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JoseB
2011-07-26, 08:40 AM
Hallo!

My name is Jose, I am a Spaniard living in the Netherlands, and I am addressing myself to you, Australians in the Playground, asking for help and/or advice regarding a (in my opinion) rather daring plan for a trip that I have been turning in my head for some time already.

I was looking to put together an expedition of 6 (or so) other hardy souls, and doing a cross-country (or, rather, cross-continent) trip in Australia, beginning in Perth, ending somewhere in the East (most likely Sydney).

We would like to go on a 4WD vehicle (or vehicles), trying to stay away from the usual places. This means getting into areas of the desert in West Australia and the Northern Territory.

Looking at a map, I was thinking a possible itinerary might be something like Perth - Kalgoorlie - NT towards Alice Springs and Uluru - South towards Adelaide - Along the coast until Sydney (there are enormous possibilities for variation, of course).

We were thinking of carrying camping supplies to set camp at night if need be, although I don't know what the legality of that would be in certain areas.

Now, my questions are:

(1) Is it factible to do it by ourselves, or suicidal? If it is factible, what are the security needs there?

(2) Are there any companies or travel agencies in Australia where I could find information about setting that kind of expedition? (I mean, maybe there is some travel agency that already arranges for that sort of trips, perhaps with guides and whatnot, and then it would be a question only of tagging along with them).

(3) What would be the best season to try this?

This trip is somewhat of a dream I've had for a long time, and I have a team of friends who would love to do it as well. But, of course, we would do it only if it were reasonably factible.

I hope you can pass on some information or advice!

Thanks a lot in advance,

Moonshadow
2011-07-26, 09:16 AM
:smallconfused: I'm not sure why you'd go south to Adelaide and then do alone the coast to Sydney. For one thing, you'd be going through Melbourne as well, and well... going all the way across the south coast to get to Sydney seems a bit silly.

I don't know of any tour companies that would do anything quite what you're looking for. You probably wouldn't have a problem with camping, but you'd be much better off finding a small town to stay in for the night, seeing as you're going to refuel and resupply.

Besides, camping in the desert just invites the bunyips in. You don't want to wake up in the morning and find a bunyip snuggled next to you in your tent.

JoseB
2011-07-26, 09:59 AM
:smallconfused: I'm not sure why you'd go south to Adelaide and then do alone the coast to Sydney. For one thing, you'd be going through Melbourne as well, and well... going all the way across the south coast to get to Sydney seems a bit silly.

I don't know of any tour companies that would do anything quite what you're looking for. You probably wouldn't have a problem with camping, but you'd be much better off finding a small town to stay in for the night, seeing as you're going to refuel and resupply.

Besides, camping in the desert just invites the bunyips in. You don't want to wake up in the morning and find a bunyip snuggled next to you in your tent.

Well, as I said, this was just an itinerary made up on the spot by looking at a map. Of course it will have stupid aspects to it! I would be surprised if it didn't :smallsmile: That is also why I am asking for information here: To be able to plan properly (or leave the whole thing behind if it appears to be too insane and/or suicidal, or too impractical).

I guess that finding small towns to stop would be a nicer way of spending nights. I was thinking about camping because, well, one has to cover all bases, no?

And I am not afraid of the bunyips! :smalltongue: My friend has a pet bunyip, and this link is witness to it! (http://exalimpro.wordpress.com/2010/07/16/7/) :smallwink: (my apologies in advance because it's in Spanish).

But, seriously, thanks for your input! :)

Dexam
2011-07-26, 11:09 AM
Hallo!

My name is Jose, I am a Spaniard living in the Netherlands, and I am addressing myself to you, Australians in the Playground, asking for help and/or advice regarding a (in my opinion) rather daring plan for a trip that I have been turning in my head for some time already.


Hi Jose. Dexam, a fellow CRFH Boardie here to help with some of your questions. :smallsmile:



I was looking to put together an expedition of 6 (or so) other hardy souls, and doing a cross-country (or, rather, cross-continent) trip in Australia, beginning in Perth, ending somewhere in the East (most likely Sydney).


Okay, first things first: how long do you plan this trip to take? Because just going from Perth to Sydney via the major highways takes the better part of a week, without stopping to actually look at anything. Once you start going off-road, things will take a *lot* longer.



