This is a photo I took in the early 1970’s of a toilet stop on a bus tour of outback Australia that took me from Melbourne, Victoria, through the back of New South Wales to Mt Isa in Queensland, over to the Northern Territory and Darwin and down through the middle of Australia to Adelaide.

It’s a photo that I think shows the huge generational change that happened in the 1970’s. The weather would have been fairly hot in the outback, so definitely summer clothes were the go.

Note that the older women are all wearing dresses. I recall the younger people on the tour wore shorts, trousers or jeans. The older women are also wearing very ‘sensible’ brown leather shoes with matching handbags, while the young people were wearing more casual thongs (flip flops) and sandals.

The lady in pink appears to be wearing heeled white shoes! Anyone who has travelled the Australian outback will know they were not a good choice!

The older women are also wearing stockings on an outback tour! In those days, any decent woman wouldn’t be caught without her stockings when wearing a dress. Many had not even moved onto those new fangled things called panty hose! They were still wearing stockings and suspender belts! I recall buying my grandmother a pair of pantyhose in an attempt to get her to abandon suspenders and stockings!

Note also the handbags – one lady still has her travel tag attached. I recall a lot of the older people on the tour kept their travel and airline tags attached to their bags and cases.

One of girls also has a shoulder bag – very much in the 1970’s ornately embossed leather style that was popular with young women then. Yes, I had one too! They call them vintage now!

As for the outback toilet – pretty basic even in those days! Not quite sure what the hoses were about. Glad to say loo stops in the outback have improved since then!

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