Must-see Aussie places

Ernie Dingo shares his favourite Aus­tralian des­ti­na­tions

Western Times - - ESCAPE - KIRI TEN DOLLE

IT’S one thing to visit Aus­tralia’s iconic des­ti­na­tions and an­other to meet the lo­cals who live and breathe them. Tele­vi­sion pre­sen­ter Ernie Dingo re­turns to our screens this Sun­day night for a se­cond sea­son of NITV’s Go­ing Places. Over 14 episodes, Dingo trav­els the length and breadth of the country, meet­ing the tra­di­tional own­ers and in­ter­est­ing char­ac­ters who call these land­scapes home. We asked Dingo to share his favourite Aussie places to visit:

Murchi­son River, WA 1.

“Most peo­ple would think it’s mod­est to put their home­land at the top of a rec­om­mended list of places to visit in Aus­tralia, but I’m a proud Ya­matji man from Mullewa in the Murchi­son River re­gion and I think it’s the most beau­ti­ful place on earth,” Dingo says. “Es­pe­cially now that it’s spring, as it’s wild­flower sea­son and from the be­gin­ning of Au­gust to late Septem­ber a car­pet of wild­flow­ers in pink, blue and white spreads across the land. “I’m big for ad­vo­cat­ing travel be­yond the East Coast of Aus­tralia, and to see the vi­brant wild­flow­ers bloom­ing is an in­cred­i­ble sight and well worth vis­it­ing.” Dingo’s ex­ten­sive trav­els around Aus­tralia wrap on a solemn, heart­felt note as he makes a spe­cial jour­ney back to his home­town of Mullewa on the Murchi­son River in Western Aus­tralia for the fi­nal time with his late brother Buck. “Each flower re­minds me of all those that have passed and walked this land be­fore me,” he says.

Nullar­bor Plain, SA 2. to WA

“Stretch­ing across the south­ern edge of Aus­tralian between the goldfields of Western Aus­tralia and the Eyre Peninsula in South Aus­tralia is the Nullar­bor,” the 62year-old says. “I love this drive and have done it mul­ti­ple times. I en­joy the ex­pe­ri­ence of to­tal iso­la­tion, where you can spend days not talk­ing and just en­joy­ing the en­vi­ron­ment of the big sky. “If you go by train, there is over 300km of dead-straight rail­way track, and on the high­way, if you’re driv­ing, there is 90 miles, or 146km, of straight road with no bends.”

Win­ton, QLD 3.

There is def­i­nitely a theme here, “but I am a desert man af­ter all,” Dingo says. “Win­ton is black soil country, for which I love for its stun­ning land­scapes, its an­cient pre­his­toric past, its beau­ti­ful in­hab­i­tants and their end­less hos­pi­tal­ity.”

Arn­hem Land, NT 4.

“To me, Arn­hem Land is a place of ac­cepted fam­ily,” Dingo ex­plains. “The beau­ti­ful, rugged north­west of Arn­hem Land is late Kakadu Elder Un­cle Bill Nei­d­jie Country, and in the north­east Yol­ngu song­man Djaka­purra Mun­yarryun epit­o­mises re­spect to ev­ery trav­eller who vis­its. It’s places like this where Abo­rig­i­nal lan­guages and cer­e­mony are still very much alive and are still prac­tised, and that makes my soul sing.”

Broome to Ku­nunurra 5. across The Kim­ber­leys, WA

”I find go­ing through the Kim­ber­leys so spe­cial,” Dingo says. “I love be­ing amongst the vi­brant cul­ture, talk­ing to the elders and be­ing out in the bush sur­rounded by songs sung by Kim­ber­ley mu­si­cians. “Many peo­ple too, are drawn to the Kim­ber­leys with­out un­der­stand­ing its com­plex­ity, but soon slide into the re­gion’s time­less rugged wonders, sur­rounded by songs.”

Watch the new sea­son of Go­ing Places with Ernie Dingo from Sun­day, Septem­ber 2 at 7.30pm on NITV or on SBS On De­mand.

Photo: SBS Tele­vi­sion

EX­PLOR­ING: Ernie Dingo with Sammy Wil­son, a tra­di­tional owner of Uluru, for the new se­ries of Go­ing Places with Ernie Dingo air­ing on Septem­ber 2 on NITV.

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