Comprising just over 5% of the entire landmass of earth, the Australian continent is the sixth largest country by size. The size and remoteness has to be experienced to be believed, and cutting across the top of the continent from the East Coast to the West is the perfect way to get that first hand experience.
Moving West, we leave the lush rainforest of Cape York and drive directly into the hot, dry and dusty outback of remote Queensland. Distances are immense, and often we travel hundreds of miles without seeing another vehicle, and entire days without seeing a town or fuel station.
This region of Australia is famous for it’s very healthy population of crocodiles, both freshwater and the much larger and more dangerous saltwater variety, affectionately nicknamed “freshies” and “salties”. It turns out freshies don’t pose much of a danger to humans, and soon I find myself swimming only a handful of yards from them in water holes, canyons and creeks. I never imagined in my life I would swim with crocodiles, yet here I find myself. Salties, on the other hand, are lethal, and must be avoided at all costs. When in areas they are known to inhabit we stay well back from the water’s edge, and don’t camp at water level.
Though we see plenty, we thankfully don’t have any bad encounters. A highlight comes taking a detour on a seldom used track into the Western Lost Cities in Limmen National park. These unique rock formations provide a staggering backdrop to the otherwise barren landscape, and staying until sunset provides endless opportunities to explore and discover ancient aboriginal rock art.
For a final celebration at crossing the width of the continent we marvel at the flowing river at Ivanhoe Crossing. No bridge has been built, so we must drive through the fast flowing water as it tumbles over the concrete barrier. The water here is teaming with salties, meaning the consequences of a wrong move would be bad for every possible reason. With such a stunning crossing and surrounds we can’t help crossing and then coming right back again, the experience is too good.
After tens of thousands of miles on the worst corrugations, dust and rocky roads Australia has to offer the GEOLANDAR X-AT tires continue to perform flawlessly, and have become one of the most heavily trusted pieces of equipment on the expedition.
CategoriesConsumer NewsTeam Yokohama