We will from time to
time comment on issues we think are important, although we are bound by Frank Lloyd Wright's
comment: "I'm all in favour of keeping dangerous weapons
out of the hands of fools. Let's start with typewriters."
Which really means it would have to be an issue that would impinge on our
rights to wander where we want without hassle, for us to hit the
As I think back
over my life, I remember those times spent in English classes at Quarry
Hill State School where we were
forced to learn poetry of all things. Being the quintessential country
kid, it didn’t seem to make much sense or to be terribly masculine.
The poem was "My Country" by Dorothea McKellar. We learned
every line by rote and probably never appreciated one line. I now see the pictures painted by
her words. I must say that they are as
accurate then, as now. Now however, they are inspirational to the Australian
traveller, or perhaps this one in particular, so I have reproduced them
for you other travellers to judge for yourselves:
love of field and coppice,
green and shaded lanes,
ordered woods and gardens
running in your veins.
love of grey-blue distance,
streams and soft, dim skies
know, but cannot share it,
love is otherwise.
love a sunburnt country,
land of sweeping plains,
ragged mountain ranges,
droughts and flooding rains.
love her far horizons,
love her jewel-sea,
beauty and her terror
wide brown land for me!
stark white ring-barked forests,
tragic to the moon,
hot gold hush of noon,
tangle of the brushes
lithe lianas coil,
orchids deck the tree-tops,
ferns the warm dark soil.
of my heart, my country!
pitiless blue sky,
sick at heart, around us
see the cattle die
then the grey clouds gather
we can bless again
drumming of an army,
steady, soaking rain.
of my heart, my country!
of the rainbow gold,
flood and fire and famine
pays us back threefold.
the thirst paddocks,
after many days,
filmy veil of greenness
thickens as we gaze……..
A willful, lavish land
you who have not loved her,
will not understand
Earth holds many splendours,
I may die,
know to what brown country
homing thoughts will fly.
If she had mentioned fuel prices, dust,
flies and corrugations, I believe it may have taken some of the gloss off
the inspiration. As yet I've not found a better description of our
country and I think it's one all Australians should know.
European settlement saw each and everyone of them
try to turn their particular piece of paradise into Cornwall or Bavaria
but scratch the surface and nothing has really changed. The more
change forced upon the land in order to grown alien crops and support foreign
animals has seen the land strike back. Drought and flooding rains
are now the norm. Salt has ruined vast stretches of prime semi arid
land and polluted the rivers and streams. European Carp have reached
plague proportions in our waterways.
Australia is huge by any stretch of the
imagination and those of us who live here have a basic idea of what is actually
here to be seen, smelled, absorbed and taken in by all senses.
Australia is overpowering in both isolation and desolation. Harsh
and unforgiving but probably the most beautiful place on earth. Put
simply we have the lot. Bitumen roads finally provide all weather
access to all states and territories. The ubiquitous gravel
road provides access to the isolated places we adore and hold up as the
national treasures they are. Visitors from overseas cannot comprehend
the vast distances that can be found between outbreaks of civilisation in
Few can come to terms with the fact Melbourne and
Cairns are 2,000 miles, yes miles, apart with not much in between.
We all hear stories of tourists hiring cars in Melbourne to visit the Gold
Coast and expecting to be back the next day. Once again it's about 1,050
miles by the shortest route and even further if you take the coastal route.
site provides snippets, anecdotes and pictures of where we've been.
To say our trips are as smooth, as say the Leyland's, would be lying, we
just aren't that good, but then again we don't rate down there with the
three stooges and we only have half the grief of Russell Quoit. If
you have an interest in four wheel driving, travelling to Cape York or the
high country this site may help. People like us get a lot of joy planning
our escapes, researching, selecting and paying off equipment and getting a
feel for the destination before we leave. Each and every trip is
different as is each and every new situation we discover.
don't profess to be experts in the field of four wheel driving or for that
matter anything but enjoying ourselves and making the resource that will
support us for the rest of our lives, superannuation, last whilst looking
around the country. The basic plan is to avoid the Victorian winter
as much as possible so if you want to contact us between July and the end
of September don't waste your energy because we will be somewhere warm
seeing just how much water there is between the fish.
travels have, already, taught us a lot and if anything in this site helps
you great. We've learnt that the wrong fit and type of clothing can
cause a great deal of grief and all manner of vehicle and travel related
"stuff" we didn't find in the magazines or books. We are
not professional travellers in the same vein as Ron Moon and the others, well we actually would be classed a Amateur
(note the Capital A) but we do supply services to our fellow travellers. Dawdling all over Australia is our
fascination, hobby and dream. If we can help you let us know and
we'll do our best.
As this site grows we will endeavour to give advice to those like
myself who now travels to the ends of this continent in my trusty four
wheel drive. I retired early in September 2000 and I have just
completed three trips to Cape York and back and, believe it or not, both
me and the 4x4 survived the trip a little wiser and with a completely
different outlook on the people and the place.
4x4arts.com is not a supplier of driver training
to recreational 4x4 drivers nor do we retail any of the products seen on