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Old 8th January 2016, 09:05   #16
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Well done mate in conquering the outback, plan something next time and call me too
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Old 8th January 2016, 09:15   #17
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Benny,

This is simply awesome. It is journeys like these that evoke a wistful sense in me - what if I'd finalized overseas education opportunities and moved abroad like many of my school friends.

On the other hand, in India, our journeys are much more livelier. Like an endless joust

Rock on bro!
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Old 8th January 2016, 09:23   #18
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Quote:
Originally Posted by deovrat View Post
Mighty impressive photos and commentary.
Waiting for further installments.
Thanks for reading, and for the feedback, deovrat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Brilliant outdoors! And a bright day calls for vivid colours. And they show up nicely. And so do the beasts!
Thankfully we had good weather through the trip. Although the Outback region does get quite hot what with it being summer, we had the occasional bouts of rain which helped in keeping the temperatures in check.

In fact, my colleagues at work had a sinister smile when i mentioned i am making a trip to the outback in summer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Luv_Jaiswal View Post
W.O.W.
Isn't Australia just amazing?
The roads are beautiful. Loved the nature pics and specially the hand pump picture

Great to see a very well written and detailed travelogue.
Kudos to the writer. Great job.

P.S.:- just a random question, how many kms did you cover in the entire trip?

Cheers,
Luv.
Thanks for the kind words.

Australia is indeed beautiful and highly diverse in terms of what it has to offer.

We covered about 1800 kms during the trip. We could have ventured further inland into more hardcore outback regions, but decided to plan a longer trip for the next time. Also, night driving was omitted keeping the danger from stray animals in mind as well as mitigating risks when traveling.

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Originally Posted by Thebat View Post
Ahh! The serene outback. It's always been a dream to visit the outback and camp there. Your travelogue rekindles those dreams through the excellent narration and the colourful pictures. The roads, the cleanliness and just the general sense of seeing so few people on the street's is a refreshing change early in the morning. This made my day mate.
Thanks for your kind words, Thebat.
Seeing hardly anyone on the streets is different for sure, considering what we are used to. However, the long desolate stretches of the highway can catch you unawares in case something were to go wrong. This is also a reason why i didn't want to do such a trip alone. Maybe as i get to know better, this would change, but didn't want to take so many chances in one go.

On a related note, you may want to check this other thread of mine :
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...odi-gabba.html (The Brisbane Chronicles EDIT : ODI @ The Gabba)
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Old 8th January 2016, 10:09   #19
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DAY 4 Continued

Taking a break along the highway from Charleville to Mitchell
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Graham decides to stake claim to the highway
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Kids decide to stake claim to the railway line
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A lesson in history at one of the smaller towns we passed through
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House made entirely of tin cans, used during times of poverty
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We reached Mitchell about 11AM, and decided to lunch here, before we moved on to St George which was about 209 kms away. As expected, hardly anything in Mitchell was open.

Just as it seemed lunch would once again be limited to bread and related varieties, we found a quaint little shop, which was an outlet run by an Aboriginal family. They had a platter of fried rice, which looked really welcoming. We ordered the whole set and devoured it among the 7 of us. Must be the hunger or the refreshing change, it tasted really good.

Kids at the bottle tree in Mitchell
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We took the left turn from Cambridge Street towards St George.

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About a km or maybe a couple of kms into the stretch, the road took on a look resembling local roads in India. In some stretches for quite some distance, the paved section of the road was just about wide for one car at a time!

In the absence of any other traffic along this stretch, we literally flew through. At times we had spectators observing us from the sides of the road, which included kangaroos/wallabies and emus.

Emus usually moved around in a gang, while the wallabies stuck to smaller groups of two or three.

Boys will be boys!
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With the kids being really interested in camping, we decided to head off into the forests adjoining the road. We found one spot and drove into it, going a fair bit inwards where we found a spot to set up camp.

Too many cooks spoil the broth. So we decided to let the ladies take over
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The Wanderers tent we carried which can accommodate 4 was put up, and the kids had their share of fun playing in and around it while we lazed around.

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One of my favourite pics
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Setting up the tent is easy, but requires 2 people to do it without much hassle. Taking it down actually requires more effort than setting it up.

Once the kids had their share of fun, we packed up, made sure we left behind no litter of any sort and then hit the highway again. This time, we had a Prado as well for company who perched within our little convoy and the three cars hurtled their way down the highway.

Insects were proving to be a major pain during our drive. Every single time we stopped to refuel, we used the self-service wash n wipe stalks at the outlet to wipe clean the windscreens. At one point, it was so bad that i was struggling to see the road through the splattered remains of insects.

Insects splattered on the screen
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Graham used the wiper to try and clean some off his car, but it only made it worse, smearing the remains all over the screen. I was wise in hindsight, and didn't indulge in such an activity.

By the time we got to St George, i was struggling quite a bit with the marks on the windshield. We stopped at a fuel station, tanked up and then spent the rest of about 15 mins just trying to get the mess off the glass.

