ON THE ROAD — South of Kulgera Roadhouse the temperature is heading past 40 degrees centigrade. A road train loaded with fuel for the north looks pixelated from the heat shimmer as it “drives through” a midday mirage. Across the gibber plains to the west the Ghan freight train pulls more than 30 railcars north towards Darwin. From Adelaide to the end of the line at Darwin is just over 3000km. The Ghan is named after the Afghan cameleers who arrived in Central Australia in the late nineteenth century. Feral camels now roam the desert. Some are caught and exported to the Middle East. Australia’s feral camels are highly regarded in their ancestral home.
ON THE ROAD — a windy day on the road to Alice Springs and the desert wind runs its snaggle-toothed comb through the fine blond grass beside the road near the Devil’s Marbles.
ON THE ROAD — green grass changing the palette of earth and sky in the red centre following big rains last month. The rains were widespread and had floodwaters running through the centre of Alice Springs. This red-topped ridge is east of the road around Barrow Creek, which is between Tennant Creek and Alice Springs.
ON THE ROAD — We met up with our first White-Plumed Honeyeater (Lichenostomus penicillatus) on our trip south at Tennant Creek. For us this was quite a treat as the WPHs range doesn’t extend into the Top End of the Northern Territory. There are three races of the WPH and they cover most of Australia. Morcombe’s field guide puts the northern extent of the bird’s range pretty much just where we found it.