Travel Australia: A waitress, a pilot and a Cowboy in William Creek in the outback

Tanned, wrinkled and with a satisfied grin sits the pilot with a can of beer in a stubby holder at the bar. "I once lived one and a half years in Germany, but I can't remember the name of the place." ... Right, there are so many places in Germany. “It was beautiful, but I'd rather be in Australia. I was married to a German for 15 years. Four months of the year I live in William Creek, the rest of the time I spend in Sydney."

A red-coloured dusty untarred road with warning signs of pedestrians and airplanes.

Flights over Lake Eyre and the Outback in South Australia

He fills his time by taking tourists on sightseeing flights over Lake Eyre and the Outback in South Australia. Some people call it work. When he is done for the day, he literally parks his plane in front of the pub. Well, not quite, it is a walk of few hundred meters over a trail from the small airport of the place.

The outback - flowers, different stones, and birds and enchanted overgrown trees

Australia and the Outback. It surprises me again and again when people ask, why do you want to travel so far when there is nothing you can do there? There is so much to see and do, but you have to look. For some, the landscape and the places in the Outback may be bleak. But there are countless types of flowers, different stones, and birds and enchanted overgrown trees and then there are all the people with whom you can talk. What do they do here in this ‘emptiness'? My curiosity is undiminished. I want to hear a good reason not to want to travel to the Outback. But with reason, it is also always a matter of interest.

A flat dusty untarred road in a seemingly endless flat landscape.

The waitress at the pub is for a year in William Creek. I look at her and think about it. A whole year living in the middle of nowhere? Not quite sure, but there are only three citizens here (and the waitress is already one of them) plus a few pilots, the seasonal workers.

She has a very ingenious reason why she has decided to have applied for a job in nowhere: 210 kilometres north of Maree and 166 kilometres east of Coober Pedy only to reach on a dirt road. I am more than intrigued. She needs money and lots of it, for a planned grand tour of Europe. In William Creek, there are no temptations.  

Discussing horoscopes from a two-day-old newspaper

There are no restaurants, shoe shops, boutiques, book and/or record shops, and no cinemas. The rent is negligible. Actually, everything she earns can be saved for her dream to travel. This lady has an excellent plan indeed. She tells me she has so much fun  “Days pass by quickly, there come so many people into this pub, it is never boring.” I can understand, especially when I watch her and the guests at the bar, loudly discussing their horoscope from the two-day-old newspaper.

A white four-wheeled vehicle with black protection in its front and a crate of empty wine bottles on its hood, parked on a red dusty road.

The dish that I order from her is sold out. She calls across the guest room and over the heads of the Cowboy’s seated at the bar, whether I am interested in something else. All eyes are on me. My face feels as red as the outside raging sunset when I say “I'm vegetarian.” A dusty type in jeans and boots grunts obviously astonished but friendly "Hey, you're here in cattle country." He has got all laughs on his side ... Everyone in this place makes you feel as you belong here. The pilot and I both agree. “William Creek has a really good vibe." And their coffee is also a real killer (we are in Australia).

A tiny bit of advice: Before you go somewhere in Australia outside of the urban areas, please check the local weather conditions. Locals are always happy to help.

From Berlin with love