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Marion Halliday AKA Red Nomad Oz: Ten Questions

I first came across my fellow redheaded Aussie travel blogger Marion Halliday, who’s best known as Red Nomad Oz, through the magic of social media. When I first spotted her on twitter I smiled at the name, and went to check out her blog RedzAustralia.

And I’m so glad that I did. That’s when I realised what a great Aussie travel blog it is, filled with tips on things to do and see around this gorgeous country of ours. It even has a rather quirky and fun toilet guide, but I’ll let her tell you more about that one.

Over to you, Red, for Ten Questions…

Red Nomad Oz travel blogger

What is the best thing about your job?

Getting to publish Australia’s quirkiest travel guide – Aussie Loos with Views! You’ll find seriously awesome natural attractions, inspiring Aussie travel ideas and fantastic downunder holiday destinations on RedzAustralia. But you’ll also find my long running blog series highlighting the Scenic Public Toilets behind many of Australia’s best known hot spots.

So combining the magnificent landscapes and natural attractions visible from Australia’s most scenic loos in a book was a logical next step AND an introduction for Aussie travellers to (arguably) the most off-beat self-drive tour downunder.

Sharing my exclusively Australian travel experiences on RedzAustralia is rewarding enough in itself – especially when I get comments from readers about how I’ve inspired their travels in OZ. But the best thing of all? I get to road test everything I put on RedzAustralia first!

If you could change one thing about your job what would it be?

For an impatient travel gadget dinosaur (I still use maps!) with a story-telling fetish, full-blown technophobia and an incurable Aussie travel habit there’s only one answer to THAT question – a full time assistant to deal with administrative tasks and technical issues on my website so I can devote ALL my time to a) travelling around OZ and b) writing about it on RedzAustralia!

Any takers??!!

Read: The best Mollymook holiday rentals for a South Coast getaway

What is something about your role that you wish people understood?

I’m an Aussie. I travel in Australia. My photos showcase the AWESOME natural attractions and holiday destinations OZ has to offer. And I blog about where I’ve been, what I’ve seen and things I’ve done on my Australian adventures.

So WHY am I offered sponsorship partnerships with overseas casinos, American diet products and kinky sex toys?? And NOT sponsorships for Jayco (the make of our 1983 Dove Camper Trailer); Subaru (our car of choice) or Olympus (the camera I use)???

Weird, huh?!

What is your favorite thing to do on your day off?

The same things as my days ON! I’m so lucky – doing what I love blurs the lines between work and play!!

What is a cheap and cheerful food secret you (usually) only tell your friends?

Psssssst! If you’re downunder and want to make like you’re an Aussie, just head for the nearest bakery! Even though the classic Australian meat pie has been referred to as a rat’s coffin (by comedian Ben Elton), there’s really nothing to worry about! No, REALLY!!

If money was no object, where would you go for lunch or dinner?

I’d fly to a different state every day to eat at a favourite eatery – and turn lunch into a week-long degustation tour of OZ!!

Day 1: Botanical Gardens Restaurant, Hobart, Tasmania

Day 2: Spirit of Punjab, Halls Gap, Victoria

Day 3: Glen Ewin Estate Bistro, Adelaide Hills, South Australia

Day 4: The Mango Place, Kanagae Estate, Broome, Western Australia

Day 5: Bean Tree Cafe, Olive Pink Botanic Gardens, Alice Springs, Northern Territory

Day 6: Out of the Whey, Mungalli Creek Dairy, Millaa Millaa, Queensland

Day 7: Manna Haven, Byron Bay, New South Wales

Red Nomad Oz on Big Park Bench Broken Hill

Where do you take a friend when they come to visit?

Nothing says ‘the REAL Australia’ like a dose of classic Aussie kitsch Australiana.

So with the whole of OZ to choose from, I’d take them to the Camel races at Bedourie; Cane Toad World at Gordonvale; the BIG Mallee Fowl at Patchewollock; the best town entrance sign EVER at Isisford; the True-Blue Two-Loo view at Darke Peak; the World’s smallest mountain at Wycheproof; the Dog on the Tucker Box at Gundagai; the world’s biggest man-made talking termite mound at Mataranka; and the world’s only black-opal-mining cactus farmers at Lightning Ridge for a start!

Yes, they’re ALL true stories, and they’re ALL on RedzAustralia!

We’re still looking for a replacement for the ultimate Aussie experience – Dinky the singing, piano-playing dingo from Stuarts Well immortalised as a Trivial Pursuit question – who sadly retired in 2014.

Any suggestions?

What is the best shopping experience in town?

Visit the local markets for the best introduction to ANY Aussie town – but only if you like fresh food, regional produce, unique mementos and meeting the locals!

Is there a local tourist cliche that’s actually worth doing.

I thought crocodiles as a tourist attraction were overrated until I stood next to the BIG crocodile in Karumba, Northern Territory – except it ISN’T a big croc, it’s a life-size replica of the biggest crocodile ever ‘taken’ (read: ‘shot’) anywhere on earth. Big crocs like that aren’t seen these days, but the tourist cliché of a Northern OZ croc-spotting tour will probably change the way you view a simple swim in Australia’s Top End forever!

For the best value, take the Victoria River crocodile cruise on Australia’s wildest river – I saw more wild crocodiles in 3 hours than all the other sightings in my whole life put together!

Is there a tourist attraction nearby that you can’t believe you still haven’t visited yourself?

Even though I visited them all in just ONE DAY, I’ve never done the Birdsville, Strzelecki or Oodnadatta tracks. But I’ve got a REALLY good excuse – I’d need a new tow vehicle, a new off-road camper, and a LOT more tolerance for dust and flies!

And the 3-in-one-day thing? The tracks all start (or end, depending on your point of view) within 80 km of each other between Lyndhurst and Marree in the South Australian Outback. The start/end points are also all within 55 km of another awesome iconic Aussie experience I’ve visited twice – the Farina bakery (aka the Bizarre Back-of-Beyond Bakery), one of the best places I’ve found to combine food and travel downunder!

Amanda has yet to meet Red Nomad Oz in real life, but they share a love of travel, of Australia, and have that redheaded sister bond thing going on.

You can also see Red Nomad Oz share some of the strangest things that have passed her lips in The Craziest Things Travel Bloggers Have Eaten

Amanda was also chuffed when Adventures All Around was included in RedzAustralia’s 16 Red Hot Go-To Blogs for Australian Travel Inspiration. Thanks Red!

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