I received a Tweet from @RedNomadOz on Twitter in July of this year:
And about a week later…
I’d been enjoying following the trails and tales of Red Nomad Oz on her blog for some time, when as part of her ‘Australia’s Scenic Public Toilets’ series she sighted #17 at White Cliffs (in outback NSW) along with…“arguably the most remote OZ location to stock the fabulous ‘Journey Jottings’ products”!
Amused to have Journey Jottings included in the post I commented:
Red Nomad Oz’s Journey Jottings Australia Odyssey
I’m not a GPS kind of girl.
Call me a dinosaur, but I loathe everything about its inane voice: the insistence, intrusion – and sometimes in-correctness. The sanctimonious know-it-all attitude if you deviate from the chosen path is teeth-grindingly irritating. I abhor the lack of perspective. And I don’t trust that following the ‘bouncing ball’ will get me where I’m going in the best possible way.
OZ Caravan park happy hour tales of rigs damaged by fearlessly following the GPS down bad roads, farm tracks and impassable river crossings are common. Ask those same travellers where they spent the previous night, and other than a coordinates reference, they’re completely clueless!
Give me a good old map any day.
Unfurling our giant Aussie touring map onto the table marks the moment a trip really begins. The map conjures up countless possibilities, engenders vigorous discussion, shapes the journey.
You just don’t get the same inspiration, direction or interaction from a GPS.
So when I discovered the FAAAAAABULOUS Journey Jottings maps (and other products!) to record where I’ve been AND blogged about in OZ, I was a happy Red Nomad. I HAD to have one! Happily, while on tour in 2011 I inadvertently stalked Journey Jottings products in an Aussie Odyssey across the wildly different landscapes of 3 states.
Our first stop in New South Wales’ Wentworth, home to the world’s first tractor monument, wasn’t far across the state border (aka River Murray) from Victoria’s Mildura.
After a VERY successful visit to Mildura’s two-storey bakery, I spied a Journey Jottings map in the Mildura Visitor Centre. Back across into New South Wales – and I saw another in the Wentworth Visitor Information Centre. Two sightings in one day couldn’t be coincidence, could it?
A couple of weeks later it was third time lucky in arguably the most remote spot in OZ for a Journey Jottings – the Red Earth café in the tiny opal mining town of White Cliffs. A sign so deep in the heart of New South Wales’ central west couldn’t be ignored – and a few minutes later…
the Journey Jottings map was mine!
Apart from the White Cliffs killer public toilets I’ve already blogged about, White Cliffs attractions include birdwatching, (possibly) the world’s cheapest opal mine tour, nearby Lake Peery and opal fossicking. AND … the incredible Australian Outback landscape. Unique in OZ, White Cliffs scores a big tick for a return visit – with serious opal hunting equipment – AND a cheque book! Just in case …
Heading north, and well into Queensland, we re-visited Winton’s Waltzing Matilda Centre – the only museum in the world dedicated to a song – after an uncharacteristically wet night! The stash of Journey Jottings products was right at home alongside tributes to this iconic Aussie song.
If Winton sounds familiar, it should! Home of the world’s biggest Deckchair and an intriguing Musical Fence, it forms the OZ dinosaur trail with Richmond and Hughendon – the fascinating fossils in all three towns rivalled only by what you can dig up! Or not …
Quite a different story heading west to Queensland’s Boulia – home of the marvellously mysterious Min Min light! If I hadn’t already bought my Journey Jottings map, I’d have added one to the heat sensitive Min Min light mug I bought after seeing the cheat’s version of the light at the terrific Min Min Encounter. Boulia’s Stone house museum highlights it’s fascinating history, and eclectic collections include rocket range space junk…
…and the best preserved Plesiosaur fossil in OZ.
We head north-east to the coast and Townsville, home of Castle Hill’s ‘the Saint’, and a range of Journey Jottings products in the wonderful Museum of Tropical Queensland gift shop. Our stay extended by ongoing car troubles, we knocked back cat-poo coffee at Herveys Range Heritage Tea Rooms, explored nearby Magnetic Island and spied Black-throated Finch for only the 2nd time ever at Oak Valley.
Further north, I wasn’t surprised to find Journey Jottings maps at the delightfully quirky Absells Chart and Map Centre in downtown Cairns, unofficial capital of Australia’s tropical north. For inspiration about what to do in Cairns, head to the Esplanade – and get started on working your way through all the gelato flavours!
Then head for the Botanic Gardens with one of the most beautiful Scenic Public Toilets in OZ and a series of superb walks.
Just south of Ingham, Mutarnee’s excellent Crystal Creek caravan park was handy for visiting the extensive Tyto Wetlands and its 230 bird species. Never say ‘diet’ in Ingham – with two superb bakeries and Lou’s Emporium – an Italian deli with a selection so extensive, I had to invoke the ‘just try one of everything’ trick!
After re-visiting Townsville’s northern beaches, the marvellous Paluma range and Jourama Falls, we returned to the wetlands for more bird watching. Only to find – of course –a range of Journey Jottings products at the Tyto Wetlands Information Centre, Ingham.
By this time I’d seen Linda’s website offer – send in a photo of yourself + Journey Jottings map and score a free product! And maybe I would have, if we hadn’t been the only visitors in the Visitor Information Centre, outnumbered by the staff!! But no matter …I already had my map – and the beginnings of my own eye-catching and original trip memento!