Crossing the Land of Plenty

Australia is huge and it would take a lifetime to see it all. I know, I’m stating the obvious.

With a landmass of 7,617,930 square kilometres, a coastline spanning 25,760 kilometres and 20 percent of our land classed as desert there’s a lot of sublime nothingness to explore.

My latest published article focuses on some of that vastness on our half lap last July.

I’m always thrilled to have an article in print and this one, in the current (September/October) edition of On the Road magazine is no exception.

The Outback Way sign (1)

On our six week road trip last year we drove 9000kms through five states, crossing borders, enjoying an epic adventure whilst barely scratching the surface of outback Australia.

My article showcases a small part of our journey.

Australia’s longest shortcut

From Alice Springs and the East Macs we could have continued up the Stuart Highway and travelled across into Queensland on the bitumen Barkly Highway.  However, we decided to take the adventurous route, along the Plenty ‘Highway’, which is part of the Outback way. As I wrote …

The Outback Way is epic, there’s no doubt about it. Comprising seven interconnecting roads that go from Laverton Western Australia through to Alice Springs and finishing in Winton Queensland, it’s a mind boggling short cut, so vast and remote.

The most traffic we encountered were stray cows wandering across the road, though every so often a salute from a fellow caravanner reassured us we weren’t the only travellers out there.”

Evern dirtier

It was a dirty ride.

Dirty, slushy and, oh, so much fun. There was one ‘moment’ behind the wheel where I thought I was going to lose it. “Gun it” said the other half as I hammered through in four wheel drive, the red mud resembling a sinking pool of lava.

It had rained heavily the week before and the road had just reopened.

I remember feeling euphoric when we reached Tobermorey right on dusk, an outback cattle station with basic facilities yet to us an oasis of green after our day on the red earth tracks.

Beyond Tobermoray is more red dirt and an expanse of earth and nothingness that seeps into your soul. There’s something about big blue skies and an endless horizon that is infinitely peaceful. I never thought I would be so affected.

Middleton – the most remote pub in Outback Queensland

The next day we crossed the border into outback Queensland and the Plenty ‘Highway’ eventually gave way to a more civilised road. But still we felt in the middle of woop woop, i.e. miles from anywhere.

At dusk we reached our next destination, Middleton, the most isolated pubs in outback Quensland. Population 3.

Here we are, laying claim to our patch of earth at the ‘Hilton Hotel”.

Pulling out of the Hilton Hotel campground (800x600)Horizon on the Hilton (800x600)

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  Hilton? Where’s the five star luxury, the spas and fancy restaurants? Where’s the high speed WiFi? Well, out here amid this red earthy landscape, you ain’t gonna find any of that.

What we’re graced with instead are five million stars under a clear sky and a sense of peace that connects you to something far more real.

Not to mention the pub across the road that serves a damn good roast pork meal.

Doug at the Middleton Hotel

As I summed up in my article “We pulled out our chairs and … I’m transfixed at the changing hues around us. The sense of isolation and the big spectacular skies epitomise outback Australia. This really is a land of plenty, it is vast and abundantly primitive and exploring even just part of its epic route is an adventure that will stay with you forever.”

It did for me.

It took months after we returned to get rid of all the red dust underneath the car and the camper. Tangible reminders of an epic short cut along one of Australia’s longest routes.

May you all find your own shortcut and enjoy whatever destination your journey is leading you on.

In light and love as we keep enjoying the journey, short cuts and all.


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99 thoughts on “Crossing the Land of Plenty

  1. this brings back many memories of outback travels over the years. That red dust gets into everything! on our last trip we had a canvas bad with a big industrial size zipper down the middle. It kept the red dust out beautiful – except for the perfect red line where the zipper let it in!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. First I want to congratulate you on your article. Well done you!
    Your trip really sounds so otherworldly with starlit skies like that, without any light
    pollution. I must say that Hilton hotel and the pub really look so tempting and peaceful.

    Miriam

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congratulations on the latest publication! This is a great piece, stories and photos both. I’ve traveled plenty of miles and taken a few long short cuts to get to a pub, but nothing like the bar here! Hope the beer was plenty cold, and plenty flowing…
    Thanks, Miriam, really enjoyed this!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Some years ago, a friend of mine was speeding at 100 mph (161 kph) through an empty stretch of Wyoming. A cow decided to cross the road pretty much ride in front of him. He couldn’t avoid it. Fortunately, he was going so fast, the car flew the cow up in the air and over behind it to land dead on the road.

        Is there a speed limit in the Outback?

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, there are speed limits in the Outback. In some parts of the Northern Territory the limit’s 130kmph but most roads are generally about 110kmph.
          Wow, that poor cow never stood a chance.

          Like

  4. Congratulations on getting another article published, Miriam! And your trip sounded wonderful. Sometimes the only way to truly “get away from it all” is to physically do so….and what a gorgeous area to do it in!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great to read more about your trip … congrats on the published article and your post!

    Does the mag use your photos too Miriam? Only other place I’ve felt that vast exquisite connection was in the vast valleys and huge mountains in Tibet … that vastness and the sky gives a great feeling of space, peace and spiritual well being … being off grid adds to the unique experience 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Congrats on your published article Miriam …and as always i enjoyed reading your adventure while at the same time envy you (lol) for having the courage to do it ..(i wish i’d have the same spirit as you)..

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I loved this! Oh my friend, my soul yearns for something like this, just vast open space with only the sounds of the earth and sky. No engines, no jets, no noisy neighbors, no traffic. I can only imagine the peace! Save me a slice next time you’re there. 😀

    *hugs* xoxox

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Close your eyes and imagine yourself there Ness. We’ve all got that stillness in us regardless of the chaos of life but, yes, it sure helps when the every day noises are blocked out.
      Thank you for your beautiful comment my friend. If I ever go back there I’ll take you with me. Big hugs xx

      Liked by 1 person

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