Readers Trip Report: Inspiring Outback – By Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures subscribers, John and Mary-Ann.
Easter 2012 gave us the opportunity to head west from Brisbane to Birdsville. We saw flooded rivers, hills covered in green and on arrival at big red, a massive lake teeming with bird life. This was our trip to the desert!
Two weeks before Christmas 2013, the seven day weather forecast showed that summer had not arrived yet in the outback. With a more capable vehicle, a 2012 Bt50 kitted out with ARB and custom mods, kayaks on the roof and TVan camper in tow we headed west yet again.
Finding available camp sites was not a concern as who in their right mind would head to the outback in summer! We are very glad we did! With dry western days and temperatures in the mid-thirties, we enjoyed very favorable conditions.
The highlight of our trip was the challenge of getting our rig on top of Big Red. Imagine the elation of achieving such a goal in the early morning, to enjoy breakfast and look out over the once filled lake to see, this time, a carpet of green from the rains two weeks previous with camels, kangaroos, cattle and emus delighting in their surrounds.
The contrasts of the dunes, now predominantly sand as compared to the coverage of vegetation in 2012, emitted a sense of magic. How fortunate are we, as four wheel drivers, to be able to experience nature in its extremes and at its finest.
Big Red at April
Big Red in December
In 2012, we knew that what we were witnessing en route, could be a once in a lifetime experience and so we took photos and recorded way points. This trip we took photos again at each of these points and were amazed at the difference which unfolded. With the green striped away we were now able to witness the raw beauty of this beautiful landscape. We were in such awe of the current beauty that without the previous photos, we would not have witnessed the stark contrast. It is like driving up the beach past the Cooloola coloured sands and not truly appreciating the contrast in colors until you see them together in a bottle.
Mt Henderson in April
Mount Henderson in December
Yes it was dry, it was dusty, it was hot. It was also so incredibly special. Away from ‘the big smoke’, we were able to see the real beauty of Australia. We enjoyed crystal clear nights under a sky absolutely bursting with stars and native animals and birds everywhere. Twelve of the sixteen days away saw the kayaks in the water! Great fishing, great camping, great time!
The Simpson Desert in April
The Simpson Desert in December
Many thanks to John and Mary-Ann for sending this story through. We will send them a Season 6 Box Set of Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures for their trouble. Do you have a travel story that would suit the Pat Callinan’s 4X4 Adventures Newsletter? Send it into firstname.lastname@example.org