We would like to go on a 4WD vehicle (or vehicles), trying to stay away from the usual places. This means getting into areas of the desert in West Australia and the Northern Territory.


Do you have any 4WD/desert travel experience? Can you navigate only by map and compass? Can you survive for days in desert conditions? Can you perform all manner of vehicle repairs yourself only with what you carry with you? If not, seriously re-think right now.

Also, once you get north of Perth, you're already away from "the usual places". The northern and interior parts of WA, most of the NT, and northern Queensland are sparsely populated at best. In some parts you can travel hundreds of kilometers along a highway without seeing another vehicle, let alone any form of civilisation. If you ever see a sign that says "Next fuel station: 400 km", it's not a joke.



Looking at a map, I was thinking a possible itinerary might be something like Perth - Kalgoorlie - NT towards Alice Springs and Uluru - South towards Adelaide - Along the coast until Sydney (there are enormous possibilities for variation, of course).


Bolded for emphasis - DON'T DO THIS unless you are an experienced off-road driver and can survive in desert conditions. There are no direct roads from Kalgoorlie towards Alice Springs.

I would recommend this route: from Perth, head up the west coast into the Kimberly region and across into NT and Darwin. Then either east across far north Queensland and down the east coast to Sydney; or south to Alice Springs, on to South Australia, then travel across the south east until you get to Sydney. If you really want to go to Kalgoorlie, go Perth -> Kalgoorlie, loop around to Geraldton, then go north from there.



We were thinking of carrying camping supplies to set camp at night if need be, although I don't know what the legality of that would be in certain areas.


If you're planning to go off-road, you will need to have several days of supplies (more is always better). Camping shouldn't be an issue in many places, but some areas are national parks and wildlife preserves, and camping won't be permitted. Check online - there should be plenty of resources telling you what areas camping is prohibited.



Now, my questions are:

(1) Is it factible to do it by ourselves, or suicidal? If it is factible, what are the security needs there?


See my previous questions. How experienced are you at this? If the answer is "no experience", then going a long way off-road is dicing with your lives. A better option may be to stick mostly to main roads and seek out some short "4WD only" alternate routes between various locations.

I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "security needs"? Going off-road, the biggest threat to your lives is death by dehydration if you break down. Communication is a big problem in the rural and remote areas of Australia - a mobile/cell phone isn't going to work in a lot of places; you need a satellite phone or shortwave radio.



(2) Are there any companies or travel agencies in Australia where I could find information about setting that kind of expedition? (I mean, maybe there is some travel agency that already arranges for that sort of trips, perhaps with guides and whatnot, and then it would be a question only of tagging along with them).


I know there are some companies that do short (1-3 week) 4WD trips, but I don't know if there's anyone who does a cross-country trip. Online research is your best option.



(3) What would be the best season to try this?


Autum/Winter. Australian Autumn/Winter - about April through to September. The northern/interior parts of Australia in summer are *very* hot. I'm talking 50C and higher every single day hot. Also, the nothern parts are tropical, which means December to March is cyclone (monsoon) season. At times it will be 50C, 100% humidity, with 120 km/h (or more) winds. Roads will get flooded. Off-road will be practically impassible.



This trip is somewhat of a dream I've had for a long time, and I have a team of friends who would love to do it as well. But, of course, we would do it only if it were reasonably factible.

I hope you can pass on some information or advice!

Thanks a lot in advance,

It is reasonable, and it is possible. The trick is to stick to your capabilities and limitations, do as much research as possible, and prepare.

Hope this helps!

JoseB
2011-07-26, 11:40 AM
Hi Jose. Dexam, a fellow CRFH Boardie here to help with some of your questions. :smallsmile:

Okay, first things first: how long do you plan this trip to take? Because just going from Perth to Sydney via the major highways takes the better part of a week, without stopping to actually look at anything. Once you start going off-road, things will take a *lot* longer.

Hi there Dexam! :) Glad to see you here :)

OK, I was thinking of piling together holidays in order to take a month off from work. I hoped that would be enough time.


Do you have any 4WD/desert travel experience? Can you navigate only by map and compass? Can you survive for days in desert conditions? Can you perform all manner of vehicle repairs yourself only with what you carry with you? If not, seriously re-think right now.

I have driven 4WD off-road. Not really in desert conditions, however, but I was thinking of "training" in the South of Spain, which has very arid areas (of the "rock desert" variety), and is reasonably small and close to civilization in case of trouble.

