AUSTRALIA a vast continent of diverse landscapes, flora, fauna and attractions.
From lush, coastal fringe rainforests to a dry, red centre; from wallaroos to wombats, grevillea to melaleuca, and a Big Mango in the north to a Big Merino in the south, there is much to see; and it is little wonder so many people take to the nation's roads to experience it.
However, when planning a road trip around the world's largest island an island that could comfortably contain Europe within its boundaries and still have room to spare where does one start?
Fortunately, Victoria Point ( in Redland City, Queensland) resident and veteran traveller Colin McFarlane has the answer.
His book, Travelling Australia by Road, has taken much of the hard work out of planning such a road trip, and offers a highly-organised collection of hints, tips, ideas, history, destination information, maps, photos, and more.
The information was all gathered on Colin and his wife Joan's own travels, which have seen them cover more than 200,000kms of Australia's roads.
Places to stay, little pieces of wisdom, out of the way locations that are a "must-see", and so much more are included, with the information offered in town-to-town stretches that show the approximate distance in both times and kilometres of each leg of the journey.
Colin said one of the most delightful aspects of taking his own road trips around Australia was discovering beautiful places and locations that were not listed in standard tourist directories and travel books.
"There is so much in Australia that people simply don't know about," he said.
"(The book) does show some of the better known attractions, but also the little things that can only be discovered while having a really good look around."
With his book listing 50 routes, all of which link, Colin said his book was helping many people plan their own journey.
"The book is also proving popular with armchair travellers who are enjoying the history and information about towns along each route," he said.
Colin and Joan began travelling in 1963, with September last year having marked half a century since their first road trip, which was to Bundaberg via Dalby in a borrowed caravan.
He said they took many trips over the years, but after retiring "decided to have a good look around Australia".
"Along the way, I started emailing friends with photos and highlights and things we had discovered, and they suggested I put the information into a book," he said.
"So I took a travel writing course and now the book is available."
Travelling Australia by Road, by Colin McFarlane ($39.95) is available now online at www.travellingaustraliabyroad.com