Avoiding the Motorways and Taking the Back Roads in Australia

As you know, a couple of weeks ago we had a holiday in Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales coast. We’d driven down using the motorway, known as the Pacific Highway and also Highway 1. I’ve written about that road before and added a video about it in my post called I Love The M1 – The Australian One.

On our way back on the same road though, as we approached Grafton, we saw a sign warning of delays on the Pacific Highway due to an accident. So we decided to cut across the Grafton Bridge…

Grafton bridge… and head on home via the back way.

So instead of doing this…

RouteWe did this, well more or less, we picked up our blue route at Grafton…

Back routeMy thanks to Google for these maps and you can click on each of them to be taken to a more detailed view.

Even when I lived in the UK I was always a bit of a fan of avoiding motorways and taking the back roads wherever I could. Here though, it’s even more fun.

The first road we were on was called the B91, or more wonderfully, the Summerland Highway. For the most part it looked like this…

Summerland Highway 1 Summerland Highway 2

Summerland HighwayWe passed through the main towns of Casino and Kyogle and apparently also the smaller towns of Dilkoon, Banyabba, Whiporie, Myrtle Creek, Fairy Hill and Wiangaree, but I don’t remember much about those at all. We missed out on the strangely named Woodenbong as we ducked off the B91 to take an even quicker cut through that saved us about 40 km.

That road took us across the border into Queensland…

Queensland border

Queensland borderObviously we stopped to check the car for rabbits before continuing along that road. Lots of twists and turns and creeks and wooden bridges, but not many other cars…

Coutry roads 1 Coutry roads 2 Coutry roads 3 Coutry roads 4 Coutry roads 5 Coutry roads 6 Coutry roads 7 Coutry roads 8 Coutry roads 9 Coutry roads 10 Coutry roads 11 Coutry roads 12 Coutry roads 13 Coutry roads 14 Coutry roads 15 Coutry roads 16

Country driveUntil eventually we rejoined another main road, this one the Mount Lindsay Highway, which looked like this…

Mount Lindsay Highway

Mount Lindsay HighwayThat took us past Beaudesert before finally heading onward into Brisbane.

The amazing thing was that both of these journeys, the motorway on the way there and the country roads on the way back, took almost exactly the same amount of time. Around six hours each, including a quick stop for a bite to eat and a toilet break.

I know which of the two journeys I preferred.

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{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Holly February 12, 2016, 7:59 am |

    Lol had to giggle at those numerous same-looking photos. Spoke a thousand words 😀

    • BobinOz February 12, 2016, 8:53 pm |

      Ha ha, yes, I’ve got 27 more photos that look remarkably similar, but I decided not to put them all online 🙂

      • Holly February 12, 2016, 8:56 pm |

        Good decision lol 😀

  • djmcbell February 5, 2016, 7:17 pm |

    A lot of those photos with the rolling hills really remind me of our short week in New Zealand (which was more hilly though – I really must dig put those photos on my phone so I can go back through them on business trips).

    As an aside, in our “looking forward to Australia” routine, we often will put on Wanted Down Under between dinner and our two-year-old son going to bed. He’s now learned to say “Australia” and frequently gets excited about it, yelling it at the top of his voice.

    Even the ones where they do New Zealand. “Where are they?” “AUSTRALIA!” “No, New Zealand, but close enough…”

    • BobinOz February 5, 2016, 9:05 pm |

      Give him time, once he’s been here long enough he’ll soon learn to call it ‘Straylia’ 🙂

  • Australia February 4, 2016, 5:49 pm |

    Beautiful road and I will travel on it during Australia visit.

    • BobinOz February 5, 2016, 9:02 pm |

      I reckon I’ll be using that road again myself, very enjoyable.

  • Wendy John February 4, 2016, 1:58 pm |

    Bob, do you know if. uK TV will work in Oz?

    • BobinOz February 4, 2016, 5:50 pm |

      I’m not sure anymore, not since we’ve gone all digital and with the advent of smart TVs. At worst, if it doesn’t you could buy a set-top box (tuner), you can get a real cheap one for about $25, and connect it to your TV through the USB.

      So unless you can sell it for decent money before you come here, maybe it’s worth bringing.

  • Scott February 4, 2016, 6:35 am |

    Hi Bob,

    Thanks for sharing. It looks lovely, I must say it does remind me of the countryside roads in England, which I don’t see much living in Birmingham and not owning a car 🙁 . I expected your pics to look more tropical but not a palm tree in sight and lots of green grass!


    • BobinOz February 4, 2016, 5:29 pm |

      Yes, the area I was in was very lush and green, but not all Australia is like that. Other areas, mostly further south or inland, would look very dry and brown. We do have palm trees here, I have them in my garden in Brisbane, their just happened to be none in that area.

      And you are right, it doesn’t look too dissimilar to the English countryside.

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