I can navigate with map and compass, but caveat: I learned to do so in the frame of taking flying lessons (small aircraft pilot licence). I would imagine that navigating on the ground would not be excessively different, and I was thinking on practicing those skills during the "training" I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I imagine that the biggest difference is that, when you fly, you basically are planning your flight from A to B in a straight line (or straight line segments, depending on the airspace restrictions you are going to go through), whereas on land it may well be not possible to do so because of terrain, and you may end up having to deal with huge detours.

I cannot deal with vehicle repairs myself, but one of the people who has expressed interest in coming has experience with that. I would defer to his experience there and he would tell me what would be needed to take along.

Do you think this would be enough? Or would you recommend other types of "training"?


Also, once you get north of Perth, you're already away from "the usual places". The northern and interior parts of WA, most of the NT, and northern Queensland are sparsely populated at best. In some parts you can travel hundreds of kilometers along a highway without seeing another vehicle, let alone any form of civilisation. If you ever see a sign that says "Next fuel station: 400 km", it's not a joke.

Gotcha. See? That is why I am asking here -- to get proper information about the conditions :) I am taking good note.


Bolded for emphasis - DON'T DO THIS unless you are an experienced off-road driver and can survive in desert conditions. There are no direct roads from Kalgoorlie towards Alice Springs.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the information :) It is what comes from just looking at a map and thinking in "straight lines" :)


I would recommend this route: from Perth, head up the west coast into the Kimberly region and across into NT and Darwin. Then either east across far north Queensland and down the east coast to Sydney; or south to Alice Springs, on to South Australia, then travel across the south east until you get to Sydney. If you really want to go to Kalgoorlie, go Perth -> Kalgoorlie, loop around to Geraldton, then go north from there.

Thanks a LOT. This is very good information. I wanted to have a look at Kalgoorlie because of its links with the gold rush at the end of the 19th century-beginning of the 20th century, and because it is the terminus of the water transportation system built by O'Connor. Also, the big open pit mine there, which I understand admits visitors to have a gander at it :smallsmile:

So, if I understand your suggestion, you recommend going up to Broome and from there east, right?


If you're planning to go off-road, you will need to have several days of supplies (more is always better). Camping shouldn't be an issue in many places, but some areas are national parks and wildlife preserves, and camping won't be permitted. Check online - there should be plenty of resources telling you what areas camping is prohibited.

I will do so, and will make an exhaustive list. I already imagined that, at any moment, we should be carrying at least a week's worth of supplies.


See my previous questions. How experienced are you at this? If the answer is "no experience", then going a long way off-road is dicing with your lives. A better option may be to stick mostly to main roads and seek out some short "4WD only" alternate routes between various locations.

That is a nice suggestion, and I will definitely keep it in mind. I have some experience with 4WD, and with navigation, but it is true that it was not in really really harsh conditions (that is why I thought about "training" beforehand). Of course, it would be necessary to check whether that "training" would be good enough.

As I mentioned before, one of the prospective members of the "expedition" would have mechanical experience, and another one is a doctor. The other three, it is true, are not experts in any particular field, although they have experience as campers. One guy has experience in alpinism, but I don't think that it would play a big role in the whole thing :smalltongue:


I'm not entirely sure what you mean by "security needs"? Going off-road, the biggest threat to your lives is death by dehydration if you break down. Communication is a big problem in the rural and remote areas of Australia - a mobile/cell phone isn't going to work in a lot of places; you need a satellite phone or shortwave radio.

I was not clear about that, my apologies. I meant things like logging a route plan with the authorities, keeping in contact (I see that you say that a satellite phone or shortwave radio are essential), any particular vaccinations/semi-weird medicines we should make sure to take along. Also, if there is any exceptional measures that you should take while camping to avoid having to deal with nasty critters (apart from the common-sense ones that every camper knows).


I know there are some companies that do short (1-3 week) 4WD trips, but I don't know if there's anyone who does a cross-country trip. Online research is your best option.

Thanks again :) If you can PM me the name of any company you might know, that would help :) I was doing some online research, but I didn't get to find the information I was looking for. Possibly my google-fu was weak, though.


