I originally come from the tiny Australian island state of Tasmania, and the wide open dusty spaces of the Aussie mainland were unknown to me until I took a bus tour through outback Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, the Northern Territory and South Australia in the early 1970’s. I had decided that I should take a good look at my own country before I explored overseas.
It was quite an eye opener. Roads like this still exist. Two years ago, just before the pandemic hit, I travelled on Australia’s Great Central Road which runs for more than one thousand kilometres from Western Australia through to Uluru in the Northern Territory – and that is pretty much in this same unsealed and dusty condition for a lot of the way!
Most people travel the outback these days in a 4WD (4 wheel drive). And they ensure they have top notch tyres – with a few spares aboard.
But in the 1970’s, this bright yellow machine seemed to be handling the conditions well – complete with a stone guard catcher across the windscreen – but no kangaroo bar. When you hit a roo – or an emu – or a stray cow in this sort of country, it does serious damage to your vehicle – with no repair shop or tow truck within hundreds of kilometres. Possibly even a thousand kilometres away.
I took this photo from the back of the tour bus I was travelling in. The car is an FB Falcon, made in Australia by Ford. Sturdy stuff!