Marion's 1980 Mount Martha holiday

Marion road trip tales
Marion road trip tales
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14 hr 43 min | 1,121 km
Kid friendly
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Foodie destination
Every summer, after moving from Mount Martha to Sydney, we’d road trip back to our home town and visit friends and relatives. The first of many ritualistic drives became a vivid source of childhood summer memories defined by sugary treats, fly-riddled beaches and Douglas Adams.
  • 1 cassette of 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'
  • 1 milkshake stop in Bega
  • 52 games of eye spy
  • 15 minutes feeding a red ‘roo
Sydney to Kiama
Our first stop out of Sydney was Kiama. Back in those days, there was no bypass, so we drove through the heart of the town. If my brother and I were well-behaved, we’d stop at my favourite fudge shop for a sugary treat. I remember a giant rocket ship slide in the town’s park that we played on before visiting the impressive Kiama Blowhole and jumping back on the road.
Kiama to Cobargo
After countless games of ‘eye spy’, we soon hit the quaint town of Cobargo. I remember visiting a pottery shop, where the man who ran it made cute little ceramic mice to give to children. We’d go on to collect a mouse whenever we travelled through the town. Mum would play ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ tape for hundreds of kilometres at a time. My brother and I loved Douglas Adams and could recite the whole thing.
Swinging around - Marion
Fun on the swing
Cobargo to Bega
Our next stop was Bega. To my excitement, mum treated us all to choccy milkshakes as the tantrums had remained few and far between. We made a visit to the Bega factory and got to see how the cheese was made and packaged. It was as if I was privy to a big secret, peaking behind a curtain I wasn’t supposed to. Because we were on a tight deadline however, we couldn’t stop for long.
Bega to Marlo
From Bega, mum drove across the NSW-VIC border to Marlo, where we camped for the night. I have vivid memories of mum swatting away the crazy swarms of flies and dousing us in mosquito repellent before heading to the beach. Once we got to the sandbanks, we set up a little picnic, overlooking the swirling golds and blues of the coast.
Marlo to Buchan
The most exciting part of our trip was Buchan Caves and seeing the pointy stalactites leer down from the ceiling. After leaving her inquisitive daughter unattended for a few minutes outside the caves, mum found me feeding a red kangaroo three times my size. It was extremely friendly and I was confused as to what mum’s hysterical fuss was all about when she demanded I leave it alone immediately.
Feeding goats - Marion
Feeding goats
Our final stop was Bairnsdale. We stopped at a bakery called The Golden Basket where mum bought us each a warm pie for lunch. It might’ve been because of how little I was, but I remember her filling the car up to our ears with loaves of bread. Obviously getting ready for the many family lunches that lay ahead. We tucked into our savoury treats and drove the last stretch to Mount Martha.
Bairnsdale to Mount Martha
A few more treat-stops and several Hitchhikers chapters later, we found ourselves in Mount Martha. Our family friends had a dog called Watson, he was the love of my life as a kid and the one I was most excited to see. 

The trip was very much a test of patience for us. We were all without Walkman’s so there was little room for escape. Whether we liked it or not, this trip was a collective experience. Other than pretending to sleep, we were all in it together. Even though we’d occasionally get on each other’s nerves, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Furry friend - Marion
Furry friend
Road Trip Tales are Member-shared memories, providing a sample of their route. Some highways and routes may no longer be open today. If you would like to emulate Marion's journey, use the multi-place map. above, or create your own route using our trip planner and our road trip guides.