A few weeks ago Jo asked people to send in pictures of their travel maps with their favourite trips marked with highlighter or texta.

The response we received was overwhelming and way too many to publish them all in our weekly newsletter. We have decided to put them all up here for others to see how adventurous some people have been over the years, provide ideas for the future, and envy of times when everyone could travel freely. Especially us Victorians who can’t go anywhere at the moment.

It all started with Malcolm when he sent this picture to us and we asked where others have been.

Here are some of the replies we received from all over Australia, New Zealand and USA.

Patrick and Margaret. This is our wall map, which is stuck up on the wall in my home office above my desk, to give me inspiration. Our favourite trips have been without doubt into the Great Victoria Desert, where we’ve been several times. You might just be able to make out the quote stuck on the bottom – Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.

Brian – My contribution is a places we’ve been map created by a popular camping App, so I hope I haven’t breached any copyright rules. I have been a fan of the FF for many years and truly appreciate the work you and your small staff have put into it, and your dedication during this awful pandemic. I wish everyone in Australia a safe passage through it all and please everyone stay safe while traveling if you are allowed.

Ron. – please find attached out map of travels around Oz. We first began with a box trailer, then an Aussie Swag and now have an AOR Quantum. We try to make a couple of two-month trips per year. I personally enjoyed the Anne Beadell Highway the best, didn’t see another soul for 4 days, and it is simply now just a track with the scrub hacked back from the trackside so that vehicles can get through!! We have our map hanging proudly in our office for bragging purposes and also to wonder where to go next. As soon as the travel ban was lifted in Qld we set off for the Diamantina Lakes NP. I think we must have been the first there.

Colin – Here is my map. Not as adventurous as some. I keep it in my map drawer. Probably the best trips since I retired as a geologist was across the Nullarbor with my wife for the Great WA Bicycle ride from Albany to Perth, to Uluru with my daughter, and outback painting trips with friends to Arkaroola And Ruby Gap.

Michael – After seeing your wall map, I’m almost embarrassed to share ours, but we’ve only been outback travelling for 5 years. WA has been on the agenda since retirement 5 years ago, but (multiple) daughter’s weddings, then grandchildren have prevented any serious travels west – hence the lack of texta in most of that state (but at least we’ve been to Tassie!). The map sits in our garage, so every time we jump in the car, we can think about ‘what’s next?’ Best trip hard to pick, but probably the first with our outback camper. Kidman Way, Toorale NP, Yowah Opal fields, camping on the Cooper, Bladensburg NP, Lawn Hill NP, Lark Quarry, Karumbah, Bedourie races etc. Driving the Gibb in perfect road conditions (June 2016) a VERY close second. PS. just back from camping on the Darling, but now housebound in metro Melbourne.

Fargo. – My wall map is on my kitchen sliding door and difficult to light for a photograph. I’m currently adding some unvisited areas in Queensland and then NT, all going well. Oh, and my favourite trip would have to be my next one, they are all great!

Scott. – This is an incomplete look at my travels. I too have a large HEMA framed on the wall but it’s even more out of date….Might be a good ISO Project to fill it in!

Heather – It is good to see Malcom’s map. Ours is hanging on the wall in my lounge room. I had it framed for my husband Ken for Christmas when we had retired from our adventuring. It opens up conversation sometimes with our guests and provokes lots of stories and good memories. It is hard to choose which was our favourite trip. Everyone had highlights and challenges. Yet I can never forget the joy of clambering to the top of a hill, following a kangaroo bounding before us, and marvelling at the 360-degree view when we reached the top. – a wonderful display of colour! This was part of the Chichester Ranges, northern W.A.

John. – Attached is my wall map with trips since July 2008, the first of my retirement trips in Oz. Unfortunately, the Hema map has faded, so I’ve actually bought one of your laminated maps recently and am updating the trips, but it takes time. My map has been displayed on the wall of my office area, but that has recently been upgraded, and I’m not sure where I’ll be allowed to hang it in future! It is a very useful tool when planning future trips (such as “route map 2” attached, using tracing paper overlay, which was meant to be our septuagenarians group trip in 2020 and now set for 2021).  VERY difficult to say which is my favourite trip, perhaps Great Victoria Desert in 2017 when the season was magnificent. Keep up the great work.

Roz & Allan – Here is our wall Trek Map. Location? On the garage wall where the Troopy can see it. Favourite trip? Gee, that’s hard. They have all been good. Perhaps from the Sunshine Coast to the Pilbara. Or maybe to East Arnhem Land, or anywhere in the deserts!

