When visiting Outback Australia on the cusp of Summer, it pays to get outside early and then disappear inside under an air conditioner for the rest of the day.
That was our plan when we signed up for the Broken Hill Heritage Walk Tour.
History sometimes earns the reputation of being dry, dull and boring. I put my hand up as a bit of a history-lover so I tend to look for everything good in any history talk or presentation.
You certainly don’t have to worry about being bored when you take part in the Her Story presentation at the Cascades Female Factory in Hobart.
Walk with me and Mary James and listen to her story…
Just because we can’t physically travel at the moment doesn’t mean we stop dreaming of travel and planning our next adventure.
What it does mean is that we can walk in the footsteps of others, all from the safety and comfort of our cosy armchair.
Here are five tantalising travel books to inspire and deliver a solid case of both envy and admiration.
A very good question and one I asked myself continually during our 17-hour visit.
White Cliffs, in Outback NSW, is located approximately 1 020km West of Sydney and 268km North East of Broken Hill. When we jumped in the car in Broken Hill to head towards our destination it was already 34°C and leapt to 38°C in three minutes and it was only 938am!
We were in for a long day…
When you are heading down Hobart way, there are at least two must-see places:
Salamanca is an area set slightly back from Hobart’s waterfront and wharf area. Its backdrop is a row of stunning old sandstone warehouses and on Saturday mornings, the foreground is chockful of market stalls.
Feel like a piece of chewy biltong? Want to buy some new socks?
Or how about a taste of the freshest and sweetest natural honey?
Then get yourself to the Salamanca Market…
It’s amazing what you can find in the desert.
A few scrubby bushes.
Our guide’s jeans were ripped and torn, and her eye shadow matched the hot-pink of her t-shirt. The fact that the fly of her torn jeans was completely open also did not add to her credibility.
What had we got ourselves into?
At least it was a gorgeous, blue sky day to set out to explore the streets of historic Hobart.
Book Title: Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria
Author: James Lasdun and Pia Davis Continue reading
I am a bit partial to wanders through lush, green spaces and nothing fits the bill better than a visit to the Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens on the edge of the Hobart CBD.
The gardens are one of Australia’s oldest, established in the early years of the colony over 200 years ago. While it may not be the size and scale of more famous gardens, it has a variety and beauty that makes for a very enjoyable couple of hours or a longer day out.
When you think of Outback Australia, you may think of wide open spaces, searing heat, endless miles of nothingness and dust. Lots of dust.
What may not immediately spring to mind is big hair, sparkly sequins and endless rainbows of feather boas.
That’s until you step through the front door of The Palace Hotel in Broken Hill.
Menindee? Where’s that? I hear you ask.
Head West out of Sydney. West over the Blue Mountains. West through Dubbo and past Cobar until you nearly drive into Wilcannia. So far you are a mere 960km from the Sydney Opera House.
Turn left on a dusty, bumpy dirt road and head south-west from Wilcannia and after about 160 dry, sandy kilometres, with any luck you will hit the tar again and be enjoying the bright lights of the thriving metropolis of Menindee. Population 551 (on a good day).
Your next question, “Why on Earth would you want to visit Menindee?”
Broken Hill is located around 1 150km west of Sydney and 520km from Adelaide and is officially in the middle of Nowhere! Despite its remote location, the city does have a fascinating history (which I will share in a later post) and its other huge selling point is the depth and diversity of artistic talent.
When I am traveling overseas and I tell people that I live in rural New South Wales, they immediately assume that I come from Outback Australia.
Not by a long shot!
This is what Outback Australia really looks like…
This post discusses the next main path I will be stepping out on when I head to Spain in May 2020.
First will be the Camino Madrid starting from Madrid and second will be the Camino San Salvador from Leon.
Here is what I have found out about this little travelled path.
For us southern hemisphere dwellers Spring is here and Summer is threatening just around the corner. As soon as the weather warms my thoughts go to lazy BBQs and outdoor dining, and something cool and refreshing in my hand.
When I saw the promotion for a local ‘Gintelligence’ class, I thought that this was definitely something I needed to learn more about. Who knew that getting educated could be so much fun?
With a fellow gin-lover by my side, we rolled up our sleeves and poured ourselves into the history of gin.
Book Title: The Valley of the Assassins And Other Persian Travels
Author: Freya Stark
Promotional Blurb: Hailed as a classic upon its first publication in 1934, The Valleys of the Assassins firmly established Freya Stark as one of her generation’s most intrepid explorers. The book chronicles her travels into Luristan, the mountainous terrain nestled between Iraq and present-day Iran, often with only a single guide and on a shoestring budget.
Stark writes engagingly of the nomadic peoples who inhabit the region’s valleys and brings to life the stories of the ancient kingdoms of the Middle East, including that of the Lords of Alamut, a band of hashish-eating terrorists whose stronghold in the Elburz Mountains Stark was the first to document for the Royal Geographical Society.
Growing up on a farm, when things were good and the seasons were kind, we would escape to the beach for a dose of salty sea air and sand between our toes. Invariably the road would take us North to the North Coast of New South Wales (NSW) or even further north into the glitz and bling of Queensland’s Gold Coast.
It is only now that I start to discover the gems I missed out on tucked away on the South Coast of NSW.
Walking into Porto on the Camino Portuguese, I instantly fell in love with the city. A trip to the stunning Livraria Lello bookstore tipped me right over the edge.
It seems ridiculous to fall in love with a building and its content, but I did, and I encourage you to include this store on your itinerary if you are heading over to Portugal.
As the title says, this post describes the third section of the Bondi Beach to Manly route, this time from Rose Bay to Darling Point. As this stage was my third for the day, I actually cut it a bit short as after +25km, the ol’ legs were starting to protest.
Interested in more stunning views of Sydney and palatial homes?
Then read on…
There is no better way to explore a city than on two feet. It gets even better when it is a sparkling Winter’s day and you have no time pressure to do anything other than stroll in the sunshine.
Welcome to the Bondi to Manly Walk.
You may have seen the print and other ads for the Webjet tour business and wondered if they were too good to be true. The prices seem incredibly low and chockful of meals, entrance tickets and other add-ons, making you wonder, ‘how can they do it’?
Well, they can AND it is well worth doing…