Place an ad

After 13 times solo around Australia Mary at 88 is ready for the road again

October 20, 2006
After 13 times solo around Australia Mary at 88 is ready for the road again

Driving solo around Australia for most of us would be an adventure in itself, but for 88 year old adventurer Mary Taylor its as routine as taking a morning walk.

Mary who lives in Mornington on the shores of Victorias Port Phillip Bay has just returned from her 13th trip around Australia, an arduous road journey of over 13,000 kilometres.

It all began with an impulsive response to the need to Go See Australia,

I was driving from my home in Mornington to my daughters house in Armadale one morning and the thought occurred to me that instead of turning left to go to her place, what if I kept on going? said Mary.

That started me thinking about how to go about planning such a trip. Having been married to one of Australias most senior soldiers, Id had some experience at planning. I bought road maps and started to plan. Something like a minor military exercise.

Marys late husband was one of Australias top soldiers in 1960, Major-General Tim Taylor, Deputy Chief of the Australian Army.

Not long after, Mary set off on what was to be the first of many adventures driving around Australia.

A keen author and photographer, Mary has also published a book about her outback adventures entitled Baked Beans in the Outback and Curry in Kashmir.

Gareth Rees of Honda Australia told GoSeeAustralia Mary Taylors latest trip was in a new Honda Jazz supplied by Honda. The 13th time Around The Block took Mary from Peninsula Honda, Mornington to Perth then on to Darwin where her car was serviced.

From Darwin she drove to Alice Springs and back to Mornington.

The Thai built Jazz is virtually standard, apart from an after market cruise control unit and a video camera which has been mounted on the passenger side of the dashboard.

The footage Mary shoots will eventually be included in a short documentary that explores her passion for driving. This car, says Mary is the best Ive driven, its quiet, very comfortable and very, very economical.

I usually aim to drive about 600 km each day so I rarely stop and sight-see says Mary. Im already looking forward to the next trip, which will be my 14th.

Marys taste for adventure came late in life following a 50-year marriage to , Major-General Tim Taylor. Mary married Tim Taylor in Malaya in 1940. They moved to Quetta in India ( now in Pakistan) while her husband did six months as a student at the Indian Army Staff College. Mary became a memsahib at the age of 22 and found it a culture shock to have to cope with a staff of seven servants.

After her husband passed away some years ago, Mary -- who despite having a licence had rarely driven -- decided to Go See Australia, and do it by road.

Editors note: Story and picture courtesy of AutoNews and Honda Australia.

Mary Taylor 13 times Around The Block
Mary Taylor 13 times Around The Block
Read our Email and Privacy Policy