There’s a bridge at the end of this road’s 5,400 kilometre journey which begins in the tropics, on the northern tip of Australia, the bit pointing to the equator just over the horizon. It passes through woodlands, jungles, cane farms, cattle properties and four State Capitals. After crossing Bass Strait, it ends just beyond Cockle Creek, in the sub-temperate wilds of southern Tasmania, a sandy track, to a beach on the Great Southern Ocean, which surrounds Antarctica. I want to walk that…

THERE IS A ROAD wandering from the tropics kilometres through woodlands, jungles, farmland, towns and cities.

House-sitting is by far our favourite type of free accommodation for two reasons. The first is the very satisfying package of doing something worthwhile, helping someone else who needs us and as a by-product we also get to relive the time of moving into our new home. It’s fun. We take on a new life, new neighbours, new friends for dinner, new places to explore, new gadgets to play with, everything new…….

House-sitting is by far our favourite type of free accommodation for two reasons. The first is the very satisfying package of doing something worthwhile, helping someone else who needs us and as a by-product we also get to relive the time of moving into our new home. It’s fun. We take on a new life, new neighbours, new friends for dinner, new places to explore, new gadgets to play with, everything new…….

Leonard and Norman are dogs with personality. Norman the Jack Russell, is laid back and may have been an appliance salesman in a previous life judging by his keen interest in the fridge. Leonard didn’t approve of inertia. He also had a phobia about getting his feet wet and if it was raining, which was frequently, he preferred to piss in the bathroom. Little leaky Leonard we called him and he was fond of kissing and although he never gave up, I’m pleased to say he never succeeded with me…

that a road bridge might come in handy too. A very clever solution, build another bridge on top.

The sun was warming the crisp air and we just sat eating our fish and chips in silence. In front of us, perched on short stilts over the clearest of clear calm water, was the perfect example of a boat shed. The sky was a summer blue although we were near its end, the scattered clouds were wispy white and the smell of the seaside took me back to long distant holidays in Caloundra when pocket money came in sixpence at a time. There were so many calls on my senses, the view of the boat shed…

Yamba still has the lap of water on a semi-deserted estuary beach, crystal-clear water, that wonderful smell of the sea, fishing boats and a

Nat Parks in NSW no longer belong to the nation and have been re-evaluated as a commercial enterprise charging rent to the owners should they wish to access their property. A patch of grass to rent was $28 and included in this generous offer, you were allowed to walk to the toilet. The place was empty but one was not permitted to use a generator (it’s a ‘rule’) so we had to reluctantly turn away from their kindness and find a free camp for the night where we could do as we bloody-well…

Nat Parks in NSW no longer belong to the nation and have been re-evaluated as a commercial enterprise charging rent to the owners should they wish to access their property. A patch of grass to rent was $28 and included in this generous offer, you were allowed to walk to the toilet. The place was empty but one was not permitted to use a generator (it’s a ‘rule’) so we had to reluctantly turn away from their kindness and find a free camp for the night where we could do as we bloody-well…

One can’t ignore the ducks in Bowral, or should that be, one can’t skip the ducks’ tracks. The common Australian Wood Duck population seems to have its headquarters in Bowral. Maybe that’s why the ground is so fertile, these ducks are waddling production lines for fertilizer. Were it not for the mulching capability of the ride on mower mowing might have been a matter of driving around in a mist of vapourized duck shit, but maybe I’m exaggerating.

have been married longer than most of the world’s population has been alive.

Our selection was close by a beautiful stretch of river set into a rural background. Late in the afternoon I wandered across the old bridge and found myself in the bar of a dishevelled hotel in the company of three men and a dog. It seemed unlikely any Sat night frivolities were planned so after quenching my thirst I wandered back ruminating on lost opportunities. I’m sure the packed campground held more than a few who would have seized upon the opportunity for a diversion this evening.

Late in the afternoon I wandered across the old bridge and found myself in the bar of the dishevelled hotel in the company of three,

Ivan, the timber floor specialist and Matthew the embonpoint builder explained the finer points of why we were standing in the centre of the universe on the shore of Western Port bay actually, which Ivan said was not a bay because it has two entrances. Matty said he felt that assumption may not be correct or words to that effect, but he might have been a little more assertive in his expression. Come to think about it, his reply may have contained some expletives.

After making a mess of reversing, in fact three forward-backs, I went off for a walk (sulk) on the beach and was accosted by two blokes who

We’re on the main road of the village of  Derby, so traffic can be heavy, in peak times up to one car per minute. Of the three dish-lickers we’re looking after, the standout is intelligent Quinn. Late each afternoon she attracts my attention with a silent bark. Looking you right in the eye, she ‘mouths’ what could only be described as a polite request, asking if she could watch TV. Her favourite shows are the cartoons but she likes the Simpsons too and well anything that runs really.

our first Travel Australia house-sitting furkids in Tasmania.busy village main road sometimes up to,

Once you reach the top paddock there is a fence set back a few metres from the edge but a substantial part of this in now nothing more than a memory so this is not a place to wander about at night. It would be very easy to simply step into space and find yourself falling the 1,000 feet into the trees beside the lake at the bottom. I have to admit to exercising some caution as I approached the edge which is in long grass and not clearly defined.

After meeting the three toed, clipped-nail Bridge Platypus yesterday and engaging in Friday night's pub conversations that brought forth a strong desire to see

We turned south for Bicheno. Gone are the mountains, this leg is straight along the coast line and some spectacular views. The strong southerly that chilled our bones on top of the pass was still blasting its way across the ocean, making its first landfall on the rugged coastline offset 30 degrees to port. The famous Great Ocean Drive in Victoria is spectacular it's true but here it's more personal, perhaps because this is no tourist drive, this is real. One has a sense of connection…

A Bucket List Driving Experience - The Fabulous East Coast of Tasmania

I know it sounds like a trick. In a mild way maybe it is because my wife and I travel together and between us we nominate $436 a week, but we have two of everything, phones, computers etc, we even have two cars although we only drive one so it is a very mild deception, if at all. We like a glass of red and good quality food so we don't try too hard, but just assumed our meagre income would be insufficient. What really astonished us was how easy to turned out to be.

I know it sounds like a trick. In a mild way maybe it is because my wife and I travel together and between us we nominate $436 a week, but we have two of everything, phones, computers etc, we even have two cars although we only drive one so it is a very mild deception, if at all. We like a glass of red and good quality food so we don't try too hard, but just assumed our meagre income would be insufficient. What really astonished us was how easy to turned out to be.

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