What pulls you back to the Outback?
Cameraman, editor, film producer, director…there's not much Andrew Kennedy hasn't done in his remarkable 40-year career in Adelaide’s film and television industry. Andrew has shot all over Australia, and it was through his work with Australia on Track that he was first introduced to the Outback.
As with most things to do with production and the media, though, there wasn't a whole lot of downtime to sit and enjoy the experience. In fact, there was just enough time for him to set up, get the shot, and then move on to the next location. Although Andrew had plenty of experience with camping and towing the caravan around Australia, The Outback Loop was a new wonder awaiting him.
The stars, especially, at William Creek, changed Andrew's outlook of the bush entirely.
"Straight away, just looking up you could reach up and touch those stars. You could see shooting stars that were so close. And it wasn't just one, and then an hour later you might see another, there were masses of them. There were satellites, there were planes in the distance, it was astonishing!"
Andrew has plenty of experience entering the Loop from a couple of unique approaches, including the less-travelled west-to-east route shooting down from Alice Springs over to Mount Dare and then across the Simpson to Poeppel Corner and into Birdsville.
Some of the things Andrew finds most exciting about the Loop is the community. Meeting Loop locals and small things like speaking on the radio with other convoys of travellers around the Outback.
If you're not familiar with the world of 4WDriving, Andrew recommends tackling the Loop as part of a guided drive, or as part of a convoy with experienced friends.
And be prepared to come back with plenty of stories. Andrew looks back fondly on all his Loop adventures, including a cracking tale involving pea soup and his own swag.
Birdsville continues to stand out as one of his favourites, including the iconic pub and chatting with the locals at the bar. The Simpson too, with its tall dunes, dingoes and camels, is a place Andrew recalls as a favourite, including the massive Big Red dune.
"When you get to the top of that, and you look back over the plain that you've just driven over…what an experience."
For Andrew, his first experiences on The Outback Loop were a mad-dash rush to get the shots and photographs needed for the job — and yet, something about the desert stars, the Milky Way-lit night skies, Simpson dunes and desert wildflowers continues to entice him back to the Loop.
Next time, though, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime journey, full of stories, memories, and a couple photographs for the personal collection.