Elke. – Basically, we undertake one major trip each year and have done so since 2012 – after my husband (Gary) retired. Each trip is colour coded for the year it was taken and is marked with campsites. You will notice a significant absence of tracks on the western side. This was going to be filled with our “snail trails” of the trip we planned for this year. Five months to include the Kimberley, and down the west coast and across the bottom. However, COVID-19 kicked in and we have our fingers and toes crossed for 2021. The map is stored in our trip “preparation room” – picture also enclosed – otherwise known as my sewing room. Our favourite trip?? Well any trip in the desert country – but I guess if I had to choose – it was the first one. We had joined the Toyota Land Cruiser Club in 2010 – however owing to my husband having 7 surgeries in 3 years (including prostate cancer and two knee replacements) it was a while before we could really join in. We hooked up with a trip leader who planned to travel as many Len Beadell tracks/roads/highways as possible. We found a new world of wonder. Swales dotted with juvenile desert oaks – like so many sentinel “Cousin It’s”. The joy of the desert nights – the stars – the silence – the companionships around the fire. The challenge of the sand dunes. Discovering that even if you are only going to the toilet in the bush – you must take your camera. Finding tiny treasures of flowers and the mystery of a spoor or scat that you don’t recognise. Getting excited about seeing emu number 315. We found the knowledge that we are privileged to be able to see things that many people will never see. In short – we fell in love with the country and the travelling – and hope to continue until our bodies and/or our vehicle is too rusty to go on.

Robin. – Please find attached my exploration map, kept on my home office wall. My most memorable trip ….? There have been many gut-busting, bum-clenching cross-country exploration runs going back into the mid-1980s, way before GPS came available. Probably the most challenging and rewarding was our first drive down the Cooper Creek from the Birdsville Track about 120km to the estuary at Lake Eyre in 1987.

Terry. – It is hard to pick the best trip but probably the 9-month trip right around would have to be up there.

Bob – I am sending along our wall map with the trips we have taken on it. We live in Texas in the USA, and we have made quite a few trips to Australia over the years. I keep the map on the wall in my home office (I am a retired oceanography professor), where I can sit in my comfortable recliner and look at it and remember the wonderful trips we have made. My favourite trip was in 2005 when we went from Sydney to Perth (by train) to Mount Augustus to Broome, then the Gibb River Road to Kununurra, then to Darwin, Kakadu, Savannah Way to Karumba, then to Charters Towers, Mount Isa, Tennant Creek to Alice Springs. Second favourite was from Alice Springs to Uluru, then the Gunbarrel Highway, Meekathara, Meredith and Perth. Two trips to Birdsville and the track were also great. Always wanted to do the Canning Stock Route, but now my wife tells me I am simply too old! First trip was in 1970, most recent in 2018. One highlight was visiting the Westprint Office in Nhill in 2014 with my grandson. I have used and enjoyed so many wonderful Westprint maps over the years. Thank you for all the happiness you have been so much a part of!

John and Frances – Attached is the spaghetti map of our travels in Aus. What is shown are our trips of more than 3 weeks duration. Our first long trip was in 1979 to Central Australia after joining the Toyota Landcruiser Club in 1977 with our first shortie. The next long one was our first trip to Cape York in 1983, which included a trip down the beach from Ussher Point to Captain Billy Landing. There were also many more short trips within NSW and Victoria of course, but they are not shown. We have now travelled more than 1,000,000 k’s tripping around within Australia in four Landcruisers: 2 x SWB’s and 2 x Troopy’s. We are still driving the second Troopy.

Graham – This is our map that normally hangs on the wall of the hallway. It is too hard to pick a favourite but Walcott Inlet, a 5-week trip down the CSR including Rudall and other side trips, Cape Arnhem, and just about any desert trip all rate high in our memories.

Sue & Graham – Our Map of Aussie Travels. It sits on the family room wall as you enter from our back door (country people only use a back door!) and is the first thing our visitors see! Our first BIG trip was in the early 1990s 4-week late December/January run to Esperance via the Old Telegraph Track. We experienced many kilometres of remote beach driving and fantastic scenery. This was followed up a few years later with 14 weeks LSL towing an off-road trailer when we headed to the Red Centre via the Oodnadatta Track, Uluru, Kings Canyon, and Alice Springs. From the Alice we then made our way to the Kimberley via the Tanami Track. Kalumburu, Cape Leveque, Broome, the Pilbara, Rudall River NP, Kalgoorlie then followed the Trans Continental Rail back east to Forest (an interesting spot). We then dropped down to Eucla on the black top then eastward to home in North East Victoria. Trips of a lifetime which only wetted our appetite for more and we have been doing just that! Like everyone else we are biding time and looking forward to hitting the road again when it is safe to do so.