Autum/Winter. Australian Autumn/Winter - about April through to September. The northern/interior parts of Australia in summer are *very* hot. I'm talking 50C and higher every single day hot. Also, the nothern parts are tropical, which means December to March is cyclone (monsoon) season. At times it will be 50C, 100% humidity, with 120 km/h (or more) winds. Roads will get flooded. Off-road will be practically impassible.

Very good information, thanks :) That means that it will nicely interlock with the summer holidays here, thus giving us more time.


It is reasonable, and it is possible. The trick is to stick to your capabilities and limitations, do as much research as possible, and prepare.

Hope this helps!

It has helped a lot, and I am very grateful for your input.

Serpentine
2011-07-26, 10:31 PM
Don't have much more detail to offer. I will stress the danger part, though. The Australian desert kills people, and in some places help can be days away, if they can find you at all.
Heaps of water supplies, spare fuel, multiple spare tires and tow chains and related equipment are essential. You should acquire communication equipment that works well outside the range of mobile phones - maybe a satelite phone, almost certainly a 2-way radio. Tell people where you're going and where you expect to be when - this probably even includes emergency services. This is crucial: if you don't tell anyone where you're going and when you expect to be there, no one will know, and no one will go looking for you. When they do, they won't know where to look.
Remember: something will go wrong, and you probably won't be prepared for it. So prepare for that :smalltongue:

Neo_Leviathan
2011-07-27, 12:07 AM
Don't watch Wolf Creek before you leave ;)

On a more serious note, Dexam is being a King for information but in addition:
- For lords sake take a Satellite phone! And spare batteries etc for it
- As war movie as it sounds, don't let people wander off on their own. The last thing you want is your mate Bob to head out behind a bush, get stung by something and collapse. He'll be unconscious & dying while you're twenty meters away wondering why he's taking so long.
- Look before you step. Everywhere. While us Aussies love to make up weird creatures and play up our country's danger for laughs, it's quite quite serious. Never touch anything alive, carry a book or similar with you that details how to deal with stings, bites, poisons, venoms etc, and if you're unsure if there's something alive nearby, assume there is and it can kill you.
- Make sure at least one person, preferably more, have very solid first aid training and carry a damned good first aid kit.
- Report your route and expected travel time at any police station you come across, and inform them when you've completed that leg of your journey. That way if you get lost or something goes wrong someone actually knows that you exist, and they can give you up to the minute advice on what's happening on your planned route

Serpentine
2011-07-27, 12:12 AM
Oh yeah, first aid stuff is essential. Remember to include things like pressure bandages for snake bites - and know how to use it!
It's sometimes advised, if and only if you can do so safely, to catch what bit you for proper identification, but if you can't I think a description should be sufficient.
We might be scaring you... So I'll just say the Royal Flying Doctor Service is pretty great.

Dexam
2011-07-27, 12:27 AM
Hi there Dexam! :) Glad to see you here :)

OK, I was thinking of piling together holidays in order to take a month off from work. I hoped that would be enough time.

It all depends on how much camping, stopping to look around, and the amount of time you spend off-road; but a month should be possible, if a little fast-paced (so to speak). As I mentioned, Perth to Sydney via major highways can take about 5 days doing nothing but driving.



I have driven 4WD off-road. Not really in desert conditions, however, but I was thinking of "training" in the South of Spain, which has very arid areas (of the "rock desert" variety), and is reasonably small and close to civilization in case of trouble.

It's good to know you've got at least some experience. Getting some practice in similar or semi-similar conditions is always a good idea. I'd recommend you and your friends looking into 4WD training courses - that way you'll get professional instruction into how to handle a variety of different conditions and circumstances.



I can navigate with map and compass, but caveat: I learned to do so in the frame of taking flying lessons (small aircraft pilot licence). I would imagine that navigating on the ground would not be excessively different, and I was thinking on practicing those skills during the "training" I mentioned in the previous paragraph. I imagine that the biggest difference is that, when you fly, you basically are planning your flight from A to B in a straight line (or straight line segments, depending on the airspace restrictions you are going to go through), whereas on land it may well be not possible to do so because of terrain, and you may end up having to deal with huge detours.

This. Australia is by and large a "flat" land - on a continental scale. Actually traversing it by vehicle is a different matter entirely. 100 kms in a straight line on a map can quickly turn into 300 kms of actual travel due to terrain. Most of the north and interior will not be sign-posted when off the sealed and major roads - knowing how to read and navigate by a map is an essential skill.



