Small summary of our trip

Our trip lasted 82 days. We drove 18800 kilometers. We went through every state in Australia (sorry Tasmania!). Despite making a long journey, we only saw small part of Australia. This country is very different from Europe and You could experience surprises on every step. Nature’s pranks are everyday event here. While being in Australia there were over flood in Queensland and fire in Victoria. I managed luckily to make this trip without any force majeure or nature’s interference.

I experienced roads that were over flooded. Driving out of Mackay I saw a small tropical cyclone. “Frog” was exhausted by these ventures.  To Brisbane I reached couple of weeks later over floods and I did not notice any sign of dramatic event. Brisbane was struck by mean tropical cyclone afterwards, but by then I was already 170 km south.


Forest fires (Buchfire) are not rare in Australia. Favorable climate gives plants ideal growing conditions and therefore everything recovers very fast. Signs of Buchfire you could see everywhere, but in Victoria the fire has been going on only 2 weeks earlier. Soon I found out that in case of disaster special units react very quickly. Within 2 hours the over flooded roads are blocked and traffic directed to the other roads. The traffic is well redirected and regulated.


Tele communication. Familiar people said that it is better to choose Telstra which cover s most of Australia. In reality we found out that there were many “empty” areas. Surprisingly car tracking worked all over Australia. Naturally GPS showed that we drove over the fields in many places were the roads existed. About tracking a vehicle you can read more on page “Tracking”.


About flying. Just before flying to Australia Finnair had a strike, but it was cancelled 2 days before our flight. The flight back was without any hitch. The flights between continents take time, but you probably don´t know that the very first trips on aircraft from London to Sidney took 8 days! If you plan long ahead you can have a ticket almost as cheap as Asian flight companies’ offer.  The difference is only that Finnair offer includes dinners, TV, but Asian companies charge it separately afterwards. It took 3 flights to cover Tallinn – Melbourne. We gave away our suitcases in Tallinn and received them in Australia. That was very convenient. Weight is what you should precise with – every kilogram over means money and it is money from your pocket. Australians though were not too rough with us.


Summing-up our trip I could say that all went by the plan. Of course there were unexpected events, but all in all it went well. We expected surprises and handled them well. I tried to express my feelings about the trip on It was not professional – I know, but I relax myself with a thought that it was more for my friends and acquaintances. Anyway, our website was visited more than we expected. Statistics told that visits were made from 34 countries. Some of them were random of course, but from 20 countries visits were made several times.

If everything goes well, there will be more interesting events. Homepage of Aussieround stays in the internet for a while. If you are registered newsletter receiver then you will be hearing news from now on too…



Erki,  Hannes  &  Mr. Wilson

PS   I have a lot of photos and I put the best photos in a few weeks on this website

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Last day in Melbourne

I got the note from Hannes, that he had received a package with his favorite food inside – fast noodles. From here to Estonia it took 10 days. Luckily preserving time of the noodles is ca 300 years! Hannes can taste these noodles for some time! It was the good news!

Bad news is that I wiped out by mistake many good photos from my cameras memory chip. I did it of course before I copied them to my laptop.

I´ll try to describe what you have been missed now! We won´t see old houses with very interesting architecture… Houses are built on quite small territories… and Australia is bigger than Estonia I think 170 times!

We don´t see pictures of “Australian Airshow 2011”, where everything modern that flies was exposed. Present were helicopters, small planes and the most modern aircrafts. Demonstration flights were super! I can´t describe it with correctly maybe, but some fighters launched directly (vertically) up to the air. For me it was a great view! Despite that I think the best exponent of the show was military colored steamroller. It might have been a vehicle to serve the local airport, but you never know…at least it does not fly very high!

The day before my departure I tried to make up to my camera for deleting some of the best photos I made… I went to down town and shot some people… You see lots of young people here – seem that the aging isn´t Australia´s problem like Europe´s. Most of the pictures are made from women, because they really are prettier than men! Selection is following…


… and some pictures more


…notice that many people are talking on the mobile phone or sending SMS! It is a modern world…






8th March,


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Departure of “Frog”

The new owner of “Frog” will be German guy Nick. We settled a meeting on 28th February. The night before I had a serious talk with “Frog”. I explained him how he must behave with the new owner. It is not polite to overheat when climbing the mountains! Handbrake is not a useless thing, but to keep you still. “Frog” looked surprised, but did not argue with me! We made a deal that he serves Nick well and will not make me shame!

