It's been called that for year's now, the last saturday in September when the AFL grand final is played between the 2 qualifiying teams. This year it was my beloved West Coast Eagles vs Sydney Swans.
Wednesday 28 Sept
Burswood Casino to Tammin
the time had come to set off to Melbourne, this year we'd be going by bus due to the expensive fares from Qantas, The bus journey would take 48hrs to cover with stops along the way.
We set out along the Great Eastern Highway for Tammin, it's a small wheatbelt town about 240km east of Perth, blink and you'll miss it! Leaving at 5pm we caught the afternoon traffic, this slowed us down a little, but not to much.
We arrived just after 8pm...grabbed a coffee and stretched the legs, then boarded the bus for the 5hr journey to Coolgardie. We arrived late in the night made a quick fuel stop, not much to see in the night, but it looked like a lovely town and worthy of a visit by day.
from Coolgardie it was the long stretch south to Norseman, this is a major truck route as it's the road link from the west to the east of Australia, the journey is around 4hrs or 450km. It's total darkness enroute, the only danger with driving in the dark is the wildlife that roams the highways, down here you'll find endless dead kangaroo's etc along the highways, semi trailers have to hit them, if they swerve the semi driver dies, simple as that.
Pulling in to Norseman roadhouse at around 4am and you really get the sense of openess, not a house in sight, the sky is illuminated by the moon, star's as clear as day, it's really an amazing part of the world! We grabbed a little food, some drinks, went for a walk then headed off for the 1000km stretch on the Eyre highway to the WA/SA border.
me in Norseman...heavy haulage heaven!
pick your route...
We set out for balladonia roadhouse, this is 300km east along the Eyre highway, it took around 4hrs to complete the journey, out here water is so scarce that the roadhouse manager barely let's people use the toilet..it's dry, harsh & unforgiving! But i kind of like that, the peaceful lifestyle is very appealing!
Balladonia was only a toilet stop...after that it was onward's to Caiguna, this truly is the middle of nowhere...but the landscape has to be seen to be believed! it's the home of the famous 90mi straight road! it doesn't disappoint either! This is the mighty nullabor plain!
Caiguna & the 90mi straight.
local roo's at Caiguna..
from Caiguna it's off to Madura...the landscape at Madura is like a postcard, never seen anything so spectacular in my life, it's amazing!
After a brief stop here we set off for Bordervillage, this is the place where WA-SA meet, it's the middle of nowhere, the only main happenings are the quarantine check, refuel and food stop, we stopped here for a stretch and toielt break, the place didn't have alot going for it, though it is close to the ocean!
how far is to far?
all denomination chapel at bordervillage.
further from Perth, closer to Melbourne!
From here it's onwards to Nullabor roadhouse, here you can book yourself a whale watching tour, take a side road and view the amazing Great Australian Bight, pick up a decent meal or just drive right by...personally, i'd recommend the drive to view the bight! it's amazing...
take a read of the note with this pic
the mighty nullabor plain!
me at the lookout of the Great Australian Bight!
observe the rules!
whale watching is a popular option.
upon leaving Nullabor we headed for the coastal town of Ceduna, this is quite a large town in South Australia, famous for it's seafood, oysters and laid back lifestyle, it's quite a treck from Adelaide, but well worth the visit! We arrived here late in the day, just in time for dinner! We met up with a local aboriginal chap, his name was Eddie Murphy, he's a local footballer for Penong and he was commenting on our captain Chris Judd! Saying he run's like an emu and that' he's unstoppable...I liked Eddie, he told it how it was!
after dinner we headed east for major town of Port Augusta, it's around 400km drive the port which would be our next major re-fuel stop. Not much to see in the middle of the night in this part of the world! So it's off to sleep until we arrive in the early hours of friday morning.After re-fuel and toilet stop it's back onboard for the haul to a town called Tailem Bend, this is just past murray bridge on the banks of the mighty Murray River. It's a beautiful spot, lush green surroundings, fresh air! it'd be a lovely place to live!
I grabbed myself a breakfast and went and sat by the river, why wouldn't you?
the mighty murray river
our ride getting decked out in West Coast Eagles scheme
From Tailem Bend it was off to Bordertown for a quick toilet stop and fuel, not much in this little place, infact, nothing at all to write home about! But they're Eagles supporters so that deserves a mention!
the lovely town of Horsham.
Bordertown to Horsham in Victoria is a 3.5hr drive or so, this would put us into Horsham for a 2pm lunch, perfect! what a lovely town it is too...We stopped off at the local pub and had a meal & drink, other's grabbed a subway or KFC and went to the park to eat!
From Horsham it was on to Ballarat for a quick stop, then through to Melbourne.
upon arrival in Melbourne i made my way to the hotel, grabbed a shower then went to my favourite sushi place on Swanston St for dinner and Sake.
Saturday 30th September...the one day in September we want to remember!
got up early and went for a walk to QVM for a bratwurst and coffee, Mike and Katherine were going to the AFL breakfast and we'd meet later at the MCG. Wandered around for a few hours then headed back to the hotel to get my club flag, scarfe & cap ready for the game. Shortly before 11 i headed to Federation Sq to catch some of the atmosphere and take in a photographic exhibit.
after that it was time to take one of the most famous sporting walks in Australia, over to the MCG! Crowd's were growing, people everywhere asking if anyone had a spare ticket, it was a sea of activity and the atmosphere was thick with expectation.
I made my way into the Great Southern Stand and took up my seat, perfect location with and unmatched view right across the MCG.
I decided it was beer & pie time, it's traditional! Before i knew it the teams were on the field, 98000 spectators in seats, umpires at the ready and it's game on.
I won't go into the game itself, if your in Australia then you'll be aware that my team won by a single point! I dropped to my knees when the final siren went then ran over to see Mike & Katherine and start singing the club song! It was a fantastic way to end a fantastic trip!
fed sq getting ready for the big day!
the great southern stand, jammed to capacity!
my beloved eagles make there entrance onto the MCG.
let the game begin!
mike & i
scoreboard tells the story!
hope you all enjoy this little read into Australian football and one of cultural/sporting icons!