Australia Off The Beaten Path Tips by Amelei
Australia Off The Beaten Path: 422 reviews and 691 photos
Border Ranges National Park
It is early morning, Emrynn and i are at Tuntable asleep It is the middle of winter and the pot belly stove has been burning all night. I wake in the early hours listening watching as the night- time departs making way for the hours of daylight.
Emrynn and i are up and pottering about and there is a knock at the door by Leon, our neighbour. He comes in has has tea with us...
' Hey what are you doing tonight? I was going to take the motorbikes up to The Border Ranges National Park to camp the night. Have you ever been? It's really quite spectacular!'
We pack the bikes and by 4pm we are up perched high on the mountain terrain overlooking themost extraordinary views i have seen. Leon takes us over to the lookout and points towards Wollumbin and says ' See that there? That's what they call rain cloud.'
The rain is pelting down, coming in sideways, the mighty wind picks up and we cant even hear ourselves. Where we set up our tents becomes the 'rivers' causeway.
We move the tents and jump inside together. Leon brings out the red wine! We sit there drenched drinking copious amounts of wine .I am really drunk at this stage so lay down and listen to the rain falling rapidlty on the tent.
The following morning, after an uncomfortable nights sleep, we try and start the bikes and yes the rain is still torrential. The downpour is unbelievable! Our Bike starts first go but Leons is in trouble. We decide to roll start it down this HUGE hill and it doesnt go.
Emm rides back to Tuntable to get the 4WD and come and do a rescue mission. Leon and i are huddled together freezing cold. We decide ' stuff it we're going to drink the rest of the wine'. We had 2 bottles each and i was leggless as i dont drink.
What seemed like an eternity, Emm comes back to pick us up. I cant walk. He carries me into the car and i pass out on Leons shoulder. When we make it back to Tuntable, i am so embaressed. I have fallen asleep and dribbled all over Leon!! Oh god! I soon passed out in bed and swore never to drink again! i was so sick!
I think i am the central figure,
But when this is my thought
I gnore my connections
Life is a complete tapestry of threads
Creating more and more intricate patterns
The more care, focus and thought
That is entered into this picture
The more illuminating the result
When i remember I'm a strand of colour,
Woven in the picture
And not the weaver
Then i will remember my connection
And see how many threads connect me to others
Like a family tree
With limbs that reach back to eternity
Then as a spider tentively testing the threads of his web
I would carefully test the line
I will wait to see who was aware of this subtle vibration
Not all will feel it
For many are still asleep
And when i understand that i cannot be alone
I will be happy to be a single strand of colour in the great tapestry of life!
The Red Centre
The Red Centre of Australia, the heart of the continent, is a harsh land of red soil and mountains, but with an eerie beauty.
This is an ancient land, crossed by the dreaming tracks of the Aboriginal inhabitants who live in settlements and small Homeland Centres. These are desert peoples, speaking languages like Warlpiri and Pintubi-Loritja, that, although related, are quite distinct. They share similar customs and ceremonies and travel extensively through this vast land to meet their ceremonial obligations.
There are impressive landscapes, like the huge meteorite crater, Gosse's Bluff, a sacred site as well.
In this region is also the community of Areyonga, spectacularly situated between the hills. Traveling 500 km west from Alice Springs is Kintore or Walungurru near the Western Australian border, a community of Pintubi people, the last group to be contacted by the outside world.
Nearby is Ngutjul, an impressive site with huge boulders. On the way to Kintore you pass Haasts Bluff and Mount Liebig, small Aboriginal communities of Loritja peoples. North of there is the large Warlpiri community of Yuendumu (Yurntumu).
Amon took me out here on a random journey for my birthday. We packed the 4WD and tipi. I was in anticipation. I have an affinity for the desert, the hot sands between my feet, the vast nothingness in its absolute simplistic and awe inspiring beauty. I could sit there for hours and just write the way i feel about this place.
Amon sets up camp and that night we just lye there and watch through the worlds eyes...oh my heart is taken by overwhelming emotion. I understand now why he bought me here.... My love for the desert deepens. We embrace as the sky opens up and the universe explodes in all its infinite glory! I am one with all..... "Oh, Amelei..... this is it isnt it?' says Amon.....
Map of Flinders
By now you've probably guessed that i love the great outdoors so most of my travel is as such.
Heres another great hot spot and one of magnificant beauty, The Flinders Ranges located in South Australia:
Information and all you need to know:
You are in desert country – so the heat is dry, not humid. The days are usually sunny and warm but the nights are always cold, so bring nightwear. It’s a good idea to wear layers of clothing and add/subtract to your own comfort.
Daytime temperatures vary greatly in different parts of the region and these are averages:
Outback - April- October most days are warm and beautifully clear, but at sunset the temperature can fall sharply. Daily temperatures are usually in the average of 16-20C, while during the hotter months of November through March the days often go above 40C and, on extreme days in Outback areas, above 50C.
Spring (September - November) and Autumn (March - May)
14-28 degrees C. (57-82 degrees F.)
Winter (June - August)
6-22 degrees C. (43-72 degrees F.)
Summer (December - February)
28-40 degrees C. (82-104 degrees F.)
. Rainfall may be low but when it comes it can be torrential and flooding occurs quickly. The winter and early spring rains are the source of the wildflower season across the Flinders Ranges and Desert Parks.
