Tenna's Trip Downunder
July - August 2009

Tenna is my young pen-friend from Denmark. Well she was young - she was 13 when we first started writing to each other (see Tenna Mose Rhiger). Of course now she is a lovely 23 year old.

18 months before this trip she thought up the idea of coming out to Australia to surprise me with a visit. She and Elli corresponded for 18 months to organize it, totally unbeknown to me (sneaky women). Elli and I were planning a 6 week trip into the Northern Territory, mainly to see Kakadu and Litchfield Parks, and to return through Queensland driving solely on Stock Routes.

Elli and I had been in the USA just prior to this trip and we only arrived back in Tasmania a few days before Tenna did. Having only seen a couple of photos of her over the last few years I didn’t even recognize her. We had a few days in Tasmania before getting the Spirit of Tasmania to the mainland and setting off. We drove in 2 hour shifts unless it was a particularly bad piece of road and then I did all of it. All of the disaters happened while I was driving..

We found Tenna felt the cold really badly when camping in her small tent which we provided, along with all the other gear, and some clothes as well. At Alice Springs we bought a single electric blanket, and ran it off a long lead from our vehicle—this solved Tenna’s problem, although the last night before Alice Springs we had warmed up a rock to put in her sleeping bag. This also ensured a good nights sleep for her.

We went along the Great Ocean Road so we could camp with the Koalas for Tenna to see. Then up the Oodnadatta Track to Dalhousie Springs and on to Alice Springs via Finke.
Having seen a fair bit of the outback by now we decided to scrap the Northern Territory and head across to Townsville for a week, then down the coastline to Sydney from where Tenna would fly home.

At Alice we checked out the Flying Doctor Base,  and the Women's Hall of Fame. Tenna went through the Stockmans Hall of Fame at Longreach, but Elli and I had seen it several times before. We toured the School of the Air,

Cape Hillsborough National Park was a great spot, and we patted kangaroos on the lovely wide beach, and walked the track round the headland. My young friend enjoyed the whole experience, and once back in Denmark wrote and said she felt like returning to "home" in Dodges Ferry.

Tenna in Denmark.

Tenna at Dodges Ferry, Tasmania.

As a Dramaturg, Tenna wanted to check out the oldest theatre in Australia - The Theatre Royal in Hobart.

Tenna and myself on top of Mt Wellington, Tasmania.

Tenna and Elli on the ferry, waiting to depart to the mainland.

Tenna buying a hat at Victoria Market, Melbourne, Victoria.

Dozens of Koalas where we camped along the Great Ocean Road.


Tenna and Elli taking a stroll at Mambray Creek National Park, South Australia.

Camped in the desert on the Oodnadatta Track, South Australia, near Curdamurka.

William Creek Pub, Oodnadatta Track.

Broken down between Oodnadatta and Dalhousie Springs. Bit of panic amongst the women when I told them the petrol pump had failed.
"What are we going to do??" "Put a new one in of course", and 20 minutes later we were on our way again.

Heating up a rock for Tenna's sleeping bag at Dalhousie Springs. The first decent nights sleep she had.

Swimming in the hot Dalhousie Springs. (38 degrees centigrade)

BBQing at a motel in Alice Springs, Northern Territory.

Tenna went off for a week to help out at an art centre at an aboriginal town - Yuendumu.

Elli and I went off to visit Old Andado station in the Simpson Desert.

Old Andado.

Leaving Old Andado, heading west towards Finke, then up the Sturt Highway to Rainbow Valley.

Our cartop tent, and raised solar panels.

Tenna feeding a 'joey' at Yuendumu.

Elli and Tenna making bookmarks using the traditional 'dot art' of the aborigines. Wallace Rockhole - Northern Territory.

Three front bolts holding the petrol tank in sheared off - had to drill and tap new holes and fit new bolts.

Camped just off Plenty Highway to repair petrol tanks bolts. I carry an electric drill and taps and spare bolts
The drill runs off an 1800 watt inverter.

Then more disaster on the Plenty Highway. I guess that's why we carry so many spares.

Our hot shower - near Boulia - Queensland. Pumping water out of a nearby creek for endless hot water through the
heat exchanger  under the bonnet.

The waterfront at Townsville, where we spent a few days. Marvellous balmy weather.

Elli feeding roos at a wildlife park just out of Townsville.

Tenna chatting to a Kookaburra at Cape Hillsborough National Park.

Making damper at Cape Hillsborough.

And cooking it.

At my sister's place on Bribie Island - Gail and Brian.

One of the motels we stayed at on the way down to Sydney.

Saying goodbye as we left Tenna in Sydney to fly back to Denmark.

The following year Tenna went to America to spend a few weeks with Elli, while I stayed in Tasmania.

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