Darwin to Adelaide by Bus: a Different Culinary Experience

With a country as big as Australia, it seemed almost a pity to fly from place to place and not get to see the countryside itself. In a moment of madness or inspiration, I decided to travel from Darwin to Adelaide by bus. That is about 1880 miles which then turned into something more like 2700 miles or 4500 km by the time I did all the side trips. It is a big country, it was a long trip.

I set off from Darwin and travelled south. My surprise was that I expected Australia, and in particular the Northern Territory, to be barren, a sort of desert. In fact, there were trees and shrubs from north to south of the country. Granted it was spring and some parts will be very different in the height of summer. But I was lucky to be greeted by browns, greens and reds against the most piercingly blue sky I have ever seen. It was food for my soul. I just stared with a smile on my face.

On the Road from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia

On the Road from Darwin to Adelaide, Australia

I was not quite prepared for the vastness of it. Trees and shrubs as far as the eye can see for hours…and hours…without any sign of human habitation. When you are used to compact living it is hard to imagine there could be so much empty space. The most astonishing was to find that some towns which in a map or atlas were a big dot denoting a relatively sized town were in fact no more than truck stops with a restaurant and a motel. Before I left London I asked a friend what was between Darwin and Adelaide other than Katherine, Alice and Uluru, she replied “nothing”. I did not believe her. I mean, it is huge country and I can see all these dots in the map, surely there has be something…nope…nada…

The one thing I was disappointed by in Darwin was the food. There was the unexpected like kangaroo or crocodile and it was fun watching people give it a go. Sometimes not eating meat is a blessing…”it looks great but I can’t eat it, sorry”…Coming from Bali where everything was light, fresh and utterly delicious, I expected more of the same except here on the menu there was meat, meat and the salads had…well…yes, meat. The fish was fried and the one or two vegetarian options were heavy and stodgy. As I headed south it was more of the same and a few times I opted for a bag of crisps for lunch or dinner as the alternative was making me feel ill just by entering the cafeteria. At one of the night stops, I forget which one, as I stepped out of the bus, still some yards to the entrance to the cafeteria, I was hit by a wave of fried food, a wall of grease that pervaded the air and enveloped me. Yes, that was one of the bag of crisps dinners.

Adelaide was a revelation and a welcome relief. It is in Adelaide that I have had some of the best food I have ever eaten. The lightest pizza, the most delicious seafood pasta and the best fish and chips. No smells inside the shop. Wonderful. I loved my time there for many reasons and one was the food, it was a delight. And people in Adelaide are very serious about their coffee too but Starbucks anywhere…I wonder that means…

1 thought on “Darwin to Adelaide by Bus: a Different Culinary Experience

  1. Sounds like you’re gaining much patience in your travels and enjoying the scenery as it comes…sounds amazing Silvia…..be safe and looking forward to your next post!!!

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