At the end of the 1960's we decided to pack up and travel north to Carnarvon for a well earned holiday. We only had a small Ford Anglia which was getting on in years but was a great little car. In it and on it we packed ourselves and our two children, about 11 and 13 years of age, plus a large 10'x10' tent, 4 camp stretchers, 4 thin matrresses plus pillows and bedclothes, a stove, cutlery etc., cooking utensils, a table and chairs and personal belongings. We of course had a roof rack and a reasonable size boot. We set off quite early in the morning and headed for the Great Northern Highway. (Our Anglia was grey)
One section of the road wound around steep hills and it was here that the two youngsters began to get on each other's nerves as often happens. I decided it would be a good idea if we stopped the car and I exchanged places with my daughter. We had to wait until we found somewhere we could safely pull off the road and the exchange took place. We hadn't travelled but a few miles when MOH said we'd have to change back. It seems we had the car so well packed that with my extra weight in the back (my daughter at that time was tall but very, very slim and weighed a good few kg less than me) had upset the balance of the car so that the front wheels were only just making contact with the ground, making steering very difficult particular on this stretch of road. There was just not sufficient traction with the bitumen.
We eventually reached Northampton where we stayed at an hotel overnight, and caught up with my eldest niece and her hubby who were living in a caravan in Northampton where he was doing some work for Telstra (at that time known as Telecom if I remember rightly).
We set off on our northward journey shortly after we had eaten breakfast with no mishaps of any kind and eventually reached the caravan park in Carnarvon where we set up the tent and made it all comfortable and spent about 10 or more quite interesting days.
There was no water at all in the Gascoyne River so it was customary to just drive across at designated spots but unfortunately we chose the wrong spot and became bogged. Some very nice, obliging young aborigines attacked a towline to our car and pulled us out and wouldn't take anything for their help. You meet some very nice people in the bush.
We felt we'd had quite a good and different holiday but in later it years when speaking of this particular holiday it seems that perhaps the two of us perhaps enjoyed it a little more than they did. Still it meant at their age they had seen a little more of our state than before so we have never regretted our trip to Carnarvon.
I will now go and search out some information so that on my next post I can tell you something about that particular country town where they grow bananas and lots of good foodstuffs and have cyclones and all sorts of things. Rather different to the towns we are used to in the south-west of W.A.
P.S. Shortly after this we decided it was time to trade the little Anglia in so we took it to a well known car dealer in Perth. They checked it out before giving us a price as a trade-in and of course put it up on a hoist to make sure all was well underneath. The chap came back to us and gave us a reasonable price and also told us that the rear axle was slightly bent. We said not a word but after we left we had a chuckle when we realised that all that extra weight must have put just a wee bit too much load on that rear axle. What a wonderful car that Anglia was. They don't make them like that any more. We had bought a secondhand Austin 1800, a front wheel drive and an extremely comfortable car but with it came some quite serious problems. That's another story in itself.
The above pictures courtesy of Shires of Northampton and Carnarvon.