Has anyone else had problems with locals?

Submitted: Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 20:51
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Hi - a friend and I are planning a 2-3 week drive from Tom Price to Mount Warning via a the Red Centre in June. Just taking a Turbo Diesel Landcruiser, trailer and tent. We decided on this route as it is far more interesting than the Nullarbor!

However, I have just heard about some pretty scary tales about 'locals' flagging down cars, appearing to have car trouble or simply pulling up alongside your car/caravan if you have stopped overnight, stopping so close to the vehicle to prevent you opening the doors and then smashing the cars windows to gain access to things like fridges, cameras, laptops etc to re-sell later!! I want to have a fun trip and not be terrified of being attacked like this if we stop at a free camp site! Has anyone else heard stories like this? I really hope this is just an isolated case and not a common occurrence in our beautiful outback. I HAVE also heard many GOOD reports about locals being good natured and very helpful.

I hope to hear some GOOD stories! :)
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Reply By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:01

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:01
LOL,, yes they stand there with spear and shields. LOL
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:07

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:07
Thanks for the humorous reply, Richard! :) But this guy who was telling us about this incident that happened to another traveller they met, was serious, even though he said they'd had no problems but then they always stayed in caravan parks and never alone off the road. As I said, hopefully a rare and isolated incident!
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:15

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:15
AnneMarie

I have traveled the paddock around 20 - 30 times and have never had any problem with the local (as you rudely put it) and non locals.

this ranges from 1980's till now, and only in a truck once, the rest range from sedan's. ute's and 4WD, bush sleeping truck stops and caravan park's.

You will be safe

Richard
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:27

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:27
Richard, my humble apologies if I have offended you by the term 'locals' - it was certainly not my intention to be rude in any way to anyone. I am only using this term as that is what I have seen used here in this forum and it is the term used when I was told this story.

Personally, I do not like it either, preferring to use Aboriginal or Indigenous. Both my friend and I have worked with many lovely Indigenous people in the past, but sometimes a few spoil it for the majority as in many cultures.

I was not being rude at all. Sorry!
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:05

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:05
AnneMarie I took your comment of locals as just that locals, white, black or brindle. Guess in answering your original question about problems. If you camp near some certain places you are asking for trouble, and that could be Just out of Mildura for example with dole bludgers that live near the river. We have done most out of the way places etc. GRR, Anne Beadell, Tanami, Simpson, etc etc etc. Only time we have had any trouble was actually in a large town with a drinking problem and we were in a caravan park. So more remote you go IMHO the better of you are.

Go and Explore and Enjoy,
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:05

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:05
Sorry Richard but the local indigenous in my home town take great delight in cowardly attacks on travellers who camp at our tourist centre. to me they are a blight in our society. so climb off the high horse. B
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:29

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:29
Barnray,
You must be near where I am, Because we have the same problem at our tourist center on the Hwy.
GU RULES!!

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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:35

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:35
Barnray (NSW) Hi as you say, what ever it means????

You are from NSW... so who cares???

R


LOL
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:41

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:41
May be send a pm .B
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Follow Up By: Richard Kovac - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:43

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:43
pm .B

???????????
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Follow Up By: Member - Ian W (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:42

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:42
Dave - Barnray,

Think I know where you guys are, a Northern Rivers Town where I had trouble with "locals" at the Tourist Information Centre - in broard daylight.

Ian
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Follow Up By: Member - Barnray (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:57

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:57
Dave I live about 4 cross streets towards town from the Tourist Centre and have had a few incidents with them over the years, had 11 cars broken into in the area including 2 of mine in 1 night. B
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Follow Up By: Dave(NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:04

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:04
Barnray,
Yeah there is always trouble around there, We live at the mouth of the river and have more trouble with outsiders coming into town because it takes at least 20mins for police to get here and there are two ways in and out.
Cheers Dave.. Ps have to catch up some time.
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Reply By: Dan - Yal - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:08

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:08
Hi AnneMarie,
funnily enough we started our trip around Oz from Tom Price. Went up to Karratha and followed the coast, travelling anti clockwise, now in Brisbane. Admittedly its a different route to yours. We have free camped in our Landcruiser all but about 10 nights since November 08. Have not had any troubles at all.
From my experience, the stories you have been told are far from common, however, I havent yet travelled the route you are suggesting. Dont let heresay put you off having a good time.
Good luck

