R is for roaming the roadways

renner-springs-windmill-11R is for RENNER SPRINGS

One of our regular overnight stops on the long drive to Brisbane is Renner Springs, especially when we set out from here later than intended. On the face of it, Renner Springs appears to be a pretty boring road stop with not much to recommend it but pop over to my post about the surprising things you might see if you wander around a bit, or if you’re up early.

R is for ROAMING

Since we’re on the road I thought today we’d have a chilled-out kind of R day and check out some of the weird and wonderful signs we’ve seen on those long-distance drives.

Just to set the scene I want to show you an image to capture just how vast our distances are as I’ve mentioned previously. Darwin is about equidistant to Brisbane on the east coast or Adelaide in the south, roughly 3300kms. I took this photo a few years ago on the coast of Ireland. Moscow anyone?

Yes we are a long way away from "anywhere".
Yes we are a long way away from “anywhere”.

The roads of the north are regularly sprinkled with road trains. They’re BIG and very daunting. With the prime mover and three or four trailers they can be up to 50 metres in length and be travelling at around 100kph.  Fortunately the drivers are generally responsible but it can take a long time to pass one of these even at the legal open-road limit of 130kph. So this is how to deal with them. I always have my heart in my mouth when I have to overtake one. 603 Road train sign

The large frill neck lizard is a feature of the Top End, as are Dry Season fires.
The large frill neck lizard is a feature of the Top End, as are Dry Season fires.
This road sign was at Mataranka, about 4 hrs south of Darwin. Not that I've seen brolgas there.
This road sign was at Mataranka, about 4 hrs south of Darwin. Not that I’ve seen brolgas there.

There are crocodile warning signs on most of the waterways in the Top End -with good reason -this is just one example. Do take them seriously…this is not a “beat up”: people and animals can and do get taken by crocs…not many live to tell the tale.Croc warning And if anyone can explain what a rhinoceros has to do with the Northern Territory I’d be happy to learn. We saw this on the way to Alice Springs one year.

Rhinoceros in the NT?
Rhinoceros in the NT?

This edited road sign on a Queensland road was a humorous warning of the hazards of cattle on the road. obey the cow god

A innovative response to marketing - start advertising at a distance! Only 2000kms away.
A innovative response to marketing – start advertising at a distance! Only 2000kms and another State away.

When we visited Tasmania a few years back, during poppy season, we were much taken with this signage on the fences. (so okay this is in the south, but how could I resist) P1030087 TODAY’S AUSSIE-ISMS

Ripper beauty: Excellent, great idea etc. Or just “ripper” on its own.

Ratbag: another insult, generally mild and may even be somewhat admiring when it’s implying cheeky and the like.

Ring-in: someone or something that doesn’t belong, an extra on an outing. I’ve brought along a ring-in, hope that’s okay.

Ringer:  has two uses: (1) as the shearer of sheep with the highest tally (of sheep shorn) in a certain time (2) stockman droving cattle; and sometimes (3) as in dead ringer (below)

Dead ringer: a look-alike eg she’s a dead ringer for ….name your famous person. Or she’s a dead ringer of her mother at that age.

Reckon: estimate of cost or an opinion. I reckon he’s bitten off more than he can chew this time OR I reckon it would be worth a hundred bucks.

Rip off: when the cost of the item is more than it’s worth.

RMs: short for R M Williams – boots, jeans, hats, belts, the ridgey didge bushman’s clobber (clothing)

Ridgey didge: True blue, fair dinkum, honest, the real thing, the genuine article.

Ranch: Australians do NOT have ranches!!!

12 thoughts on “R is for roaming the roadways

  1. “Dead ringer”, “reckon” and “rip off” are used over here too. I’m enjoying finding which aussie-isms are used here too. Most that are familiar have been around for a long, long time.

  2. Great post, Pauleen! I love those photos.
    The Aussie-isms are fun, too. We have ratbags, dead ringers, reckon and (sadly) rip-offs. I have a feeling that they may be ‘borrowed’, except for reckon, which is an old word.

  3. I love the road signs and “ridgey didge.” Made me feel like taking to the open road. Definitely a bit of a feel of the Southwestern U.S. One day I would love to make it to Australia. Thank you for your blog.

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