Mad Dash To Melbourne
Trip Start May 10, 2006
223Trip End May 09, 2008
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As well as the places everyone has heard of, Oz is dotted with heaps of tiny towns and villages with names you can't pronounce, each with its four figure population proudly displayed at the side of the only road in and brown signs pointing to things they desperately try to pass off as a tourist attraction ("Hey, come and see some rocks...").
It's no wonder so many people go missing over here, there's nothing else to do in these small towns but stalk tourists and pick off backpackers with a sniper rifle.
Emma has mates in Melbourne so we decided we were going to go there to find work; It took three days of daylight driving (you can't drive come dusk in case you hit a roo, it could write your car off) from Coffs Harbour to get there.
Somewhere in a town called Frederickton along the road between Coffs Harbour and Port Macqurie there's a little shop called Fredo's Pies which has 50 different varieties of pie.
Five Zero! I wasn't even aware there were 50 types of edible things in the world.
You'd miss it if wasn't for the two statues of Marilyn Monroe outside, one in the classic "Oh look, my dress just blew up and everyone can see my knickers" pose and the other is sat atop a pole. No, we're not too sure why either, she looks happy enough though!
We didn't get as far as we wanted to on the first day because the car started making noises cars aren't supposed to make around a town called Toronto. This apparently happens when you don't put oil in it.
Stop rolling your eyes, we were checking it daily, we just happened to be checking the wrong dipstick.
*waits while everyone gets obligatory "Did you feel like a dipstick?" jokes out of the way*
Don't worry, we'll soon be stocked up various foul smelling liquids in assorted colours, we don't fancy running out of brake fluid or tranmission stuff somewhere in the middle of nowhere when the only person around to help is wielding a chainsaw and muttering something about dinner being sorted for the next week.
Aaanyway, Emma took the car in the next morning and $40 and a small amount of mocking from the mechanic and his wife later we were back on the road.
Next stop ended up being Gundagai, still in New South Wales and the home of the Dog On A Tuckerbox which is a statue of a dog on a tuckerbox (lunch box). Oh those Aussies, getting all literal again.
Gundagai also has brown tourists signs showing the way to the Historic Bridge which is... well... it's a bridge. I think what makes it "historic" is that fact that it's made of rotting wood and is about to fall down.
How glad are we that we stopped here? Can you imagine how gutted we'd have been if we missed that?!
We managed to drive over 1000km without getting lost once so in order to avoid breaking with tradition we turned off onto the wrong road once we got onto the outskirts of Melbourne and spent the ensuing 2 hours dragging a caravan around and staring blankly at the newly aquired map, drooling occasionally.
But we made it. Us, who got lost on a long, straight road when we rented scooters, we made it alive and in one piece.
There's hope for us yet.