Gigi Sedlmayer is kicking off the guest posts for October with a wonderful article on her 5.5k road trip around Australia. It is such a huge country that this will be just brief look at the amazing scenery, wildlife and culture, but you can tell that Gigi loves her adopted country very much. Enjoy and if you would like to share a trip, an article about a topic you are passionate about then please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will now hand you over to Gigi……..
Our trip from 9 September to 19 September 2015 by Gigi Sedlmayer
Thank you Sally for giving me the opportunity to introduce myself and our trip to your readers. To show you some pictures and write something about our incredible journey through the Outback of our wonderful Country. I hope you will enjoy it and see some of Australia.
I have to say, that it was the most amazing trip we did from all our other trips. We saw kangaroos, Emus, camels, lizards, a big goanna, many haws and other birds, two wedge tail eagles.
It was a difficult choice to select the pictures I did. I would have loved to post way more, but I know that just can’t be.
Our trip was altogether around 5,500 km and we loved every one of them. Australian Outback is amazing. You have to experience it to love it. But again, we have heard people saying how boring it is to drive there. But, as I said, we loved it. Every time we looked out of the window, the scenery looked different; the colour is different, from all the colours of brown to beige, to yellow, to purple and to all the shades of red. There was coming a tree or a bush, that wasn’t there before. Or no trees or bushes at all, only grasses. Red sand was everywhere.
First we drove up the East coast from the Gold Coast we live, with first stop in Gympie to have our lunch, until we arrived in Gladstone.
Next morning we drove up further North to Mackay. That strong southerly has helped us greatly in our fuel consumption so far as it pushed us ahead. Next stop going further north was Charters Towers. From here we had a lot of options, but our main destination is the dried-out inland seabed around Richmond- Winton – Barcaldine, for fossicking for dinosaur fossils and opals.
(Yesterday it rained in Winton for the first time since many years as we have a draught. They probably would have looked at the sky and said: ‘What’s that stuff falling from the sky.’)
So we went a bit further North to Bowen then inland to Charters-Towers and finally to Winton, our destination, at the Matilda Motel. Here we stayed for 3 nights. Winton has bore water, tapping into the Great Artesian Basin, which tastes very good and has a sulfur smell, especially the hot water.
Albert looking for fossils
Since it has zero light pollution out there, we went out late at evening next day to look at the unbelievably spectacular sky. We never have encountered the sky like that. Lit up with billions of stars in our amazing Milky Way Galaxy. There aren’t that many accessible places from which the night sky can be seen so clearly, and especially during a completely dark sky with no moon at all. We drove out of town a few km, and then a km or so off the main highway, to avoid any light pollution. …And after car lights were out and our eyes got accustomed to the blackness, the heavenly splendour revealed itself. This can’t be described in words but has to be seen. Unfortunately we couldn’t take pictures. So we had to soak it in with our eyes and brain. I still can see it in my minds eyes.
Every day we went out fossicking for fossils there, since it is the best place for. At the first day we found lots of petrified wood and some fossils. No dinosaur fossil but we were happy enough to find that one. We had a lovely lunch in the middle of the outback under a eucalyptus tree beside a dry creek, with the warm nor-east zephyr caressing us gently while we looked out with eyes on infinite focus, toward the flimmering horizon interrupted only by the odd tree dot. Between breeze gusts that rustled the eucalypt leaves the silence was absolute. What an amazing experience. This is indescribable if you haven’t been out in Australia’s wide, open spaces and taken the time to absorb it, you need to go do it.
One of the fossils we found. Some grasses in the stone.
A small lizard decides to join in the hunt
The road traffic around Winton is thin and drivers always greet us with a wave as they pass. Whenever we were parked at the roadside fossicking or having lunch, every passing car and truck would stop (or nearly stop) to ask if we were alright. Breaking down in this area and these lonely roads could be disastrous so everyone is eager to check each others’ wellbeing. It is quite a spectacle to see a road train switching down heaps of gears to come to a crawl opposite us so the driver could clearly see our thumbs-up ok gesture, grin and respond in kind, then gear up again to continue his journey. Country life is … well … different.
A typical road train
This is a typical road train (shown here in Winton). Some of the roads on which we met them were single lane dirt roads, where it was prudent to just drive off the road way to the side of the shoulder and stop, when one of these approached. At 53 metres length (174ft) you have to have a really wide, straight piece of road to be able to overtake, because you’re on the wrong side of the road for an awfully long time. Even so, these powerful rigs drive at the speed limit so if you can’t overtake just hang back far enough because they won’t really slow you down.
Next stop Quilpie in the Channel Country. Yesterday we drove on a wild, wild outback dirt road 380 km from Winton via Opalton to Jundah with no Mobil reception or internet for 2 days until we arrived in Quilpie.
Lifelike dinosaur. In that region they found a lot of dinosaur fossils since that place was all water once.
From there we drove a single-lane paved road 400 km From Jundah to Quilpie. We also stopped for lunch at Windorah (population 80) and climbed a red sand dune nearby.
Me relaxing in shade staring into the nothingness. Loved it.
In Channel Country, Cunnamulla we were hunting for opals. Found some.
A stunning opal full of fire.
A living fossil.. A Goanna or Gonna, much featured in aboriginal mythology and culture
From there we drove to Goondiwindi and Warwick direction of home, Gold Coast.
A desolate place and here we are in the middle of nowhere. Beautiful but you do need to be prepared for any eventuality.
About Gigi Sedlmayer
You can find out much more by connecting with Gigi on her blog but here is a brief summary of her extraordinary life.
Connect with Gigi.
My website: https://gigisedlmayer.wordpress.com/
Thanks to Gigi for this fascinating look at some of the beautiful parts of Australia that might not always be on the tourist route.