I asked Nick to feed “Frog’s” radiator with certain medicine, which helps hopefully to clean it.  Nick told me that he drives from Melbourne to Adelaide and onwards on the roads “Frog” is familiar with.

Probably I won´t never meet “Frog” again. I made some pictures before our roads departed.


They say that you are only twice happy with your car – when you buy it and when you sell it! On the last picture you see two lucky men!


In Melbourne I expect to make some interesting moves and one not very intersting, but about that already in my next update!


28th February


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Phillip Island – Melbourne – Queenscliff – Sorrento – Melbourne

From Philip Island I drove straight to Melbourne. I have to sell old “Frog” and find him a new partner. I unloaded all the stuff from the car, made some pictures and advertized old “Frog”. The very next day I had 10 calls from the persons anxious to buy old “Frog”.  I made a deal with German backpacker, who promised to buy my vehicle after Monday. Until then I try to go to the places near Melbourne, that I haven´t visited since.

With local friends I took a trip to Geelong – Queenscliff – Sorento. In Geelongis I strolled on Tallinn Street! It is a short and quiet street in the Bell Park. There I first saw a birch in Australia.

The road took me on to Queenscliff, where you can take the pontoon to Sorento. The channel between Queenscliff and Sorento handles all the sea traffic, which connects Melbourne with the ocean. Melbourne is protected from the open sea by Port Phillip Bay. They say that is why you can´t predict Melbourne´s weather well and your prognosis can change many times per day.

At first we planned to go back through Dandenong Mountains, but the day turned in to the night. One does not want to take an adventure in the dark and we turned back to Melbourne. We got back late in the evening.


I asked are there any festivities regarding Estonian Independence Day, but nothing special isn´t going on. In Sidney they organize a boat trip to Shark Island. We made a dinner ourselves. In eastern side of Melbourne there is a Russian shop where we bought black bread. We ate pork dish this evening.




24th February


By the way I shot some pictures from „Frog“ and special corner for him on our website!

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Lakes Entrance – Port Albert – Phillip Island

The name of Lakes Entrance pictures correctly the purpose of it. On that spot there is an entrance from the ocean to the lakes. We can think long is it the lake, the rive or the bay?! Someone has made a choice before me – it is the lake!  All the dividing land zone is really a very large sand dune, which is partly covered with forest. You have to count that most of the forest is really the bushes. The only real forest is the rain forest where the trees are really high.

Port Albert is far from the highways. I met Dutch backpackers there and they were also heading to Melbourne. In Port Albert I tried to measure and picture the difference between highs and lows. The local people say it might be up to 2,5 metres.

Port Welshpool is like many other port towns, but I saw a very interesting view there.  Several towboats pulled an oil drill tower from the Philippines where it was made. The weather was foggy and I could not manage to take a good shot out of it. About oil drill towers I had a lecture from the local farmer Paul who is a farmer and sheepdog breeder.

I decided to drive to the lowest southern point in Australia. It is in Wilsons Promontory. The road to that cape is very rocky. It was a tribulation to old “Frog” again, but we completed this one again. The road ended in Tidal River. To reach the very southern end of Australia one must walk ca 20km. Here I lost my appetite to conquer the mountains. I defined myself a new aim and it was “I drove to the most southward parking lot in Australia”

In San Remo marketplace was held on that day. It contained a circus and all the stuff that goes with it. They sold any kind of rubbish you could think of and the live band was performing.

From San Remo the road takes me to Phillip Island. On that west coast island You can see the small penguins (the smallest on earth in fact). After the sunset they crawl to the shore and they demonstrate it gladly for 36 dollars. As I was there in the morning I decided not to wait and move on to Summerlands. It is situated far in the west. Very strong wind expected me there, but the view was marvellous.

About sports.

Australian likes sports. In the morning You can see lots of people jogging, bicycling, swimming and exercising. Early in the morning they are there. I park “Frog” in the evening on an empty parking lot and in the morning you`ll find it completely changed.

The parking lot is full of cars and other vehicles. After an hour it is quiet again. This morning the bicyclers were on top – they had a special race coming. Well, Estonia is as rocky as Nepal, but the most popular bike is mountain bike?! In Australia they are mainly using the road bikes.


