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Kunama 1961

Looking Around /
My Trip Through the Centre

In a well laden station sedan, my family and I set out along the Stuart Highway for our return South, from Darwin.

As it was the wet season our first night's rest, at Larrimah, was disturbed by the croaking of hundreds of frogs. Next day, when we stopped for petrol at Ti-Tree, an emu came and ate out of my hand. It was the native helper's pet.

A long drive brought us to Tennant Creek, a mining town, rather like a town in the western movies. We stayed overnight. Continuing on, we came to a large outcrop of tremendous stones, the "Devil's marbles". I was photographed, standing on one, and looked like an ant.

As it was early January the heat, at this part of the trip was terrific We drank all the fluid we carried but still arrived at Alice Springs with swollen tongues and quite dehydrated. The natives there were very different to the Darwin natives, having a wild and dusty look. During the two days' stop we saw all the points of interest including the lovely John Flynn Memorial Church.

Our car was put on a flat top and we travelled in air conditioned carriages on the same train for two days and nights, passing through Red Gibber country without even a shrub for miles.

The colours in Albert Namitajira's paintings appear exaggerated but all shades are true as I saw them all coming through the heart of Australia.

We left the train at Port Augusta and continued on by car, but our trip from there to Sydney was uneventful after our inland experiences.


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