Header Ads

Highways of Australia

 Australia is best discovered on the road, book your campervan hire for cheaper travel.

The highways of the nation can be linked to the days of Cobb & Co when the inland routes followed the rivers and creeks because both horses and working bullock teams needed water. When the motor vehicle made its appearance they continued to follow these routes and as time progressed the same road surfaces were gradually improved, first with macadam, then cement concrete and now with bitu-men. However, because most roads followed watercourses, they were fre-quently flooded. As a result large sums of money have been spent rebuilding roads on higher ground, which has meant that many towns that had their origins as coach stations no longer exist.

As Australia enters its third century of settlement the mainland continent is surrounded by a national highway. Work on this highway commenced in the early 1970s and the responsibility of building and maintaining the high-way was undertaken by individual State Governments. For the most part this highway follows the coastline of the nation, except from Townsville to Darwin where it crosses the interior of the Gulf land. Today, this highway is completely surfaced with bitumen.

Many of Australia’s inland highways pass through vasts tracks of flat, feature¬less country, over red surfaces that are hard-baked by intense heat during the day. Surface water is scarce and with the hot temperatures, dust storms and sudden floods, which turn non-bitumen roads into quagmires, many ill-equip¬ped travellers have come to grief.

Many of the highways of northern Australia are used by large road trains taking their stock to market and deliv-ering goods from the south. Their approach can often be detected many miles away by rising columns of dust on the horizon. Since visibility can be severely reduced by tunnels of dust in their wake, motorists are well-advised to pull over to the side of the road until the dust has cleared. Similarly, motor¬ists overpassing road trains should exercise extreme caution since on¬coming traffic may not be seen through the dust.

Tidak ada komentar