Coolgardie, Western Australia: Worth its weight in gold

Coolgardie, Western Australia: Worth its weight in gold thumbnail

The most impressive thing about driving halfway across Western Australia is that you can drive for five hours without seeing anything. That is, unless you count some bushes, a great deal of dust and kangaroo road kill as “anything.” Every now and then I spotted a lone house on the horizon in a seemingly uninhabitable place and wondered if it…

How to fight off big, hairy robbers in the Australian Outback

How to fight off big, hairy robbers in the Australian Outback thumbnail

I’m startled awake at 5 am as the sun rises over Western Australia, causing me to sit up too quickly and smack my head. As I try to work out why the ceiling is so low, I realize I’m clutching my iPhone to my chest like some kind of plastic security blanket. The iPhone screen shows I’ve typed in “000”…

On travel and the joy of new beginnings

On travel and the joy of new beginnings thumbnail

Ryan turns the key in the ignition of our “Adventure Camper” and pulls out onto the long, straight, dusty road that leads to National Highway 94, on to Coolgardie, down to Norseman and across the 1,100 kilometer (684 mile) stretch of Nullarbor Plain. Every Australian we’ve met has told us this is the longest, dullest stretch of nothingness we will…

Photo Essay: Animals of Australia

Photo Essay: Animals of Australia thumbnail

By the time we pick up our dollar-a-day Apollo camper van, Ryan is chomping at the bit to put miles behind us and get out into the middle of the big, wild Australian Outback. Except I’m still looking for kangaroos. And I’m concerned that if we start driving, we won’t get very far because I’ll have to chase down every…

Watch out for drop bears

watch-out-for-drop-bears-sign

The night before we pick up our Aussie adventure-on-wheels, Ryan and I are sitting in a wine bar in Perth with our friend Pete, a native Aussie. “Don’t drive after sunset,” Pete says. “Kangaroos are stupid. They’re attracted to your headlights and they’ll run towards your car. It’s bad news if you hit one. Some of them are as big…

Driving across Australia on the cheap

Driving across Australia on the cheap thumbnail

One of the greatest experiences in travel is turning up to a new country with no plan whatsoever. No guidebook, no stacks of printed recommendations, no bookings. Just you, a grand idea of the adventures that lie ahead and the enthusiasm to go out and chat up locals to find out where they love to go and how they get…

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