Friday Five Newsletter 2018.4.27

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday April 27th 2018

Wander often, wander always, because not all who wander are lost.

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 24th April 2015 to 24th December 2015

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2016 to 23rd December 2016

Click here to view Westprint Newsletter Archives from 1st January 2017 to 29th December 2017

Click here to view Newsletter Archives from 5th January 2018 to current


FREE postage on ALL folded paper maps. Laminated maps rolled in mailing tubes still have postage added as below.

FREE postage on ALL orders over $100.

Otherwise there is a flat rate postage rate of $9.50 on all books, DVDs and talking books, regardless of the number of items ordered.

To order any of the books listed blow, click on the title to open a web browser, then use the Add to Cart button and proceed to the checkout. (or continue shopping for any additional titles you want.)

Visitors are welcome to call in at 6 Park St, Nhill, Monday to Friday. Please phone/email beforehand as we are not always open. Phone. 0353911466.

Friday Five Books

  1. My Outback Life. $33.00. Having grown up on the massive Killarney cattle station near Katherine, NT, Toni Tapp Coutts was well prepared when her husband, Shaun, took a job at McArthur River Station in the Gulf Country, 600 kilometres away near the Queensland border. Toni became cook, counsellor, housekeeper and nurse to the host of people who lived on McArthur River and the constant stream of visitors. She made firm friends, created the Heartbreak Bush Ball and started riding camp draft in rodeos all over the Territory, becoming one of the NT's top riders. In the midst of this busy life she raised three children and saw them through challenges; she dealt with snakes in her washing basket; she kept in touch with her large, sprawling Tapp family, and she fell deeply in love with the Gulf Country. Filled with the warmth and humour readers will remember from A SUNBURNT CHILDHOOD, this next chapter in Toni's life is both an adventure and a heartwarming memoir and will introduce readers to a part of Australia few have experienced.
  2. Territory. Judy Nunn. $21.95. A priceless 16th century locket threads two riveting stories together in this saga set in and around Darwin, Australia’s ultimate frontier town. Commissioned by a Dutch noblewoman as a gift to present to her beloved on her arrival in the East Indies, the locket becomes a symbol of strength and inspiration for the woman as she struggles to survive the tragic wreck of the Batavia off the West Australian coast and endure the hideous events that followed. By the time the survivors were rescued from the small island on which they had sought shelter while their captain sailed away in the longboat for help, they were either speechless with horror or had been driven mad by the atrocities they had witnessed and been forced to commit by the bestial crew aflame with bloodlust. A young passenger resolves to escape and is given the locket as a good luck charm. It saves his life when he is discovered washed up on the mainland shore by a tribe of Aborigines, who take him in give him a new life. This legendary story of disaster and depravity is told in alternating chapters with the story of the Galloway family, station owners, and the story of Darwin itself, from the day it was bombed by Japanese fighter planes during WW2 and nearly flattened, to that extraordinary Christmas Day in 1974 when Darwin was again devastated by ‘fury from the sky’: this time in the form of Cyclone Tracey. Following the course of the locket and the fortunes of the Galloway clan, Judy Nunn tells a breathtaking story of disaster, courage and passion and that Top End spirit that never says die.
  3. The Fight for Australia. $17.00. Roland Perry. In the dark days following the fall of Singapore in February 1942, Australia faced its toughest battle yet. It was centrestage and under direct attack from seemingly invincible Japanese forces. Winston Churchill was demanding our best battle-hardened troops stay in North Africa while President Roosevelt called for them to fight the Japanese in Burma. But Prime Minister John Curtin insisted, in an act of defiance, that they return to defend their homeland. Australia had never been more isolated - strategically, politically and physically. Or less prepared. In this masterful and gripping account, Roland Perry brings to life the bravery of our fellow Australians: from the forces engaged in brutal frontline fighting in the jungle, sea and air, to the backroom strategic campaigns waged by our politicians, and the sacrifices made on the home front. THE FIGHT FOR AUSTRALIA is the rich and revealing story of how we, as a nation, fought for our very survival - and stood up for our interests, against friend and foe alike.
  4. Killer Caldwell. $17.00. Jeffrey Watson. Clive 'Killer' Caldwell was a natural and brilliant pilot, a superb shot, and a born leader. He saw action against the Germans, Italians and Japanese, and remains Australia's greatest ever fighter pilot - this is his definitive biography. Born and brought up in Sydney, it was obvious from an early age that nothing would stand in Caldwell's way. He bluffed his way into the RAAF, then made sure that he was posted exactly where he thought he should be. His ability was unquestioned by all those around him, and he devised the vital 'shadow shooting' technique which contributed so much to Allied success in the air in the North African campaign, and in northern Australia. But he was never afraid of voicing his opinions to all those above and below him, be it about the training of pilots, or the equipping of Spitfires for use against the Japanese - or trying to run the show his way. Caldwell ended his military career in the Morotai Mutiny in 1945, where he and a number of other Australian pilots tried to resign their commissions in protest at not being allowed by General MacArthur - and the RAAF - to take part in the main action. And then he was embroiled in the Barry inquiry into booze smuggling by him and other pilots.
  5. Dark Emu - Black Seeds: agriculture or accident? $35.00. Bruce Pascoe. Dark Emu puts forward an argument for a reconsideration of the hunter-gatherer tag for precolonial Aboriginal Australians. The evidence insists that Aboriginal people right across the continent were using domesticated plants, sowing, harvesting, irrigating and storing behaviours inconsistent with the hunter-gatherer tag. Gerritsen and Gammage in their latest books support this premise but Pascoe takes this further and challenges the hunter-gatherer tag as a convenient lie. Almost all the evidence comes from the records and diaries of the Australian explorers, impeccable sources.

