'We can give you a start. You will need a six foot by four foot piece of canvas and blanket. If you stay for three months we will refund your fare. You will need to fly TAA out of Cloncurry and advise me your date of arrival.'

And so began the adventures and misadventures of young Roland Breckwoldt. It was 1960. He was not yet sixteen, and the unworldly Roland was leaving his home on the semi-agricultural fringes of Sydney to work as a stockman on the vast cattle stations of the Gulf Country of North Queensland.

A more unlikely stockman you would not find. Born in an internment camp in Central Victoria, his family had come to Australia from Germany via Shanghai. But it was out mustering on horseback and living in remote bush camps with characters as eccentric as any in outback Australia that Roland learnt about the world and discovered his place in it.

Full of youthful stumbles and told with great freshness and gentle humour, this beautifully written coming of age story is a nostalgic and evocative reminder of a disappearing way of life.