As we talk, hundreds of sulphur-crested cockatoos and pink and grey galahs in the trees around the hanger break into a raucous dawn chorus. Then, rising as one, they screech across the base towards the nearby Victoria River.
“Time to fly!” Selvey says with a grin as he climbs into his chopper.
Over the years, readers of the Reader’s Digest magazine have enjoyed dozens of stories that have taken them on unique expeditions into Australia’s most fascinating places – mustering cattle by helicopter, crossing the great deserts by road train, journeying over the great seas to explore Australia’s islands. Packed with evocative detail, backed by unique in-depth research, and illustrated by spectacular on-the-spot photographs, these stories have brought the variety and fascination of Australia to life for over a hundred million readers here and around the world.
In these two volumes, our editors have selected more than 35 of their favourites. Through these remarkable stories you can experience the magic of Australia as never before. We’ll take you to places most people never see, reveal the secrets of some of Australia’s most unusual wildlife, introduce you to people who live differently form anyone else of the earth.
Whether you’er an armchair traveller or planning your own exploration of Australia, whether you’re looking for entertainment or for information, whether you’re young or old, this fascinating and unique collection is for you.
Below us now is Moolooloo. Trees are thin on the arid, rocky ground, mostly tall eucalypts strung along the fringes of Battle Creek, the largely dry watercourse that cuts across Moolooloo like a tribal initiation scar. Page and Selvey begin flying a coordinated grid pattern, up and down the paddock, swooping low over small mobs of cattle, using the noise of the chopper to urge them into the creek.
“Gotcha!” Selvey calls as he spots a bull lurking in a clump of bushes. He thrusts the cyclic lever forward with his right hand, tilting the chopper at a steep angle, and dives among the trees of the creek, rotor blades slicing the air only meters from the boughs. The bull snorts in anger, turns and faces the chopper. As the blades shop furiously at the air over the bull’s head, it charges a few steps, hesitates, suddenly loses courage and surrenders. Selvey pulls back the powerstick, and we soar again into the sky.