19th February

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Sydney – Camberra – Tilba Tilba

Driving away from Sidney I took lots of nice pictures from the coast. I made a small circle and drove through Royal National Park. It is rocky territory covered with large forests. From there it was a possibility to head straight on to Southern Highway, but I chose the longer road and went on to Grand Pacific Drive. Some parts of that road remained me of Great Ocean Road which I used in the beginning of my trip. The endless beaches varied with industrial territories. I spent the night near Seven Mile Beach. I think it is even longer than 7 miles! The weather was not good as the rain was dripping.

In Batenhaven  seaside park I saw very interesting design. As I have written before, there is a memorial for soldiers fallen in different wars, in every town. Mainly the obelisks look the same, but this time the design is different! Even benches in the park are different. In the Computer Store they sell all kinds of computers you might desire. In Batenhaven  I changed one rear tire, which was totally sleek.

The road to Canberra took me over the mountains and it was a tribulation to my old “Frog” Too bad that my GPS doesn´t have an altimeter. Rough ups and downs in the mountains left a feeling to me that I am conquering Dzhomolungma soon. Luckily after rapid climb downfall came, so it turned out easier for me. Canberra did not surprise. Canberra´s architecture was planned by Americans in the beginning of the last century. The roads are wide; there is lots of space and greenery. You can´t get lost in Canberra. Everything is made like by using the ruler and the dividers. Canberra for me is like the city somebody drew.

I visited the Australian War Memorial. The soldiers fallen in the wars are all written there – starting from Soudan Contingent 1885 until the Iraqi War. Surprisingly there are many wars that I did not knew before.

Parliament House is big and fancy. People can visit it freely everyday 9AM – 5PM. The only exception is Christmas. There is a store in the Parliament House where you can buy lots of souvenirs. I thought I´ll buy two mugs with the first and the last prime ministers on it, but taking a closer look I disappointed a bit.  On Julia Gillard mug there was a picture like from her passport and the price was high too- 19 dollars. At last I decided to buy a John Howard mug. He was the long termed prime minister of Australia.

To Lilli Pilli I drove only because the name is so cute! It is almost as beautiful as Kununurra. Lilli Pilli turned out to be a small town, where building was going on around the clock. For couple of years later Lilli Pilli will look like hundreds of other small towns, but the name stays pretty!

It seems that real estate business is in Australia nowadays very popular. Even in small villages there is at least one real estate office and plenty of work to do. I can tell You that there is nothing new in this sector – property location and how big it is counts. Small town house will cost 250 – 500 000 dollars, but very fancy houses much more!

I was heading south and tried to keep close to the coast. On my way to Congo asphalt ran out and the gravel road started. It was the very first time during this trip when I drove on the landscape. As my GPS commanded me forward, I moved on stubbornly.

I ended this day in Tilba Tilba. A village from 19th century. In the evening it was very busy in “gas-station-bar-restaurant” Very nice place.

Late greetings on behalf on Valentine´s Day´!

Special greetings to police officer mr. Drown, who gave me maximum penalty for not fastening the seat belt.

Tilba Tilba,

15th  February

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Woolkoolga – Newcastle – Sydney

Driving on to south I saw many small towns by the coast. Pacific Highway mainly runs by the coast. Before Newcastle I stopped in Sandgate.

As my “Frog” is not very good looking I decided to put some stickers on it. At first I thought to buy some material myself and design a flower or two.  Then I saw a company offering just what I needed! It was car painting company and they also make stickers. They made some flower stickers within couple of hours for my “Frog”. “Frog” looks different now and is much happier!

Sydney is the oldest city and the biggest city in Australia. Sydney lies down by the coast with its suburbia. The coast is mainly very rocky and there are many little bays. Little bit south from Sydney is the place where Captain Cook landed in 1770. Captain Cook did not discover Australia. Information about Australia was brought to Europe by Dutch and Spanish sailors. They did not regard it suitable for themselves, so Cook brought British flag and Australia turned out to be Great Britain’s colony.

For most of the people Sydney´s symbol is Opera Theatre and everybody recognizes it from the pictures. It is a unique and attractive building. Opera theatre´s architect was a Danish, who first visited Australia after winning the architectural contest.  Building cost much more than at first calculated and caused many emotional discussions, but the end result is superb.

