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Australia is a big place

Having spent a big chunk of my time driving after Adelaide, I can tell you that Australia is a big place. I knew that buying a car and seeing all the sights on my own meant there would be a fair amount of driving. No one can really tell you what driving in a place like this is going to be like. It’s just one of those things you have to experience for yourself.To view the last few big driving legs of the trip, check out the links to Google Maps.Adelaide to Broken HillBroken Hill to DubboDubbo to MilesMiles to Airlie BeachAirlie Beach to CairnsEveryone says tourists come to Australia and think they can drive from one place to the other in no time. Coming from Canada I know that it would take more time than that and vowed to keep in mind the incredible distances and time things accordingly. I’m still a tourist. I was looking at how much driving I’d have to do in the next few days in Adelaide and saw the distance from Dubbo to Cairns, over 2000 kms. Hmm, that’s a long way.I was happy to be on the road seeing everything rolling by my window but I was also anxious to get to Cairns. It was on the drive from Dubbo to Miles that I left a little later than I had hoped and assumed I would make good time on the highway. I did make good time, stopping only when I needed too and taking quicker routes. It’s still a long way to go. I was having fantasies of driving all night and reaching Cairns in the morning, spending a day to recover and then hitting the beaches. Driving is all fun when the sun is up and the weather is good but as soon as the sun goes down, so do my eyelids. Driving is about the last thing anyone would ever want to do to stay awake. Windows open and music blaring, I was heading to sleeptown so 1400km shy of Cairns, I ended that days drive in Miles.A quaint little town of maybe a few thousand whose main strip consists of a few shops, a 24 hour trucker stop and a caravan park across the road. I inquired at the caravan park about a tent spot(really just for my car) and then said sign here. 15 bucks later and I’m outside with Chuck(I’m not sure his real name) seeing where to put my car. There were caravans everywhere, except for a small path into the middle of them from the driveway. 15 minutes later, Chuck’s exhaustively explained the possible variations of parking my car in the small patch of grass and I pick one and drive in.Aside from the trucks cruising past every 30 minutes and the bright lights shining in the back of the car, it was a good sleep. 7 am and I’m up, showered, and on my way to Airlie Beach. I’m excited to see something I’ve read about, to see somewhere I’ll be spending some time in the next few weeks. After a few breaks and driving almost 11 hours, I arrive in the party town of Airlie Beach. It’s basically one strip with a beach on one side, houses on a hill on the other. Along the main street, there are travel places, clubs, hostels, hotels and ice cream shops. That’s about it. My kinda place :)A quick look at all the brochures in the reception and kitchen and I’m jittery with excitement. Snorkel here, dive there, swim here, take a boat ride there. Many, many things to do and only so much time and money to go around. I’ll have to choose wisely what I do in the weeks to come. It would be all to easy to spend everything I’ve got and more on all the different tours and things to do here.