Bill and Everal – Our most memorable trip is one we ran for 8 vehicles with 16 people of the Idlers 4×4 Club. We called this trip “The Top End Trip”. Melbourne to Burketown, around the Gulf to Darwin then to Kununurra – Wyndham – Gibb river road – Kalumburu – Mitchell river road, National park – Derby – Broome – Across the Tablelands Track to Purnululu National Park. Halls Creek – Tanami Road – Old Ghan Track – Oodnadatta Track – Back to Melbourne. 12-week trip in 2001 covering 17,000km. Our favourite area is our Victorian High Country around the Snowy River tracks. We have been on all tracks highlighted on the Map many times over 25 years and 400,000km. All by 4WD & Tent – using paper maps – No GPS. Mostly with Idlers 4WD Club groups.

Ian – Here is our wall map of our trip around Australia over 3 years starting in 2010. We had grand plans of printing it and putting under glass on our dining table, but never quite eventuated, so it still sits in our travel blog: https://enookway.travellerspoint.com/2/ We travelled with 3 young kids and worked at a variety of places on the way. Favourite locations: Top end of NT, Katherine to Darwin and the bits either side of the road (Kakadu and Litchfield). All of the stations we stayed/Worked on (Darling River, Mataranka, Cape Crawford).

Stuart. – My wife and have been caravaners for 25 years and have kept a diary of each trip we have done. The map is on the wall of my study and each pin shows each town or place where we have spent one night or more. Our most memorable trip was in Aug to Oct 1999 when we set off with our long-time friends in our caravans across the Nullarbor to stay on our friend’s cousin’s property in Dongara for a few days. We then headed for Perth to meet my old school friend and his wife; he was Best Man at our wedding. They had flown in from the UK. I had organised a Motorhome for them. We then took 7 weeks to get back to Melbourne, travelling south of Perth, across the Nullarbor, around the York Peninsular, up to the Flinders Ranges, down to Adelaide, then around the coast road past the twelve apostles and the Great Ocean Rd, to home. All three vehicles were in radio contact and we always kept the motorhome between the two caravans. A fantastic trip for us all and an eye opener for our English friends who knew Australia was a big country but not that big! We talk to them on Whats App and that trip is still talked about as one of their highlights.

Laurie – My map is laminated and kept rolled up behind the lounge room door. The map is Gregory’s Metric Edition map No. 150, 8th edition and includes conversion tables for kilometres to miles and for miles to kilometres. All of the marked trips, with two exceptions, were done with various Landcruiser station wagons towing off road caravans. One of the two exceptions was a trip across the original Gunbarrel Hwy which ran from Wiluna to Warburton Mission. My late wife and I did this trip with a Landcruiser station wagon in August and September 1979. The other exception is marked with straight lines for a flight from Derby for an overnight stay at the Horizontal Falls. My favourite trip is any out of Melbourne with a preference for the Outback where I can have personal space.

David & Heather – Our wall map hangs proudly on our kitchen wall. We have far too many favourite places we have visited to mention – but we have visited Alice Springs thirteen times – The Rock four times (first time in the 70s when we camped at the base, no resort and a very muddy road in and out)- Longreach five times – a couple of our most memorial trips have been the Complete Outback Way (twice) The Gibb River Road twice once in each direction – we loved Lawn Hill and many other places. We are always discovering something new – on our last visit to Alice Springs we stumbled on their very first cemetery where we discovered the grave of Jim Cummings, great uncle of trainer Bart Cummings. Our first long trip was to Perth in a HT Holden – the to the Alice in a Datsun 180B a year later – in the days of dirt roads – with two young children in a three-man nylon tent on a shoestring budget.

Graeme – Our map is on the wall in our computer room. It’s difficult to pick our favourite trip as everyone offers something unique, but probably Cape York via the old telegraph track would just pip up the west coast of WA to the Kimberly region.

