The Aussie Bush…

Hey, we’re Out & About getting the smell of the Aussie Bush into our nostrils.

And about time I here you say…(we agree!)

Photo: Baz and Janet-Planet in the Warrumbungles Mountains!

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Weight Restricted Roads – It doesn’t apply to me (does it?)

Increasingly, it appears these weight-restricting signs are appearing on our roads, especially in metropolitan areas where they are usually put in place by local government authorities.

In NSW the Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) look after major roads and local government authorities lesser local roads within its area.

Many will be familiar with these signs restricting vehicles over 3,000kg (usually marked 3-ton) from travelling along a particular road or street. Usually the sign has a “truck” picture on it; similar to the one in the photograph possibly leading drivers to form an opinion it does not refer to standard SUV style vehicles.

And I must note that frequently these signs are not obvious, hidden behind foliage on a tree, which perhaps is another problem altogether when it comes to road signs…!

But what is the implication of these weight-restricted roads for today’s modern four-wheel drive vehicles?

A quick look at many of the popular four-wheel drive vehicles on the market today, including the Nissan Patrol and the popular Toyota 78 and 79 Series show that they all have a standard GVM in excess of 3,000kg.  Put a couple of adults and some luggage in any of these vehicles along with a full tank of fuel and they will most likely be weighing in excess of 3,000kg.

And it is worth noting many weight-restricted roads have a “GVM Limit” of 3 ton, so the popular range of four-wheel drive vehicles I’ve noted are impacted, regardless of what they weigh in at on the road.

We have a Toyota 79 Series with a GVM of 3,780kg (standard is 3,300kg) and it usually weighs in at around 3,500kg in its touring configuration.

Toyota 79 Series

But, 3-ton means 3-ton even if it doesn’t look like a truck and more like a passenger vehicle.

Possibly many may be of the view that the sign does not refer to their vehicle and be travelling on them unaware of the implications it might have, especially in the case of an accident.

Perhaps others simply ignore the directive.

If you have comprehensive insurance on your vehicle, and who doesn’t these days, you will find that one of the first things it will say in the PDS is that you are “covered anywhere you are legally entitled to be”.

And it pays to reflect on that statement – anywhere you are legally entitled to be…

The implication for those with vehicles weighing over 3-ton or with a GVM in excess of 3-ton is that travelling on a weight restricted road might void your ability to make an insurance claim if it relates to an accident on that weight restricted road.

I am insured with the popular four-wheel drive specialist underwriter, Club 4×4, and I have confirmed with them that my interpretation is correct – if you are not legally entitled to travel on a road due to it being weight restricted you will be in breach of the terms and conditions of the policy.

Now maybe that interpretation is the default position from the insurer in the first instance, but the implication is clear, a claim might be denied…

And given underwriting standards and interpretations of terms and conditions are fairly standard across the automotive insurance companies you will find they’ll all mostly likely arrive at the same conclusion.

Now there might be a couple of caveats on that view depending on the specific circumstances, but it is usually with great certainty that whenever “grey area meets legal implications” it will cost you money to prosecute your case.

Local government authorities when restricting roads and streets to weight are required to provide an alternative for vehicles in excess of the weight restriction. I live in an area of Sydney that has numerous 3-ton weight-restricted roads and there are alternatives.

But it is a minefield of sorts, especially if travelling in areas you are less familiar with. And a review of a number of GPS mapping systems highlights that none appear to give the user an option to avoid weight-restricted roads, at least not in the systems usually associated with SUV type vehicles.

As with most things in life, it is never a problem, until it becomes a problem.

It is unlikely you will be booked by the local government authority enforcement officers or police for travelling along a weight-restricted road in your four-wheel drive vehicle if the tare weight is under 3-ton. After all, it would need to be weighed to determine if it is under or over. But if you are involved in an accident where there is an injury, or worse, the vehicle may be put over the scales and you may find you will face a charge of negligence if over 3-ton, depending on the circumstances, which is not a traffic violation but a criminal charge.