Dan
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:02

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:02
Thank you, Yal - we plan on having a great time and look forward to reporting back with comments and photos. :)
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:08

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:08
Anne Marie
We have travelled for a very long time in the outback and we have never had any problems at all, touch wood. People often claim to hear stories like this, but when it come to find the true facts, it is often a different story. If this was true, what part of our great country did this happen? and if this was a true story, it would have been very terrifying for those concerned.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:19

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:19
Hi Stephen - am not sure exactly where this alleged incident occurred, somewhere around the Red Centre, but not sure. This person had supposedly pulled off the road for the night and a car load of locals allegedly threatened them... I do have my doubts, though. The people we heard the story from had only had pleasant experiences on their travels other than a scary night in Coober Pedy a couple of years ago!

I guess I am a little concerned now, seeing we are just 2 women travelling alone! :)

Mind you, I would like to cross either of us!!!! LOL!
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Follow Up By: ross - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:27

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:27
I had one lay down on the road pretending he was injured about 100klm east of Laverton.
I could see his associates at the side of the road looking disinterested,so I kept going and at the last moment he got up and walked away.
I reported it to the cops at Laverton and they said it wasnt uncommon.

I dont doubt the story you heard has some truth in it but its probably an isolated incident.
It sounds like the behavior fuelled by amphetmine use
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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:45

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:45
Year ago when travelling alone through the APY Aboriginal Lands, when ever we were stopped on the side on the road, either piddle stop, cup of coffee etc, the locals did stop, but only to ask if we needed help because they knew that we were travelling by ourselves - the bush telegraph works out there and they knew where we were going. Again, one time alone out from Docker River and having lunch as Lasseters Cave, we were approached by a car load of locals. They asked if we had any spare fuel for the Datsun 120Y that they were towing. My wife Fiona was very worried, but after a while talking to them and giving them a packet of Jatz Biscuits that we had spare, we ended up have a good chat with them, and the topic was good old Aussie Rules Football.

Like others have said, it sound like this story may not be true, lets hope anyway.

Cheers

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Reply By: Member - Vivien C (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:09

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:09
AnneMarie,

We have travelled on the roads you are talking about from the Pilbara to Alice Springs and had no problems at all. We did come across one group on the road and we stopped to see if we could help. They were friendly and we talked for a while then left as there was nothing we could do for them.

At night, when we camped well off the road, we didn't even hear another vehicle, let alone have someone come and attack us.

I don't know of any situations like you mention. Don't be fearful. Your trip should be a happy adventure. It's great country out there.

Viv
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:30

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:30
Thank you so much, Vivien - so glad to hear you had nothing but good to say about people you have met on your travels.

Annie and I intend to see and experience as much as we can on our trip. My friend is house-sitting a B&B in Mount Magnet, and I suggested I tag along for company on the long drive across the country. I am sure we'll have a fabulous trip! :)
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 06:53

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 06:53
Oops! NOT Mt Magnet!!! I meant to say Mount Warning, NSW, near Murwillumbah! ;)
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Reply By: Willem - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:10

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:10
AnneMarie

Mostly scare-mongering by people who have an agenda!

I have stopped and always stop for 'locals' and have never had a problem. But troubles have happened in the past.

Best thing is to find a camp at least 500 metres to a kilometre off the road so that your firelight does not attract attention.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:34

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:34
Willem, thank you for your feedback. :)

I'm not sure I'd like to camp overnight quite so far off the main road! But I DO see your point, though!
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:10

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:10
AnneMarie

I would be worried meeting up with Willem out there than any others you could have concerns about LOL

Only Jokin Mate LOL
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Follow Up By: Hairy (NT) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:20

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:20
Gday,
Take Willems advice......If people dont know your there they cant hurt you....Know matter what colour they are!
Just be careful. The towns are where most trouble happens.

