Large open spaces – the remoteness of Western Australia

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Vast Open SpacesAs I mentioned yesterday, we travelled quite some distance during our road trip, 4449 kilometres to be exact and I have to say, I have never been so awe struck by the vastness of the place that we now call home.

The reality of the sheer size of Australia first struck home when I had to fly from Sydney to Perth on Business a year or so ago. The flight takes you from one side of the country to the other and (dependent on which way the wind is blowing) takes in the region of five hours

Yes, five hours people! Five hours flying in a plane over the same vast landscape. Absolutely amazing!

Driving through Western Australia was an altogether different and frankly, more amazing experience. I’d read stories about the remoteness of Australia’s roads but never fully appreciated how vast and remote some of these roads would actually be, some of them appeared to go on forever.

During our journeys, it wasn’t unusual to not see another single car or vehicle for 10 – 15 minutes at a time. There was just nothing else but mile after mile of endless tarmac.

Keep in mind that we were driving a Motor Home to, not some off road 4 x 4 vehicle. This meant that   we were always driving on what you’d consider a pretty normal (and well used) road. We were driving alone for a large part of the journey and although the isolation was kind of unnerving at times , it was a new and awe inspiring experience at others.

I have to say, I was glad to be driving in the relative comfort of a motor home though. On a couple of days the temperature outside hit nearly 45 Celsius! We were literally driving through desert for a large part of the journey and we had two kids on board.

When travelling any distance in the more remote parts of Australia it’s always advisable to take some drinking water with you. In our camper van, we had a 200 litre tank, a fridge, toilet, shower, and shelter. If we broke down (which thankfully we didn’t) we’d have been OK for a week. Assuming of course that we weren’t rescued by the Western Australia equivalent of Mick Taylor of Wolf Creek fame. ;)

One thing we found that we had to keep a close eye on was fuel. Unlike good old Blighty where Petrol stations and Service Stations are easily found every couple of miles. Here in the more remote areas of Western Australia you can travel over 200 Kilometres between petrol stations!

One such instance when this proved almost a little to problematic for us is when I decided that I should be OK to drive past one Petrol Station as I still had over half a tank of diesel! Nearly two hours later, the petrol warning light was on and we were still 60kms from the next Petrol station.

Thankfully we managed to make it to the Station on fumes. Even though we were paying the remote premium on the fuel I was filling the tank with (remote Petrol stations often charge between 20 – 50% more for their fuel) I was happy for every single drop.

They say a picture speaks a thousand words so I’ll leave you for now with the images below. It’s a big place isn’t it!

More on the trip tomorrow…

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