This is the second part of an article I wrote for my college paper a few years ago…

Day one: Getting From Darwin to Cairns on a Tourbus

Day two…

After chatting the night away our group awoke from a sleepy stupor to a cooked breakfast. A few tinnies the night before had not left us feeling the best for the rattling journey negotiating 500km of unsealed road. Greg took pity on us and allowed a stop at Hells Gate Roadhouse for a lollipop and a look at more spectacular scenery. Being in Mango Country was confirmed by the toilet signs which read; ‘Man-gos’ and ‘No Man-gos’.

Greg taught us about the flying doctors and their never ending plight.Ignorant tourists underestimating the distance from civilisation across the Northern Territory leads to many frustrating and unnecessary callouts every year. The barrenness of where we were was reinforced by the eerie silence; we really were in the middle of nowhere. Any movement was an event out here. A road train sped past us, scattering a trail of sand and a cloud of dust along the desolate track.

We got back on the bus and Greg’s Australian drawl met drink-hazed ears: “If ya look out on ya left mate, there’s some kangas.” Out the window was the epitome of Australian culture, and the highlight of my trip, kangaroos were bounding free across the ashen red desert. Numbers were impossible to count. The kangaroos were so full of life, leaping through the wilderness in total liberation. It was as mesmerising as it was inspiring.

It seemed Greg never tired of the excitement of the natural world. That night he said how free he felt in the outback and how, for him, there was no place like home. I was beginning to understand and value the life Australians had out in the bush. It struck me just how intense and diverse Australia was, from the cosmopolitan lifestyle of Sydney to the outback; part-modern, yet part obsolete, an expansive, dusty, forthcoming territory left undisturbed by modern pressures.

Day three: The Croydon Country Music Festival, Australia

The Croydon Country Music Festival, Australia
Getting from Darwin to Cairns On a Tourbus