Thinking of visiting Australia.
And now I’m trying to sort out the logistics of visiting a place so large.
So of course we’re probably going to fly in to Sydney, which is a city of roughly 5.5 million people. Now I’m not a fan of big cities; of course we’ll spend some time in Sydney (because after such a long plane flight I kinda don’t want to go anywhere for a day or two), but I’m a big fan of seeing the small towns and villages.
But the logistics is… interesting.
See, if you superimpose an image of Australia onto the United States:
Sydney is roughly where Orlando, Florida is located.
One web site lists the time it takes to drive between different cities, and even two cities that seem on the map to be “on top of each other” (Sydney and Canberra) is roughly 4 hours. Sydney to Melbourne is 9 hours, and that’s just a straight line haul assuming no stops or sight seeing along the way.
By way of contrast, 9 hours is how long it takes to drive from Barcelona, Spain to Genoa, Italy–passing through the length of the French Riviera and half of the Italian Riviera, as well as part of the Spanish Costa Brava.
Distances in Australia are larger than you think.
The Great Barrier Reef? A 20 hour drive–roughly where Toronto, Canada is located in the map above. Visit the Quokka in Perth? A 40 hour drive–roughly in northern Baja California. And that’s 40 hours with no stops.
(Who doesn’t want to visit with the Quokka?)
So I suspect we’re going to pick a spot to fly to outside Sydney and fly there for the second half of the vacation. Even if it’s just Melbourne, I think I’d rather fly than drive, unless there is stuff to see along the way.
We’ll figure out the logistics, I’m sure. But Australia, you’re huge.
And I’m saying that as an American who is used to telling Europeans that no, you can’t just hop in a car in Chicago and pop on down to Los Angeles in an afternoon.