Notes from the Office

It’s been very busy around here lately. The Wirraway project that John has been working on for the past two years lands this weekend (as long as the wind doesn’t blow too hard) and DG & Jo have had a change of office/desk space. With networked computers the process of moving desks isn’t as easy as it used to be.

There have been far too many of fires attended by those who volunteer and on top of all that Jo & Graeme have taken a few days off to send Laura back to England after her ‘holiday’ at home. All this means that the newsletter has been prepared in haste. Please let us know if there are errors (gently). Until next week happy travelling.

Friday Forum

Editor’s comments in green.

Information Wanted – Binns Track, NT.

I was wondering if you have heard anything about Binns Track being permanently closed between Arltunga and Gemtree.  Also, I have heard that some section between The Devils Marbles and Gemtree have also been permanently closed. We are planning on travelling along there in mid to late June. Liz

We haven’t heard anything through official channels. Does anyone have any information about this?

Travelling the Dog Fence, NSW-SA

Last year I did a trip up through the Corner Country from Adelaide, following part of the dog fence north of Silverton. In the months that I spent planning this trip, one of the unknowns was whether or not you could follow the SA/NSW border from Broken Hill to Cameron Corner.

I scoured all the travel and 4WD forums; all the government tourist information sites and any other place that I thought could provide a definitive answer (I must admit that I didn’t use the resources of Westprint).

I found nothing that said I COULDN'T do it, and more than one travel blog (including a magazine write-up) that described the exact journey that I wanted to take, indicating that I could do it.

The woman at the tourist information centre in Broken Hill could offer no advice, one way or another and couldn’t locate any definitive ruling.

Nevertheless, my previous experience with the dog fence within the Woomera Prohibited Area, would indicate that it wouldn't be permitted, and so I erred on the side of caution; travelling the roads that were as close as I thought I could get. My caution was confirmed at Boolka Gate where we encountered the sign below. So now I know, and are dumbfounded as to why this isn't in big, red letters across all travel websites and maps of the area? Alan.

I thought it would be useful for some of your readers who may be planning a similar trip. I would imagine that other parts of this fence in other states would be similarly restricted.


Photo below is the sign on the Barrier Fence, also known as the Dog Fence or No. 1 Rabbit Proof Fence, along the Holland Track. Does anyone have pictures of other fence access signs? Email to

rabbit fence

Speed limits when passing emergency vehicles.

Not sure if you are aware of these changes. Is this Australia’s most obscure road rule? A woman claims she was fined $1007 and disqualified from driving for six months over an ‘unfair’ and obscure new law. Allegedly the woman drove past two police cars parked well off the side of the road (approximately 12 metres) with their lights flashing. They appeared to be talking to a motorist. She claimed that she was driving approximately 85km/h at the time (the speed limit was 110km/h). Jim

Jo’s reply.

