Day 19 – Ballina – Sydney, The Last Day

Today dawned fine for our last driving day of the Great Whaleoil Road Trip Around Australia.

We left Ballina at 0600 after enjoying a night at the Ballina Palms Motel. The lovely lady there even cooked us a steak dinner which  incidentally has made it to our top 3 meals on the road trip.

Despite the best efforts of a journalist snitch to hamper our trip we have not been bothered by the Police in the slightest for the last two days. Clearly the coppers were too busy off collecting their bribes to bother with a couple of speeders.

The drive down to Sydney was an exercise in frustration with numerous road works and poor road conditions. It was until just north of  Taree that the road turned good. basically there is a dual carriageway from there all the way to Sydney a distance of over 300km's.

We made it into Sydney at about 1530. the areas around Newcastle and Maitland are still suffering from the effects of the flooding from the past two weeks. There is still a great deal of water lying in the paddocks. Still at the least the drought is well and truly broken.

So we made it to Sydney, having successfully completed the "Loop the Loop".

Stats for today are;

  • Fuel: 68.7l
  • Average Fuel: 8.9l/100
  • Time 9:36
  • Distance: 753.9km
  • Average Speed: 91.6km/h

So let's review shall we.

  • States visited: 6 (NSW, VIC, SA, WA, NT, QLD)
  • Elapsed Time: 19 days
  • Driving time: 5 days and 19 hours 
  • Total Fuel Consumption: 1700.2l
  • Average Fuel Consumption: 11.08l/100km
  • Total Distance: 15,047.0km
  • Average Speed: 109.8km/h

We spent 1 night in each of NSW and VIC, 3 nights in SA and NT and 6 nights in WA. WA by far is the most pleasant driving state with the best roads and the most interesting scenery. Northern Territory comes a close second. You can keep the East Coast.  I have crossed the Nullarbor, driven the longest straight road in the world, Driven around the longest State Highway in the world, Been as far North on bitumen as is possible in Australia, been to the eastern-most point and the western-most point of Australia, crossed the Tropic of Capricorn twice in three weeks and visited every State and every State capital except Tasmania's. This has been a massive achievement and I am gobsmacked that our total drive time was actually under 6 days!!! Surely that is some kind of record.

The National Highway is over 20,000km long and includes Tasmania, we have just travelled over 15,000km's of that. My FIL always has said "Everything is big in Australia". Now that I have driven around it I have to agree. The whole country is massive. the infrastructure is massive, the trucks are massive, the land is massive. Plenty of Australian's just do not know what they are missing in their own country.

Tomorrow I can rest and sleep in with absolutely no driving and just catching up with some old friends and a bit of shopping. i am completely stuffed but now have an appetite for some more rad trips in this fantastic country. 

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.