Of all the places in Queensland I thought I’d be right now, Townsville is not one of them, but we are here none the less following another epic day of driving, and now east of the Great Dividing Range – Australia’s most substantial mountain range and one of Australia’s most important geographical features.
The Great Dividing Range does exactly as it’s incredible name suggests. It divides Australia’s east coast from the inland and has a major influence on our country in so many ways – from climate control and population spread and settlement patterns, to economic and agricultural influences. The range stretches more than 3,500 kilometres (2,175 miles) making it the third longest land-based range in the world.
From Cape York in Australia’s far north, it runs parallel to the east cost of Australia down to western Victoria in the south where it finally fades into the central plain at the Grampians. It’s the source of our longest rivers (the mighty Murray and the Murrumbidgee) and our highest mountains (Mount Kosciuszko, 2,228 metres / 7,310 feet). It’s home to an amazing array of plants and animals that don’t exist anywhere else on earth. The Wollemi Pine, an ancient living fossil, discovered west of Sydney in 1994 is just one example.
I didn’t know this before, but according to the Australian Government Website, Tasmania is also a part of this massive ancient mountain range.
It’s always nice to learn something new.
We crossed the divide late on Friday at a relatively sedate section just south of Townsville.
As the sun set behind us, I thought the mountains looked amazing.
We said goodbye to the Queensland Outback (not that we took a lot of time to say hello) and crossed over to the (familiar) north east coast. I have lived in this part of Australia all my life. I grew up in Townsville, it’s where I met Dean, where we got married and had our children. It’s no longer home per se, we moved to Brisbane (the state capital) more than 20 years ago.
But it still feels like home. It’s certainly our second home.
Now we wait to see a mechanic and, fingers crossed, the car will soon be fixed. By then we’ll be ready to hit the road again and continue the last leg of our journey, seeing incredible things in our home state, and making our way south to Brisbane, just 1,337 kilometres away (830.1 miles).
In the meantime, we look forward to catching up with family and old friends.