Where to stay:
While you’ll need to ‘rough it’ in the more remote regions, there’s comfortable accommodation to be had with some forward planning. Some have excellent restaurants and you can organise tours there.
Down Under delights at The Desert Cave,
Then there is bed and breakfast accommodation, where you’re hosted by locals on farms or in their own home – or you could rent your own self-contained accommodation in a restored pioneer cottage, farmhouse or wood cabin.
The National Parks also offer some good camping facilities
For more information call 1800 633 060.
Lord Howe Island
People still talk about the seven wonders of the world. Today, world heritage areas are considered the most outstanding heritage places on earth.
World Heritage areas are outstanding examples of the world’s natural or cultural heritage. The World Heritage Committee oversees world heritage listing on behalf of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Australia has 16 world heritage properties. Five are in Queensland, one of the most naturally diverse places on earth.
The wet tropical rainforests and the Great Barrier Reef protect two of the world’s most diverse ecosystems.
The Central Eastern Rainforests Reserves (Australia) World Heritage area straddles the border between New South Wales and Queensland, protecting subtropical and temperate rainforests.
Riversleigh fossil site in north-west Queensland tells the story of how our native animals evolved to be so different from wildlife elsewhere.
At Fraser Island, you can actually see the very processes of change which made this island worthy of world heritage listing.
The Australian Government has to ensure that Australia’s world heritage properties are managed to protect their natural and cultural values. If you want to know more about world heritage, contact the Department of the Environment and Heritage, GPO Box 787, CANBERRA ACT 2601 phone 1800 803 772 or www.deh.gov.au/heritage/worldheritage/index.html.
LOCATION: 80 km north of Cairns
Lush tropical rainforests and coral reefs meet in this scenic and popular coastal section of Daintree National Park stretching between the Daintree and Bloomfield Rivers. Cape Tribulation is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. The beaches, reefs and offshore waters are protected in marine parks.
Away from the coast, the land rises steeply to cloud-swept Thornton Peak. The park is renowned for its rich diversity of plants and wildlife with lowland and upland rainforests, mangroves, swamps and heathlands. Rare and unusual species include primitive flowering plants, the giant white-tailed rat, southern cassowary and Bennett’s tree-kangaroo.
The Kuku Yalanji people who have lived in this area for thousands of years call Cape Tribulation, “Kulki”. The Cape was named by Captain Cook as the place his troubles began during the historic 1770 voyage of discovery
COLLECTING HONEY FROM FLOWERS
For thousands of years Aboriginal people throughout Australia have lived by hunting and gathering various wild foods (also known as "bushtucker").
Recently non-Aboriginal people too have started to discover these fruits and vegetables.
Tests have proved the nutritional value of these foods; many fruits are rich in vitamines, among other things.
Although there are now supermarkets in most Aboriginal communities, gathering bushtucker is still very popular, especially among children, who always know exactly when and where to go.
These photos were taken in various communities in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The Katherine River forms a series of magnificent gorges, just east of the town of Katherine, 350 km south of Darwin. These gorges and the surrounding landscape have great ceremonial significance to the local Jawoyn people, who are custodians of Nitmiluk National Park that has been established around the gorges and nearby Edith Falls.
This wonderland can be explored on tours with flat-bottomed boats, but canoeists are welcome too and there are trails to explore too, with beautiful views and opportunities to swim in the clean and cool waters of the river. Edith Falls is about 20 km south of Katherine and has a beautiful lake, ideal for swimming and trails to the top to enjoy the view. There are facilities for camping too.
One of the best-known sights of Australia is "the largest rock in the world", Ayer's Rock or, as it has always been known to the local Pitjantjatjarra people, Uluru.
They are now once more custodians of this important site, rich in mythology, with caves that are still off-limit to uninitiated people: there are signs warning visitors.
Although the site is sacred and therefore the Aborigines don't like it, many tourists climb to the top, a hard and quite dangerous activity. The view is great, of course. But a better way is to walk around it.
About 20 km from Uluru are the Olga's, or Kata Tjuta, meaning "many heads", also a site of great beauty and ceremonial significance.
Some great walks may be taken here, like the Valley of the Winds. And north of the Uluru - Katatjuta National Park is Kings Canyon, in Watarrka National Park, with spectacular vertical walls, oasis-like gardens and Aboriginal paintings.
NEAR TWIN FALLS
The Gagadju people have given their name to this famous National Park, a United Nations Heritage Site, with magnificent scenery and many wonderful examples of Aboriginal rock paintings that can be seen in impressive galleries like Nourlangie and Ubirr.
But there are many more that are of great ceremonial significance and therefore not accessible to tourists at the request of the traditional owners, who are the custodians of the Park.
An early morning cruise on Yellow Waters Lagoon at Cooinda is unforgettable, with its profusion of birdlife and crocodiles on the shore.
Some tracks, like the one to Jim Jim and Twin Falls, are only accessible by four-wheel drive vehicle and only in the Dry season; in the Wet the only way to see the falls is by helicopter!
But the falls at Gunlom, where a scene from the movie "Crocodile Dundee" was shot, can be reached by normal car, a fantastic spot with great swimming and beautiful views from the top.
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