I had travelled to Western Australia on four previous occasions in 4WDs, with my wife and best mate Frances. The first time was in 1976 in a early model second hand Range Rover and camping in a tent. 20 years later in a Toyota Troop carrier and still sleeping in a tent, and then later towing an off road camper trailer, which was luxury! We have covered all areas of this huge state, walking in the Hamersley Rangers and visiting Millstream, Cape Leveque, the magnificent Southern Forests and the beautiful coastline and much more.
The Range Rover
In 1976 we left Tasmania with our two sons age 10 and 12 to drive to WA. We had six weeks, so there was no time waste. Our route took us to Melbourne, Port Augusta, Alice Springs, Darwin, Broome down the WA Coast to Perth then across the Nullarbor and back over Bass Strait to Launceston. We had to average about 2000 km a week, depending on side tracks and stopovers. It was a great adventure for all of us and writing this brief account has brought back lots of memories.
Back in those days, very few Australian outback roads were paved. Most of the 4000Km between Darwin and Perth was unsealed as was the Nullarbor and the South Australian roads. But the vehicle was up to task and some days we covering 700 km or more and pitching tents in the dark.
Unfortunately very few pics remain of this, our first foray into out -back travel, but since then we have travelled far and wide in our great continent.
We are now traveling in a Ford Transit Motorhome and enjoying the relative comfort that it offers, small though it is. In July 2016 we headed West again to rediscover the wildflowers and the outback roads of Western Australia, but without 4WD. We did travel about 2000 km on gravel and dirt roads by travelling with care and planning around weather events. We were home in late November after traveling 17500 km. It felt good to be back on the road again.