So Where exactly is the Outback?

To Australians anything vaguely rural is 'the bush'; then, at some indeterminate point 'the bush, becomes 'the outback.' Push on for perhaps 1,500 miles and eventually you come to bush again, and then a city, and then the sea. And that's Australia.

The Outback is amazingly unforgiving to anyone who is forgetful, unfit, or geographically or mechanically inept. Its solar rays, unmitigated by any veil of cloud, are pitiless, and your skin will burn like cellophane before a flame. It is full of dangerous (if shy) snakes and insatiable flies that are prepared to devote every ounce of their beings to crawling up your nose or into the deepest recesses of your ears.

But then, in the unlikeliest places, in spots so remote that 'middle of nowhere' sounds like an aspiration, you will often find an outback pub, and this is where life begins, and ends for some!

Between Melbourne and Perth you will find many such pubs. Taking the ‘Great Ocean Road’ stopping of en route in Apollo Bay for the music festival, then on to Port Fairy to sober up and Mt. Gambier to get fit.

Streaky Bay is called so just because it makes you want to get naked, but otherwise give Adelaide a miss if you can. It’s stuck in the Victorian era. Bullet through the Nullarbor Desert and out the other side to towns with names like Esperance, Manijump and finally go bunburying in Bunbury.

For those who don’t know what Bunburying is, read Oscar Wilde’s ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’ on the way over on the flight.

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