The Other Australia is still out there. The landscape and people of the interior, and the extraordinary sights of make-do, bush art and human whimsy scattered across the continent are still very much a part of the national culture. For more than two years, photo-journalist Bill Bachman roamed the faraway places of Australia. Sometimes reporter, always observer, he explored the half-forgotten expanses that exist in reality as well as in national myth, and brought back thousands of pictures and volumes of notes. Distilled through a filter of reflection and memory, this text is the varied essence that remains. At the heart of the book are Bachman's photographs. The text he weaves around them forms an equally important part of the journey, blending fact with anecdote, history and humour. Novelist Tim Winton adds his own perspective in a series of vignettes on subjects as diverse as the complex topography of faces, the special place of corrugated iron in Australian culture, and the bogus glamour of the stockman's life. He celebrates the open road, redefines the romance of the swag, muses on the unwritten history of wayside junk, and marvels at "that other ocean", the outback sky.
Together Bachman and Winton visit many places and explore many themes. Underlying and uniting them all is a sharp sense of local colour - without question a substance Australia possesses in great abundance.