Friday Five Newsletter 2018.6.15

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Westprint Friday Five  Friday June 15th 2018

We must dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that may be.

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. Sons in the Saddle - Mary Durack $21.95. A sequel to Kings in Grass Castles. The second generation of Durack men were not only hardy pioneers, droving cattle through untamed territory, they were also educated and well-travelled in the world of commerce and politics. Through diaries, letters and legal documents, Mary tells the story of her father Michael and Patsy Durack's vigorous family. First published in 1983. This edition 1998.
  1. Tales from Bush Graves. $40.00. Anne Alloway & Roberta Morrison. It will never be known just how many men, women and children have died and lie buried in the bush. Many of the deaths were not registered, and they are known only because the local paper reported on them. It was not the selector who lost his life, but usually men who had no idea how harsh the country could be, and consequently took risks by walking between stations looking for work, most times with very little water, and not much idea of where they were going. Many of the men were suffering from alcohol related problems. Most deaths were caused by fever, accidents, suicide, and murder. The women followed their men, enduring the harsh conditions and sometimes not seeing another white woman for years. They died during child birth, usually the baby died as well. Young children succumbed to the harsh conditions, dying of convulsions, poisoning, and accidents. 
  1. The Murranji Track - Ghost Road of the Drovers. Darrell Lewis. $32.95. The Murranji: a waterhole, a region, a track, and a legend. Although only 240 kilometres long, of all the difficult stock routes in Australia the Murranji Track gained one of the fiercest reputations. In part, this was because much of the track passed through great jungles of dense, dark and extremely hard lancewood scrub, the 'dismal dreary forest' that explorer John McDouall Stuart tried unsuccessfully to penetrate in the early 1860s. Later when a way through was found, it was a shortcut for drovers and others travelling to and from the Kimberley and Victoria River, but there were many dangers along the way. If you want to know the true history of this fascinating track, this book is a must. 206pp. First published in 2007. 
  1. Fifteen Hundred Down the Murranji. $19.95. Bob Lunney, an adventurous 17-year-old, already with Buffalo and Crocodile hunting experience, meets the Little Brothers. They convince him to join their droving team as they are about to commence a momentous movement of cattle from Willeroo station, west of Katherine to Rocklands station, near Camooweal, close to the Qld/NT border. Young Bob Lunney’s learning curve takes a dramatic and sudden lift. He writes in brilliant fashion of his 113 days on the trip. The dramas, the dangers, the humour, the conflicts, the beauty, are graphically and realistically set out for the reader. To whet your appetite, ‘I felt I was on an immense merry-go-round, with the animals moving up and down, but to the thunderous roar of stampeding cattle instead of the harmonious sounds of an organ. The herd was stretching out as though it was an elastic lump of toffee, the fast-moving bullocks dragging a long, thin strand of cattle from the milling confused mass that was the herd.’ Remember that this life is now part of our rich outback history. Although the drovers have been replaced with huge road-trains, they will never be forgotten. 200pp. First published in 1998. 
  1. Camels and the Outback. $30.00. H.M Barker. A book that captures both the capabilities and limitations of using camels in Australia, as well as the characters that drove the strings. S/cover. 196pp. First published in 1964, this edition 1995.

Notes from the Office

Thank you to everyone who responded to our poll about Crossing The Dead Heart. We now have enough orders to go ahead and print a limited number of high quality, hardcover books. This is super exciting for a book lover like me. That is not to say that the softcover version will be poor quality. Both hard and softcover versions will have a stitched binding. There is no fun in finding an absolute treasure of a book, opening it with delight and then having every page fall out because the glue has broken down. We hope the manuscript will be going to the printer this week.

Last week I mentioned another big project Graeme is working on. This week’s clues are Georgia Bore and Serpentine Lakes.

I will be away next week so the Friday Five will be ‘one I prepared earlier’. I’m heading to Sydney for a conference but will be back in the office on the 25th June.

Until then, happy travelling. Jo.

Friday Forum

Witchelina Nature Reserve – South Australia

  • You can get out here (Witchelina) in a 2WD if it hasn't rained but you really need a 4WD to do any serious looking around. Nature Foundation SA own and manage the property as a conservation reserve. There is camping grounds $ per person per night, $10 per vehicle for showers. There is accommodation in shearers quarters (mostly single beds) $25 per person per night or Overseers house $80 up to 2 people + $25 additional persons. Or another homestead away from main area, same costing as Overseers.

