This is the story of an absolute classic of the Australian outback.Tom Kruse first drove the Birdsville Track in 1934 - and from 1942 to 1963 he was the mailman, making the run every fortnight.He battled floods, sandhills, the heat (sometimes as high as 49C and frequent breakdowns - and that was in between the back-breaking loading and unloading stores that he delivered along with the mail. The Track was (and often still is) just that - a track through the sandhills and desert. Tom did much of his work before the days of easy air access in case of emergency, radios, and reliable vehicles.In 1954, Tom was the subject of the famous documentary 'The Back of Beyond' (seen by millions in Australia and around the world) - and then in 2001, he and his famous truck (The Badger) starred in another documentary, 'The Last Mail Run From Birdsville to Marree'.Tom now lives in retirement outside of Adelaide - a unique connection with a part of our history that has vanished.
Kristin Wiedenbach became a writer after completing postdoctoral research at Stanford University in the United States. She has won several international awards for her writing and her articles have appeared in Science, Australian Geographic and academic publications.