Out and About: Flinders Ranges and Outback
You know it's a serious work trip when the Content Manager, who lives in inner Brisbane, suddenly heads to the airport dressed like the Man from Snowy River.
Every year since 2020 – in the fortuitous windows between lockdowns, viruses and emergency weather events – I've been able to escape to South Australia.
I pack my camera, my boots, the Akubra I bought on my first trip in 2020, and I get to shake off the work-from-home cobwebs with an adventure in the Flinders Ranges and Outback.
And it is amazing how good it feels once the road opens up in front of you and the skies get bigger. Really, really big. Almost as big as the steaks.
This was such a memorable trip. It's hard to take a bad photo in this place, and I shared some amazing conversations with locals.
I met Richard and Kerry in Melrose, where they've owned the bike shop and cafe on the main street for many years. They were just about to launch Melrose Experiences (live now!), based out of a beautifully renovated space in the Jacka Brothers Brewery, complete with providore and wellness experiences.
Many detours were taken through picturesque country towns like Wirrabara and Wilmington. Cream-laden bakery goods were critically evaluated in Jamestown and Stone Hut.
I didn't know I was such a big fan of tractors until I had a guided tour of the Booleroo Steam and Traction Society with Ian. It's the biggest tractor collection in the world, attracting 5000 people a year to their annual rally. I know so much about tractors now! Ask me anything. Actually, just go to Booleroo. It’s a blast.
Heading further north to the breathtaking Ikara Wilpena Pound Resort, where I squeezed in three enthralling tours with Adnyamathanha elder, Mick McKenzie. We were invited into areas that can only be accessed with an Adnyamathanha guide, discovered the fossils of the inland sea, and heard insightful stories about the Adnyamathanha culture.
Art, trails and breathtaking scenery all the way up to Copley Bakery, for a delicious Quandong tart and a wonderful conversation with Tracey Neldman, Town Manager of Leigh Creek. Between Leigh Creek and Quorn, I'm not sure which town has more exciting developments in the works. Best to visit both.
It has been an absolute blast and an amazing chance to reconnect with so many clients, old friends and new friends of WOOF Media.
Back in 2020, after my first trip on a content shoot and famil for The Outback Loop, I commented that after such a tough 6 months of barely looking away from a screen, I felt like it only took a few days in the Outback for all my brain cells to grow back.
"You just needed a few days of bush therapy", said Jo Fort, a client and very valued friend to all of us at WOOF Media.
"Few days on the road and a bit of sun and time in the bush. Does wonders."
Jo is always right about these things.
If you're in that space, feeling a bit cooped up and in need of a breather, I really recommend taking a break in the Flinders Ranges and Outback. Even just a few days to refresh.
Just feels good out there.