Ten years after publication of Barefoot Times, the first novel in this series, I finally had the chance to revisit Narrabri, the town in north-western NSW where much of the early action takes place. Just west of the town is the CSIRO’s Australia Telescope Compact Array, a radio telescope using 6 movable dishes in conjunction with the Earth’s rotation to synthesise a much larger antenna. In the story, this became the AusScience astronomical research station, with Billy’s father Dr Tom Collins the chief scientist.
To the east of the town is Mount Kaputar (1510m), the highest peak in the area and the location of the bushwalk Billy and Peter did at the beginning of the book. The mountain is actually the remnant of an ancient volcano, with many of the volcanic spires still visible.
More photos from the trip can be seen on the book’s Tour page.