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At 90 Mary Taylor does not miss a beat at 17 laps of Australia and counting on marathon mission to see Australia

July 17, 2008
At 90 Mary Taylor does not miss a beat at 17 laps of Australia and counting on marathon mission to see Australia

Mary Taylor has returned from her 17th trip around the worlds biggest island in her yellow Honda Jazz and she is already planning her next one!

This time her journey took to many destinations around Australia including Broken Hill, Longreach, Katherine, Broome, Perth, Ceduna and Mildura, covering over 16,000 kms.

From Mary's book Baked Beans in the Outback and Curry in Kashmir -

Mary says her favorite route to the North is the Matilda Highway.

The Matilda Highway officially starts at Cunamulla in South Queensland. It links Charleville, Blackall, home of the Black Stump, Longreach and the Stockmans Hall of Fame, Winton, home of Waltzing Matilda, Kyuna 150km up the highway claims to be the true home of the icon Australian anthem. From Winton on to Cloncurry, the first Flying Doctor base and then Karumba on the Gulf of Carpentaria and the end of the Matilda Highway.

Karumba is about 100 km east of the point where ill-fated explorersBurke and Wills reached the northern coast of Australia on their trek across the continent.

On the Matilda Highway, somewhere between Blackall and Barcaldine, I had a strange experience. I was driving along thining of nothing particular, when suddenly Tim was sitting beside me. (Mary's late husband Major General Tim Taylor). The sense of his presence was so strong that for several kilometres I drove with my hand on the passenger seat.

Age seems no barrier for Mary and at 90 years, she loves the freedom driving brings and the open road. Youve got to experience the country, Mary said on her return home.

Senior Director of Honda Australia, Lindsay Smalleytold GoSeethat both the Jazz and Mary seem to thrive on the challenge of another outback adventure, with neither of them missing a beat.

Mary appeared on the 9AM with David and Kim program on Network Ten on Tuesday, 8 July.

GoSeeAustralia first reported on Amazing Mary's driving marathons on October 20, 2006. Here is a flashback for Mary Taylor's many online fans who have been in touch with us wanting to know where she is -

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, Major-General Tim Taylor.

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. Mary's book has had another print run. It's available from: Mary Taylor PO Box 318 Frankston Vic. 3199 Or from Farrells bookshop, Mornington, and Robinsons bookshop, Frankston. ($A15 is the recommended retail price).

In 2006 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.

After her husband passed away 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.