|Desert Oak, Curtin Springs Station|
|Written by Peter Eastway|
It’s off on an adventure, down an unmarked dirt road through the Kings Creek Station and into Curtin Springs Station. It’s hundreds of square kilometres of remote outback Australia and only a handful of people have access to the road, so we see no one else for the next day until we reach the Lasseter Highway several hundred kilometres south.
Our vehicle is purpose designed for this sort of travel, yet even so we find ourselves bogged at the top of a particularly soft sand dune. No trouble! We bundle off the vehicle, grab the metal boards from the trailer and dig them under the wheels. It doesn’t take us too long to sort it out, but we do unload a few suitcases to make the vehicle lighter. Was that a good idea? Possibly not as we then found ourselves carrying our suitcases along the sandy track to the rescued vehicle – it certainly made a comical picture.
Future sand dunes were approached at higher speed and we only had one more situation to deal with. It certainly made it exciting for a bunch of people used to life in the city, although I dare say our driver Dave was a little unhappy with himself getting bogged the second time!
It’s amazing how much the landscape changes and we soon found ourselves in some beautiful parklands. We sheltered in the shade of desert oaks and set up camp well before sunset, giving us time to prepare our meals and take photographs as the light improved. We all went our separate ways, investigating the surroundings and struggling a little with the complex landscape.
However, once the sun was gone and the stars were out, we discovered a fantasy land right next to our campsite. The red embers from the fire were throwing a warm light on the surrounding trees, contrasting beautifully with the Milky Way above. We tried different exposures from 10 seconds to a couple of minutes, hoping there was not too much breeze moving the delicate leaves.