Wild Wild East

I’m on my third trip to Australia in a year’s time and, finally, I’ve experienced some genuine wild-wild-east, sun-blazed-and-blistering, cattle-trading outback vibes.

I ended up on a long-train-ride journey out of Sydney to a somewhat random town in cow country, NSW.

Fine, it wasn’t random. What is that to you, anonymous reader?

The cover photo of this post was taken at Dungog Station.


Here’s how you get there: Open Google maps; type Dungog.

If you get the right train at the right time, you can make the roughly-4-hour journey with your Opal card for six or seven Aussie dollars each way.


This random station along the way is Wallarobba


If you wanted to go there simply to check it out and say hello to the cows, you can get an Airbnb starting at about $75 a night. (Again, your instructions are: Open AirBnB.)

Has travel become too easy or what?

With tumbleweed, saloon-style buildings, and a vet that treats cows and horses, it did feel remarkably wild-west out here.


In case you became confused, how would you know that you are in fact in the Australian outback and not on the American frontier?


Aboriginal art and solar panels might be a clue.


For one, there will be no tossing of the old pigskin. (The colonists definitely did that.)

No, Aussies will guffaw at the preposterous notion of a football propelled forward in a fashion we in other parts of the world might refer to a toss or a throw or a hurl.

Instead, taking inspiration perhaps from all that time spent on the beach playing volleyball, the Aussies like to give their football a little tap–not with the wrist nor with a fist, but something like that.

I won’t even get started on the “foot” ball misnomer. Everyone knows a football is what people in orange shirts kick through goal posts so that all the other people in orange shirts around the world can cheer and drink more beer.

So Aussies and Americans alike get a kick out of touching footballs with their hands but in notably different ways. They do in fact kick the ball with their feet as well and so can take some consolation in not being entirely misguided.

Regardless, let’s put our differences aside and enjoy these gorgeous views.



Since you’re here, you should definitely visit Copeland Reserve and check out some old mining relics, deep shafts, and snakes.


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Hurray: I saw my first snake in Australia!



While it was too overcast to watch the sunrise as hoped, the dawn trek through the forest was quite surreal.

Were it not for the light and refreshing rain trickling through the trees, it may have taken much more than half of the hike to feel properly awake.


Not a terrible place to drift through in dream-like state






I’ll wrap up with this chill porch view and

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this wonderfully long train ride.

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