Enjoy
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Follow Up By: Willem - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 06:36

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 06:36
Hi AnneMarie


In this thread:

Take my advice and that of Hairy, seriously

Ignore Blaze. He says some silly things. Something happened in his youth. Methinks he fell off a wall and banged his head :-)

Ignore Richard Kovac. He deliberately sets out to annoy people on this forum



Cheers
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:02

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:02
Good morning Willem!

Thanks for your great advice and good humour! :)

I am once again, looking forward to our trip from West to East via the amazing Red Centre. As a very keen amateur photographer, I am hanging out to take LOADS of photos along the way!

I will be sure to post the photos here, on my Picasa album and probably a few on RedBubble!! LOL!!

Thanks again for your support and restoring my peace of mind! :)
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:52
Oh Willie,

You are so Harsh, you know I have feelings, being a (SNAG) sensative new aged guy and all that. My feelings are mortally wounded now .. LOL

AnneMarie,

Seriously listen to the old fella, hims knows some good stuff now and again. Glad to here your going to be snapping away with your camera. I believe I shot over 3000 pics on our last trip across to WA, via ABH. May have only kept 10 LOL.

Have Fun
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:31

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:31
Oh, poor Blaze's feelings - hugz to mend the hurt! LOL!!

I WILL indeed listen to ALL the excellent and supportive advice given here and the subtle warnings too! My husband was a tad concerned too, letting his beloved take off into the outback with stories like that floating about, but he is quite happy again, havng read most of the replies here! Andrew is even lending us is little inverter and his Navman with all the Aussie Explorer maps loaded!

I have a Sony A200 DSLR with 2 lenses, currently bidding on a third on ebay!! I have 2 batteries, a 4GB card (takes 990 photos on top res.) plus a 4GB memory stick. I figure that should be enough for a 2 week+ journey! I might just get one more memory card!!!

This will be the photo opportunity of a life time, in my humble opinion!
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:44

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:44
Nice Camera, I use the same. As for the memory cards, just a hint before you spend to much on them. Have a look around for card storage drive. I have a 40gig removable unit. Its effectively a external Laptop size Hard Drive with card reader built in. Each nite I download all my pictures to it.

IMHO and in case no one has ever told you, dont just delete photos from the card each time you use it, after removing pictures format the card in the camera. We have lots of Back Packers who come into work trying to download photos only to find they are not available due to the card not being formated in the Camera.

Dam by the way TX for the HUGS, glad it was you and not Willie offering LOL
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:10

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:10
Hey! Good choice Blaze! Love my Sony. :)
And thanks for the format tip too - much appreciated.
Do you have any online albums where I could look at your photos? I use Flikr, Picasa and RedBubble.

Cheers,
AM
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Follow Up By: Rolly - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:06

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:06
With all due respect to others' photo storage experience, a great concensus on the several photo fora that I haunt would indicate a strong preference for an armory of 2Gb cards which you safely store away after copying the contents to the hard drive of your choice.
This reduces the chance of losing a lot of images whilst still permitting a sufficient number of pix in larger files.
Change the card for a fresh one, even if not full, after a long shooting session much as one would do with a roll of film: It's a bugger running out of storage at a critical moment.
Do not reformat them until you are certain that you have safely archived the images elsewhere.
The point about formatting only "in camera" seems to be well founded.
If you are making images with a lot of fine detail and/or will be manipulating when you return to base, then I suggest that you use the RAW image storage and *not* JPG as the latter loses quality every time the image is manipulated and 'saved'.
In any case do your modifications on a copy, rather than on the original.
I convert mine to DNG for archival storage.
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Follow Up By: Blaze (Berri) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:25

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:25
Rolly

To each his own,

Good luck finding high speed 2gig cards now unless you already have them. So it makes the statement a bit hard for anyone going out buying new stuff. I backup to my Laptop, and to my photo storage bank every night, have done this now with 5 different cameras, over the roughest roads in Australia with not one picture being lost.

On the other hand I have been sitting in Borroloola and had a fellow traveller ask could I download the pictures from his spare memory stick, unfortunately it was dead, wouldn't read in my Laptop, my photo storage bank or either of 3 camera's.

