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Are we there yet?

Yesterday's NT to Queensland drive was one of our longest

sunny 15 °C


"Turn left in 462km" said our GPS at Barkly Homestead (NT) en route to Mount Isa (Qld). It was about a 710km drive yesterday. We left the campground at Banka Banka Station on the Stuart Highway at 8.45am and got to our caravan park cabin at Mount Isa at 5.35pm - nine hours on the road, including stops. Our reward was dinner at Buff's Club with cousin Gillian who teaches here.

With long drives, it gets a bit like the story by Alison Lester (see cover above) where the youngest child Billy keeps asking "Are we there yet?". Our kids ask: "How many hours to go?" and if the answer is two or less, they say we're almost there. We've only done a few days like this where all we've done in the daytime is drive. Another was Coober Pedy (SA) to Yulara (NT). The secret is getting away early as possible, setting the cruise control, swapping drivers regularly and not stopping for too long.

It may sound boring but the scenery changes are interesting to follow. Yesterday it was red rocks and trees (lots of wattle in flower), to shrubby flat land with flocks of budgies flying over, to vast cattle stations with waving grass, to undulating red hills with grey native grass and white gum trees. The kids listen to CDs and even read. If there's a place to sightsee or swim, like the lovely warm Bitter Springs near Mataranka en route to Banka Banka, we factor in a stop.

Many days in our trip we don't drive at all, or only drive around town. Then we can do lots of things like a tour or a swim or a bush walk or visit a display/museum or just hang about or, if we've got friends of family nearby, chill out with them. Most of our drives from now on will be half-day drives or so. Phew.
Banka Banka Station, the start of yesterday's long drive to Queensland

Banka Banka Station, the start of yesterday's long drive to Queensland

Posted by kecasumi 07:14 Archived in Australia Tagged landscapes outback

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