Entry to St George
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We then made our way to the Jacaranda Country Motel which was to be our stop at St George for the night. Although the place itself seemed quite welcoming with large rooms, i cant say the same about the hospitality. Maybe it doesn't matter so much in a self-service motel/inn, but nevertheless the excellent treatment we enjoyed in the other places possibly increased our expectations.

St George is famous for its river and so we decided to head down there. The kids played on the slides and swings while we walked beside the river for some time.

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_0795.jpg

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We also visited the river area near the dam, where people indulged in water sports involving jet skis, water skiing, swimming etc. We watched as people got their boats into the water, and went about for a round of fishing, or just generally going around.

With the daunting task of finding a source of food for dinner, Graham and I set out to check available options. Some places mentioned they were open as per Google, while they weren't in reality. Once again, the deli section at the same Caltex petrol station we had fueled from earlier came to the rescue and we picked up some sandwiches as well as fried chicken from there. Possibly related to the lack of other options, the place was doing brisk business.

The kids wanted to play in the water, and as we werent carrying their swimwear, we decided to head back to the hotel so they could play in the pool.
Much later, we decided to call it a day, had our dinner and hit the bed as heavy rains pounded St George that night.
Our little vacation and trip was coming to an end. Tomorrow we head back to Brisbane.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 8th January 2016 at 11:00.
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Old 8th January 2016, 23:10   #20
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Awesome Travelogue & great pictures Benny

The outback is beautiful & always like how the sky is so clear & beautiful over the Oceania region.
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Old 8th January 2016, 23:22   #21
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Oh boy. Such clear skies. The night sky would have been truly awesome under the stars!
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Old 9th January 2016, 02:04   #22
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Awesome travelogue. The vast expanse of the huge country / continent is really amazing and pictures rarely do justice in capturing nature's beauty but your pics are something else.
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Old 9th January 2016, 13:29   #23
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Every time someone quoted and you replied I was like "oh!, is it over :( ".
I always dreamed of going to such places, sitting there in silence, with just a gentle breeze, a warm sun so it doesn't get too cold. Bliss. Thanks to you I got to see such places.
If given a chance, I'd wish to settle down like that Indian in Charleville; not a bother about the world; Just live life
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Old 10th January 2016, 00:57   #24
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Your pics remind me very much of the TV Series 'The Walking Dead' which similarly has sinister eerie and scary surroundings. Everything looks so familiarly normal, except there's nowhere a live soul to greet the eye.

Last edited by abhinavinc : 10th January 2016 at 00:59.
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Old 11th January 2016, 12:15   #25
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Default re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

FINAL DAY

Today we had a long drive ahead of us back to Brisbane. We awoke as usual, made sure we packed in time, and that the cars were loaded with fuel.

Breakfast consisted of the usual toasts and tea, and we were off.

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_1489.jpg

Not sure what these were. Granaries?
Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_1491.jpg

We decided to head back via Toowomba, rather than the alternative route further south. The road took us through Goondiwindi, and some really beautiful countryside.

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_3309.jpg

After getting used to the somewhat barren views of the Outback regions, it was refreshing to see rolling plains, and lush greenery around Goondiwindi.

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_3314.jpg

Progress to Goondiwindi was quick as we decided not to make any unnecessary stops. The town itself turned out to be much bigger than i expected.

Signage spotted at Goondiwindi
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Landcruiser with a H-U-G-E roo' bar. Wonder how much extra weight that's added!
Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_0803.jpg

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_0804.jpg

Almost like standard fitment - the bullbars around here
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Ruling out fast food options, we decided to lunch from a bakery which served sandwiches and steak pies.



We tanked up from the nearby Shell outlet, and then began the drive to Toowomba.

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_3326.jpg

At Toowomba we visited the beautiful Japanese Gardens. Having been here earlier as well, it was more of a chance to refresh our memories, while Graham and his family were visiting for the first time.

Pics from the Japanese Garden
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Doing what we could to prolong what was left of our vacation, we also visited the Picnic Spot which was famous for its magnificent views while seated at the Cafe.

Pics from the Picnic Spot at Toowomba
Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_1514.jpg

Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback-img_1516.jpg

You can spot the highway back to Brisbane in this snap
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The kids had fun playing at the well-equipped play area, and it was a task in itself pulling them away to go home.

Descending to the plains from Toowomba
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Rest of the drive home was uneventful, save for catching up at Maccas one final time on this trip. We reached home in the evening, with an extremely dirty car, but with a whole lot of memories to cherish from the trip.

To conclude, i can't end this log with a Thank You to the big man above for a trip free of any unplanned situations, considering there were incidents in flooding at some of the northern regions, and also not running into any animals along the highways considering the results could be catastrophic.

All in all, both vehicles did well, and didn't throw up any surprises.
The RAV4 had an issue with tyre pressure lower than expected in one wheel when we were in Mitchell, but was easy to sort out, and didn't trouble since.

The Pajero surprisingly returned Fuel Efficiency figures of 13kmpl and 15kmpl, checked via tankful-to-tankful method! The range per tank was helpful, but pales in comparison to the Toyota Prado which comes with an additional fuel tank, taking the total capacity to 150 litres.

