Recently a well-known fast food chain had their monopoly campaign running and at the time while at home in lockdown it had me reminiscing of holidays as a child and growing up in the small country town of Kyneton.
Camping and road trips were where it was at, finding hidden gems on a map and touring for a weekend with Dad while Mum was working at the local hospital, or a bigger family vacation cross country to outback locations through red dirt and sand dunes.
Now, we very rarely had fast food as kids which is why holidays and that monopoly campaign stood out. Often a stop off at the drive-through to collect our monopoly placemats (yes, yes, they were on paper waaaaay back then) and stickers with the food to play the game. Other treats at the time were also accompanied with actual toys we could play with in the car on the longer treks. A sneaky way for a little R&R for Mum and Dad I’m sure.
The first trip I recall was in a very, very old Land Rover, the old army kind with huntsman spiders chasing us down the seatbelt more than once. As we grew so too did the trips and the vehicles with one of our later trips in a green Mitsubishi people mover, I recall the big side sliding door. This thankfully had no spiders and gave us room to pack even a camp sink, I’m sure. We drove for miles, through Victoria, NSW, and South Australia, stopping in at roadside servo’s, pubs, and cafes. Wandering through small forests, camping lakeside in the moonlight. Oh dear, the number of times we set up camp in the dark with missing tent pegs and poles (just a few miss-adventures there). But we loved every minute of it.
It really feels like another time, but if you choose to do so you can still replicate these great Aussie adventures. Of course today, off-road cars, campers, tents, and gear go well beyond just functional - think Glamping! But I’m also glad to say for travellers who love the great outdoors and countryside they have also gone green, with less single use plastics and more eco friendly reusable products. It is so much easier and affordable to choose eco friendly travel products that help preserve these locations and holidays. Hopefully ensuring fun filled adventure childhoods will be available for future generations.
Dad being suave as heck in the 70's, Mum with my brother and I as a baby for a trek on the beach and bush camping in the old tent.