Gordon Nightingale

The long, long road to nowhere,
In a diesel four wheel drive.
Three tonnes of caravan on behind;
What a time to be alive!
The wide outback is beckoning,
Seek solace in the vastness,
So much nowhere to be found out here,
There’s strange beauty in the emptiness.

Take a break at Woomera,
Where missiles ripped into the sky,
Where atomic bombs blasted the landscape,
Leaving us to wonder why.
Further on at Coober Pedy,
A town built largely underground,
Opal fields like battlefields,
Add a strangeness to the land.

Drive out to the Breakaways,
Flat-topped mesas rising from the plain,
The remnants of an ancient ocean,
Where old seashells still remain.
Fill the tank at Marlo,
Grab a burger and a coffee,
On to Sundown highway stop
To camp overnight for free.

Into the Northern Territory,
Left turn at Desert Oaks Motel.
Better fill the tank again,
And fuel the body as well.
Along the Lasseter Highway,
Find the legendary Lasseter’s reef.
If you do you’d be the first;
Its existence is a mythical belief.

Two hundred and forty five kilometres,
With no towns along the way,
To the town of Yulara
To set up camp for a stay.
A community campfire in the evening,
With caravaners from every state,
Comparing journeys and bottles of wine,
Retiring to our vans quite late.

Next morning arise before dawning,
See the sunrise set Uluru on fire,
Glowing ochre red in the morning sun,
Lifting the spirits much higher.
From any angle Uluru has incredible power,
A single great lump on a featureless land,
Its giant bulk can be seen from afar,
Rising high over red desert sand.

You rode the road to Nowhere,
And Nowhere is where you are,
For there’s nowhere anywhere like Uluru;
Even Kata Tjuka is nowhere near par.


Gordon Nightingale is a local author and poet and the convenor of the Daylesford U3A Writers’ Circle.