It was hard not to find something to do in a 10,000-hectare backyard. All that vastness under a big blue sky. All that unbridled freedom and glorious solitude. It was addictive and remains so.
Fair Australia, Oh what a dump.
All you get to eat is crocodile’s rump,
Bandicoot’s brains and catfish pie.
Let me go home again before I die.
The beauty of the air, from the air… You haven’t seen Australia unless you see it from the air. The coastline, the colours of the inland. The claypans, the forests. It’s just all so beautiful. You’d never see that from the road. People climb mountains to see these things. You see that every time you take off.
I stress the uniqueness of the Australian landscape and its metaphysical and mythic content.
But the bush hath moods and changes,
as the seasons rise and fall,
And the men who know the bush-land
– they are loyal through it all.
A queer country, so old that as you walk on and on, there’s a feeling comes over you that you are gone back to Genesis.
I am lucky to live in an incredible place of deserts and ancient culture. Rugged country, at times harsh and unforgiving, but this facade crumbles every now and again to reveal the true delicacy of life in Desert Country…
I woke to heavy rain. Nothing particularly unusual about that apart from being in the desert, and it had been a 20-year dream to see Uluru with water pouring down her flanks. Arriving at Mutitjulu Waterhole carpark, I could see the water spider-webbing down and across the deep red rock. I stood in water shin deep beside the track, in awe of the magic I was witnessing… Birds were performing their morning chorus as usual but this time they were backed by a rhythm section of thousands of frogs. As I moved closer the ‘SHHHHHHHHHHSHHHHHH’ sound from the waterfalls and waterslides flowing over the rock chimed in, creating an orchestra and scene to touch anyone.
The hot wind, born amid the burning sand of the interior of the vast Australian continent, sweeps over the scorched and cracking plains, to lick up their streams and wither herbage in its path, until it meets the waters of the great south bay; but in its passage across the straits it is reft of its fire, and sinks, exhausted with its journey, at the feet of the terraced slopes of Launceston.
It's the colours, the light, the space. It's really very deep in my soul… In the Australian bush and inland deserts, there is a sense of being the first person in a place.