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Back of Beyond : One woman's remarkable story of love, adventure, disasters and wonderful times in the Gulf Country - Jenny Old

Back of Beyond

One woman's remarkable story of love, adventure, disasters and wonderful times in the Gulf Country

By: Jenny Old

Paperback Published: 28th March 2018
ISBN: 9781760632090
Number Of Pages: 400

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This is the extraordinary story of an indomitable Australian woman going to the back of beyond and triumphing over adversity. It is a story about bush people and their generosity, filled with wonderful characters. Most of all, it is the story of a woman's love for her man and the adventure it took her on.

'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, her indomitable spirit.

About the Author

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.

Waiting in my pile of books to be read!


I look forward to reading this book set in Australia. I lived there for 42 years so my heart is still there in many ways.It looks like a good read.

Nelson, New Zealand


Good read


Interesting life but average reading


Great reading


Yes great reading



"Love Conquers All"


Back of Beyond is a captivating tale of love, loss & the triumph of the human spirit. Beautifully written by Jenny Old bravely telling her own amazing story of life in Australia's rugged outback. Jenny, a beautiful young 22 yo woman with the world at her feet chose 'love' to take her on an amazing adventure, which she proudly describes as the best time of her life. When you read the book its hard to believe the hardships she endured during her 18 years in the Gulf. This captivating book is written with warmth, wit & humour & full of colourful characters. I could even smell the country she was describing. The Gulf, now on my 'bucket list'! I promise, you won't want to put it down ....an extraordinary tale!

Gold Coast Australia


Could'nt put this book down


Back of Beyond is a must read! I enjoyed this book so much, from the beginning right to the last page I could not put it down. So well written and with such humor although there are such tough times but seems all just fun. Through the whole book it felt like I am there living it all. This is a book I will be taking with me overseas for friends and relatives. Highly recommend it !!

South east Queensland



4.0 5



Part One

1. From the Riverina to the Gulf

2. McAllister at Last

3. Home Sweet Home

4. Testing Times

5. A Memorable Day

6. Setting Up

7. I Do

8. Home Again

9. An Urgent Need for a House

10. Playing the Hostess

11. Friends, Neighbours and Shareholders

12. Off to Mount Isa

Part Two

13. A Sticky Situation

14. Enjoying Ourselves

15. From the Wet to the Dry

16. Hard Times

17. Friends of the North

18. Forces of Nature

19. Uncertain Times

20. The Burke and Wills

21. The Joys of Parenthood

Part Three

22. 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



ISBN: 9781760632090
ISBN-10: 1760632090
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 400
Published: 28th March 2018
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication: AU
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3