I live in Peramangk country, the traditional land of the Peramangk people, just one of over 250 language groups of the first people of Australia. I have been privileged to have been part of a smoking ceremony conducted by an aboriginal elder in my town, which involved being immersed in the wafting smoke from smoldering eucalyptus leaves as he silently walked among us. If you ever get the chance to be involved in one of these ceremonies as part of a welcome to country I would urge you to do it, it’s quite a moving and special experience and one that is significant in cleansing the past for a better future.
Did you know that the Red Centre in the Northern Territory has been named 4th on Lonely Planet’s top ten regions for 2019? To me the red centre really does feels like the beating heart of the country and when there I feel an energy that is perceptible. The big must see places include the Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon) and of course Alice Springs. But don’t stop there. The MacDonnell Ranges, East and West are full of breathtaking gorges, unique wildlife and scenic walks and Palm Valley and the Finke Gorge National Park.
Recently there was a show on ABC television called Stargazing, an incredibly interesting show on watching and learning about the night sky. It explained what stars we see in the southern sky, what galaxies, constellations and more. However something I gained from watching that I wasn’t expecting, was learning a little about Aboriginal songlines.
May this year marks 90 years that the Royal Flying Doctor Service has been operating in Australia. This is a group that I donate to every year because of the uniqueness of what they do and how necessary it is in our vast country.
With above average rainfall in some parts of inland and southern Australia this winter it will at least have one major benefit for travellers and that is the wildflower season should be spectacular.
Australia is such a land of contrasts with vivid blue and green seas lapping at paper white sandy beaches, through to rough red dirt interiors and rugged cliffs and escarpments, not to forget lush, green, tropical rainforests and towering forests. A surprising element in all of the different landscapes are our wildflowers and native trees that burst into life come spring.
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The homeward stretch began as we left Darwin behind with its coldest day on record, struggling to get above 21 degrees all day. Too cold here, time to head south (Ha Ha, that’s one for our Darwin friends).
We stayed one night in Katherine then moved on to stay the next at Bitter Springs, Mataranka. There were noticeably more caravans and campers on the road as it got closer to the Easter weekend. Still we could pull up wherever we liked and the sites were big enough to stay hitched on to the car for a quick take-off the next day. Continue reading
We left Western Australia with some sadness, thinking about all the good times and great experiences we had in that state. That now makes it every mainland state and territory in Australia that I’ve been to. Pretty happy with that! We headed into the Northern Territory, a place we’ve been to quite a few times over the years but haven’t visited for over a decade.