As with everything, nothing is 100% infallible.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:17

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:17
We were flagged down on the Great Central Road by a man whose Landcruiser had run out of diesel some distance east of Laverton, where people were gathering for NAIDOC week. He had walked some way back from the car where other family members waited. It was a hot morning to be out walking. He asked for diesel but we didn't carry any spare. I offered to seek help for him when we reached Laverton but he declined the offer. He asked if we had water so i cheerfully gave him a bottle of water from our fridge. The family later flagged us down, and we said we had spoken to their driver.

We have also been conned out of our jerry can of ULP (for the generator) along the Nullabor - the man said they needed just a few litres to get them home, but emptied the whole lot into their car. At least we saw it go into the car. Really, on the scale of a trip to Tasmania is was a very minor cost.

On the WA side, all locals smiled and waved at us, whereas on the NT side they looked sad and did not respond to a greeting or wave.

This year we will travel through the desert country into NT and bush camp with confidence.


Motherhen
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:39

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:39
Hi Motherhen!

Thanks for your interesting and informative reply! I guess the bottom line is to use common sense and don't camp alone if possible.

Sad to hear that people in the NT did not want to wave or respond with any cheer.

I look forward to report back here after our adventure! :)
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:38

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:38
Hi AM

We usually do camp alone - just love the solitude of the bush. We try and get out of line of sight of the road, but sometimes just stop in rest areas near the road - although we often have to 'share' these. We do not camp near towns or settlements - i think that is the key factor.

Mh

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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:02

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:02
I have also had an experience similar to Motherhen on the GCR. Sep. last year, between Laverton and Tjukayiria road house we stopped to help with a puncture and were asked for food, water and fuel. Soon found that they had about 20 lt of water and there was heaps of junk food in the boot and rear seat areas. In the end found that all they needed to do was pump up a spare tire and put it on the vehicle. They had been to a gathering in Laverton.

.
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Follow Up By: Member - John and Val W (ACT) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:16

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 08:16
About 7 years ago we had a similar experience on the Tanami track. We were flagged down, very politely by a group and asked for petrol. We had none to spare (and would not have given petrol anyway) but did offer water and some food as the group included women and children. Another couple who were on the track at the same time felt rather threatened when they were similarly flagged down by a large group of men.
That said our only really disconcerting experience was years ago on the west coast of Tasmania when local youths apparently didnt want us near their headland fishing spot and "buzzed" us on trail bikes until we moved.

When we travel alone we bush camp and aim to get out of sight as much as we can - as Willem says, get away from the road, out of sight and you will be fine. If you want to spend the night beside the road try to do so in the company of other campers.

Have a great time.

Val
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:41

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 22:41
Hi Kiwi Kia

They were probably on their way back home from NAIDOC if you went through a few days after we did. There was also a funeral in Leonora the same day - a big crowd, all well dressed, gathering at a hall. The people we met on the road I'm sure were genuinely out of fuel. They had NT plates on their Cruiser, which looked well kept. The man walking certainly appreciated the water.

Mh
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Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 08:13

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 08:13
I think you are right MH, they were going home from a gathering - can't remember what it was for (mid September). We offered to phone for them to get assistance from their community but when they kept putting us off doing that we began to think that something was not kosher. We repaired one hole in a tube for them and then found that they had not even tried to pump up their spare. We made them call their 'man' out of the scrub and use their own jack to put the spare on their vehicle and pump it up. We had been told that there was no one at the community as they were all away at the gathering but they were returning that day. Now, knowing that there would be other people from the community returning from the gathering later that day we wiped the sweat from our brows and left then to it.

.
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Follow Up By: Motherhen - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:53

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 13:53
Hi KK

Likewise the gent we stopped for didn't take up my offer to contact anyone in Laverton for help. As it was a big NAIDOC weekend there would have been others coming through. My husband was concerned about leaving them, but we did all we could when he didn't want anything more.

It was a nice welcome into WA when we crossed the border, after being ignored when we waved in the NT. The people in the first car we met all smiled and waved at us.

Mh
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Reply By: Member - AJB (VIC) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:42

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:42
The stories that you here are generally just stories. If they were any more than that they would be headlines in the tabloids at least. Old Mick who used to run Carranya when it was a roadhouse used to tell yarns like this all the time. It was all BS but we met many travellers who believed it and, like you, were a little terrified. People like that get off on the crap they spread and they repeat it so many times, they actually believe it themselves.