The question needs to be asked is why are there an increasing number of weight-restricted roads being introduced, maybe it is time for the four-wheel drive lobby groups to become active in this regard.

Perhaps many are blissfully unaware of the implications of weight-restricted roads, especially with regard to insurance and personal liability – but 3-ton, is 3-ton, regardless of the vehicle you are driving, it doesn’t apply to just trucks, so keep an eye out for those weight-restricted roads….

About us…

We have always loved the colours of the Australian Outback, the ochre red earth touching a deep blue sky on a faraway horizon; and the fabulous coastline of our sunburnt country, where a golden sandy beach is washed over by a turquoise blue sea; and the characters you meet in a quiet country pub, where it is nothing flash, but you are enriched by the encounter…

A couple of years ago we decided that after many years of paid and unpaid work that it was time for us to “graduate from work” and re-enter “the classroom of life” where an education is guaranteed and all that is needed is an open mind.

Thanks for joining us in the adventure…!

Cheers, Baz & Janet-Planet

Janet-Planet & Baz

Murphy’s Haystacks, golden and glowing…

Located on the picturesque Eyre Peninsular a short drive from the fishing community of Streaky Bay, Murphy’s Haystacks stand proudly in an ancient landscape framed by a deep blue sky.

Some might say that they look like “molars”, well perhaps a dentist might, in fact they are known as Isenberg’s, which are best described as a hill that looks like a rocky island rising from the sea.

So, how did they get to become known as Murphy’s Haystacks?

Folklore relates a story of a Scottish Agriculture expert who proclaimed that to grow good hay farmers needed to harrow their land for the best result. While travelling by coach he noticed the rock formation in the distance and advised his fellow passengers that this farmer harrowed his land to produce so much “hay”.

The rocks, being on Murphy’s property, became known as Murphy’s Haystacks and passing coachmen described them as haystacks to their passengers from that day onwards…

About us…

 We love the colours of the Australian Outback, the ochre red earth touching a deep blue sky on a faraway horizon; and the fabulous coastline of our sunburnt country, where a golden sandy beach is washed over by a turquoise blue sea; and the characters you meet in a quiet country pub, where it is nothing flash, but you are enriched by the encounter…

 A couple of years ago we decided it was time to “graduate from work” and re-enter “the classroom of life” where an education is guaranteed and all that is needed is an open mind.

 Thanks for joining us in the adventure…!

 Cheers, Baz & Janet-Planet

Janet-Planet & Baz

Diesel and Dust (An Australian Classic)

Diesel and Dust

If you travel the breadth of Australia, across its vast open plains and wide-open skies, you are bound to experience plenty of Diesel and Dust…

And doing it in summer you can experience some extremes of temperature and just recently we recorded an outside temperature of 50 degrees Celsius.

So with those types of temperatures we decided it best we lay up somewhere cool for a couple of days and there has been no better place to do that than Burra in South Australia

Burra, or Kooringa as it was originally named, was Australia’s first surveyed mining town.  And in the early 1850s it was Australia’s largest inland town and boasted the famous “Monster Mine” which was established after shepherds discovered copper in the rocky outcrops near Burra Burra Creek.

Monster Mine

History doesn’t record the shepherds as becoming rich from the discovery, but it certainly made its many shareholders wealthy over time.

Speaking of time, it has almost stood still in Burra, which is now on the Register of the National Estate and many of its buildings are listed on the Heritage Register.

And the fans of the Australian Rock Band Midnight Oil will recognise the “Old Burra Homestead” which proudly stands in a paddock on the outskirts of town.

Diesel and Dust, hey we’ll take that any day.

About us…

We have always loved the colours of the Australian Outback, the ochre red earth touching a deep blue sky on a faraway horizon; and the fabulous coastline of our sunburnt country, where a golden sandy beach is washed over by a turquoise blue sea; and the characters you meet in a quiet country pub, where it is nothing flash, but you are enriched by the encounter…

 A couple of years ago we decided that it was time for us to “graduate from work” and re-enter “the classroom of life” where an education is guaranteed and all that is needed is an open mind.

