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Mailman of The Birdsville Track
By Kristin Weidenbach
The Birdsville Track is one of the best known – and loneliest – tracks in Australia, and for twenty years Tom Kruse was the mailman, battling the searing heat, floods and mechanical breakdowns. He made the run every fortnight, and was a lifeline to the isolated settlements and stations along the way, delivering everything from letters to essential supplies.
The Track is still just that – a track through the desert and sandhills. Tom began in the days before reliable vehicles, good communication and air access in case of emergency. He made running repairs of his truck, he loaded and unloaded tons of stores to ferry his cargo across flooded creeks. He kept people in touch with the outside world – and was sometimes caught up in the grief of a lonely death.
Tom Kruse always got the mail through – come drought, hell or high waters. This is truly a classic Australian story, and captures part of our history that is fast vanishing.