Back of Beyond: One Woman's Remarkable Story of Love, Adventure, Disasters and Wonderful Times in the Gulf Country

Author(s): Jenny Old


After falling in love with my husband, Rick, I moved to a property called McAllister in the remote Gulf Country of far north Queensland, where I found myself living in a shed with a 44-gallon drum for my stove and a shower rose and a bucket in a tree for the bathroom!' When 22-year-old Jenny Old followed her heart to the vastness of the Gulf of Carpentaria, she had no idea of the primitive conditions she'd find herself in. Often her only contact with the outside world was through her two-way radio. Stretched to the limits, she achieved more than she ever thought herself capable of. With every setback and in the toughest of times when the odds seemed insurmountable, she learnt to dust herself off, find a smile and just keep on going. For eighteen years Jenny and Rick battled flood, drought, cyclones and personal hardship. Yet their world was a big as the landscape in which they lived, filled as it was with generosity, wonderful characters and the joy of life. At McAllister they established an oasis for their family and friends.Jenny's motto is: life throws many curve balls at us, but it's how we deal with them that counts. This is the extraordinary story of a woman of the bush and her indomitable spirit.


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Brought up on a comfortable farm in the Riverina, at twenty-two, Jenny Bull fell in love with Rick Old and went to live and work with him on his property, McAllister, in the Gulf of Carpentaria. There, she faced incredible hardship, living in a hut with not even basic necessities. Her only contact with the outside world was a two-way radio. In this vast empty landscape, she battled drought, flood, fire, and cyclones. For eighteen years she and Rick struggled to stay on in the Gulf, eventually triumphantly turning McAllister into a thriving oasis.

ProloguePart One1. From the Riverina to the Gulf2. McAllister at Last 3. Home Sweet Home 4. Testing Times5. A Memorable Day 6. Setting Up 7. I Do 8. Home Again9. An Urgent Need for a House10. Playing the Hostess 11. Friends, Neighbours and Shareholders 12. Off to Mount Isa Part Two13. A Sticky Situation14. Enjoying Ourselves15. From the Wet to the Dry16. Hard Times 17. Friends of the North18. Forces of Nature19. Uncertain Times 20. The Burke and Wills 21. The Joys of Parenthood Part Three22. Our Caravan 23. Back Home 24. Stormy Weather 25. Raising Spirits 26. Light at the End of the Tunnel 27. A Dream Come True 28. The Invasion 29. Boarding School 30. Keeping Busy 31. Disaster Strikes 32. The End of an Era 33. Our Sad Farewell ReflectionsAcknowledgements

General Fields

  • : 9781760632090
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : Allen & Unwin
  • : March 2018
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : Australia
  • : March 2018
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Jenny Old
  • : Paperback
  • : 2018
  • : English
  • : 920