History on the Hume: a research project

With COVID-19 scuttling many travel plans, it became clear that domestic travel over short distances would be the immediate relief for those wishing to rekindle the travel urge.

Over a period of 40 years, I have travelled the Hume Highway as part of my work watching it grow and develop from a frightful two-lane main road into today's fully duplicated, dual carriageway between Sydney and Melbourne.

Progressively the small towns and villages along the route were bypassed as roadworks evolved into what we have today: a safe, efficient, albeit soulless motorway joining Australia's two largest cities.

In the last few years, I have made a point of taking many detours to explore the now-isolated communities to see how they are faring with their new-found tranquillity. Some have successfully reinvented themselves as vibrant stopovers offering shopping, history and gourmet diversions for passing travellers. Others have simply resigned themselves to quiet decay.

The history of overland travel between Sydney and what would become Melbourne, began with the seminal Hume & Hovell expedition of 1824, opening up vast tracts of pasture all along the route and necessitating the building of roads and railways to service the new frontier.

Here is a regularly updated list of links to stories produced as a result of these many road trips. There is a mix of original stories and photography as well as archival pieces reproduced with original photography:

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