track cut into the side of a hill.

Then again, it gets very cold at night.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/where-to-collect-wood-for-a-campfire-in-the-bush/

Aug 13 2016

Are you ready to go bush camping?

My campsite at Arkaroola with the campfire and my swagThis is how to ease yourself into bush camping if you’re at all nervous or unsure.

Dinner’s cooking on the campfire, and my swag is ready for me to hop in. I’m in beautiful bush surrounds with absolutely nobody else about. The sun is setting behind the Flinders Ranges, there is a mass of birdlife swooping and filling the air with their song, and the wallabies are coming quite close. I’ve already had two hop in to check me out, nibble on some grass and then leisurely hop away again (shame I left my camera in the car).

And yet I’m at Arkaroola resort, and there are people about 1km away at the village.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/are-you-ready-to-go-bush-camping/

Aug 12 2016

Walking through the Flinders Ranges

Going upBuns of steel.

That thought is keeping me going up the ridges and rocks on my walks in the Flinders. That and all the people over 60 (and even over 70) who keep passing me.

Stopping to take photos, and to soak in the atmosphere, is my excuse for being slow.

And it’s true. To a degree. I’m also not very fit. Going to the gym 3 times a week to get fit before I came away sort of petered out. It was cold and I’d rather stay in bed. Perhaps a fitbit would have helped!

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/walking-through-the-flinders-ranges/

Aug 10 2016

Arkaroola – yellow footed rock wallabies and ice on the swag

Arkaroola my campsite is there

My campsite is down there somewhere

It is so easy to get lazy.

Here I am at Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary, after a drive through stunning scenery, with the sunset blazing mauve on the ranges, and kangaroos and wallabies everywhere beside the road, and I couldn’t be bothered cooking dinner.

Wine and kettle chips it is tonight.

People in campsites nearby have fires going, which is very enticing. But I arrived after dark, and not only had to set up in the dark, but first had to try to find a decent campsite. You’re not allowed to collect wood, and I completely forgot about buying some when I checked in. So not only am I lazy, but I’m cold.

Read the rest of this entry »

Permanent link to this article: http://kathswinbourne.com.au/arkaroola-yellow-footed-rock-wallabies-and-ice-on-the-swag/

Older posts «