Up until this Christmas, my only experience in ‘country Australia’ had been a girls weekend to WANGaratta some years ago … where I accidentally mistook the Mighty Murray for the Yarra River (easy mistake?). On this journey, back in the naughties, I first learned the difference between Dairy Cows (black and white) and Beef cows (brown & black)… Who knew?! I always thought we were milking cows and eating them all the same.
When I found out that I was the lucky recipient of a Rex plane-ticket to the Australian outback for a week over Christmas 2012, my mind wandered … this would be interesting. I was told I’d need to be prepared to ‘work’, and by work I don’t mean sitting at a lap-top creating brilliant marketing and media solutions – but actual work… Cooking for 11 people, cleaning, helping run a homestead – and then having a crack on the tractor & in the woolshed (which sounded 100% like a VB commercial set). I was going to develop my first hard-earned thirst. ‘Can I bring my Yoga Mat?’ … It sounded like I would need some Namaste relief.
After jetting up on a 30-seater aircraft (a whole other Blog in itself) I was introduced to Broken Hill (an isolated mining town in far west NSW, where BHP Billiton set up business, get it Broken Hill Proprietary). As if we weren’t far enough away from the entire world, and the coast – we drove a further two-and-a-half hours on red-dirt road to our destination. Needless to say mobile reception was gone, as was mobile internet. I don’t think I’ve had a week without Facebook since my first encounter with Zuckerberg in 2007… but I saddled up for it nonetheless.
Enter complete amazingness.
It was the deepest silence, but for the breeze. Each hour there were wildlife, reptiles & insects… stirring & shocking, ever so suddenly. The undeniable beast was the blazing sun, making its powerful statement on any exposed inch of skin. At the end of each day I was in awe of the stars, over and over again, as they pierced through blackness, with force. This was truly quintessential Australian scenery at each and every of 360 degrees. These picturesque scenes unfolded day-by-day; we watched birds swimming in dams to escape the scorching sun, or saw families of kangaroos on a verandah, we tracked dingoes through their prints & caught yabbies’ for dinner (from dams, using kangaroo tail as bait)… It was happening, every second, it was ON.
Now, as I sit at home in Melbourne… to think it is still all there, happening, right now, this minute, as you read. this. sentence. … Well, ironically, it makes me feel far far away from ‘the real world’. The middle of nowehere feels like truly somewhere and finally, I understand the draw card of The Land.
Special thank you to my beautiful hosting family, who will remain anonymous… ‘off the grid’.