Posted by: travelrat | June 3, 2013

Breakaway Hills

Little Nevada

Coober Pedy: 24th April 2012

The best part of Coober Pedy for me was a little way out of town. The Breakaway Hills is (is/are? Neither sounds right!) a surreal, multi-hued landscape that some call ‘Little Nevada’, because they say it’s so like the desert there. Two distinctive hills are called the ‘Salt and Pepper Mountains’, which is a good description of their colouring. They look, at first glance, like the mullock heaps around the town, but these are entirely natural.

There’s no digging here, for this is Aboriginal land, and visitors are strongly advised to keep to the lookouts and the paths.

And here, we saw something extremely rare. We thought, at first, it was a group of emus, but, as they drew closer, our guide identified them as bustards … probably the most essential difference being that bustards can fly. He said it was a very long time since he’d seen any, and seemed as excited as we were.

Bustard 4

You’ll sometimes hear Australians use expressions like ‘He’s the biggest drongo this side of the dog-proof fence’, and I always thought this was purely mythical … like the ‘Natland Treacle Mines’ of childhood. But, it really does exist, and we saw a short section of it. It’s just an ordinary-looking fence, but some claim it beats the Great Wall of China as the longest man-made structure on earth.

Dogproof Fence


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