I cannot deal with vehicle repairs myself, but one of the people who has expressed interest in coming has experience with that. I would defer to his experience there and he would tell me what would be needed to take along.

Do you think this would be enough? Or would you recommend other types of "training"?

Everyone who is going should learn and practice some basic 4WD maintenance and repair. If something happens to your experienced person and they are unable to advise you, you will need to know what to do. On a similar note, everyone should learn some first aid.

Other training: practice 4x4 driving over a variety of different terrains, not just "rocky desert". Much of the Australian interior and coast is very, very sandy, which is totally different driving experience. Learn how to get a 4WD that is bogged to the axles in loose sand (and mud) *out* of that situation. Learn the correct way to cross a flooded river/stream - if there's an out of season rain-storm, this might happen.



Gotcha. See? That is why I am asking here -- to get proper information about the conditions :) I am taking good note.

Asking people is always a good idea. :smallsmile:



I didn't know that. Thanks for the information :) It is what comes from just looking at a map and thinking in "straight lines" :)

See what I said earlier: don't think straight lines. My recommendation: get guide books (http://www.guidebooks.com.au/). Learn from people who have being doing this for years.



Thanks a LOT. This is very good information. I wanted to have a look at Kalgoorlie because of its links with the gold rush at the end of the 19th century-beginning of the 20th century, and because it is the terminus of the water transportation system built by O'Connor. Also, the big open pit mine there, which I understand admits visitors to have a gander at it :smallsmile:

The Great Eastern Highway from Perth to Kalgoorlie literally follows the C. Y. O'Conner pipeline. There are even a couple of pumping stations (modern and original) that allow tourist visits.
The Kalgoorlie-Boulder Superpit has several viewing points where you can have a look, and there are guided visits you can do as well.



So, if I understand your suggestion, you recommend going up to Broome and from there east, right?

Yes. To get to Broome you have the option of following the Great Northern Highway, if you're interested in seeing the interior; or the North West Coastal Highway if you're interested in seeing coastal regions. Personally, I'd recommend the Coastal route - there's some nice scenery along the way, and you'll get plenty of "outback" scenery once you head east across the Kimberley and into NT and central Australia.



I will do so, and will make an exhaustive list. I already imagined that, at any moment, we should be carrying at least a week's worth of supplies.

At least. As Serpentine mentioned, if you're going off-road a lot carry spare water, spare fuel, spare food, spare tires, tools, and maybe even some basic replacement parts.



That is a nice suggestion, and I will definitely keep it in mind. I have some experience with 4WD, and with navigation, but it is true that it was not in really really harsh conditions (that is why I thought about "training" beforehand). Of course, it would be necessary to check whether that "training" would be good enough.

As I mentioned before, one of the prospective members of the "expedition" would have mechanical experience, and another one is a doctor. The other three, it is true, are not experts in any particular field, although they have experience as campers. One guy has experience in alpinism, but I don't think that it would play a big role in the whole thing :smalltongue:

I think I've already covered this earlier, but it's worth summarising. Everyone in the group should learn at a minimum:
off-road driving skills;
first aid skills;
basic 4WD repair and maintenance;
navigation by map and compass;
basic camping essentials.



I was not clear about that, my apologies. I meant things like logging a route plan with the authorities, keeping in contact (I see that you say that a satellite phone or shortwave radio are essential), any particular vaccinations/semi-weird medicines we should make sure to take along. Also, if there is any exceptional measures that you should take while camping to avoid having to deal with nasty critters (apart from the common-sense ones that every camper knows).

Route plan and keeping in contact: Yes, a thousand times YES. Make sure that someone knows where you're going (destination), how you're planning to get there (travel route), and when you expect to get there (arrival time). At each town you resupply/overnight in, let the police know your plans - they'll get in contact with police in other towns and know to expect you.

Speak with the locals - police, rangers, and service station/road house operators and even other travellers should let you know if any of the local conditions have changed or if there's anything that you might need to be aware of on particular off-road routes.