Just remain alert, helpful, friendly and you'll be fine. The ones you would have had trouble with are behind bars, 3 come to mind easily, and they were not "locals".
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:56

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:56
Thanks AJB - I really appreciate your reply and all the other great feedback and support in this forum! :)

I do feel a little more at ease about the trip again.
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Reply By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:46

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:46
AnneMarie,

on one of the caravan forums there was mention of an incident like this, but it happened on the outskirts of a country town in NSW. That's probably where incidents like you describe are more likely to occur: on the outskirts of towns, and not limited to any particular group of people. This is where you are more likely to have the combination of alcohol, hoon behaviour etc.

However, as two girls travelling alone you are right to ask the question.

I don't want to take the Thread off on a tangent, but I didn't think you were rude.

cheers
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:01

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:01
Thank you, GB! A very interesting point you make and I'd say very true!

We've been nick-named Aussie Thelma & Louise!!! LOl! However, there will be no murders committed or driving off into canyons!!!! LOL!!
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:03

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:03
But I bet if Brad Pitt flagged you down for a lift you would stop !!!
I'm glad I ain't too scared to be lazy
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:12

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:12
Well... yes, I just might!! LOL!! Don't think I'd like to cross Angelina tho'!!

That's all for me tonight - thanks to everyone here for their kind and helpful replies. MUCH appreciated!

Night all! :)
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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:47

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 21:47
I've come across women on their own in very remote locations a few times. None have expressed any safety worries about the locals or other travellers.
Mind you one young lady was worried about the camels that rampaged through their camp the night before :))
I was told the story of a couple of o/s ladies in a Britz who couldn't change a tyre on a community road that they thought was a shortcut. A car full of locals pulled up to ask if they were Ok, and they locked themselves inside in terror ! Wouldn't come out until they saw a white face :))
With few exceptions the locals are going to leave you alone. As Willem said, the exceptions can be got around by using common sense. Camping either in town or off the track where you can't be spotted after dark.
I have always stopped for locals in need , and never felt put upon or in any danger.
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:09

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:09
Hi ya Footloose!

I enjoyed reading your reply very much - had a bit of a chuckle! I have in my time met some lovely Aboriginal people from isolated settlements - funny and cheerful in most cases.

As I said earlier, my friend has just spent a lot of time working with Indigenous people and their communities and thoroughly enjoyed it.

I'm sure we will be fine, using our common sense! :)
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Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:12

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:12
Have a great trip :))
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Reply By: Bushed-Tracker - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:18

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:18
Not all stories are BS! Four years ago we were passed by a LC travelling extremely fast whilst out on bush on dirt roads. We drew up behind said LC parked on a narrow creek crossing well east of Old Halls Creek. We waited several minutes as there were people (aboriginals) in the vehicle.

After waiting we assumed they did not realize we were there and gave a polite toot.

Driver door flew open, a very drunk and aggressive aboriginal stood screaming abuse, then ripped open rear offside passenger door and rumagged around then produced a large martial arts style knife and continued to threaen us waving the knife.

We reversed with our camper trailer some 20 feet and sat with all the doors locked. He eventaully ran out of steam and tore off down the road. Fortunately for him he did not advance towards our vehicle.

There was a woman and small children in the car - it was a government vehicle and it was Sunday.

Full statement made to the Halls Creek police - result zilch!

When I followed uo several days later. The police stated they had contacted the driver who stated they were out hunting bush tucker and had shown the police a small sheath knife.

I think the bush-tucker was EMU - many cans by the state he was in. So it does happen - albeit very very rarely and it could have just as easily been a drunken white person. We still spend most of our time out bush camping - now with a Bushtracker van with no problems at all.

B-T

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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:22

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:22
Oh dear! Sounds like an 'interesting' meeting... NOT! LOL! Seems the 'common sense, wait and see' approach works best in most cases! And I guess you could add the old saying our mum always used - 'if in doubt, DON'T!' :)

Cheers,
AM
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Reply By: Member - Lionel A (WA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:21

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:21
Hi AM, put a couple of blue and white checkered decal strips along both sides of the car, a set of blue and red rotating beacons on the roof [not operational], a number or two somewhere on the bodywork and you'll be fine.

