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Out back in the outback

Every disadvantage has its advantage. I’ve been promoting this idiom among my Australian friends, and recent events have once again proven the wisdom of the one and only Johan Cruyff. Yes, bad luck led to a broken wrist and two cancelled holidays. But it also prompted my dear friend Mellini to organize a camping trip in Lamington National Park, to “give me something to look forward to”. And it allowed us to join my colleague Dave on his trip out there and back again, which turned out to be quite the adventure. So somewhere in my youth or childhood, I must have done something good….

Lamington National Park

Home of the regent bowerbird, know for their courting ritual, Lamington National Park is a paradise for bird lovers and bushwalkers alike. The drive there is beautiful, since you spend the last hour on a spiraling mountain road which offers plenty of panoramic views. After the quaint Treetop Walk it was time to enjoy the sunset and a nice glass of wine from O’Reilly’s Rainforest bar.

We went camping with a bunch of pros, so after a morning concert of the birds, a proper brekkie was served. A good foundation for a decent walk along the Box Forest Circuit, filled with waterfalls and some creek crossings. On Monday we had time for a nice and easy walk to Python Rock, from where you can marvel at the valley from a different point of view.

For the full photographic experience of Lamington Park:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/SbvKwKhMSV6DluYA2

A quick impression:

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Noorama Station, 1 hour south of Cunnamulla and 9 hours west of Brisbane

Renowned for its sheep, wool and cattle production, Noorama Station is situated in one of the most prolific pastoral regions in the country. Don’t just take my word for it, read all about it in this brochure. The current manager is Ben, a good friend from my colleague Dave. Ben asked Dave to escort him and his new bike home from Brisbane, and Dave in turn asked us to do the same for him on the way back. So off we went, on three bikes and one support car filled with a water tank, spare fuel, snacks and a one-handed lady. Thank the engineers for automatic transmission!

The trip was spectacular and the scenery amazing. But since it’s kind of hard to drive one-handed while taking pictures, you’ll mostly have to take my word for it.

Our one full day at Noorama Station was action packed from start to finish. We “helped” Ben and his team of jackaroos herd cows with a spotter plane and dirt bikes. Closer to home we “helped” Carissa and Owen take care of the chickens and vegetable garden. After a second breakfast we had a leisurely walk around the block through the bush, having a taste of saltbush along the way. By then it was time to pay our way by offering some actual help. In keeping with our expertise Jaap fixed the wifi and I sewed (made a start with) some curtains for Annabel’s room. As one does in the outback. After a long day of hard work, we took some us-time in the local spa, i.e. two hot tubs next to a warm water bore in the middle of nowhere (even relatively speaking), surrounded by trees with parrots. We were back just in time to enjoy an amazing sunset and another delicious meal by Carissa. Day well spent!

For the full photographic experience:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/I8G050NyE5h9G1qi2

Some highlights, in case you’re in a rush:

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