We're somewhat settling back in, but it is strange to be back.....in a room with a bed and the windows so far away. Hustle bustle, slowness seems to be about as forgotten as the inland.
We've got lots of bits and bobs to share, and we promise it's more than just 'Blah'. Read More
The most western point on the mainland on latitude 25 degrees south, restricted access to Bernier and Dorre islands, serious fishing country, “no-lore”, decades of wool, a fruit bowl, space exploration, a solar farm and a tourist haven. Read More
The ferocious southerly October to February trade winds that wrecked countless ships off the Western Australian coast gave us an easy ride into our penultimate stop, Wooramel Roadhouse. Subject to the whim of the tourist seasons…both of them….on and off, the roadhouse is typical of many road side stops across the continent, dictated by the car. However, as the nature of transport evolves so too must the architecture of the road. Read More
A northerly blew as we approached, perhaps that should have been a signifier that yet again our expectations were to be blown apart. The rest of our time there, the prevailing southerly blew. Feel good mining, wind and tidal power. The town has a feeling of impermanence, and the pull of the place is palpable. Read More
We've just finished our week at Stop #20: Wooramel Roadhouse and so NOW are on our final cycling leg into Carnarvon, the Western Australian fruit bowl. We only have 124 kms to go before we have officially crossed the continent and a great attempt at following Latitude 25. If you can't get to the finish line we understand, so instead you can virtually cheer us on as we have set up a live tracker for you to follow along!!
Click through to the blog post and press the big "LIVE TRACKER" button or go to https://www.thegrandsection.com/ and use the button on the Homepage to follow along online! Read More
Towering Palms and Gums, like so many other sites throughout the trip are the markers of (white fella) inhabitation both past and present. Pushing through days of 40 degree heat, and a persistent hot headwind, the ‘markers’ gave us a goal to pedal for. What we would come to find is brave, bold, a bit stupid and completely inspiring. A cattle property without any cattle. Read More
Surrounded by open cut mines, with the protective ring of ‘rehabilitated’ earth and small signs urging caution, Meekatharra still has significant deposits of gold, copper and ore to be dug. Meanwhile decade old gaping pits leave locals scratching their heads as to how to utilize these monumental sized constructions to leverage tourism, the scale of modern ruins. The administrative centre of the region, Meekatharra is certainly not for the meek. Read More
Littered in history and holes, it almost feels as if no piece of ground has been left untouched. Rusty cans, glass and broken prospector dreams litter the landscape. Manmade mesas and hills rise high above the Mulgas. Behind a clump of Acacias is a century old brick cricket pitch, overgrown. To the unknowing eye, simply, a landscape of ‘nothing’.
One thing to consider: Gold exists in greater abundance in Australia than any other place in the world Read More
Ride in, dusty and lunch hungry. Time turns back 1.5 hours so the pre-prepared lunches don’t come out for another hour, delayed further by a drop in internet and EFTPOS services. Camp dogs and dust clouds from ever cycling windowless cars. Lunch when it does come is a surprisingly tasty burger, the only hot and filling option. It’s the off week for fresh food, a couple of sad carrots for dinner. Nothing unusual. Read More
Well shit, the arbiter of the whole Grand Section, the heart of the nation, the spiritual center, the symbol of Aus-bloody-straya,…we made it! This epic place is inhabited mostly in the “township” of Yulara (Ayers Rock Resort), a 1983 purpose built town as a comfortable base for viewing Ayers Rock (Uluru) and The Olga’s (Kata Tjuta) as they were known. Uluru’s massive scale, isolation and abruptness does make this place truly powerful. Light changes on the faces of the rock constantly, revealing hidden cracks, colours and forms day by day. “No day is the same” the rangers tell us and we begin to understand. Read More
PERMIT REQUIRED, PERMIT REQUIRED says the map at the CLC (Central Land Council). In reality permits are not required and the ongoing battle between community and Policy is fought somewhere in the tangle of red tape. The small indigenous community is only 117km from Alice Springs, down a ‘dead-end’ road, at the edge of the sand hill country and nestled into the red face of the James range. A once strong town caught metaphorically and literally in-between a rock and a hard place. Read More
The landscape is more powerful than most. We cycled through vast horizontality; undulating ancient sea beds and were profoundly moved by the contrasting verticality which meets us in the Alice Springs surrounds. The MacDonnell ranges has a demanding presence, passing through the gap we’re left speechless. Layers of eroded angled strata saying all.
There is an intensity to this place that makes you sit up and take notice. The scale of Alice is graspable by one mind, tantalizingly tangible, you can hold all the complexities and contradictions by their threads and understand how one action reverberates through the web of repercussions. Read More
The in-between, just as crucial as the destinations or stops. Through slowness we are fully emersed in the place, people and stuff (architecture). It is through engaging with the broader Australian condition and all it comprises that we are learning the most and blowing many preconceptions to smithereens. Having an in-depth understanding of the value of how place influences in-habitation is crucial to 'good' architecture for people and place. Read More
Wham! Bam! Slick tourist operations churn caravans into cash, shop attendants near the end of their three month stint talk easily with locals and tourists alike. Just out of town lies some of Australia’s most fascinating architectural heritage and one of Australia’s great multicultural stories. Read More
Birdsville, population 115 (+/- 7000), a place of dynamic flux existing for tourism. Long affiliated locals manage the role of local, tour guide, advocate and pastoralist with apparent ease and have a significant place in the community and surrounds. Stone and masonry buildings were prolific and notably novel compared to the other towns we have been. Our first glimpse of the Sturt’s desert pea, was a graceful sight in contrast to the red blushing earth. Read More
The smallest town, yet some of the biggest thinking. Indigenous elders active teachers, people as usual wearing many hats, playing many roles. The stark white ghost gums seem unique to the place, a beautiful contrast to the blushing red earth. Read More
Red dirt and dust, the piercing sun beams. Flies a menace. Water always a part of the conversation. Average annual rainfall is around 12 inches, average evaporation is 18 foot. Sitting upon the artesian basin though, “there are no water restrictions”. A baffling contradiction. Read More
A whirl wind to say the very least. A scheduled week turned to two quite quickly, cutting out the next stop Charleville. The Mandandanji chair person, Darren, with overwhelming enthusiasm and persuasiveness about the work going on and was able to convince us to play a part in their dreaming celebrations. It's Gunyah get wild!! Read More
Imagine fertile lands covered in dense Brigalow scrub, bottles trees and prickly pear; Low ranges ringing the horizon. The subtropical and sub-humid climate, with variable rainfall, provides relatively pleasant conditions year round. At the junction of two water courses, The Dawson River and Castle creek is a fertile junction abundant in nourishment from both the land and water, we were told by a local elder this was a special place to the Wulli Wulli people. Being the traditional owners of this land; their country covering an approximate 8300sq km area, they would have fished and hunted porcupine, living off the banks of the Dawson River and within nearby caves. Significant cultural and burial sites including caves with a four fingered hand print and bora grounds (a male initiation site) exist in the local area where many artifacts, such as grinding stones, rock axes, and flake and core stones continue to be unearthed, the local elders their custodians. Read More
Sleepy Woodgate, yawn and you’re moving too fast, blink and you’ll miss it. However, If it’s not your destination you won’t have heard about it.
A part of the traditional land of the Kabi Kabi people, the local Dundaburra tribe is noted to have resided here for last 50,000 years. Indicated by the many middens along the Burrum river, their diet was varied with large amounts of shellfish. Local history states the Dundaburra would partake in the Bunya nut feasts on the Bunya mountains, some 220kms away (close to Toowoomba). In researching though, their presence is a miss. Read More