Even if they haven't done anything, 'locals' run a mile as soon as they see this type of vehicle...lol.

Cheers.....Lionel.
AnswerID: 356944

Follow Up By: Mick W - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:12

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:12
Lionel,

from my experience with others in the game that usually insites the exact opposite reaction!!
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Reply By: D200Dug- Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:24

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 22:24
We did a similar trip a while back now and did have 2 guys try to wave us down for petrol just outside a settlement No car just a cordial bottle for fuel. We kept going. Some days later we came across a family stuck beside the road an Older Aboriginal couple and some young kids kids with a flat tyre. We stopped and helped change the tyre as they were having problems. While I changed the tyre they brewed up a billy of tea we chatted for a while over billy tea and biscuits and off we both went.

It has been my experience that Aboriginals are the same as people everywhere. Most are good some are great and a few are just bad bastards.

Be careful but don't let it stop you from doing things.
AnswerID: 356945

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:36

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:36
Hey D200Dug!

Well said and very true indeed!
Let common sense and intuition prevail! :)

Cheers,
AM
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Reply By: Member - Campergirl (NSW) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:19

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:19
Hi Anne Marie

I travel regularly on my own - yes single girl - exploring our country.

Common sense prevails in these situations.

I usually camp at least 1 hr from any major town where possible - as it's usually too far for the bored ones (usually the local kids) to come and harass you.

Truck stops although can be noisy - are great if you don't feel safe but need to stop for the night. The Truckies seem to take on this "I'll protect you" attitude if you're female. I've met so many great Truckies.

I"ll stop if I see someone on the side of the road who appears to be having trouble. Why? Because it has been me before and if everyone thought the worst of everyone- I'd probably still be stranded!

You can usually suss if a situation doesn't look or feel right. Trust your instincts. If you're not sure - keep the doors locked and windows up and just crack one window enough to talk to whoever it is you've stopped for. Then if it's not right - hold it flat!

Hey - it's all just an adventure - be positive and enjoy.

:-)


Lovin' it!

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AnswerID: 356957

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:40

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:40
Hi Campergirl!

Great to hear of your experiences as a woman travelling alone. With the 2 of us I'm sure we'll be fine and have a lot of fun along the way. We were best mates at high school ( a looooooooong time ago - both well over 50 now!) and only recently re-connected through emails. Annie recently stayed with us for a few days - it was wonderful! Easiest house guest we've ever had staying with us! We are both country girls, down-to-earth and easy-going so I KNOW this will be a fantastic trip!

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Reply By: Member - BUNDY BOY (WA) - Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:31

Sunday, Mar 29, 2009 at 23:31
Annemarie
get asked the same thing all the time.....i know the way you are going ...as said by others .stay at least 40/50 k ms out of town.there's some nice large overnight parking bays (for caravans and campers)NOT the truck bays.......along the way.....you wouldn't be alone on the road as these are very well used by travellers . if there's non in ith area were you are.........assuming your pulling up before dark.....take a look there's many places you can pull of the road in behind trees and bushes...........not far of the road but good enough not to be seen .....and close enough if you have a breakdown.....myself have not had any incidents .but it always pays to be prepared...
lock everything and just be aware .but enjoy it


Bundy
AnswerID: 356959

Follow Up By: darcla - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 00:44

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 00:44
Annmarie
It is some years since I travelled the road & as far as I am still aware you need permits to traverse the road you are talking about & they clearly state that you are not to deviate more than 50 meteres off the road & can only camp at places designated in the permit. All that aside we obtained our permits but camped where we pleased when we pleased but well off the road & I mean well off the road & dont light a fire as that is a dead give away for miles. Your biggest concern will be Dingoes coming in aroud your campsite looking for food scraps ,also burn your toilet paper as they dig that up as well & make a hell of a mess .
Cheers Darcla
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Reply By: Member - Fred B (NT) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 01:20

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 01:20
Hi Everyone,
as stated in several comments above, people are people, good and bad, where ever you go.

If you come across a camping area and there are a lot of bottles and cans lying around... don't stop, move on.

