I started crossing the country from Adelaide to Darwin (over 3000 km in the outback). People told me distances between roadhouses are big, and I wouldn’t see a lot of cars on the road. But I was prepared for the drive.
When leaving Port Augusta (which is the last town where you can stock up petrol and food), the real outback starts immediately. The Stuart Highway is a very good, sealed road, but around you, you only see a never ending flat landscape with in the distance some mountains. And you have the impression to be alone on the road.
From time to time, you have another car that crosses you, and everybody has the habit to waving at each other (you never know that one day you might need each other when broken down). It is called: the driver’s salute. So, that was fun: I started to salute as well, of course (It is in fact just a quick lifting-off your fingers from the steering wheel).
I also noticed emus, kangaroos, … crossing the highway, which I liked in the beginning. But there are many dead animals along the road (even cows, because there are a lot of hughe cattle farms in the outback), as well as car wrecks.
I really enjoyed the drive, untill 50 km before my evening-stop of the first day: emus crossed the road when I just came along and I couldn’t fully stop: some emus didn’t really enjoy that crossing, I suppose. The car was OK, I was OK (a bit shocked), and the emus: I don’t know, they continued to the side of the road.
It really made me realise that, no matter how much I enjoyed the drive, I had to keep being concentrated all the time, even when it is just 1 big ultra-straight road. Because, if something happens, distances are enormous and you will have to wait for another car to get some help.
The landscape changes all the time: sometimes it is very desert like, sometimes grassy, trees, mountains in the background, totally flat, … but always you will see the red sand. The car looks nice at the moment (color-change).