 Thanks for joining us in the adventure…!

 Cheers, Baz & Janet-Planet (Barry & Janet O’Malley)

A giant wave that no surfer can ride (In the Australian Outback…)

Catching a wave is usually associated with a trip to the beach during our long, hot and lazy Australian summers.

But this is one Wave that no surfer can ride; in fact you won’t even find it rolling in off the ocean.

This “Wave” is situated in the wheat belt growing region of West Australia and is quite a remarkable rock formation in the Australian bush. It stands at 15 metres tall and 110 metres long and whilst you can’t “ride” it water still was a major contributor to its formation.

Tiny lichens, moss, and algae resulting in a marvelous contrast of orange and black produce the colour in the rock estimated to be thousand’s of millions of years old.

Wave Rock is part of the Hyden Rock formation and is well worth the visit, but hey, just a tip; leave your surfboard at home…!

Photos: Baz and Janet-Planet, Out & About in the Australian Outback…

About us…

We have always loved the colours of the Australian Outback, the ochre red earth touching a deep blue sky on a faraway horizon; and the fabulous coastline of our sunburnt country, where a golden sandy beach is washed over by a turquoise blue sea; and the characters you meet in a quiet country pub, where it is nothing flash, but you are enriched by the encounter…

A couple of years ago we decided that after many years of paid and unpaid work that it was time for us to “graduate from work” and re-enter “the classroom of life” where an education is guaranteed and all that is needed is an open mind.

Thanks for joining us in the adventure…!

Life on the edge – an encounter with a dragon (in the Australian Outback)

Australian Reptile

Oh, no need to worry…!

This wasn’t an encounter with the fire-breathing type of dragon ready to flash fry you you with a quick burst of flame.

No, this was an encounter with a rather cute reptile, aptly named the “Ornate Dragon”, that is barely bigger than the size of your foot and unlikely to do you any harm. We came across this wonderful reptile whilst visiting Wave Rock during our recent travel in West Australia.

Mind you, it took some skill and patience to capture them on camera as they scooted across the rock at a great pace, stopping only momentarily to bob their head up and down as well as doing some push-ups.

The head bobbing and push-ups are part of its mating ritual and from all the head bobbing and push-ups we observed there was little doubt the mating season was in full swing…

About us…

We have always loved the colours of the Australian Outback, the ochre red earth touching a deep blue sky on a faraway horizon; and the fabulous coastline of our sunburnt country, where a golden sandy beach is washed over by a turquoise blue sea; and the characters you meet in a quiet country pub, where it is nothing flash, but you are enriched by the encounter and the banter…

In 2017 we decided that after many years of paid and unpaid work that it was time for us to “graduate from work” and re-enter “the classroom of life” where an education is guaranteed and all that is needed is an open mind.

Thanks for joining us in the adventure…!

 

Torgadirrup Dreaming (Mind The Gap…)

The traditional custodians of this very beautiful part of Australia, the Mirnang people, tell the following story about this place.

Two Mirnang brothers had their differences and were fighting over a young woman. The elders became tired of their squabbling and sent them to a place near The Gap.

They made one stand on one side of The Gap and one on the other side. One brother was good at throwing spears, while the other was good at throwing boomerangs. As the first brother threw a boomerang, the second threw his spear.

The first brother was struck by the spear. The other brother was struck in the back by the boomerang. Both warriors fell into the water.

The brother who was  struck in the back by a boomerang turned into a shark. The fin on the shark is the boomerang. The brother who was hit by the spear turned into a stingray.

Dreamtime stories told by the Traditional Custodians are a wonderful way of gaining a better appreciation and understanding of our land and Janet and I seek them out wherever we travel in this great country of ours…

This story is recounted on a story board at The Gap and was made available by the sons of Norngen…

Photo’s: Baz – The Landy & Janet-Planet, South West, West Australia…

PS: And yes, it is a long way from our usual travel in the Australian Outback…!