Gateway to Birdsville, heart of the Channel Country.

It’s a bit quiet here at the moment,” quipped Marilyn, the owner of the Western Star Hotel in Windorah. In fairness, it was January and the temperatures out that way were in the mid-40s for months. Come Easter, the little town of only 160 or so people comes alive, with hundreds of travellers making their way to Birdsville and beyond. Most just pass through after fuelling up, which is a good idea as the next fuel stop in Birdsville is 380km away. Windorah is, however, one of those places that if you stay a while you might just want to come back again and again.

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Beast of the Plains

Queensland’s Outback is a mechanic for men’s souls.

Things change when you head west. We know this instinctively. The cowboy riding into the sunset is not an accident of Hollywood, a silver-screen coincidence. They ride into the west because they’ve lived another day. One journeys to the frontier for nothing more than freedom, and freedom is always hard won. The silhouette of the saddle clomping off into red is a kind of unconscious symbol for the warrior’s journey to Valhalla - the cowboy is free, and alive, for now, until the sun rises again tomorrow.

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Dingo Dreaming

Fraser Island works its magic on another generation.

Fraser Island is a land of sunburned English backpackers, Troop Carriers with 11 western European twenty-somethings trundling up the beach towards Eli Creek and the Champagne Pools, and more poisonous snakes per square kilometre than anywhere else on the planet.

This tiny pocket of sandy earth was logged and sand mined for a solid 150 years, yet there are still pockets of virgin Satinay forest intact. These 40m towers were instrumental in building the Suez Canal. That anything natural remains here is a testament to how wild this place must have been 100 years ago. X

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