Monday, August 20, 2012

An Explanation of Size In The Bush...

Let's be clear about something. Size doesn't matter.

When you live out here, things are always bigger. (We're just like Texas). I often have people ask me about 'size related' things when I tell them I live out west. By writing this blog, I hope to better explain 'size' from a country perspective.

Our farm spans 32 000 acres. Or approximately 15 000 hectares. Or if you are from anywhere else in Australia, it's 130 square kilometres. Just to put this in perspective for you, the average property size in Australia (much like those in a city or town) is 0.000325 square kilometres. So basically, we could fit in approximately 250 000-300 000 average 'properties' into our 'block'. And our place is very average in regards to its size for this part of the world. Some properties in rural Australia are much larger. Some are over a million acres. One is even bigger than Belgium.

* I'm not fantastic at maths... if you can actually correct my maths there, please feel free to do so...

I once spoke to an Australia Post employee in Sydney (over the phone), about trying to change my residential address to the town from A to B (as we live smack between the two, and have two separate entries to our property, all I needed to do was place a mailbox out one side to receive mail from the OTHER closest town).  The poor girl could NOT get her head around how it was at all possible to do that. In the end I gave up trying to explain and left our postal address as it was.

I recently blogged about how and why cars are bigger. It's not just that we all like to drive 'luxury' vehicles. You can read about it here.

We drive further distances for things the rest of Australia takes for granted. I have been known to do an 80km round trip for milk. And I'm lucky. Some people could NEVER do a round trip of any discription because of their geographic isolation. Our children's bus stop is 20km away. The school is 40km away. Our mailbox is 3km away. My nearest neighbour is 10km away. And all of this is very 'average' in rural Australian terms. I regularly travel 100km in each direction for groceries, access to a chiropracter and other medical facilities. Our dentist is 250km away. I travel (at least 3 or 4 times a year) for 600km in each direction to visit family and take my children to see specialists in 'the city'.

Thank goodness for social networking!

The cost of living is far greater than anywhere on the east coast of Australia. Everything has to be freighted in and out; fuel, groceries, goods and services. Pretty much, the further west you get, the more you pay. We still need to eat and breathe like everyone else, it just costs us more to do it. I'm not complaining. Not really. Not seriously. Without people like us living out here, food and produce that everyone else takes for granted, would cost even more than it already does. All your fruit, veges, cotton, wool, meat, dairy etc etc. all comes from somewhere. Somewhere like out here.

The only thing that is smaller out here is the population! But thankfully, I get to immerse myself in that when I go about all my other jobs in the city.

It really is the best of both worlds out here. It's only as good as you make it. And size really doesn't matter at all.


  1. Size (as in anything) is relative. Bigger is not necessarily better. But the views are usually proportional! GReat post.
    PS According to my Dad, we still live in the 'burbs, just 5 hours drive from the Big Smoke!!

  2. And to think that we don't really like being called in the outback! I reckon it's pretty much the same here in Moree. It's a long way to a Gloria jeans or Starbucks or anywhere where we might actually get a bit of a choice in what we consume! But we love it! Don't we?

  3. People think we're on a big place, and it is when you live in an apartment! Fortunately its only 1km to the mail box and the school bus run, but its still a 50km round trip to school, the PO or small local store. 95km round trip to the nearest doctor. 200 km round trip to the supermarket, hairdresser, accountant etc., but 300km round trip if I want more choice or to go to the cinema. 9 hour round trip to the dentist (in the big smoke). But that's life, eh!?

  4. hi Jess, WOW that is BIG even to me on 2000 acres - well our half is 1000 acres in Central West NSW
    Our school bus stop and mail box at our front gate is 800m away and Central school is about 20kms.
    Shops are 17km or so.
    We have Neighbours about 1km away or relatives at real farmhouse 5kms or 1hrs walk away.
    Sydney is only 4hrs away.

    My niece recently moved to work as a governess on a very large remote property 53kms north west of Moran­bah in Cen­tral Queens­land. Everywhere they go is a big drive.

  5. We head to town tomorrow...250kms one way lol. We are out near Ivanhoe but town is mildura vic. We're on bens parents place with all the family, around 370,000 acres but still pretty small compared to some lol. Kids do school through broken hill Sota ;) I originally moved out here as a govo 9 years ago and I'm still here lol 8 years of marriage and 3 babes. Guess its not the life for everyone but wouldn't change a thing!


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