Just like a horror movie. Breaking down at Wolfe Creek Crater, WA. Australia.


The road to the crater was shocking. It had been flattened by a bulldozer but the recent rains meant it was like driving over corrugated cardboard, with lots of little channels formed from the rain water. The whole car would vibrate terribly at slow speeds, which meant I had to drive at a fast 80 Km an hour, reducing the vibrations considerably. The Tanami track is one of the great 4WD journeys in Australia, going down from the Kimberley to Alice Springs, but it is seldom used. I only passed one car in the journey down to the turn off to the crater, but you do have to pay attention the whole time, as going out of control and flipping the car over is a real possibility. Sadly it is the road on which Eugene Shoemaker died on the way to Wolfe Creek.

A Meteorite strike in the Tanami Desert. Wolfe Creek Crater, WA. Australia


I heard about Wolfe Creek Crater on a holiday in Perth. I visited the exceptionally interesting Western Australian Museum and saw amongst the bits of crashed Skylab, gold nuggets and dinosaurs,  a display about the first expedition to Wolfe Creek crater in 1949, where a meteorite had crashed into the northern Tanami desert 300,000 years ago. It is the biggest and most recognisable crater in Australia, and was only discovered in an aerial survey in 1947. It is rarely visited as it is, well, remote. On the edge of the Kimberly region, almost as far away from a major city as you can get in Australia. Definitely fitting into my requirements for a Far Flung Place.

Yothu Yindi, Dugout Canoes and a Dingo. A Beach Walk in East Arnhem Land

I needed a long walk. The beach walk from Nhulunbuy to Yirrkala is about 12 km. Some of it requires clambering up small rocky cliffs, but mostly it is on the fine white sand. I popped into the Police station first, just to tell them where I was going in case I got into difficulties and did not make it back on time. They were totally nonplussed as to why anyone would want to do such a walk when there was a perfectly serviceable road connecting the towns, but they duly noted my details in their log book and reminded me to confirm when I returned. The officer on the desk shouted out to me as I left to "tell them if there is anything worth seeing".

An unhappy island. Groote Eylandt. Northern Territory.

Groote Eylandt had always held a fascination for me. Maybe it was the exotic name ('Great Island' is the English translation from the name chosen by the Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1644) or the fact it was so damn remote and hard to get to, a small island sitting in the middle of the Gulf Of Carpenteria. I had not paid much attention to what to do there, as there was virtually no information on the island available.

A Blood Red Sea. One of ten insider tips for East Arnhem Land. Australia


I had never seen bauxite before, this is the red ore mined and then refined to make alumina. Bauxite is the reason that this part of East Arnhem Land is open to tourists (with the necessary permits) as the giant Rio Tinto strip mine is located there, along with a refinery, although the latter seems destined to close due to the high costs of running it at such a remote site.

Another Crocodile Story. Arnhem Land. Northern Territory, Australia.

One of Australia's far flung places is East Arnhem land. In the north eastern corner of the Northern Territory (NT), Aboriginal land since it was proclaimed as a reserve by the Australian Government in 1931, and off limits to tourists, except for a few places, such as Nhulunbuy (also known as Gove), on the coast.