IN FOCUS: Driving Down South

It wouldn’t be the holidays in Perth if half the population of Perth didn’t get the idea that they wanted to get away from Perth and in the process turn down south into little Perth. Oh, and everyone leaves at the same time.  

It’s just the natural order of things – the way the good Lord intended it. Of course, before you enjoy the tranquility of packed out beaches & wineries you must first get there. Easier said than done, would you believe it. 

On paper, it’s not a hard journey but thanks to the miracle of Perth drivers it’s a lot like trekking to Mordor. As for most of the journey you’ll be clenching your ring tight as you negotiate a terrifying gauntlet of rabid beasts and hazards. 

Why does Forrest Highway create such an atmosphere of blood lust? Well, it has a lot to do with the complete lack of lane etiquette. In what appears to be WA’s best kept secret – the right land lane is strictly for overtaking. 

Will that stop Captain Land Cruiser from sailing the SS Caravan in the right lane at 80kph? Christ no. In fact, you’re more likely to be shocked they aren’t roasting a few marshmallows on the drive because they sure as shit are camping in that lane. 

Conversely, you’d imagine the mouthbreather doing 80 in the left hand lane would have a modicum of respect for the fact people believe the destination is better than the journey when faced with the ticking clock of a long weekend. 

To make matters even worse, when you finally do see a nice gap to free yourself from the shackles of inconsiderate motorists you’ll likely find yourself a victim to the great law of driving douth – whenever you accelerate in frustration a speed camera will appear. 

It’s always lovely to start your holiday with a couple of hundred dollars fine. Does wonders for your inner zen. You may even be in too much of a mood to incorrectly pronounce Mandjoogoordap, despite only needing a basic grasp of phonetic mastery to nail it. 

At this point, a wild Patrol driver will appear precisely 30cm directly up your arse. Even though you are doing 110kph, this driver feels you can do better. Of course, he’d just aggressively overtake you and swerve in front if he could but that right lane is blocked. 

Try to enter your happy place by putting on some classical music and enjoy the contrast of beautiful symphonies against the backdrop of a bogan completely losing their shit in the car behind you. 

On the bright side, you’ll get to enjoy some bain marie fodder after he follows you into the road house and tries to fight you in front of your family. Consider the battered goodness a consolation prize.

And to think, you can enjoy this entire process again on the way back – and yes, you’ll leave at the exact same time as everyone. It’s in your Perth DNA, don’t fight it.

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?