The Playbook For The Modern Man

Iconic Outback Photo Reveals A Lost Australian Art

Train travel is being replaced by cheap flights the world over, but in the heart of Australia, it beats stronger than ever.

In a world of Google Maps it’s not often one feels lost. Chuck in Uber and your Apple Watch and it’s rare one feels out of breath, let alone stranded.

In other words: today’s city slickers take on nature about as often as a hipster drinks full cream milk.

Fortunately, one iconic Outback photo has surfaced on Instagram, reminding us all of a lost Australian art: the spirit of adventure.



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A post shared by Barbara Bryan – Let’s go Mum (@letsgomum) on

The image depicts the Outback railway line which carries The Ghan, Australia’s transcontinental conveyor belt (originally built by Afghan Cameleers in the late 1800s, hence the name), from Adelaide to Darwin.

It also shows how, even as Skyscanner is bookmarked by backpackers world over, in the heart of Australia train travel clacks stronger than ever.

And although it’s mostly retirees who embark on this three-day $3,000 journey, the adventure they seek reflects a broader feature of Australians young and old: even if we live firmly above it, we like to feel part of nature.

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Whether it was an entire lounge singing Waltzing Matilda, the prevalence of Akubra hats or the fact that — despite the voluptuous wines and helicopter rides on offer — at the end of the trip most passengers said sitting in a narrow cabin watching the red dust roll past was their favourite part, our time on the Ghan suggests Australians still value adventure over extravagance (even when they are indulging in both).

And if it comes with a Barista-standard coffee, so much the better.


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