Where possible, park well away from the road, have a good time; enjoy the trip; use common sense and you will be fine.
All the best.
Fred B
VKS 737: Mobile/Selcall 1334

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AnswerID: 356965

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:42

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:42
Thanks Fred - good points there! :)
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Reply By: Wayne's 60 - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 03:33

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 03:33
Hi Anne Marie,

We had a forced stop at Warakurna while on our recent road trip. There were a lot of Aboriginals passing by us while I was working on the Cruiser and Sally was reading her book. It is all give and take IMO and Sally smiled and waved as people passed ...... smiles and waves in return. We had more than a few approach us to chat during our time there and there was no time that we/she felt threatened. We didn't have any problems while on our trip, though we did choose our campsites with care and others have given similar advice.

As mentioned above, problems can occur with any type of "local" though how you present to them (for want of better wording) is no less important.

Hope this helps and enjoy your trip.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.
AnswerID: 356971

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:44

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:44
Hi Wayne and many thanks for a great account of your recent stop and experiences!

It did help for sure and we will most certainly enjoy this adventure! :)
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Follow Up By: Wayne's 60 - Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 01:26

Tuesday, Mar 31, 2009 at 01:26
No problems.

Cheers,
Wayne & Sally.
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Reply By: Member - Heather G (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:21

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:21
We heard the same story a couple of years ago when we went up through the centre from Pt Augusta to Alice and beyond, just after we had started free camping. Think it mat be a 'myth' maybe perpetuated by caravan park owners keen to keep their places packed with travellers!

We (a couple in late 50's in c'van) freecamped through much of Qld last year and never had a problem, currently in SA and doing it now - will be for the next 5 months through WA. We dont camp near to towns usually and try to find somewhere hidden from the road if it isnt a designated 'rest area'.
We try to leave no trace of our stay apart from tyre tracks.

Its a great way to see the country, especially the more remote places - experience the starry skies all alone, the silence ....


Enjoy your trip and relax!

Heather
Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt. John Muir

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AnswerID: 356980

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:49

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:49
Hi Heather!

Ha! Yeah, that figures! I am sure not all caravan park owners are like that, but there are probably a few here and there...

I look forward to hearing more about your travels and adventures in this wonderful country of ours. :)

Cheers,
AM
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Reply By: Best Off Road - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:25

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 07:25
Call me over cautious, but, two women travelling alone, anywhere, can be vulnerable.

Have you considered taking a nasty looking mongrel dog with you?

It will, however, restrict where you can go.

Cheers,

Jim.

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Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:37

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:37
Geez Jim are you volunteering, lol lol, just a joke, just a joke, yes you are right, a good dog would deter any unwanted guests.
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Follow Up By: Best Off Road - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:22

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:22
I might just put the following suggestion to the Good Lady Wife:

"I'll take off for 3 weeks with two single women whilst you run the business"

The again, maybe I won't LOL.

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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:51

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:51
Hey BOR!!

Cheeky devil, aren't you! LOL!!!
ONE single woman and ONE happily married woman!(moi!) :)

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Reply By: Member - Keith C (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:22

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:22
Hi Annemarie,as Richard said,you will be safe, but your loose goods may not be. On our last trip we had trouble with the local aboriginals in Tennant Creek,the owner of the van park,aboriginal herself, advised us to take the courtesy bus and not to walk to the club,for very good reason as it turned out, the "locals" went beserk from 11pm till sunrise. In Alice Springs the "locals"came thru the campgrounds the night we were there,our dog alerted me at 3am and I watched as they entered the gazebo next to our camp,I went out with the axe handle and chased them off,they ran like hell,leaving behind a trail of wine casks and beer cans they had stolen, and some very nervous campers. We free camped for the rest of our trip and no worries ,sadly it is a problem in some places
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:52
Thanks Keith - will remember to stay way out of towns!! And keep a little tomahawk handy!!!!! ;)
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Reply By: Member - Richard H (NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:52

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 09:52
My wife & I have been travelling since 1990.

During this time we have never experienced any problems, though I know of two incidents and I consider the sources reliable.

