Woodslane Press, March 2021. 200 pages, hardcover, colour photographs throughout
One of the most comprehensive publications ever written on Australia’s Western Deserts, this beautiful large format hardback book not only contains many stunning photographs but also covers a great breadth of information about this wonderful region. Each of the six deserts (Great Sandy, Little Sandy, Tanami, Gibson, Great Victoria and the Central Ranges) are discussed in terms of their geographic features, desert communities and some of the many tracks that traverse them. There follows: a section discussing the diverse wildlife and plant life of the Western Deserts, detailing and illustrating many of the species to found there; a section regarding the indigenous peoples that reside in or adjacent to each of the six deserts; and finally a section on the first ten major European explorers who travelled through the Western Deserts. The explorers section starts with Augustus Gregory who in 1855 entered the Tanami and ventured down Sturt Creek all the way to the vast Lake Gregory, and finishes with the little known but amazingly intrepid Frank Hann who covered more country than almost any previous explorer. It also includes Colonel Egerton-Warburton, Ernest Giles, William Christie Gosse, John and Alexander Forrest, the Hon. David Carnegie, David Lindsay, Lawrence Wells and Samuel Grau Hubbe. Various notes are taken from the explorers’ journals to highlight the thoughts and the hardships they endured and accompanying each explorer is a sketch map indicating the general route they took. The final section focuses on one of the longest and most demanding 4WD tracks in the country, the Canning Stock Route, and includes many photographs of some of the prominent features along the track.