I cannot verify the story above, however the fine listed on the SA government website for a vehicle travelling at more than 45km above the speed limit is $1074 (including a crime victim levee), automatic disqualification for 6 months and 9 demerit points. The law about travelling at 25kph past emergency vehicles has been in place since 2014 and there are roadside signs indicating this throughout South Australia.

In South Australia the legal speed limit is 25kph when passing emergency vehicles. This applies to all traffic unless there is a median strip dividing the road and the emergency vehicle is on the opposite side of the road.

In Victoria and ACT the law is 40kph when passing emergency vehicles with lights flashing. This applies to all traffic unless there is a median strip as above. NSW is introducing the same law in Sept 2018.

In WA the above applies but also includes breakdown service vehicles stopped on the roadside.

Qld, Tas, NT, No compulsory speed limit yet.

The information above was sources from various government websites and

Looking for a book.

Early Pioneering Days in Western Victoria, by J C Hamilton.

Hello, thank you for the newsletter we get every Friday, we both really enjoy it. My small grandson, having a sleepover last week, asked me to read some of those...Old People Jokes....

I wonder if you ever get a copy of the above book, come up for sale, we have read it, and would love to get a copy, but have had no luck finding a copy. Nancy and Don.

We don’t have any copies. Does anyone have a copy they would be willing to sell?

Trailer Compliance Plates.

Many caravan "Trailer (Compliance) Plates" have incorrect and/or incomplete information on them, which can be very misleading… and even dangerous.

All information stated on a Trailer Plate must be true and complete and must be applicable to that specific vehicle and not just for a "typical" or "base" vehicle.

The CCA - - provides a free and confidential service to caravan owners and buyers, to help-ensure that they have a Compliant and Legal caravan. Far too many caravans have incorrect Tare Mass and Empty Ball-Load figures stated. 

The CCA web-site, under COMPLIANCE, has an article, with simple drawings, explaining the vital terms of Ratings & Masses.

It is most prudent to have the Tare Mass and Empty Ball-Load measured at a Certified weighbridge. Readers are invited to email a clear digital photo of their "Trailer Plate", for checking by the Please ensure that all information is completely legible. They should also advise the complete tyre size, Load Rating (kg), and maximum inflation pressure (kPa), that is embossed on a tyre side-wall. Colin. Caravan Council of Australia.

Looking for some help – Cunnamulla, Qld.

My son and his wife are expecting their first baby in late June and are looking for some help. They need someone from 28/5/18 until 2/7/18. Jobs include:

Gardening and watering, checking and cleaning the pool, checking the cool room fridges and freezer. They will provide power and water, a bathroom and toilet and a few bob a week for some help. They are on a station 20kms from Cunnamulla. Please contact Graham on 0428 545 954 or email

Bundian Track Query

Do you happen to know when the total route will be opened to hikers?


Can anyone help with Bill’s query?

Avro Anson and the Tiger Moth

Continuing Nhill’s story.

A couple of weeks ago I started writing about the four-main aircraft used in Nhill during the war years. We’ve covered the Wirraway which was such a difficult plane to fly it made very good pilots and the Link Trainer, the flight simulator used to train pilots to fly using instruments.

tiger moth

The Tiger Moth, in contrast to the Wirraway, was a much easier aircraft to fly and more importantly, to land. Fortunately, there some lovingly restored moths around Australia and one of these was recently purchased by avid enthusiast, pilot and member of the Nhill Aviation Heritage Centre Board, Len Creek. The de Havilland DH82A Tiger Moth A17-588 (currently registered as VH-RIN), now has a home in the Ahrens Hangar along with the Anson and the Link Trainer.

The Avro Anson was a twin-engined, British built plane. A total of 1028 were used in Australia by the RAAF up until 1955. Around 30 of these aircraft were used in Nhill during the war years. Over the years most Ansons around the world were retired and then scrapped.


One of the Board members of the NAHC had the frame of a wrecked Anson which was duly donated to the group. The front nose cone had been removed with an axe and the rest of the plane was similarly abused.

Thousands of volunteer hours have been spent meticulously restoring the Anson. Eventually it is hoped that the plane will be restored to taxiing condition but there are no plans to restore the plane to full airworthiness. I believe (but am willing to be corrected here) that only Ansons with metal wings can attain airworthiness and those used in Nhill during the war had wings constructed of wood and cloth.

