Getting to AOA by Freeway via Broken Hill

Getting to AOA by Freeway via Broken Hill

This was the third long trip to an AOA using my Freeway; the first being to Perth in ’09, second to Devonport in '15 and the third to the Barossa this year.

It was given a basic service on Kev Airton’s hoist and we deemed it was OK for the trip. I was travelling in convoy with Ken amd Desley Parker; they were in their 2014 Mazda CX5 having shipped their A30 by truck. My Freeway may have been to first to try the Second Toowoomba Crossing which is a much easier climb over the range and a quicker way to Goondiwindi than going over Cunningham’s Gap.

We stayed in Moree and the next day was the longest to Cobar. Plenty of old buildings in the towns along the way, but the drive to Broken Hill featured only one large town, Wilcannia, and small refuelling/cafe stops at Emmdale and Little Topar. Some of the lovely old sandstone buildings in Wilcannia are really worth a look. Broken Hill has plenty of well-known attractions, such as the Pro Hart Gallery and some of the old pubs and shops in the centre of town, including the old Railway Station which is now a museum. Desley had everything worked out and had Ken and me dutifully trying to keep up. We did a side trip to Silverton where they filmed some of the Mad Max movies, and there is a museum crammed full with some of the cars used in the movies. They were mainly Fords, but there is an A40 chassis and some front sheet metal which they used as a tow car.

The country between Brisbane and Burra in South Australia is desperately dry and brown, but from there it suddenly seemd to turn a lush green which we can only envy. It was even drizzling in Burra - another old town with many Cornish styles houses and many of the miners came from that area.

I was on my own after AOA and came home via Ballarat and family. It took two days from there to Brisbane via an overnight stop in Dubbo. I’m not sure whether the Freeway’s speedo is accurate, but by my reckoning, it did 27.25 mpg, not bad considering they got just over 29 at cruising speeds when new. This translates as 10.37 litres per 100km, again not bad for a 55 year old car on a trip of just over 5,000 kms.