Trip from West to East

A Fast Trip Across a Large Continent

The illness to our brother-in-law Malcolm Stuart meant a dash from Perth to Tumbarumba in the Snowy Mountains in NSW a distance of nearly 3,600 km. We left at Dawn on Tuesday with the intent to drive during the daylight hours as far as possible each day, stay wherever we could and get to Tumbarumba by Saturday afternoon.

The first two nights we free camped on roadside stops at Fraser Range Area, 80 km past the Norseman turnoff (the first picture) and then at the 222 km Peg Camps Rest Area 222 km West of the Eucla border between Western Australia and South Australia (the second picture). Free camping meant that we could drive further and get away earlier in the morning. We will do more of this on any further trips. You can manage a couple of nights with a bucket wash instead of a shower!




At Eucla, fueling after the border quarantine post, we got a mobile call to tell us that Malcolm had died, in Tumbarumba Hospital, with his wife and children with him. This did not change our intention to continue to be there as soon as possible.



Considering how long we were driving, towing the van, the trip went very smoothly, with stops at the Beautiful Valley Caravan Park at Wilminton (just past Port Augusta, now in South Australia) and at Balranald the next night. Having used all our prepared meals we ate out both nights. On this trip we have travelled through every State and Territory on the Australia mainland – sorry Tasmania, left out again!

We arrived in Tumbarumba on Saturday at 3.30 pm, having travelled via the Hay Plains and Wagga Wagga – our shortest days driving at 550 km.



6 thoughts on “Trip from West to East

  1. Sorry to hear the sad circumstances of your quick dash across the continent. My thoughts and sincere condolences are with you guys. A big drive to do so quickly!

    On a lighter note…Having just been camping I can relate strongly with you re the bucket wash. Had a couple myself, and a chinese-torture freezing cold shower at a public toilet beside a river!!! It’s amazing the places you can find to have a wash! And isn’t it quite amazing how clean you can feel with so little water?!!!

    • Thanks Paula – Mal was a larger than life character that it is hard to imagine that he is no longer with us. Today’s post was the last for this trip and you have the Gold medal for my most consistent commenter. I know that lots more people have been reading than commenting but I have really appreciated your support

  2. Woo hoo! High achiever.

    Seriously though- I rate your blog. Have enjoyed tuning in to see what you guys are up to AND learning so many interesting things about our history and yours. Now what other tabs will I flick between while spending “quality time” on the net?! Is there a group for withdrawal sufferers??? It is really good- reads like a more personalised lonely planet with better pictures and stories.

    Take care of yourselves and when you have time, drop in and see us! We have news that you may or may not have heard yet. (Oh, and the boss is looking for a good pic of Enngonia.)

  3. PS- When I read of your dash the first thing I thought of was the Waifs Song “Bridal Train” for some reason. Did you ever get the album “A Brief History”?

    • Thanks Paula. I think you will see me in the last week of November or early December. I loaned my house out until then so I am “homeless” We will spend some time in Tumbarumba. Not only is my sister-inlaw here but my middle son and 2 of my grandchildren. I am then thinking of dropping the caravan and seeing if I can find somewhere nice to house sit myself.
      On withdrawal – do you know how many blogs there are out there! I am sure you can find someone to transfer to. Tell the Boss he is too late with his request. I have driven twice through Enngonnia and haven’t stopped either time. I have one shot of the sign going into town but pretty ordinary. I actually thought of speaking to Sandra about someone I could look up but decided it was a part of my trip I was trying to do lots of distance quickly. On second thoughts, tell him for wages and expenses I will travel there now and produce him a complete photo essay!
      The Waif;’s album I have is “Up all Night” but I so wanted the Bridal Train track that I downloaded it from iTunes individually – it is the best thing they have done IMO with great music/lyrics with history and real feeling. I think that whole bridal train story has the makings of a great script for a tele-movie – want to be my co-producer?

  4. Wow- homeless in your retirement, well there’s a time and place for everything i guess!

    Good to hear you have plan though. And I hear it is nice country out that way.

    Boss may still want your pic. He specified a sign. All my pics were mostly form a moving bus so….dunno if he will be into your plan.

    I will co-produce for you. Sounds ace.

    Take care. See you soon, maybe.

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