John – Your invitation to submit a wall map caught my attention! I have been maintaining two, which I refer to as my Bragging Maps, since 1990. They reside on a portable easel ready to discuss with visitors and for planning more trips. One is of the roads travelled. The other is of the campsites used as logged on a GPS. They represent trips since 1990. The Victorian trip records are incomplete because there are too many to display on these maps. On many of our trips we have led a convoy of about five vehicles comprising friends and associates from various walks of life. It has given us much pleasure to introduce them to the remoter parts of our great country. Even more pleasure has come from the fact that several of them subsequently formed their own groups and did likewise. We are so lucky to have such remote places to visit. My son and his wife have been travelling in an Earth Cruiser in South America, Europe and Asia for nearly three years. They seek out the more remote places but claim that there is nowhere to compare with the remoteness of our outback.


Roger – My map is in my lounge room. The first issue was in 1960, which showed a lap of Victoria. This is the latest. The last addition to the map was a loop out to Paradise Dam (west of Bundaberg) in early July. My favourite trip: Coober Pedy, Emu, Anne’s Corner, Mt Davies Road, Surveyor Generals’ Corner, Mt Woodroffe, Ayers Rock, Alice. And yes, I still like to use the occasional apostrophe, despite what our leaders think.

DG – Our trip map is directly in from the front door. While we are physically able we are concentrating on the more remote areas and saving the south west and the east coast until later.

Neil & Pat – Here is our travel map from 2004 to 2017. When I retired in 2003 I Wanted to see all of the dirt roads in Australia while I still could. In a previous life, business had taken me to every capital city and major towns in the country plus many round the world trips. I had never seen Alice Springs and had not been further north beyond Rockhampton. We bought a Landcruiser LC100TD and a Bushtracker and have explored 150,000km of our country. We travelled by ourselves except for four years when we travelled with an amazing cat. Charlie used to walk each night with a harness and a 5-metre retractable lead, and made friends with dogs. A great companion! We travelled with a satellite phone, a PLB, tyre pressure monitors for truck & van and lots of spare parts. We were able to fix any of the few problems we encountered. Our travels were a fantastic experience for both of us. I’m a bit “long in the tooth” for major van travels now and both TOJO and the BT live a comfortable life in a big shed in semi-retirement.

Dawn – My Map is in craft / kitchen room. I have some other trips including 5 Walking with Camels in Simpson and other deserts with Outback Camel Company. Also done 4×4 along railways and travel on Indian Pacific, and have loved all my trips Canning Stock Route was amazing. Also, my flight from Brisbane to Birdsville then over Lake Eyre and back home.

Vince – We have 2 maps of Australia on our office wall, but they don’t show our travels. They show the journeys of the early Australian explorers. One is an Australian Geographic map showing ALL the tracks of the explorers’ journeys and the other an old Shell Roadhouse map showing the first century of Australian exploration. Both have been laminated. So, we don’t have a map of Australia showing our travels. Would it allow us to show all the detail of roads we have travelled? What we use is a book of maps we bought from a man called John, at Westprint, a few years ago as it has much more road detail in it AND it has the same scale throughout the book, rather than different scales on different pages. Bonus. When we are on a trip, each night I mark off the roads we have travelled and we try as much as possible to go wherever we are going by a different route to that we have previously used, even if it takes a bit longer. These are usually the roads less travelled and of course less traffic, and I can tell you now, we won’t see it all in our lifetime. The roads less travelled are where you see the REAL Australia

Susi

Jeff. – Attached wall map of our Australian trips. We have come over from NZ for 2-3 months for the last 10 years and have covered over 100,000km. Hard to choose what our favourite track is – we just love them all. Our favourites are all Len Beadell tracks and I think the Anne Beadell Highway has to be our favourite. Beautiful countryside and plenty of history around the atomic testing days. Maralinga is well worth the visit. We just love that “Big Sky” country which is something we don’t get in NZ. We have snow covered mountains instead! Our map is on the wall of the study and referenced almost every day. We were all set for a trip to Arnhem Land this year (supposed to be there now!!) but Covid-19 threw a spanner in the works for that. Hopefully next year.

Paul & Helen – Attached is the travel wall map that is displayed on the wall in our spare room in Mount Beauty Victoria. We have covered a lot of Australia since we started our adventures in 2006. Our favourite trip was the Canning in WA of course using the Westprint Canning Map. On many of our trips we pulled a Track Trailer Tvan (10 years) but sold that two years ago and purchased a Track Trailer Topaz which is a good unit.