Images of the Outback
- Wallareenya Rock Formations.
Sunset over piles of rocks at Wallareenya Station in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The Pilbara is a vast and desolate area and the rugged geology here can visually alter over mere kilometres.
- Harding Dam.
This tabletop hill sits at the edge of the Harding Dam catchment near Roebourne, Western Australia. The area here is truly representative of the Pilbara - harsh spinifex covered hills and rock strewn ground. The unusual aspect about the Harding catchment is that it contains this amazing body of water and supports abundant birdlife.
- Wedgetail Eagle with Joey.
Australia's largest bird of prey, the Wedgetail Eagle, evades a murder of hungry crows after capturing a joey (baby kangaroo) at Ningaloo Station in the outback of North Western Australia. These magnificent birds can grow to have a wing span of 2.4 metres as evidenced by the lone black crow remaining in the bush below.
- Abandoned Outback Truck.
An old international truck lies at the base of a small range in the Pilbara. A few gold miners and their families settled the area for a few years in the early 1920's and 30's. Diggings are evident all around the area and just nearby lies the ruins of a stone-pitched hut. A small battery can be found within 500 metres suggesting that some reasonable gold may have been sourced from the ground here. We are unable to find any indication that the place ever had a name.
- Python Pool.
The Millchester-Chichester National Park Range is a picturesque, rolling series of hills with occasional small watering holes like this one at Python Pool. This permanent spring was once used as a watering point for the numerous Afghan cameleers who supplied the remote towns and stations with vital supplies and carted the wool and produce out on the backs of their camels.
- Lightning on Lyndon.
Lyndon Station rests in the north of the Gascoyne in Western Australia, not far from Mount Augustus. This harsh environment with low rainfall means stations like Lyndon often exceed 1.2 million acres in area - required to support a reasonable beef herd. The heralding of rain is a huge event and brings a promise of green feed for the cattle.
- Salt Sunrise.
The sun rises above a salt stockpile in Port Hedland. The salt is extracted from solar dams seated close to the coast where massive tides roll in twice a day. Port Hedland is better known for it's iron ore handling, the place in the Pilbara where ore is shipped in by trains 3.2 kilometres long and loaded on ships for export. The lines on the face of the stockpile are created by D10 Caterpillar bulldozers.
- Hancock Gorge, Karijini.
The landscape of Karijini National Park is pure 'outback' Remote, desolate, harsh and unforgiving. But watercourses evolving over millions of years have shaped numerous fissures in the rocky earth and created Karijini, a place of unrivalled beauty. This is Hancock Gorge and to tred it's spectacular path means climbing, swimming and scrambling over and through it's fascinating fascade.
- Karijini Reflection
Another shot of Karijini showing the colours of the natural rock through a rock pool. The ground above is hostile, dry and unforgiving, but water finds it's way into the gorges of Karijini following cyclonic-related rainfall and the moisture continues to ooze from the rock faces year long.
- Mingah Springs Station.
This is Mingah Springs and in the back right corner is a developing willy-willy, a common sight on these hot, flat plains. This is about the limit for sustainable farming of any kind and this station supports a few hardy beef and more than the occasional skeletal remains of those who didn't make it.
- Cobra Station.
Delapidated and abandonded stockyards made from flattened 44 gallon drums. This Gascoyne station has been purchased by 'The Department of Conservation' in an effort to rehabilitate land that has been ravaged by the grazing of sheep. Many of the stations in the north of Australia were originally stocked with sheep and then converted to beef. Cattle are far less damaging to these fragile outback regions that verge on being categorised as desert zones.
- Wittenoom Pig.
This shot was taken in the Wittenoom Gorge, an abandoned asbestos-mining town in the Hamersley Range. The image is slightly reminiscent of a sinister pig face which seems quite appropriate considering the long term affects asbestos has had on the previous residents of the town. Tilt your head to the right to see the photo as it was actually shot.
- South Australia by Air.
Somewhere over the inland area of South Australia above the Simpson Desert - an area officially deemed 'The Outback and Flinders' by the South Australian Government.
The pristine waters of the Coral Bay/Ningaloo region provide a stunning backdrop for the abundant marine life of this protected water sanctuary. The sandy, almost desert like environment of this northern region of Western Australia belie what hides just over the last sandunes that spill into the stunning Indian Ocean.
- Bell Gorge.
Bell Gorge is just one of a series of gorges along 'The Gibb River Road', an iconic 660km 4WD trek in Westen Australia's Kimberley. Closed for much of the 'Wet' season due to inaccessibility the region hosts numerous waterfalls, gorges and sub-tropical waterholes making it ideal for an extended outback foray.
- Outback Rodeo.
A Mount Isa 'bullrider' stays the distance at the annual Mount Isa rodeo, the largest in the southern hemisphere. 'The Isa' claims to be the heart of the outback with a dedicated outback tourist facility to prove it. As remote and harsh as the landscape is, for our money, there are a lot more places in Australia with an even closer affinity to the 'outback' than a big town like The Isa.
- Turner River.
The Pilbara is a region of stunning colour with the backdrop of Pindan (the red dirt) providing a perfect canvas for moody skies and stunning sunsets. This is a waterhole in the Turner River and within a few weeks, as daily temperatures soar over 45 degrees, it will dry up completely.
- Karijini Gorge.
One last shot of a Karijini Gorge and if you look carefully there are two hikers working their way down for a swim in the pristine water.
- Dooley Downs Dumptruck.
This broken down dump truck lies at the northern entrance of Dooley Downs Station and acts as the mailbox. The landscape is typical of the station environment of the Gascoyne/Pilbara regions and indicates just how tough it is to wrest a living from the inhospitable ground. Fiercely hot in summer, with desperately low rainfall, constant willy-willy's (small twisters) batter the parched earth, where temperatures consistently reach +45 degrees.
Images of the Australian Outback
The images above are taken over a number of years and reflect a variety of places (mostly in the Gascoyne, Pilbara and Kimberley) that we believe are representative of the Australian Outback.
While the outback is a hard place to define and impossible to pinpoint, these images may give a general guide as to the type of environment in which it can be found.
As we pointed out in the article Where is the Outback - rivers, snowfields, beaches, wheat fields and mountains can all be deemed part of the outback. The outback is more about where you cannot find it than where you can.
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