Thanks for reading, and for your comments.

Last edited by benbsb29 : 11th January 2016 at 12:26.
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Old 11th January 2016, 18:03   #26
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Superb travel log, just loved going through the outback with you. Hope one day i get to do the same!

Thank you!
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Old 12th January 2016, 07:12   #27
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Excellent travelogue, you managed to depict the whole charm of the Aussie outback thru your pictures and write-up.
Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th January 2016, 13:50   #28
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

Excellent travelogue, though at times I did wonder about the lack of any visible signs of population!! is is normal or was it because of the holiday season?
Thank you for sharing the pictures & descriptions!
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Old 12th January 2016, 14:54   #29
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That's excellent read complimented with the right snaps. BTW flashing of lights was practiced even in India to indicate Police or RTO checking. But these days with more vehicles on road, I feel people doesn't bother for these small things.
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Old 14th January 2016, 06:53   #30
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Default Re: Our venture at exploring the Australian Outback

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Originally Posted by josh.machine View Post
Well done mate in conquering the outback, plan something next time and call me too
Aayush, i wouldnt dare to even suggest that we conquered the Outback. This is just the tip of the outback, if i may say so!

Will let you know when we are planning next time. Hope you enjoyed on our trip to Redcliffe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Benny,

This is simply awesome. It is journeys like these that evoke a wistful sense in me - what if I'd finalized overseas education opportunities and moved abroad like many of my school friends.

On the other hand, in India, our journeys are much more livelier. Like an endless joust

Rock on bro!
I've been through the same dilemma, Hitanshu. You remember the discussions we had when you visited Brisbane?

Journeys in India are different, and it goes without saying I've highly enjoyed those. The only issue is with the unexpected risks on the roads, which spoil an otherwise beautiful trip. I remember roadtrips where at times we've had one near miss or the other, all because some moron was impatient when crossing, or didn't care a damn about other motorists on the highway.

That said, you cant help but wish for some chai stall along the highway to sip a refreshing cuppa when traveling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Awesome Travelogue & great pictures Benny

The outback is beautiful & always like how the sky is so clear & beautiful over the Oceania region.
Thanks Kedar. I agree with your observations.

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Oh boy. Such clear skies. The night sky would have been truly awesome under the stars!
I regret that we didn't plan better, else the Cosmos observatory at Charleville is definitely a must-do. The observatory is situated away from the town limits, and 15 mins before the show, they black out all lights in the vicinity for a clear view of the sky.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jd10ent View Post
Awesome travelogue. The vast expanse of the huge country / continent is really amazing and pictures rarely do justice in capturing nature's beauty but your pics are something else.
Thanks you, that's really flattering. I'm a beginner with regards to photography, so i manage with what looks good to my eyes. Hehe

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
Every time someone quoted and you replied I was like "oh!, is it over :( ".
I always dreamed of going to such places, sitting there in silence, with just a gentle breeze, a warm sun so it doesn't get too cold. Bliss. Thanks to you I got to see such places.
If given a chance, I'd wish to settle down like that Indian in Charleville; not a bother about the world; Just live life
rav11stars, life in such places come with it's own share of challenges, as you can imagine. I hear reports of droughts affecting the outback regions, and how people from other regions are getting together to send supplies and help to the residents and many other ways in which they can help.

It's no wonder such people are more resilient than us city folk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinavinc View Post
Your pics remind me very much of the TV Series 'The Walking Dead' which similarly has sinister eerie and scary surroundings. Everything looks so familiarly normal, except there's nowhere a live soul to greet the eye.
Interesting observation. We shared the same thought too during the journey, just without the 'Walking Dead' reference.

I guess it was a combination of factors such as holiday season, time of the day (hot, mostly) and the general attribute of much lesser number of people who reside there. It's quite possible the local pub would have it's share of patrons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Superb travel log, just loved going through the outback with you. Hope one day i get to do the same!

Thank you!
Thanks Jaggu. Let me know when you are coming over, we can work it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Excellent travelogue, you managed to depict the whole charm of the Aussie outback thru your pictures and write-up.
Thanks for sharing!
Thanks vb-san. Initially, i wasn't sure if this would be something that would engage in terms of its appeal. After all, who goes to the outback in summer, and also packs so much to cover in just 5 days?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmonie View Post
Excellent travelogue, though at times I did wonder about the lack of any visible signs of population!! is is normal or was it because of the holiday season?
Thank you for sharing the pictures & descriptions!
Thanks rmonie.
I guess its the holiday season which is the biggest factor, but these places are scarce in terms of it's residing population too. Mining towns consist mainly of people who work there, and with the forced shutdown during Xmas, most would be away anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gadadhar View Post
That's excellent read complimented with the right snaps. BTW flashing of lights was practiced even in India to indicate Police or RTO checking. But these days with more vehicles on road, I feel people doesn't bother for these small things.
Thanks gadadhar.
In India, flashing headlamps is associated with being aggressive, as well as indicating right of way. So, even if such a practice did exist, i don't think it would be comprehended correctly every time. Hehe
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