Sydney is not only Opera Theatre. Beside the theatre there is a grand bridge connecting northern and southern parts of the city. The dots on the bridge are people moving up on the watchtower.

The city lives 24/7 and there are lots of tourists always in Sydney. Sydney has a wonderful panorama, which can be viewed from many different angles.

They kept repeating to the tourists, which side you must first look, when you are starting to cross the street. As an experienced driver in Australia I know all that, but as a pedestrian the remanding was alright to me. Office employees differ from the usual people in the city – they always carry very important papers under the arm plus have a picture with a workers name on the chest. That gives them an opportunity to go in to the places other people can´t. The clerks on the picture were only to estimate some object´s “health” and after half an hour left being very satisfied.

Sidney´s airport is in the southern part. Leaving Sidney I saw an interesting view of 3 in 1!

…and a little more:

So far I have not wrote about the aborigines. I had not much information before I came here, so my visions are strictly based on what I saw. I heard that aborigine´s DNA is similar to Hindu and probably came ca 60 000 years ago. They really differ from other races (looking how they look like and their habits as well). Europeans tried to put aborigines behave and live like they do. Maybe on other continents it somehow worked, but not in here! White men should have come here maybe couple of thousand years later! Europeans tried to put on the pants to aborigines too earlier, they skipped one developing period, I think. Integrating them has not been successful. I did not make any pictures of aborigine lying in the gutter drunk and healthy young man begging. I saw lots of aborigines in the same condition. I did not saw any aborigine working, but I hope there are plenty of them! Even street aborigine musicians where managed (read: sold) by a white guy.

The government of Australia offers many favors to the aborigines. Prime minister has officially apologized from them and now they think it is all done.

Natives´ problems are not over and practically I do not see how it will be solved. If I knew I would drive to Canberra right away and fix this thing! So – I don´t know the solution  and therefore just keep on driving…


11th February

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Brisbane – Byron Bay – Nimbin – Woolgoolga

Driving south I presumed to avoid speedways and keep close to the ocean. Theoretically it is possible, but in real life it will probably take twice as much time. The thing is that most of the coast is populated and traffic is very lively there. Cities have crossroads and traffic lights like everywhere. With the speed like that I would make it to Sidney by July!

The first longer stop I made in Byron Bay. It is nice little town with many handy craft stores. They sell everything between aquarelle paintings to leather suitcases. There were also stores, where they made their goods themselves. The prices were quite high, but usually handmade goods are.  I stayed in Byron Bay over night.

Next day my destination was set to Nimbin. Nimbin is Australia’s biggest hippie commune. You need to turn off the speedway and drive ca 50km in the mountains. Nature is fantastic here. The road got narrower and the trees got higher.

When I got to Nimbin, I was not disappointed. It is more like a village, not town. Most of the activities were taking place on the main street. Old, hairy and pierced men were having good time. Probably they smoked pot too. It was a bit disturbing that every 100m somebody was there to sell it. If I wanted, I could get it anyway and anywhere. They sell industrial hemp (pot) fibre clothing in the village, which cost 50% more than cloths made in China.

There were lots of tourists in the village. I had a feeling Nimbin is destination for pilgrimage.  Every kind of hairy human beings you could find here. I met a man (60 years), who had arrived to Nimbin in 1988 from Slovakkia. I could not understand how he could leave Slovakia legally in 1988.  He spoke very bad English – worse than me! He lived 20km from Nimbin and goes once per month here to party.

When the tribes of tourists were left by the evening, only local hippies stayed. Atmosphere was more relaxed then. I sat to the far corner of the bar and just enjoyed it. Then I met Ricky who had moved here for a while. He asked me over to see his place.

From Nimbin the journey continued back to the coast and to south. I tried to avoid speedways, but it is quite impossible. If you want to go to the coast, you must turn off the highway and back the same way again when returning. Suddenly I discovered myself in Italy! In 19th century Italians landed here and live here till nowadays.

Something about local “Letterbox world”!

West side where the distances are really long, there are 200 litre tin cans on top of the pole. They use these cans as mailboxes. In the cities everything is correct and „comme il faut“.  When I turned up to the mountains and to the rainforests, I was expected by far peculiar picture.


