Tomorrow we – Gustav, Munson and myself – are setting off on a nine day roadtrip to the northern part of NSW. The bare connect-the-dots route is 2067km, which is about the exact distance I travelled driving from the French farm to Gustav’s home in Sweden.
I haven’t been to many of the places on the route since I was a kid. I’ve marked the places I lived before I turned 18 on the map (red X’s). The most distant of the X’s from Sydney is Bourke – which is another four hours’ drive on from Dubbo! I remember the occasional Saturday morning shopping trip to Dubbo – we’d have to leave really early in the morning because there was no afternoon trading in those days. We (my parents) had a shopping window of 9-12 before the interminable drive home on a straight feature-less road.
NSW is not one of Australia’s bigger states, but it’s a huge piece of real-estate. France fits into it with almost enough spare room to squeeze Italy around the edges. Similarly Texas fits with space for Kentucky.
|Our route has not been chosen to fit into a space or distance budget, but time. Gustav is starting a new job in two weeks and I want to make sure we’ve got a weekend to decompress at the end. I chose an inland route to show him some of inland Australia. We won’t even get halfway across the state – but the gaps between towns grows so quickly that every stop west comes at the cost of the return journey east. |
From our second night, the journey will in fact all be east of Sydney, with our stop in Byron Bay being at mainland Australia’s most easterly point. We’re having a leisurely weekend with friends up there and a slower return journey along the coast that will allow us to stop in at random beaches as whim and weather dictate.
Finally, this will be quite an experiment in Australian dog travel for me. I travelled around Tasmania with Bondi ten years ago, and we drove 1400km to Adelaide and back and then to Melbourne and back – all in the space of five months. Our options were extremely limited – often requiring special pleading to obtain pet friendly accommodation.