Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Day 1 - Melbourne to Broken Hill {Outback Adventure 2015}

L Dennis, Chareen & Nathaniel 
R Isaac, Derek & Daniel

The reason it's been so very quiet around here is that I have been on the trip of a lifetime into the Outback of Australia.  I do confess that I now have a deeper appreciation for the sheer magnitude of size of Australia.  In the last 22 days I have traveled 6,982 km ( 4,338.5 miles) and I am in awe of the beauty that is Australia. The Outback is the local colloquial term for the isolated rural area of Australia.

Nathaniel and I traveled with my Dad in his Terracan  which is affectionately known as 'Dingo'. It's a Hyundai diesel Terracan 2007 CRDi (King of the Offroad) which has a few modifications for driving in remote areas. My Dad blogs over at Dingo Den's Travels about his travel adventures.

My brother Derek and his two sons Daniel and Isaac traveled together in his 2003 (MY04) NP GLX DiD Pajero. This car is affectionately known as Grunter and you can read about his the modifications he has made to his car in preparation for this journey here: Grunter's Mods.

Happy Birthday Derek!  Cake made by my sister

Over the years the family have developed the tradition of meeting together for a super early breakfast at Mc Donalds before we embark on an adventure.  Seeing that my brother would be celebrating his birthday on our trip my sister baked him a surprise cake!  You can see some of the spectacular cakes she makes over on Facebook and Instagram.

My Dad driving and the beautiful sky as we commenced our adventure.

We were on the road by 6:30 am as we had over 800 km to drive on day one.  Our destination was Broken Hill.  I have wanted to visit here for many years because my maternal grandmother was born here.

'Grunter' trail blazing before us in the early morning.

 We decided to take a slightly different route to Broken Hill via Bendigo.  Bendigo is a beautiful city located in regional Victoria and was birthed during the gold rush. I hope to one day return and explore this beautiful city's architecture and history. An interesting fact about Bendigo is that it is located very closely to the geographical center of the state of Victoria in Australia.

Beautiful fountains along one of the main streets in Bendigo.

One of the glorious cathedrals we passed by.
One of the traditions that my beautiful Mother started with our family whenever we traveled was to stop for morning tea along with her beautiful basket loaded with glass cups, flask, tea and coffee.  At 10 am we arrived in Charlton. We stopped at Travellers Rest to enjoy tea and chocolate muffins. Travellers Rest is located along the Avoca River Walking Track.

Travellers Rest in Charlton.

This fish intrigued me and upon closer inspection I realised it was one of the decorations from Melbourne from the 2006 Commonwealth Games.  It represented Kenya and is a Broadbill Swordfish Xiphias gladius.

This 'key' was made by a volunteer that came to Charlton to help with the clean-up after the devastating floods of January 2011. It represents the spirit of volunteerism in a situation of adversity.

As we drove north it became noticeably warmer and you could see spring being announced in nature all along the road sides.  There was a lot of spring growth upon the trees and there were constant surprises of wild flowers along the roads.

Next stop was Merbein where we enjoyed a beautiful packed lunch that was most satisfying thank you Mom!

About half an hour later we crossed the Murray River over the Abbotsford Bridge.  This bridge is a liftspan bridge. This bridge is a steel Allan truss-type bridge spanning the Murray River between Curlwaa NSW and Yelta Victoria. The Murray River is Australia's longest river at 2,508 km (1,558 miles).

 Australia is a land of contrasts.  One moment you are driving through lush vegetation, the next scrub fields and a moment later dry land.  It is ever changing and never twice the same.  Here are a couple of photo's of the landscape within one hours driving!

We arrived in Broken Hill at 5 pm and spent the night in a cabin at Broken Hill Tourist Park.  Although Broken Hill is in New South Wales it operates on South Australia time which was rather confusing to start with.

Plenty of mining evidence all over Broken Hill

Broken Hill Tourist Park

Lovely cabin in Broken Hill

A beautiful sunset after a wonderful start to our first day on the road.

Stats for our first day on the road

  • Distance 844 km 
  • Average speed 78.8 km/h 
  • Total time 10:43

The children decided it was warm and wanted to swim. It was so funny to see their reactions to the cold water in the pool!

A photo posted by Chareen (@chareenr) on

And all of a sudden I was surrounded by the sound of silence and this is what I saw ...

A photo posted by Chareen (@chareenr) on

My Dad will be sharing his thoughts on our Journey over at Dingo Den's Travels and my brother has shared his thoughts over at Grunter's Blog Day 1


To read more of our 2015 Outback Adventure journey you can find the posts here:


  1. Sounds like the start of an amazing journey. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts Chareen :-)

    1. Kylie it was a wonderful way to start our journey :) I'm looking forward to writing more posts to share.

  2. That is an impressive first day - nearly 11 hours. Phew.

    1. It was a long day and I loved seeing how the scenery changed as we entered warmer areas.

  3. So excited to see pictures and get to follow your trip now! Thanks for sharing- what fun it looks!

    1. You're welcome Michele. I'm looking forward to sharing more.

  4. How exciting Chareen - pity Paul could not be with you - but GEE how do you keep the cars so clean & shiny!!!!

    1. It was a pity and I missed him - This was the only day they were clean because we were on tar sealed roads. Day two started our dirt road journey ...


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