Roads, Tourism and Cultural History
On the Road in Australia
Roads and road tourism loom large in the Australian imagination as distance and mobility have shaped the nation’s history and culture, but roads are more than simply transport routes; they embody multiple layers of history, mythology and symbolism. Drawing on Australian travel writing, diaries and manuscripts, tourism literature, fiction, poetry and feature films, this book explores how Australians have experienced and imagined roads and road touring beyond urban settings: from Aboriginal ‘songlines’ to modern-day road trips. It also tells the stories of iconic roads, including the Birdsville Track, Stuart Highway and Great Ocean Road, and suggests alternative approaches to heritage and tourism interpretation of these important routes. The ongoing impact of the colonial past on Indigenous peoples and contemporary Australian society and culture – including representations of the road and road travel – is explored throughout the book. The volume offers a new way of thinking about roads and road tourism as important strands in a nation’s cultural fabric.