Seeing Aus with new eyes

Australia is massive.

Yep, most people know that but when you drive from one end to the other it really hits home.

I recently spent two weeks in a campervan with a friend navigating our great land.

It’s one thing to look on a map and think “ah that’s about 500 kilometres, a bit over five hours drive” but it’s another to experience those kilometres and the changing landscape that goes with it.

From the incredible cliffs and bush that touches the water along the Great Ocean Road, the forests in country Victoria, the salt flats in South Australia, and the continuing scrub and expansive plains crossing the Nullarbor, the diversity flawed me.

We were driving for a day and a half when we realised we hadn’t seen stock, apart from a handful of goats, in all that time.

We had been on the lookout for kangaroos, wombats and even camels but we hadn’t thought about the lack of sheep and cattle.

Then there’s the lack of human beings and the impact they have on an area.

Aside from the road, there’s nothing as far as you can see that points to the fact people have been there. You might go half an hour without passing a car or hundreds of kilometres without seeing a house.

When you do pass a car, it’s a bit of an event. It became standard practice for both of us to start waving before the other driver could even see us. The wave and nod always came in reply from the grey nomad behind the wheel.

Once you spend a whole day driving through nothing across the middle of the continent, albeit a very pretty and interesting nothing, it’s almost an oasis when you turn up on the other side.

There are people to talk to and things to see apart from scrub and sand. And the people you meet have great stories to tell.

You might only chat to someone for 10 minutes but you know where they’re headed and where they’ve been, and they are more than happy to pass on travellers’ tips.

If there’s one tip I could give anyone it would be to get in the car and go. It was definitely an adventure I would recommend. 

Journalist Tiffany Grange recently trekked across the Nullarbour on a trip from Canberra to Perth.

Journalist Tiffany Grange recently trekked across the Nullarbour on a trip from Canberra to Perth.


Discuss "Seeing Aus with new eyes"

Please note: All comments made or shown here are bound by the Online Discussion Terms & Conditions.