Outback Adventure

I should have blogged this awhile back…never got around to it. I still want to talk about though. So here goes…

Back in April, I had a funny feeling wash over me…another footy season had arrived. It just felt same old, same old. Now, I love my footy but with three footy loving boys and a husband involved with the greatest football team in the world (the Collingwood Football Club), I needed a change of scenery to get me through.

I had to see and do something different…and soon…

I explained this to my husband, who looked completely dumbfounded (this is coming from a man who watches AFL 360 every night and never misses a game of footy – how can one ever get enough football?). So, my husband asked ‘What would you like to do?’

I was reading The Age Travel Section at the time and pointed to an ad for outback adventures. I couldn’t go for long…too much family stuff happening. But, here was a perfect weekend away…with Australian Air Holidays.

A flight over Wilpena Pound and the Flinders Rangers, a night in a cave in Coober Pedy (never been there), a ‘low and slow’ flight over Lake Eyre (I had been absolutely dying to see this since my parents had travelled there in 2009), Warburton Groove, Goyder Lagoon and the famous Simpson Desert, with lunch in Birdsville before flying home. Perfect!

So, this was my birthday weekend. All by myself…

I made some lovely new friends, and yes, okay, they were all over the age of 60 years, but we had a ball. I couldn’t get over how much I enjoyed the flight, everyone was so interesting and engaging and they all had wonderful stories to tell, and the…

‘Mrs. McMullin, would you like another cup of tea?’ (man, I could get used to this). ‘Don’t mind if I do, thank you.’

And as I took pics of everything, I appeared to score the best seat on the plane for every leg of the trip.

Wiplena Pound, South Australia
Wiplena Pound, South Australia

I got such a shock in Coober Pedy. The colour of the sky, the vivid red of the desert, the piles of dirt and holes everywhere. It looked so unfamiliar and lunar. And the horizon was vast, a 360 degree view. The wide openness. I loved it. I could breath out here.


When I quizzed the locals about Opal Mining (Coober Pedy produces 95% of the worlds opals), they said:

‘Nah, no opals out here, love. There’s nothing out here.’

And yet there were holes absolutely everywhere?


And there were these signs…


‘Why don’t you just fill them in?’ I asked one local.

‘Oh,’ as if they’d never thought of that? They must have been having me on.

I’d been writing a piece about ‘The Cattle King’ Sir Sydney Kidman and I’d read about how cattle thrived on ‘cotton bush’ and ‘saltbush’. I’d never seen these plants before. And from Prahran, that was kinda hard to imagine. So to be able to see these plants and to be able to touch them and smell them was fabulous (yeah, I know, I gotta get out more).


On the way to Lake Eyre we flew over Anna Creek Station (still owned by Sydney Kidman’s family) and the Anna Painted Hills. It was just beautiful, check out the colours…it’s from water run off and oxide minerals in the soil.


I was initially a little disappointed when we flew over Lake Eyre. Only two weeks before the water had completely dried up from the big fill of 2009. All the birds had gone, but as my guide pointed out, the beauty of the drying salt lake was amazing.


Patterns made by nature, algae, evaporation, wind and cracked crystalline salt were just wonderful.



And the maze of tributaries of the Goyder Lagoon was spectacular.


Lunch at Birdsville was fun, the scenery harsh but beautiful.

Anyway, I loved my outback experience…everything I saw, the people I met…all fuel for the imagination and yes, after my adventure, I happily settled back in to another footy season with my boys.


  • David Lawrence

    Thanks for sharing your trip Neridah - I feel like I was there! x
    August 14, 2015 at 08:36 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Thanks Starch, not quite your Tiwi Islands adventure but still an adventure x
      August 14, 2015 at 08:50 am Reply
  • Kaylene Savas

    I am amazed at the spectacular photos you took Neridah. A big adventure on your own....well done. You saw and experienced so much in such a short time. Can't wait for the next one ! Xx
    August 14, 2015 at 08:04 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Maybe you might join me for the next one, Kaylene? Where shall we go? x
      August 14, 2015 at 08:51 am Reply
  • Leanne Regan

    Neridah, lovely to see your pics, and the intensity of colours. Amazing
    August 14, 2015 at 08:08 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Hi Leanne, the colours were amazing. I had to wear my sunnies most of the time!
      August 14, 2015 at 08:56 am Reply
  • acrameri

    Neridah - You are such a free spirit, what a wonderful adventure. I admire your keen eye and desire to see the beauty and color of our countrry. It reminds me of your ancestors who loved being in nature and transferring that quality of nature and freedom into their very fertile minds, thus using this as a frame and inspiration to live with boundless creativity.
    August 14, 2015 at 08:23 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Thanks Mandy, I can feel that love of nature in my heritage, there's a strong connection to it. And it's so refreshing to see something different, it really does kickstart the imagination. Don't think I'll get Ian out of the city though!
      August 14, 2015 at 08:55 am Reply
  • Lynette Bade

    Loved the pics Neridah, It was a special trip. It is a great country.
    August 14, 2015 at 08:29 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Thanks for your feedback. It is a beautiful, vast country we live in.
      August 14, 2015 at 08:53 am Reply
  • traceybarnes12

    Sounds like an amazing time! What a wonderful thing to do. I can't wait to see this how this great experience weaves its way into your writing. xx
    August 14, 2015 at 08:56 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Hi Tracey, it was a great trip. A bit strange going by myself but I had a ball. I owe you an email. Speak soon x
      August 14, 2015 at 08:02 am Reply
  • Simone Hawerkamp

    Wow, Neridah, your trip sounds incredible. We are so fortunate to live in this amazing country, and the only way to really appreciate the colour, the vastness, the life and spirit of it is to see it with our own eyes. I was recently in corner country visiting my sister in Tibooburra and was very priveledged to visit that part of the world with local Park Rangers. It is a spiritual place and I learned so much. You have now inspired me to see more of the outback, and this trip sounds perfect. Thank you, and I look forward to reading more of your adventures.
    August 14, 2015 at 08:23 am Reply
    • A little Birdy told me...

      Hey Monni, we are fortunate but most of us don't get to see enough of it. I loved hearing all about your trip to Tibooburra, particularly about the Sturt national park and the Dingo Fence. Fascinating stuff. That's my next project!
      August 14, 2015 at 08:00 am Reply

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Neridah McMullin

Photo By: Prue Sheed



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