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Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Outback NSW by Apollo Motorhome. Part 1.


It's easy to forget the hardship and deprivation endured by our early pioneers when you have the comfort of an Apollo Motorhome to tour the countryside in.

We began our lofty jaunt in Sydney out west into the vast and lush agricultural country that embraces the city in a wide green girdle. The Hume Hwy slices through the pastures and paddocks that are gradually making way for more and more urban sprawl and one wonders whether the new homeowners have any inkling about the two centuries of rural history that created the city they now call home.

Out through the mallee wheat belt we drive, our Toyota Hi Lux transporting us effortlessly along the flat and featureless tarmac until we reach the edge of the outback at Hay.

This oasis on the Murrumbidgee, at the crossroads of the Cobb and Sturt Highways is better known to many road travellers as a monotony and burger break for both truckers and caravanners alike, a welcome respite from the hundreds of kilometres of flat featureless plain in all directions.

When I began my first solo interstate crossings in the late 1970s, these narrow potholed roads were choked with prime movers and semi trailers travelling at all hours of the night and day, hauling diesel powered loads from Sydney to Adelaide, beyond and back. Kangaroos, emus or tiny panel vans beware.

Now, ensconced at the unbelievably lavish Saltbush Motor Inn with clean, crisp linen. a microwave oven and Wi-Fi, it's a whole world away from the truck stop's dusty car park I used to kip in.

Tomorrow, I head out to visit the ShearOutback and Shearers Hall of Fame at the massive roundabout that defines southern NSW like a massive set of cross-hairs. I aim to correct an oversight by visiting the working museum and historic shearing shed that was constructed there in 2002.

... to be continued.

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