Things to watch out for:
Everywhere in Australia, the biggest danger is the sun. Cover up, wear a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, good footwear, and keep hydrated.
Snakes, spiders, scorpions. Some of the danger of these is exaggerated, but keep eye out - most snake species are quite timid and only bite if they feel threatened; but there are some that are extremely aggressive.
Water holes/streams/rivers/billabongs - watch out for crocodiles. No matter how inviting it looks, pay a great deal of attention before you go for a swim in *any* water in the northern parts. If you see warning signs in about a dozen languages that say "Danger: crocodiles. No Swimming" they are not a joke. Crocs, especially salt-water crocs (the big ones), are not afraid of you; you are food.
Beaches - be aware of sharks, but also things like jellyfish, blue-ringed octopus, stonefish, and the like.
Insect repellant - lots of this. Everywhere there will be flies, and lots of them. There will be mosquitoes, and lots of them.
Kangaroos and emus - not particularly dangerous unless you get too close, but they are a driving hazard, especially around dusk and at night. Hit a roo at high speed and it will seriously damage your vehicle (and potentially you).

I've no special recommendations for vaccines and the like, but I'd recommend everyone getting tetanus booster shots before the trip.

One big survival tip: if something does go wrong, STAY WITH THE VEHICLE. Most people who have been stranded in the outback and died is because they wandered away from the vehicle - it provides shelter and is more easily spotted than people just wandering around.



Thanks again :) If you can PM me the name of any company you might know, that would help :) I was doing some online research, but I didn't get to find the information I was looking for. Possibly my google-fu was weak, though.

Try searching on "australia 4wd tag along tours" or "australia 4wd tag adventure tours" - that should get you some helpful links.



Very good information, thanks :) That means that it will nicely interlock with the summer holidays here, thus giving us more time.

Being tropical, northern Australia has only two seasons* - the Wet and the Dry. The names are self-explanatory. Your best option is during the Dry season. Outback (interior) Australia is pretty much always dry, so the best option is go when it's cooler i.e. the Australian winter.

(* = or 16, depending on how you look at it, but that's a different matter entirely).



It has helped a lot, and I am very grateful for your input.
Glad to help out a fellow Playgrounder/Boardie. :smallsmile:
Just let me know when plans have solidified, and we might be able to meet up in person when you arrive in Perth.

Anuan
2011-07-27, 12:30 AM
Fact: A month isn't long enough to do the travel you want to do, at least not while stopping and seeing things.

Likelihood: Death, for everyone involved.

I'm possibly a cynic.

Serpentine
2011-07-27, 12:37 AM
Some websites (http://www.exploroz.com/) which might (http://www.australian-4x4.com.au/great-australian-four-wheel-drive-trips-4x4-4wd.html) be useful (http://www.lifehacker.com.au/2011/07/4x4-earth-lists-4wd-tracks-across-australia/).

edit: You might also be interested in this thing (http://tinyurl.com/2f6x8qt).
(tinyurl used to bypass swearword in the URL)

JoseB
2011-07-27, 03:36 AM
Fact: A month isn't long enough to do the travel you want to do, at least not while stopping and seeing things.

Likelihood: Death, for everyone involved.

I'm possibly a cynic.

Well, that is why I am asking here: Information to fine-tune our plans. If the time really is not enough, we can always modify plans, itinerary, etc.

Also, the idea is not to show up there tomorrow and get on our merry way like the greenhorns we are. We are looking at least to a whole year of preparation, training and study beforehand. Believe you me, we are not really that keen to kick the bucket! :smallwink:


Don't watch Wolf Creek before you leave ;) <plus heaps of advice>

Too late! Although, to be fair, I already knew about Murdoch's crimes (no, not this Murdoch, the other one). But thanks for your pointers. You can be sure that I am taking note of all this. Regarding fauna, I will keep this mantra in mind: "If it moves, keep away. If it doesn't, approach with extreme caution".


<links and more advice>

Thanks a lot, Serpentine :) And thanks for the links, they look really useful!! Additionally, that rally looks really crazy. Must be a real sight! ^.^


<very detailed advice> Just let me know when plans have solidified, and we might be able to meet up in person when you arrive in Perth.

Your detailed information is a boon, mister. And OF COURSE I would like to get to meet you in Perth! As a matter of fact, I have been there in the past, and I *loved* the place (I've seen Perth, Fremantle, and drove to the Pinnacles near Cervantes. Got to check out the stromatolites at lake Thetis as well! --with the proper precautions to not damage anything).

So far, the craziest drive I've ever done was from The Hague to Moscow and back. I imagine it is high time for me to break my own record, so to speak :smallwink: