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Monday, October 5, 2009

Roadtrip to the Outback!

The blog pretty much throws the text and the photos wherever it wants to, nothing I could do about that...

Anyway: Saturday afternoon, car full of stuff, we drove 6 hours to Mildura, northern Victoria, and stayed the first night in a motel. Sunday morning we headed towards Broken Hill. The landscape was getting dryer and the trees smaller until they were just little bushes. The amount of dead kangaroos on the side or in the middle of the road was shocking! There was a dead kangaroo every 5 meters. I was so sure we would hit one, since they seemed to be everywhere! But we did see heaps of live ones, too. And heaps of wild emus! 

Emus look really funny when they run fast!
Broken Hill is an old isolated mining city located in the far west of outback New South Wales.  It’s also called The Silver City because it’s got the world’s largest silver-lead-zinc deposits. The population has shrunk after the great mining boom and the mineral resources have somewhat dwindled, but there is a lot to see. 
In Broken Hill, you can have kangaroos in your backyard.
When we got to Broken Hill, the first thing we did was set up the tent. We stayed at a caravan park so there were warm showers and toilets. The downside of staying at caravan parks is that there are other people so it’s not very peaceful and of course you have to pay a little fee. But I was excited to be camping since I haven’t slept in a tent since I was a little kid. The weather was warm but at night it got a bit chilly. The sun was already setting so we went to see the sunset to this lookout on top of the original mine and had a glass of wine at the restaurant.
The next day we went to see the art galleries that Broken Hill is famous for, the famous Australian artist Pro Hart’s gallery among others. We also drove to Silverton, ‘ghost town’, 25km from Broken Hill. The town sprung up after the discovery of the silver deposits but after an even bigger deposit was found in Broken Hill, the town was abandoned. On The way to Silverton we also stopped for a camel ride, that was fun. Apparently they have wild camels in Australia, I didn't know that...
I like camels, they look funny. 
The camel liked me<3

The Mundi Mundi plains on the way to Silverton. AMAZING.
Broken Hill is also famous for its sculpture symposium on top of a hill in the Living Desert. The sculptures are made by descendants of aboriginals around the world and they all have a story to tell. We went there during sunset and it was really amazing. We also went for a little walk along the trails and saw a lot of kangaroos and got amazing photos!


Mummy feeding little joey

The next day we continued up north towards a little town called Tiboobarra, population 150. The weather was HOT and I was loving it! The road wasn’t sealed and very bumpy at times. The landscape changed quickly. Flat, dry land and little bushes as far as the eye could reach. Sometimes all you could see was 360 degrees of red sand under a blue sky. Sometimes white sand and dead tree trunks. Sometimes hills. Occasional kangaroos (or remains of kangaroos), emus, lizards and wedge-tailed eagles. Dry, vast landscapes with NO traces of PEOPLE. Loved it! We set up our tent at Sturt National Park. It was really nice, secluded campsite and we were pretty much by ourselves.

Doesn't get much flatter than this :) 360 degrees of NOTHING but red dirt!

Sturt national park

The next day we continued through Sturt National Park to Cameron Corner. The road was really bumpy but the landscapes were nice and we even saw the big red kangaroos. Cameron Corner is the point in the outback where the border lines of the states of Queensland, South Australia and New South Wales meet. So I was hugging the post and at the same time I was in three states, hehe. And by taking one step you were moving from one state to another J The world’s longest fence, the dingo fence, 5,614 km, also passes through the corner. 

From Cameron Corner it was time to turn back. The next night we stayed at Tiboobarra. The next day we had a long drive all the way from Tiboobarra back to Mildura. 
Tiboobarra is aboriginal language and means 'heaps of rocks'. The little town was literally on top of heaps of rocks.

Sunset in Tiboobarra

 Campfire in Tiboobarra. I lit it. With 1 match. :) And roasted marshmallows :) FUn...
When we were leaving Broken Hill we saw baby emus! How cute are they…
The last night we stayed at the same motel in Mildura. Before leaving Mildura on Friday morning, we stopped at a couple of wineries for some wine tasting and ended up buying two dozens of wine. :)
All in all, I really LOVED the outback. The landscapes were so vast and amazing and it was so quiet and beautiful and peaceful. I really enjoyed camping too. I was a bit worried about showering in the outback but it worked out good. I was worried about snakes and spiders too, but I didn’t see any! Every night we’d finish a bottle of wine and watch sunsets and the stars. I really love the sky in Australia. It’s so huge and always full of stars and the sunsets are amazing. Altogether, we drove 2,700 km in 7 days. :) And we didn’t even get halfway Australia!
Now just waiting for our next trip, destination Tasmania in November…

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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Houseparties & Melbourne Zoo

Before I will write about our trip to the Outback, a couple of pics from the party we had a couple of weeks ago at our place.


The next morning, in a hangover, I wanted to go to the zoo...



A platypus. It was hard to get a photo of it; they swim fast!
Romain and Mana’s Spanish heartbroken friend Ramon crashed on our sofa for a few nights. A funny situation again that would never happen in Finland: We went to the bottle shop the next Thursday after the party. The guy behind the counter recognized us. ‘Are you on vacation?’ ‘No.’ ‘I remember you, you bought a lot of alcohol on Sunday, or was it Friday?’ ‘Saturday.’ ‘…And that’s a lot of alcohol for a Thursday…’ Then Ramon started to open up about his break-up with his girlfriend and how he’s trying to drown his sorrows in rum. And then they started comparing which of them had been drinking more during their lives because of women.

Awesome pics from the trip to the Outback coming up as soon as I get them on my laptop!

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