5th February

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Townsville – Rockhampton – Brisbane

Traffic and settlement are much more intense now and I am moving on to the south coast. Driving out of Mackay awful rain and strong side wind surprised me. About 20 km I drove with speed 60km/h. Rain was so heavy that even local people stopped their cars. There were some dangerous situations where cars were stranded without the lights. I took no risks and turned to a parking lot. Rain drummed so heavily against the car roof that I could not sleep, so I turned back to the highway. The highways of Australia are well informed with many informative signs. That is good and helps you avoid routine. Distances are very long and you can see many warning signs. They tell to rest your eyes, to stop for awhile, etc.  There are many different versions of those warnings. Some are polite reminders, but some tell you “Rest or R.I.P.”

I turned off the highway to a small seaside town Yeppoon. Town like a fairytale, between the mountains and beside the ocean.  Driving a high mountain old “Frog” almost went boiling, but we managed to climb… In the same town I used laundry house and found a barber. Despite being a proud owner of a comb, I decided to get a haircut. You know that it is not so hot with less hair on your head! I picked some words from my dictionary to express myself and went in. I explained that my head is “hot” and can you help me out?! They understood me instantly and a haircut I received. Of course I could have been talking in Latvian and they would have understood me… Anyway it´s pure waist to own a comb and get a haircut!

Before reaching Brisbane, I turned to the seaside to find a place to eat. I did it and got my stomach filled for 10 dollars! I had delicious toasted fish (Barramundi fillet in garlic sauce). Restaurant was nearby fishing port and fish there is always fresh. Before my dinner I met this Barramundy fish-fellow (big armour, sad eyes and thin lips). Fish and Chips is very popular food in Australia and that they serve basically everywhere. About chips I can´t tell you much, but fish tasted very good. Usually it is some kind of a white meat fish… Depending the area, you could also find other stuff from the sea to eat.

In this small town many houses have their own dockages. Well, that´s perfectly logical – you can step on your boat from your bedroom!

As most of the big cities, Brisbane also has several suburbs. I met a Finnish acquaintance there – I guy named Marko. He showed me a nice place to spend the night. You can see the panorama of Brisbane from there. In the bay there is an island where you can walk to while having the low tide!

I had an early start next morning to go to the city. I was caught in a traffic jam, nervous and hungry. It felt like Brisbane is constantly building and building roads. My GPS was confused. I got there and after strolling around couple of hours I left.


2.  February

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Mount Isa – Townsville

My journey continued and the weather was continuously hot. I had a tea in Road House, kept by a man with big grey beard. It was an universal bar-motel-gas station-restaurant. The rule is that in smaller places the fuel costs more than in bigger towns and/or cities. The lonelier place is the higher price will be! About 100km further the fuel was much cheaper. Local people can of course choose the right station to fuel, but I haven´t got much experience around here. I recall that in one letter I wrote how polite Australian drivers are. Well, it does not count here in Northern Territory!

The goods on the highways are carried on big trucks, which they call Road Trains. One truck pulls up to five wheelbarrows! Their do not slow down even when driving up the mountains. I saw a Volvo truck or two, but they seemed to be as fragile as city madams comparing to local heavy-monster-macho trucks. Heavy trucks move only on highways and you never see them in the villages, towns and cities.

I turned off the road to look at town named Charters Towers. I wanted to buy some drinking water. Townsville greeted me with cloudy weather. Closing up the town you could feel the temperature getting lower and you knew that the ocean is close by.

I turned to south and after 20km I decided to turn off the highway. I could not be lost, at least my opinion said so. Heading east you will meet the ocean sooner or later. The road got narrower and then it ended! I was surrounded by high grass or maybe sugarcane!?

My eating’s habits in Australia.

You can´t take many food products for a long trip. They get spoiled quickly in the hot environment. Toast is well preserved. On sale there many tastier white breads, but those become spoilt faster.  My stockpile is now consisted of 1 tomato, 3 onions and 5 lemons. It is not dramatic because uninhabited places are now behind me. I am now officially on the East Coast. Those 5 lemons by the way are from our Estonian friends in Melbourne and have travelled ca 12000km. At first when we got Australia, we bought many food products, including “fast noodles” We had a gas oven, so a chance to make the hot meals was there. One must get a hot meal per day – that is the rule you must obey. I tried to obey, but these noodles were the most disgusting I ever have had. I think to devise those noodles to the next owners of this vehicle! I might add a story why they are so useful…

30th January


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