CAFFEINE HIT: Joanne Jones and her dog Latte, from Maryborough, stop for a coffee at Driver Reviver, Forest Glen.
CAFFEINE HIT: Joanne Jones and her dog Latte, from Maryborough, stop for a coffee at Driver Reviver, Forest Glen. Patrick Woods

How to make an 1800km road trip relaxing

IT'S almost 1800km from the sugarcane-growing region of Gordonvale, south of Cairns, to Tweed Heads.

For a family of five with a caravan cruising at about 90kmh it's a gruelling trip that'll make for one hell of a holiday.

The Caltabianos are on their way for a week of fun in the sun, staying at Tweed Heads but hitting the Gold Coast theme parks.

While their destination is pretty special, the old idea that it's the journey that's most important has never rung truer.

 

BUSY: The Driver Reviver had plenty of patrons.
BUSY: The Driver Reviver had plenty of patrons. Patrick Woods

The Bruce Hwy can be deadly even on its more improved stretches.

Coupled with chaotic Christmas traffic, it can make for a challenging journey, which is why the Caltabianos take full advantage of rest stops and Driver Revivers along the way.

Tony Caltabiano, a salesman back home, said he was stopping every one-and-a-half to two hours to let the kids stretch their legs and enable him to freshen up.

They left home on December 22, taking their time to work their way down the state, rather than trying to break any records, spending Christmas Day with family just outside Bundaberg before getting back on the road.

"They are very helpful," Mr Caltabiano said of the council rest stops and Driver Revivers.

 

ON THE ROAD: The Caltabiano family (L-R) Tony, George, Mario, Catrina and Janet, are doing a long-haul trip this holiday.
ON THE ROAD: The Caltabiano family (L-R) Tony, George, Mario, Catrina and Janet, are doing a long-haul trip this holiday. Scott Sawyer

While the family is essentially self-sufficient with the caravan, the convenience of the rest stops and Revivers, with tea and coffee and public toilets, was hard to go past.

"More of them along the way would be good," Mr Caltabiano said.

He and his wife Janet said there'd been a number of stops that were closed along the journey so far when they spoke to the Daily at the BP Chevallum Driver Reviver on Boxing Day.

Luckily for the family they hadn't come across too many dangerous drivers on the trip thus far, aside from a little impatience from some road users.

"There's been nothing too silly so far," Mr Caltabiano said.

"Some have been impatient but it hasn't been too bad."

 

Joanne Jones and her dog Latte from Maryborough stop for a coffee at Driver Reviver, Forest Glen.
Joanne Jones and her dog Latte from Maryborough stop for a coffee at Driver Reviver, Forest Glen. Patrick Woods

The family are giving themselves plenty of time to get home too, with a 12-day window for them to make the almost 1800km journey back to north Queensland.

Mr Caltabiano said he, his wife and three kids were going to take the inland route home to avoid the Bruce Hwy traffic and take in more of the countryside.

Meanwhile, the Queensland Police Service's Christmas Road Safety Campaign continued to net results with 37 people charged with drink driving on Boxing Day and 22 positive drug-driving tests returned.

More than 9400 random breath tests were conducted around the state on Boxing Day. The highest reading came in at 0.339% at Airlie Beach.

About 2570 speeding fines were dished out on Boxing Day while 10 traffic accidents with injuries were recorded across the state, but no fatalities occurred in the 24 hours to 11.59pm on Boxing Day.

The statewide crackdown on road safety will continue until 11.59pm on January 3.


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