There are 3 nature drives (4WD) you can go on, $50 for single drive or $60 more than one. There is a $50 refundable deposit for the gate key to the drives. No credit card facilities at the property.

There are no supplies (food) or fuel, so visitors must be self-sufficient.

Bookings for the accommodation are generally pre-booked through Nature Foundation in Adelaide but can be done at the property provided they are not already booked. It is a massive property with changing flora, fauna and geology in different areas. It is still very dry here at the moment with almost no rainfall since early February. Any further info can also be obtained from Nature Foundation SA, Ph 83402880. Coral.

  • You can get there in 2WD but need 4WD to do the property drives. Plenty of variety of country to see on set drives, field notes provided. Need to book for shearer’s quarters accommodation, camping also available, can use ablutions if camping, but a fair way away. Of course, their internet site is comprehensive. Always a volunteer manager on site. We’ve just left this morning after three nights in shearing quarters - easily accommodated 11 of us. John

Renmark to Yunta – South Australia.

There are a couple of ways to travel from Renmark to Yunta.

Renmark to Morgan Vale via Hypurna. Leave Remark on the Old Wentworth Rd, bitumen ends after about 10-15 km. You travel through Chowilla Game Reserve, Chowilla Regional Reserve and Danggali Conservation Park, which between them form the Riverland Biosphere Reserve (formerly, Bookmark Biosphere Reserve).  Hypurna and Morgan Vale are old stations, the homestead at Hypurna is the park HQ and has a bit of historical info.

From Morgan Vale you have a choice; North to Oakbank Station then West to the turn off (north) to Lilydale Station, or west through Pine Valley Station and Sturt Vale Station before heading North East to the turn off (north) to Lilydale Station.

Then a generally NW run through Mununda and Tiverton Stations to Yunta.

It is some years since we’ve been in the area so won’t comment on road conditions.  We have roadside camped in the parks several times and have never seen a Ranger. Wickham

Wedge-tail eagle poisoning in Eastern Victoria.

More than 100 wedge-tail eagles (current count 136) and many other birds have been found dead on a farm near Tubbut on the Vic/NSW border in east Gippsland. DELWP are investigating but no charges have been laid. The birds are believed to have been poisoned. Wedge-tailed eagles are protected under the Wildlife Act.

Anyone found responsible for deliberately killing one faces up to six months in jail and a fine of $7,900, with an additional fine of $792 for each bird killed.

Serpentine Lakes – WA/SA.

This chain of ephemeral salt lakes runs for almost 100 kilometres along the Western Australia/South Australia border. The lakes hold water after heavy rain and when full cover an area of 9700 hectares. Rainfall is measured in millimetres and evaporation is measured in metres, so any surface water disappears quickly.

Toombullup Mystery Cairns – Victoria.

Further information on the Toombullup Mystery Cairns or the Toombullup Cairn Garden. A friend and I braved icy winds and a fairly tough uphill walk to this site last week (31st May 2018) without getting lost and following some good local knowledge directions.

On the way up to the area I called on a local farming family that had lived in this area for over three generations to see if they could help solve the mystery of the origins of the stones. There were originally at least five cairns, thought to be roughly aligned with three in a line and the other two in another alignment. Again, the farmers indicated that their best guess was that the stones are of Chinese origin. There are now at least eight to nine cairns and there is evidence of recent activity regarding making additional cairns or altering or adding to the existing formations.  The landholders are very concerned that a lot of publicity may encourage more vandalism or modifications to the originals.  This point highlights the varied opinions on what is OK and what is not in regard to historical items such as these.

I have seen a small local historical publication that mentions the cairns but offers no additional information.  The book is "Heritage & History on My Doorstep" by Sheila Hutchinson, 1999. Denis 




Georgia Bore – Western Australia

This bore was drilled and equipped by the Australian mining company, a subsidiary of CRA Limited, for the use of travellers on the Canning Stock Route in 1991. CRA drilled and equipped a number of bores for use by their survey crews while exploring for oil during the 1970s and many of these are situated at disused CRA campsites throughout the Canning Basin.


