Interview with Tim Richards, Travel Writer

Tim Richards is a freelance travel writer whose work has appeared in publications around the world, including Lonely Planet’s guidebooks. He fell into travel writing after living and teaching in Egypt and Poland, and is especially drawn to the former communist countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

Tim decided to shake up his life a couple years back by taking an epic rail journey across Australia. Jumping aboard iconic trains like the Indian Pacific, Overland and Spirit of Queensland, he covered over 7,000 kilometres, from the tropics to the desert and from big cities to ghost towns.

Tim’s has recorded his journey in his book, Heading South: Far North Queensland to Western Australia by Rail, published by Fremantle Press. He notes his travel highs and lows: floods, cancellations, extraordinary landscapes and forays into personal and public histories – as well as the steady joy of random strangers encountered along the way.

The chapters covering Fremantle and Perth and Bunbury, for a local reader, are beautifully framed and betray Tim’s upbringing and times spent here.

But, in these Covid times when travel options seem likely to be limited for a while yet, Tim’s book also makes you think seriously about the option of an epic train trip from Normanton, in Queensland’s Gulf country, to Bunbury in the South West of WA. Think about it!

Tim kindly met with our editor, Michael Barker, by Zoom this week to discuss the book, travel writing and so much more.

Here’s the video interview.