Driving Australia

Photo: Outback by Alexander Waturandang. CC0 Public Domain
Photo: Outback Road by Alexander Waturandang. CC0 Public Domain


This past week I went for a holiday to visit friends in Gympie.

Now, I’m not one to enjoy a driving holiday. I think it comes from having driving holidays every year growing up. Too much of a good thing, and all that. I know, I know – the destination isn’t the only objective. That is true of life…but a ‘driving holiday’; not so much.

I suppose it could come from the fact that I don’t enjoy driving. It is a way of getting from ‘point A’ to ‘point B’. I actually don’t mind public transport. At least that way, I get writing time.

Driving takes a lot of concentration and effort. Particularly on a long journey. You have to watch for other drivers, unknown towns and suicidal kangaroos.

I don’t love it. But my husband does. It relaxes him. Apparently. And he loves highway driving. Less traffic to get into his way than town driving. He, however, doesn’t like caravans and RV’s. Or people who travel 80 klms in a 100 klms zone without getting out of the way when they can. But other than that…he loves driving.

He’s crazy.

That aside, usually he sucks it up on our holidays and flies with me, although he hates flying.

So, this time it was my turn. To suck it up and go driving.

About 1,190 klms one way. Between 14 – 15 hrs of travelling depending on length at fuel/food stops and however much time for waiting at roadworks.

It has been so long since I’d gone on a driving holiday that although I remembered the horrid side; hot burning sun glaring through the bug-gut painted windshield, those dang suicidal kangaroos that smell to high heaven when you pass by, the endless black snaking ahead, aching backside and legs from the inability to move, endless scrounging from the seatbelt confines of the seat for water and snacks and the tired monotony – I found that I had completely forgotten the surprising fun side.

Singing along to the music with my husband. Silly conversations. Just time with us alone with no distractions. His eye-rolling jokes. The comforting fuel stop routine.

And the scenery. I’d forgotten just how beautiful the Australian roadside was. (Despite the hideously wafting road kill.)

White, brown and grey marbled gumtrees stretching their avocado-greige tipped fingers to scratch the azure expanse of sky.
Fields of the verdant hush of sugar cane washing the landscape in dusty sweet ripples.
Blackened ground and charcoal washed tree trunks, sprinkled with the ochre brushed heat effected gum leaves from the previous season’s bushfire.
The poignant road side memorials awash with a riot of coloured flowers to those who have lost their lives.
The washed out and faded tinsel obstinacy wrapped around every single creek ‘title sign’ with a whiff of ‘Christmas’ in its name.
Cows, horses, camels, kangaroos (live ones), eagles, magpies, crows, snakes, emus and galahs.
The dance of oranges, reds, pinks, blues and purples on the undersides of clouds chasing the setting sun, and as daylight gives way to the sparkled cloak of darkness, the orange-red writhing of cane fires.

Though I still don’t prefer driving holidays, I have to confess that they are not as bad as I remember them. (Just don’t tell my husband.)












7 thoughts on “Driving Australia

  1. I can’t drive, so I have to be driven ;). So I don’t mind it that much, I guess.
    Whenever I visited my BF back when he was in Texas, he’d drive all the way from Beaumont to Houston to pick me up from the airport (and save me time and money on another flight connection), and then we’d drive back to Beaumont. It always amused me that we had to drive through CHINA to get there. It was kind of magical, because these were our first moments after months of not seeing each other: me after 24 hours of journey (including all the layovers etc.), him after waiting 3-4h at the at the airport (because he always came early and the flight was always delayed). These are nice memories.
    But when I was a child and a teenager I always prefered trains to cars: more space, more adventures, you got the views, but you didn’t have to pay too much attention (until your station is approaching). And you got to meet some interesting people sometimes.

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