Last week’s story on Papunya brought back memories. I was first there in 1977 during a brief stopover in the London to Sydney Rally.  It was full of happy, smiling children and their parents. I've been back four or five times since - each was a worse experience than the previous as the community sank into seemingly a self-inflicted morass of petrol sniffing and a consequent lack of parent-child discipline.  Burned out houses, a lack of community care and hooded inhabitants wandering aimlessly -  I'd love to see the Papunya of the seventies. Unfortunately, I feel the only way this is going to happen is for a strong Aboriginal leader to emerge, grab the community by the scruff of its neck and give it a good shake. Government intervention won't work - it hasn't anywhere else and it won't here. Depressing thoughts. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts last week. Roger.

I have heard good news about Papunya recently. They now have a different administration system; the store is running effectively and there is an active art movement again. Here’s hoping Papunya’s fortunes are changing for the better. Jo

News from Kakadu NP, NT

The road to Jim Jim Falls is now open. High clearance 4WD only.

Second Hand Selection

Price of the following books includes postage in Australia. These books are not available on our website. To order any of these second-hand books send an email to If more than one person requests any book a ballot will be held on Monday.

  1. The Protection of the Public from Aerial Attack. No date, c1938. A hardcover booklet prepared by The Cambridge Scientists’ Anti-war Group. How to prepare gas-proof rooms, protection of children and incendiary bombs. Missing dust jacket, a water stain at the top of the book. $40 including post.
  2. The Weekly Times Farmers’ Handbook. Hardcover with dust jacket. 1978 sixth edition. Includes gems such as how to throw a horse or make a cage for a cockatoo. In excellent condition. $15.00 including post.
  3. The Weekly Times Farmers’ Handbook. Hardcover, no dust jacket. No date c1930 second edition. Frail condition. Front cover coming loose. Includes how to make a pig net, buy your harness and saddlery and how to run the bars when working your horse team five abreast. $80.00 including post.
  4. The Presbyterian Cookery Book. First printed in 1895, this edition 1995. Paperback in good condition. Full of tried and true recipes. $12 including post.
  5. Exploring the Stuart Highway and Oodnadatta Track. No date c2000. A4 size travel book with explorer’s information and what to see and do along the way from Adelaide to Darwin. $14.00 including post.

Friday Funnies

Duty is what one expects from others, it is not what one does oneself.

- Oscar Wilde

A somewhat inexperienced musician who joined an orchestra on a cruise ship was having a terrible time keeping time with the rest of the band. Finally, the band leader said, "Look, either you learn to keep time, or I'll throw you it's up to you, sync or swim."

A local business placed the following ad: "HELP WANTED. Must be able to type, must be good with a computer and must be bilingual. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer."

The next day, a dog trotted into the office and up to the receptionist. Getting the idea, the receptionist got the office manager. The office manager looked at the dog and was surprised, to say the least. However, the dog looked determined, so he leads him into the office. Inside, the dog jumped up on the chair and stared at the manager.

The manager said "I can't hire you. The sign says you have to be able to type." The dog jumped down, went to the typewriter and proceeded to type out a perfect letter. He took out the page and trotted over to the manager and gave it to him, then jumped back on the chair.

The manager was stunned, but then told the dog "the sign says you have to be good with a computer." The dog jumped down again and went to the computer. The dog proceeded to enter and execute a perfect program.

By this time the manager was totally dumb-founded! He looked at the dog and said "I realize that you are a very intelligent dog and have some interesting abilities. However, I still can't give you the job."

The dog jumped down and went to a copy of the sign and put his paw on the sentences that told about being an Equal Opportunity Employer. The manager said "yes, but the sign also says that you have to be bilingual."

The dog looked at the manager and said, "Meow!"


An artist asked the gallery owner if there had been any recent interest in his paintings which happened to be on display.

"I have good news and bad news," the gallery owner replied. " The good news is that a gentleman inquired about your work and wondered if it would appreciate in value after your death."

"What did you say?" questioned the artist.

"When I told him it would, he bought all 15 of your paintings."

"That's wonderful!" the artist exclaimed.

"What's the bad news?"

"He said he was your doctor...."

The Fine Print

About the Friday Five

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To all of our faithful Friday Five readers 

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Phone: 03 5391 1466

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Snail Mail: 6 Park Street, Nhill, Vic, 3418.


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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