On the road again / by Ethan Astall

With a little sadness to leave the ridge and all the incredible yarns within it - we played lightning ridge by John Williamson as we waved goodbye to our local caravan park neighbour and opal miner mate Bob and saw the dusty opal piles in the rear vision mirror. After a little research and keeness to put the hiking boots on and see a tree that wasn’t a cactus again, we whacked Border ranges national park in the GPS and aimed for a solid eight hour drive towards the coast and into the mountain ranges.

Within half an hour we passed the border into the greatest state of all - QUEENSLAND, with of course John Williamson playing - tropical fever; “mangoes, sugar cane, I cant explain - Tropical fever”, first town we passed through was Hebel - which is literally a town with a pub and a few shacks, but luckily the local watering hole is one of much character and i’m sure filled with many characters by mid afternoon - the outdoor setting is also painted with Australiana artwork by the amazing ridge local artist John Murray, which if you’re into native Australian animals drinking beer (who wouldn’t), you’re sure to find it by looking him up.

Driving in the Australian outback is like nothing else - people claim to be travelling Australia by drinking beers at the clubs on the coastline or drinking chai tea at Byron Bay (BORING), the drives inland are like nothing else - sure, you might not see anything for three hours (nothing a good golden oldies playlist won’t fix), but what you do see will amaze you - like the amazing silo artworks we found in Thalloon; Queensland, the native wildlife along the way - eagles spreading their wings along road kill or the tawny frog mouth we found having a kip in the middle of the road at night and didn’t mind a pat, also the people you’ll meet in these outback towns with yarns to spin along the way and the op shops you find that haven’t been scavenged by trendy newtowners or vintage city stores for resale - don’t sell the outback short, it’s more of an experience then you’d ever imagine.