Macca's Darwin Roadtrip - Part 1/2

7 November, 2014

G’day all,

As the Southern states experience near freezing conditions , here at Echuca it’s not much better, I’m a prisoner in my own home sitting under my heater that hangs on the wall to warm my neck and shoulders and the gas heating set at 23. I’m not going outside, not here anyway.

A quick phone call to my mate “Would you be my Wingman and get me out of here?’’, “Yes” came the reply. I had just bought a second-hand Chrysler Voyager 2011 with only 30k on the speedo and was keen to punch some kilometres into this baby. 

My dog Horse enjoying a swim at Darwin Yacht Club.

July 15th I left Echuca for Darwin - yes Darwin 3700 kms away - my Wingman is in Adelaide so that’s the first stop. I ring the Arkaba Hotel in Adelaide and book a room for 2 nights and one of my carers drives herself over to help me with morning routine. With an empty bowel and nice accessible shower we are off at 10am

Now the best thing with the car is the front seat swaps from passenger to driver allowing us to share the driving. 10 hours later we cruise into Marla, 1080 kms. I had rang earlier enquiring about accommodation. The room wasn’t flash but it was accessible, we shared a room and had some tucker in the restaurant.

Up at 6am I was able to have a bush wash at the basin and continue on. We punch out another 650kms and stop for lunch at Ti-Tree Roadhouse, this is the end of my driving stint for the day. Current temp 24. Another 450kms up the road we stop for the night at Renner Springs, once again I had rang ahead and booked our room. Again the room not that flash but due to 4 wheels under my bum , choice is not an option. A bush wash again at the basin and off we go again.

Lunch at Adelaide River (NT) - 28 degrees - ahh life is great. My mate takes over and 800 odd kms we are here, in Darwin on Friday arvo at 5pm, yes I have made it.

My dog Horse gets another swim at the Darwin River.

Macca's Chrysler van

My room is booked in, Parap and I meet my carer for the next 2 weeks, she is a 23 year old nurse from the Philippines. Now to relax and have a real shower, toilet and shave. How lucky I am that my Spinal nurse taught me Mon, Wed, Fri bowel routines - it gives me the freedom to travel on my own.

Look out for my next update on my holiday and the return trip home.



Paul McKenzie (better known as Macca) is a true aussie bloke  and although he lives in the bush near Echuca he’s often spotted in Adelaide and Melbourne, and even Tasmania as he seeks to offer support to others with spinal cord injury. He has lived with C6 quadriplegia since 1996. He is one of our regular volunteer bloggers.

Tags: Blog, Travel & Leisure