The only Anson restored to flying condition currently resides in New Zealand (and has been fitted with metal wings). An Anson is currently being restored in New South Wales and it is intended that this will be the world’s second airworthy Anson.

I had not appreciated just how big these planes until I saw the Anson in the Ahrens Hangar recently with the wing restoration underway.

avro restored

There are more photos and the story of the Anson restoration on the NAHC website.

Supplies for the Sturt Expedition.

A couple of weeks ago Doug asked where Sturt, on the return of his expedition to the Murray Mouth, would have gone for supplies when the expedition was near Narrandera.

From memory Sturt sent the two men back to Eunonyhareenya station just east of what is now Wagga Wagga to get a Bullock Dray and to return with supplies. The station would have been one of the furthest inland at that time…I think there was another station further up river at Wantabadgery but there would have been very few people between Wagga and Yass in those days. Whilst near Narrandera and on the way down Sturt headed north on horseback to locate wheel tracks that were likely made by John Oxley some years before…he didn’t find them and returned. I believe the two made the trip up to the station in three days – about 140km…not sure how long back with the dray. The station although a lot smaller in size now, is still there today. On the way out, he had established a small depot near Narrandera and had left supplies there (I thought he left someone behind but not sure of that). As they rowed back upstream they were doing so on a rising river. Sturt kept encouraging his men to keep going as they would soon be back to that depot. They would have been quite exhausted by the time they returned but found little left…so it is testament to these men that two of them then set off walking for 3 days to get supplies. I cannot think of the name of the book I read it in but one of the later books on Sturt. Hope that helps. John

What’s On?

TLCC 4wd Swap Meet Sunday 27th of May 2018 (Revesby) NSW. The Toyota Land Cruiser Club of Australia (TLCC) are holding their annual 4wd Swap Meet. Revesby South Public School. Address:  Corner of Mars St & Vega St Revesby NSW 2212 Entry Via Vega St Revesby. From: 7.30 am for sellers and buyers. $10 for sellers, $2 per person. 4wd and camping related equipment only please. Refreshments available, including sausage sandwiches, Bacon & Egg Rolls, Tea & Barista Coffee.

If you have an event you would like to promote, please email details to Preference given to free events and not-for-profit groups.

Friday Funnies

Dear Jo, tut, tut. The picture last week wasn’t Stonehenge, it's Avebury, where they have to move the stones. Stonehenge, which has been consistently updated over the millennia, is self-adjusting. Richard

A dietitian was once addressing a large audience. "The material we put into our stomachs is enough to have killed most of us. Red meat is awful. Soft drinks erode your stomach lining. Chinese food is loaded with MSG. Vegetables can be disastrous, and none of us realizes the long-term harm caused by the germs in our drinking water”.

"But.... there is one thing that is the most dangerous of all and we all have, or will, eat it. Can anyone here tell me what food it is that causes the most grief and suffering for years after eating it?"

An old man in the front row stood up and said, "Wedding cake".

The little boy greeted his grandmother with a hug and said,

"I'm so happy to see you grandma. Now maybe daddy will do the trick he has been promising us."

The grandmother was curious. "What trick is that, my dear?" she asked.

The little boy replied, "I heard daddy tell mommy that he would climb the walls if you came to visit us again." 

What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh. 

I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

"Last week Human Resources said they were going to garnish my wages. Call me dense, but I fail to see how a sprig of parsley in my pay cheque will make it any more attractive." -David Henry

John: "I'm a man of few words."

Bill: "I'm married, too."

"All I ask is the chance to prove that money can't make me happy."

"My girlfriend is weird. She asked me, 'If you could know how and when you were going to die, would you want to know?'

I said, 'No.'

She said, 'Okay, then forget it.'"

A very wealthy man says to his wife, "Honey, if I lost all of my money, would you still love me?"

"Of course, I would," says the wife. "But I sure would miss you!"

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

This weekly newsletter is designed to be informative and entertaining. Wherever possible we try to acknowledge the source of all information contained in this newsletter. We also try to check for accuracy but being a weekly newsletter this is not always possible. We offer no guarantees for accuracy but we do our best.

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

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Phone: 03 5391 1466

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Please note that the opinions and articles expressed in the Friday Five are not necessarily those of the Westprint mob. Also we do not endorse any products (other than our own) or tours listed in any contributed articles.


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