Rae Wilson discovers a Queensland region where your neighbours might be hours away.
It turns out a gas freezer, a kerosene fridge and a bunch of metal barrels have something in common.
They all make useful mailboxes on the isolated stations in Outback Queensland.
Perched high in a cabin on the 420km Outback Mail Run looping north of Quilpie, it's easy to take in the vast red plains where sheep and cattle have been run for about 150 years.
Kangaroos, emus, brolgas, mulga parrots and black cockatoos are easy to spot, especially when they dart right in front of the truck. But it's the unique glimpses into country living that make this day-long adventure worth the time.
Margaret Pegler, who hosts lunch at her Trinidad Station homestead, has never had to head into town for her groceries.
When she first moved to the station with her late husband in 1958, a plane would deliver goods every Thursday from Charleville and now they come via the mail run truck.
Savvy western Queensland tourism operator Troy Minnett - whose great, great grandfather Thomas Costello began his family's rich history with mail runs - began taking passengers along the red dirt tracks soon after taking over the Trinidad Mail Contact No.76 in the late 1990s.
"Tourists who came to the caravan park started asking if they could go on the mail run so we used to do it in this little tiny ute with one person," he said. "Then I asked Dave, who used to work for my grandfather, would he mind taking some people on the run with him. We just had a little dual cab."
A 13-seat bus now takes people, who can even help unload goods and open gates along the bumpy route, every week during the cooler seasons. This ride is sure to bring back childhood memories of growing up in the country or visiting country cousins, and it will offer an appreciation for the pioneering spirit of this area, a place where the average yearly rainfall is about 35cm.
Known for its sheep shearing, the Quilpie area also has a reputation as the gateway to the Channel Country and for boulder opal mining.
At the end of an Outback mail run, there are two absolute musts depending on your accommodation: A dip in the hot artesian spas at the Channel Country Tourist Park and Spas with a glass of wine, or a meal in if you're staying at the Quilpie Heritage Inn.
Remember those little recipe books they once sold at school fetes with contributions from all the locals? Troy's mum cooks two dishes from Quilpie Cuisine - which Mrs Pegler also raves about - on weeknights for a buffet for guests.
"It's the old food that we've grown up with all our lives but we have people staying with us who love it and then buy the cookbook," Troy says.
It's a few hours in each direction to discover more towns in outback Queensland but visit outbackqld.com.au to find out all the adventures you can have near Quilpie.
Getting there: Qantas has daily flights to Charleville via Brisbane.
Details: For information on the Outback Mail Run, go to visitquilpieshire.com.
The writer was a guest of Tourism and Events Queensland.