Author Dorothy L. ◦

Some people might call me a senior, but I prefer young at heart….now I am on my trip of a lifetime.

I had Henry (who doesn’t name their car) fitted out with new Cooper tyres and boy did he stand out big time. With his new treads he performed marvellously, especially in the sandy soil of Hattah-Kulkyne National Park. Later Henry got a slider for his 70 litre fridge/freezer, along with a slider draw.

My caravan Freedom (how appropriate Jayco has a range called Freedom) is my ticket to ride (for those older enough to know what that means…). A little work was needed to make more space in Freedom. I ripped out the 2nd single bed, the cafe table and seating. New cupboards the length of the side of the caravan installed and new vinyl flooring put down. Freedom also got new tyres. Now I was ready for the off. Oh I almost forgot…. the feminine touch was added with new Native Flower patterned curtains.Those curtains received a lot of comments of approval.

Excitement plus! The big day has arrived, topped up with fuel, first stop Kulgera near the NT/SA border, I figured that was enough for day 1, no rush.

I am now in South Australia my first stop for a coffee break at Marla, where a couple asked me where I was stopping for the night, told me to keep a lookout for their van and stay with them. A wonderful evening around the campfire chatting away over a glass of wine or two…. this is the lifestyle I can get used to.

Mallee Emu-wren © Dorothy L
Mallee Emu-wren © Dorothy L

Next stop Woomera, then Peterborough, followed by a stopover in Burra, a wonderful place for the night even with the strong winds and a touch of rain. No photography for me as I was on a mission to reach Hattah. It took me ten days to get to Hattah in Victoria. Now for some serious birding… I had a bird list as long as my arm!

After a couple of days rest, driving does take it out of me, I was now ready to hit the bush with my camera. Small birds in the heath country are rather difficult to find… a flutter and a very swift movement down low in the undergrowth caught my attention, a Mallee Emu Wren! Then both male and female appeared, pure bliss. Now all I needed to do was to capture them on my trusty Canon… easier said than done.

Mallee Emu-wren © Dorothy L
Mallee Emu-wren © Dorothy L

Eventually, after a few hours and much persistence I did get some shots of the Emu-wrens. Meanwhile a Chestnut Quail Thrush came by to see what was going on, never to let a chance go by, I did a photo shoot and managed to capture the Chestnut Quail Thrush. Wow… with my excitement now in overdrive, I drove around the area searching for the elusive Mallee Fowl, with no luck unfortunately. Later near a waterhole lots of small birds flew in, Yellow Plumed Honeyeater, Red Chats, Pallid Cuckoo, to name a few.

Chestnut Quail Thrush © Dorothy Latimer

Trip of a Lifetime | Back on the road… | whirr… whirr… a flat battery!!