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Inside Australia – permanent sculpture exhibition:
Lake Ballard – 51km
West of Menzies WA
Situated 130km North of Kalgoorlie, the region around the town of Menzies was better known for its early gold rush days. That was until 2002 when British artist Antony Gormley persuaded the citizens of Menzies to pose for naked digital body scans, which he then cast into 51 almost extra terrestrial steel sculptures. The sculptures were then spread evenly and eerily across the white salt plain of Lake Ballard – forever cast in time. Best viewed early morning or late afternoon, the sculptures of Lake Ballard offer a slightly different take on the normal ‘installation art’ and in one of the more remote parts of the country.
For more information, head to www.lakeballard.com
Postman Pat for a day:
Coober Pedy, SA
It’s not quite in the same league as our most famous Outback postman (Tom Kruse and his trusty Leyland Badger, during the mail run from Marree to Birdsville in the mid 1900’s). However, you too can come close to experiencing the true harshness as well as some of the history of the early days of remote mail delivery and be Postman Pat for a day on ‘The Mail Run Tour’. A true Outback experience with a difference, the tours start from Coober Pedy and travel North to Oodnadatta, along the Oodnadatta Track and parts of the Old Ghan Railway before stopping for a drink at the iconic William Creek Hotel. You’ll also travel through the world’s longest man made structure – more commonly known as the Dingo Fence – as well as one of the world’s largest cattle stations – Anna Creek Station.
It’s a 620km Outback trip with a difference. The mail run leaves every Tuesday and Thursday.
For bookings, head to www.desertdiversity.com/mail.htm
Outback Opera or Rock
and Blues Concert at
Undara Lava Tubes:
Mount Surprise, QLD
Set in Outback Queensland’s Gulf Savannah country, the Undara Lava Tubes offer an incredibly unique geological experience all on their own. But twice a year, the Undara experience transforms into a musical wonderland with a twist. Whether you’re into opera music or prefer more of a rock and blues theme, the music festivals at Undara have something to offer everyone in a purpose built amphitheatre adjacent to the Lava tubes themselves. You’ll be mesmerised by the stars on stage as well as those in the sky above as you sit amongst this truly unique landscape and enjoy local food and wine over two volcanic nights of music.
Check it out at www.undara.com.au/events
Walk to the summit of
Mt Augustus: Mt Augustus National Park – 430km
East of Carnarvon, WA
At more than twice the size of Uluru, Mount Augustus is an absolute colossus and one of the most imposing inselbergs in the country. At more than 700m above the surrounding plain and 1100m above sea level, the walk to the summit isn’t for the faint hearted – you’ll need to be fit and carry plenty of water! For something a little less strenuous, there’s multitude of easy access walks and trails around the nearly 50km base which offer a variety of difficulty levels. Ancient aboriginal petroglyphs and rock art abound throughout and offer a tiny window into the lives of the Wajarri people who once roamed the area. There’s also plenty of flora and fauna to be seen in some of the hidden gorges and water holes and, if you’re keen, a spectacular reward at the top with views that seem to go on forever above the desert plains below.
For more information, check out www.parks.dpaw.wa.gov.au/park/mt-augustus
Tiptoe over Pink Lakes:
Murray Sunset National Park, 50km South West of Mildura, VIC
There’s no need to travel to central Australia and Lake Eyre to see spectacular salt crusted lakes. The pink tinged salt of Lake Hardy and Lake Crosby is just a stone’s throw (well, almost) from Melbourne. The lakes are best viewed in late Summer and early Autumn when the water has mostly evaporated, leaving a concentrated red carotene salt crust over the black mud beneath. Camp beside the lakes and use this as a base to explore the many 4X4 tracks throughout the area, including the sandy desert tracks of the southern section of the National Park or grab your canoe and head up to the Murray River overflows and Lindsay Island in the northern section of the park. Either way, kick back, relax and enjoy the peace and quiet of Victoria’s remote and spectacular Outback Mallee country.
Check out the Pink Lakes of Victoria at www.parkweb.vic.gov.au/explore/parks/murray-sunset-national-park
By Tim Stanners