The trip to town

Host: Koordarrie Station
Written by Kristie de Pledge – Manager, Koordarrie Station.

Last week my Au Pair and I took the children into our local town. Our youngest child was still suffering from a hacking cough, which had been troubling her for some time now. I had taken her to another doctor in another town a few weeks before, but after trying the treatment prescribed to me by that doctor, still no improvements in my poor bub’s cough. A cold that had appeared in the last week has not helped at all.

So we booked the appointments, which included some time at the School of the Air for my oldest child, so she could do school work with her teacher and attend the ‘Air Lesson’ on the other side for once.


Getting ready for a town trip, hundreds of km’s away with three children is no easy feat. Staying overnight makes the trip much less hectic and is usually what I try to do.

These larger regional towns of Carnarvon and Karratha are both 400km from our homestead. With the rainfall, our main access road is not accessible at the moment. It means trying to get out of the property via various station tracks and the night before we left to go to Carnarvon, we had received 3ml and where we needed to go had had 5ml on top of 30 only five days ago! So with car packed and ready to go, trailer attached . . . we set off from Koordarrie before dawn.


I am very thankful Rory was driving, as it was wet and muddy! We took it very slowly and made our way along the windmill tracks fairly easily at first. But as we got closer to the boundary gate, the obvious higher rain fall next door was evident everywhere. We had to stop some metres back from the gate to get a run up through the potential bog hole, which very conveniently was all around the gate!

Quite stupidly, I was wearing town clothes, which of course I didn’t want to get muddy. The smarter move would have been to put normal work clothes on and pack the town clothes away till we got through the station roads. Anyhow we kept creeping along the roads, the clay pens were fine, though we drove through water, the ground is harder and the water sits on top. Driving through the country that we call ‘crab hole’ country which is sticky, muddy, soft ground, very very rough when dry and very very boggy when wet, was rather hairy. The old land cruiser lived up to her reputation though and we kept going, just!


Long story short . . . what would normally take 40 minutes, took us nearly two hours! Once we arrived at the next homestead, I made a call to the school to let them know of our delay and that student/teacher time might have to be tomorrow morning. The doctors appointment was not till that afternoon, so we were going to make that okay.

Off we toodled down the highway. It was lunch at the time of arrival, so we had a bite to eat and I took the kids to the park for an hour or two whilst Pippa, my Au Pair, attended her own doctors appointments. This was great fun to begin with. We zoomed on the flying fox, climbed the nettings. Then my almost four year old son informs me he needs to do a poo. No worries, I take his hand and we head to the public toilets right there. Uh oh, they are not open for use yet.

Oh dear.

Stress levels start to rise and I very firmly tell him to not let his poo out just yet. I think of possible back up plans . . . reminding him as I do not to let it out, please! He looks at me sideways and heads for the sand around the playground . . . “Mum, I’ll do it on the sand”. NO!

At home this would be acceptable, if there is no other option, they can just go do their business in the dirt somewhere. I would then bury it beyond the house yard in the surrounding bush. But it’s not okay today!! I muster the other two and we all hold hands and head to the pub several hundred metres down the road, praising my son for his self control and reminding him we are not at home and right now its not a good idea to go to the toilet on the pathway! We make it there, he does his business and it’s a happy ending to a potentially disastrous story.


Youngest child attends her own doctor appointment and is prescribed different treatment, which has worked very well and her cough is gone, thank goodness!

We complete our other town jobs of collecting other items, like motorbikes sent to town for fixing, oil, small mechanical parts, mail, more socks for little feet, and trackies for fast growing children. After settling into our room for the night, we treat ourselves to some Chinese takeaway for dinner. Yummmy!

The next day, eldest daughter is dropped off at the school for her morning session with the teacher and I am so proud of her, it’s kind of strange but nice as well to see her attending the same primary school that I did.

We do more jobs, which included buying some beautiful fresh produce from a plantation. Chocolate covered strawberries and bananas complete our homeward bound trip and once again we hit the road.

A quick stop at another station to drop off something we borrowed off them on the way, and we arrive home in the dark five hours after departure at around 7.30 pm.

A long day and everyone is tired, but my kids just constantly amaze me with their general acceptance of this is the ways things are and we just get on with it. It’s not easy for them to be strapped into their car seats for hours on end.