Jerry’s Epic 8 Month Australia Road Trip

Driving in Australia inspired Jerry Bridge to write 'On the Road' a poem about the great Australia Outback and Uluru / Ayers Rock

‘On the Road’ poem – Jerry Bridge

Driving in Australia and experiencing the wonderful Outback was amazing. Jerry Bridge’s epic 24,000 mile Australia road trip is an absolute classic tale of two lads on the open road looking for adventure. Without a care in  world we worked wherever we could to earn enough petrol and food money to ensure we reached our next destination. We didn’t even have a guide book with us…!

Having arrived in Perth after an eight month stint in India and South East Asia, not only was I ‘broke’ ($40 in my wallet and no credit card). I was absolutely shell-shocked to be back in Western civilisation. To be honest, I had no idea what to expect and before I knew it I was wishing I was back on the streets of Calcutta!

My best friend and life-long school mate, Chris Reeves, had arrived three months earlier and was staying with his Aunt & Uncle in Elizabeth Street, Cottesloe. I was soon helping out with the busy office cleaning business they had begun. I will always remember my first night sweeping the floor of an expensive looking hairdressing salon. Well, I had to earn my keep, besides, Chris was desperate to hit the road travelling north before the monsoon rains hit and driving through the Kimberley’s became impossible.

It was to be the ultimate Australia drive of our lives – memorable in so many ways and how lucky were we to have this amazing opportunity at the age of just 21? Look, there’s our car down below, a Holden HR station wagon we nick-named ‘Mr Roo’ because of the ‘Roo’ bar at the front of the beast. they’re designed to protect your vehicle from Kangaroo’s and cattle for those who regularly spend time in remote and rural areas. It was a great car although it’s fastest speed was just 40mph and it regularly over heated – image that on a 24,000 mile journey! The above poem ‘On the Road’ was written whilst working in a brick yard in Alice Springs…

Please feel free to contact Jerry personally for a more detailed account and exact routing of the drive – and enjoy these remarkable travel photos of the trip below…just bear in mind how few there are because in those days they didn’t have digital cameras!

Driving in Australia in 'Mr Roo' 24,000 miles over 8 months

”Mr Roo” the faithful Holden HR station wagon in all it’s glory just before Chris and I set off from Perth on our 24,000 mile journey…notice the classy eski water cooler attached to the bumper!

Now that’s what I call a traditional Ozzie ‘Sunday session’ – mates we made along the way..what a larf!

Driving in Australia had it's engine problems!

Now where’s that oil stick?

Jerry’s famous poem about Uluru – Ayers Rock – ‘On the Road…’ click above to read the poem…

”…and again, as those boys drove on, the ancient voice of the wilderness spoke – Welcome”

Yes we did meet quite a few locals along the way I can tell you!

The magnificent Ayers Rock at sunset – awesome road trip to arrive at such a stunning place (Uluru as it’s now known as).

Early commute to Hamilton Island from Aylie beach…Chris worked in the kitchens and I was the resort’s groundsman!

An expert gardener as well would you believe?! Just one of the 12 different jobs I had during the 8 month trip..

Now my friends, that”s what I call ‘hitting the road’ – quite apart from the ripped up tyre, note the foam mattress bedding, curtains, cracked eskie, water bottle and of course the old faithful guitar…

Driving in Australia on such a road trip would not have been the same without at least one smashed front windscreen now would it? We were wondering at this stage if we’d ever make it all the round Australia…could ‘Mr Roo’ pull through?

Catherine’s beautiful hot water streams in WA (not like this nowadays) oh dear, is that a croc behind us?!

Found in WA, possibly the largest ant hills in the world – Chris where were your boots!?

The tough drive along Gibb river road – a 4 wheel drive would have been safer but not so much fun!) You could say that driving in Australia on such a road trip was only for the ‘foolhardy’!

The amazing ‘Boab tree’ in Derby, Western Australia – once used as a prison…

Work was hard but the pay was incredibly good at the Catherine Abbotoir…(v. smelly too!)

Fancy a beer? Thirsty work this travelling around Australia…! (yes those are someone else’s discarded beer cans…)

Driving in Australia was an amazing experience - we sold the car after the epic 24,000 miles road trip  for not much less than what we paid for it!

….and yes after driving in Australia 24,000 miles we sold ‘Mr Roo’ for almost as much as we paid for it! ($620) – A stunning Achievement I think you will agree as we need the money to travel back to the UK via Asia.