One was in a rest area west of Katherine when a man and his partner had a domestic dispute, where people had to intervene, and the other was in Tennant Creek, where the victim was silly enough to park his mobile home in the town. During the night some of the locals banged on the side of his vehicle, and a dispute ensued.

We are careful where we stay on the road, never within 20 km of a town or community, and always try to get somewhere with company.

And of course we have 'Tarlee', who likes to sleep near the van door.Image Could Not Be Found

Sometimes 'locals' tend not to like dogs, even one as useless as ours, but they don't know do they?



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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:57

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:57
Thank you so much, Richard! Great to hear your feedback and I love Tarlee! Sadly, we would not have any room for a wee doggie in the Landcruiser and as someone else mentioned, a dog does limit where you can travel a little. :)

In fact, my dear husband and I are planning a trip around Oz in a few years (partly as he is still working!) in the hope that by then we will be on our own as we can't bear to put our beloved 6 yr old Rhodesian Ridgeback into a kennel for a longer period of time than a couple of weeks!

Cheers and many thanks again.
AM
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Reply By: Member - Cram (Newcastle NSW) - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:08

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:08
Try staying in Caravan Parks on the coast and you will see how friendly the locals are, and by locals I mean all comers. They take great delight in stealing anything that is not bolted down from the tourists.

Last year at one mile beach we lost an esky full of grog and the number plates off our car.

Hopefully Harrington will be a little friendlier but I am told the locals are friendly there as well so again I will be having to lock up....lol
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:58

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 10:58
Thanks Cram - will heed your advice! :)
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Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:28

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:28
The old saying that you cant judge a book by its cover comes to mind ,however some of the places you will travel through you CAN judge by the barred and boarded up windows and doors , the barbed wire atop the 8ft fence around the school grounds and the rubbish everywhere , let common sense guide you , if it looks like an area that the locals have no respect for move on.
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Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:30

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 11:30
Thank so much, Axel - very good point you make! And yes, common sense and instinct will be good guides as well as simple awareness and observation! :)

Cheers,
AM
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Reply By: OzTroopy - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:07

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:07
AnneMarie

"incidents" in australia are not that rare and public knowledge of them is dependant on our government sponsored "tourist friendly image".

The incidents are not of the american type, commonly acted out in front of a handheld digital camera and touted as quality home movie entertainment .....

It is normally cases of vehicle damage or theft, loss of personal items/funds or intimidation ... all much more acceptable than Warner Bros Movieworld, hillbilly, cannabilism tales.

Take heed of advice / info already offered and remember that in some areas ... the closer to "civilisation" you are .. the less civilised it is likely to be ....

As for locals .... yep ... black, white or brindle ... there are dregs of society in all cultures.

Get out and ENJOY your trip.

AnswerID: 357027

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:13

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 12:13
Thanks for your reply, OzTroopy! Good advice and well heeded. :)
I am so grateful to all those who have replied with their stories, hints and tips - so much appreciated.

I promise you, we WILL enjoy our trip very much! :)
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Reply By: AnneMarie - Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:32

Monday, Mar 30, 2009 at 17:32
Rather than going 'off topic' with photography talk, I have started another thread here:

http://www.exploroz.com/Forum/Topic/67338/Taking_photos.aspx

Cheers and thanks,
Anne-Marie
AnswerID: 357069

Reply By: Blaze (Berri) - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:03

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:03
Hi again AnneMarie,

I have finally thrown some rough pics up on flickr, http://www.flickr.com/photos/blazesport/ they are mainly taken with my old camera, I will have to do some with the new one also, also I will get to naming them soon.. LOL when I find the time. Just thought you may like a look

Cheers
AnswerID: 357418

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:19

Wednesday, Apr 01, 2009 at 13:19
Hi Blaze!

Oh WOW!!! I am just walking out the door but had a quick sqizz at the first page on your Flikr page!! FABULOUS shots! You should join www.redbubble.com.au and pop a few on there!

Will have a leisurely gander at ALL of them on my return from town! :)

Thanks so much for sharing,
Anne-Marie

P.S. This is my Flikr page:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/81715383@N00/ - but not a lot on there yet!
I tend to use Picasa more - http://picasaweb.google.com/gardenlady55
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