The 2016 Great Australian Road Trip

The wide brown land

Welcome to the 2016 Great Australian Road Trip

North-west to St George  In which we explain our route (more or less) and reach our first stop at St George.

Things never go exactly to plan, do they?  We left St George after breakfast and headed for the opal fields in Lightning Ridge in NSW. The plan was to take a quick look, then head on down to Bourke for the night. But things never go exactly to plan, do they?

You gotta have hope  We agreed to look for breakfast on the road and headed off from Cobar on a secondary road which would take us to Hillston and then on to Hay. I forgot to take a picture of the sign saying “no petrol for 245km”. Imagine that in Europe.

Of ducks and good company  After a long day of driving through drizzling rain it was nice to see some sunshine this morning at Mildura. Adelaide, our next stop, isn’t far from here at all, so we took our time and went to have a look at the Murray River before settling in at a motel in Glenelg.

Pasties at Ardrossan  We set out after breakfast at Glenelg to explore the Yorke Peninsula. Our Adelaide friends had suggested we might find the experience… how shall I put it?… less than spectacular. And that was about right.

Tuna fishing and champion mares  We stayed the night at Port Augusta, then next morning, we set off toward Port Lincoln. The Flinders Ranges, behind us, were swathed in cloud, and off to one side a flat-topped hill looked like something out of Africa.

Coffin Bay to Ceduna  From Port Lincoln we headed on down to Coffin Bay, then along the coast to overnight at Ceduna – the start of the Nullarbor.

Across the Nullarbor  Ceduna to Norseman across the bottom of Australia is a long haul across (apparently) not much. Since we drove this road three years ago somebody has grabbed a brain and signposted places where you can get off the road and see the Great Australian Bight.

The longest golf course in the world  Apart from the photo stops along the Great Australian Bight the Nullarbor doesn’t have a huge amount to offer the casual tourist. But there is the longest golf course in the world.

I’m glad I brought my leather jacket  Esperance was cold. I suppose it’s to be expected. Next land straight ahead is Antarctica, and the wind made sure we knew about it. Still, there was the occasional bit of sunshine.

Perth – the city by the Swan  We drove from Esperance to Perth, admiring the wildflower show on the way. Next day our hosts took us out for a cruise on the Swan.

King’s Park  King’s Park is a very large expanse on a hill overlooking Perth and Perth Water – and we were there for wildflower season

Ancient landscape and early history  We visit Kalbarri at the mouth of the Murchison River. Full of coastal scenery, wildflowers, and river gorges.

A gnome memorial and a wrong turn  Kalbarri to Carnarvon and a visit to the famous blowholes.

New friends and a stairway to heaven  Carnarvon to Karratha, where we stayed with friends we’d met on previous travels. The full moon rose out of the sea. Well… almost.

Glimpses of the past  The Burrup Peninsula where Karratha is built had a history before the white man, of course. Vicky and I were up at the crack of dawn to have a look at some of the evidence at Deep Gorge. That afternoon we visited Cossack.

Fitzroy Crossing and Darngku  Darngku is the aboriginal name for Geikie Gorge. I took some wonderful photos of Darngku.

Across the top  From Fitzroy Crossing we were basically heading back to Queensland via Kununurra, Katherine and Tennant Creek. We spent the days driving, though I did get a chance to take some pictures.

Going home  A night to forget at Tennant Creek. So we changed our route plan, going home via Mt Isa, Longreach, Biloela.