Day One. Orange, NSW to Broken Hill, NSW. 902 Kilometers.
Today was our first day of our long journey across Australia. The alarm was set for 5:30 a.m. and it went off for quite awhile until Nathan finally rolled over and turned it off. And ignored it. We’re good at that. I couldn’t be bothered to get up and turn it off myself (Hello, that’s why I’m married! I believe firmly husbands are responsible for the alarm.) I don’t think we rolled off the couch until 6:00 a.m. We said we were going to leave Orange at 6:30 a.m., mind you we were heading out with friends of ours who were going in the same direction.
They’re always on time, us on the other hand, not so much! We ended up taking our time getting ready since we had some of our close friends with us and we enjoyed some cups of tea and coffee. We stayed at our friends house the last two nights since we handed in the keys to our flat on Friday, so it was nice to have our friends see us off (even if we did wake them early on a weekend morning! Sorry guys, we love you.)
It was another cold Orange Winter morning. I forgot to take a screenshot of the weather or the temperature, but there was the usual layers of ice on the cars, grass and everything else outside. It was probably around 0 degrees Celsius, probably high 20’s Fahrenheit.
We finally headed off around 7:15 a.m., which wasn’t too bad! The drive was incredibly quiet. There weren’t many cars, barely any big trucks and absolutely clear and sunny the entire way. I had only been as far as Dubbo (about 2 hours away from Orange) and I have learned there isn’t much after it either! We drove through a couple of really small towns that have the usual: at least one pub, one gas station and a little downtown with a grocery store and a takeaway shop. Most towns the further east you go exist because of the mines, and I still can’t believe how quiet country towns are on Sundays! They’re like ghost towns.
Along the drive there were lots of open fields. Big trees, then little trees. Honestly the landscape changes suddenly. Closer to Orange it’s lots of green rolling hills and big timeless trees, the farther east we got, the less green it got. There were smaller trees, and lots of brush. At some points the infamous red Outback dirt were on parts of the sides of the roads. Lots of giant farm lands where you could see the cattle roaming aimlessly.
Let’s see, what animals did we see?
- Cows. Duh.
- Bulls (Angus beef!)
- Goats (Wild goats, all shapes, sizes and colors roaming aimlessly on the sides of the road. Yes, my husband and I started giving them names and background stories. Told you there was nothing else to entertain us!)
- Donkeys (They were with the camels…Didn’t know camels & donkeys got along? Learn something new everyday)
- Sheep (I name all my sheep, “Uggs”)
- Dead Kangaroo (Still yet to see a live one)
- A dead fox (Because a live one would be overrated right?)
Farms we saw?
- A Turf Farm (You know, the pretty grass)
- A Cotton Farm (There was heaps of cotton lining the side of the road. Nathan says it looks like the Easter Bunny got run over by a lawn mower)
- Then the usual cattle and sheep farms
- Oh, can’t forget the Camel & Goat Farm…(No idea the purpose of that)
Overall, the drive went pretty fast. I think I only slept for about 45 mins, Nathan drove the whole way. We got into Broken Hill about 5:30 p.m. local time (which is 6:00 p.m. Sydney time- the time we used to be on…lol) We listened to music mostly, and when we went through 2 playlists we then went on to the ipad for movies! Note to all the non-tech people. You can connect your iPads and MacBooks via Bluetooth to your cars (permitting your car has the Bluetooth function) and play music/hear movies through your car speakers. Cool stuff. So we watched/listened to Taken and Final Destination.
As we neared Broken Hill we kept seeing signs for a fruit check. They don’t want you taking fruit over the South Australia border apparently due to fruit flies. Unfortunately, we planned on not experiencing that until the Western Australia border, so I had just enough fruit for 2 1/2 days that I bought yesterday. So, I was pretty irritated when I had to throw away the whole punnet of strawberries, a bag full of cherries, 4 bananas and tomatoes at the “drop your fruit dump” only to keep driving with no sign of anyone checking anything. We were literally 5 minutes from where we were staying. There goes tomorrows fruit breakfast and the tomatoes for tomorrows sandwiches. Oh well, over it!
So FYI people traveling east via Broken Hill, they tell you they’ll fine you $11,000 if they find fruit on you! But no one checks, and really, how are they going to prove you didn’t just buy it at the local grocery store in town? I understand why they have produce/border checks, I understand there can be fruit flies, bugs, etc. and how they can ruin lives. But if you’re going to threaten, then enforce it instead of having people waste heaps of healthy foods. Kilometer wise the signs kept saying the checks were before Broken Hill, which confused us both because Broken Hill is on the NSW side, but the border to South Australia is close by. So maybe when we cross the border tomorrow we will go through an actual check…either way, the signs lied if there was supposed to be a check when they said there would. But I’ll update you tomorrow to see if we get checked going across.
Overall today was a pretty darn simple day. It was a quiet Sunday drive, we pulled over in “Bogan Shire” (hahahaha…) and I made sandwiches on the side of the road for lunch, no such thing ever as traffic, got to our first destination with absolutely no worries and no getting lost. (Actually, I think getting lost is impossible.) I have lots of photos that I need to upload to this, so hopefully I will do that tomorrow. I planned on doing it tonight, but I’m already falling asleep, and Nate is already snoring away (I leave any techy stuff to him!)
One eleven hour day down, a new adventure comes tomorrow!
Goodnight. Buenos noches. Adios. Besos from Broken Hill, NSW!
The “undies” tree
The “shoe” tree
P.s. I cannot believe I almost forgot to mention the bone tied to the rest stop sign! Creepy! A giant bone. Nate said it looked like an arm…I’m guessing from a Kangaroo? Only photos will do it justice. That and the five trees we passed that were very appropriately decorated for a variety of occasions. One tree had bottles and cans on every branch, another hats, another undies (yes, undies!) another shoes…but the last…dolls and bears! Yes, kids stuffed animals! It was so…inbred. Lol… I have def got to show photos of that!