‘Our bush camp was quiet … until the police chase!’

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Grey nomads given fright in the bush
The wanted utility was spotted speeding through the Outback. PIC: South Australian Police

Most grey nomads who have camped out in the bush or at some remote roadside stop have at one time or another allowed their over-active imaginations to get the better to them.

Laying in bed, the wind rustling the leaves on the trees can sound like a monster crocodile heading into camp, and a distant engine rumble is obviously going to be an invading army of crazed bikies.

While these ‘heebie jeebies’ can be annoying – at least until sleep conquers them – travellers tend to wake up the following morning laughing at how silly they were, and vowing to be less panicky in future.

Every now and again, however, people’s worst fears come very close to being realised. David Foreman and Ruth de la Lande were camping at the remote Warraweena Station in South Australia’s Flinders Ranges earlier this month when they had the scare of the lives.

Having just set up camp and with dusk descending, the couple noticed some vehicles travelling at high speed through the creek bed in the distance.

At first they thought it was some over-anxious travellers in a desperate hurry to get to camp but, when a plane started circling overhead, the pair knew something was afoot.

Not long afterwards, the station manager appeared to tell them that police were hunting an armed fugitive and his girlfriend, who were on the run in a stolen Toyota utility. The vehicle had apparently just been found abandoned two kilometres along the creek bed and had been covered in branches to conceal it from the plane.

Along with other campers, David and Ruth quickly took up the invitation to relocate to the homestead where they would feel a lot safer.

Having spent a sleepless night listening to police helicopters circling overhead, the couple learnt that the fugitive had eventually been captured and transported back to Port Augusta.

“We felt quite vulnerable at the time but were relieved to be able to return to our campsite the next morning knowing there was no threat,” Ruth said. “Probably an adventure we didn’t need to have!”

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8 Responses to ‘Our bush camp was quiet … until the police chase!’

  1. Nothing scary out bush
    Only been woken once. A big old bull bellowing at night then he moved on we went back to sleep
    Biggest scare in the bush are mozzies

  2. Nothing serious thank goodness. One we chuckled about later though. We were at Haddon’s Corner with friends. It was hot and windy and the bulls were bellowing. About midnight our friends yell out to stop teasing them! They were convinced someone or something on two legs was prowling around their camp….and it wasn’t us. Next morning the tracks showed it was an emu.

  3. Camped near the pub at Gregory River,Qld. We had a lovely Schnitty and a few beers then of to sleep. At 2am my wife woke me and said someone was walking around our vehicle.

    So ever the brave knight I grab my torch and had a look, I scared a weeks worth of crap out of that horse.

    So back to sleep…..

  4. On the Tanami track, first time with other car owners and tents. Asleep about 3.30 am, keep on hearing noise , of something big moving around our camp, in those days always had the rifle in the tent beside me, I gingerly get up with a dolphin torch, open up tent, and their is a donkey right at the door way, I about S….t my pants, donkey, falls backwards, landing on his hind legs and rump. Poor thing was looking for water and some food. I fed it apple and about a gallon of water, from hour 44. That donkey, followed us for the next 4 days, until we got to a watering hole and green feed. It cost us quite a few apple and a few loaves of bread, and some more water, but we just couldn’t leave it out there sarving.

    • thats so cute, well done

  5. Where is there a quiet country inland town to stay for January? We don’t free camp. In N S W

  6. Spent a freezing night in swags at Bethungra Dam. Woke to shots being fired. Two cars loads of shooters driving around campsite shooting Roos. Quite a scary half hour. Fully expected to see holes in our car or the caravan parked not far away the next morning. Not sure if we were shaking from cold or fright. Coldest night I’ve ever put in.

  7. Hey Cathy…try Trangie – mid west NSW..!

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