One thing we have come to love about travelling in Australia is the abundance of rest stops and picnic areas. Not only do they have covered picnic benches, but there is likely to be a free-to-use electric cooking surface. Not quite the flame grills we have at home, but a solid flat stainless steel surface. Nearby is usually a public toilet and a water source. Some host “driver reviver” stations offering free coffee, tea, and bikkies encouraging people to stop for a break on those long trips between towns.
Yesterday I went to the Pilliga Bore (30°21’18.14″S 148°54’24.97″E) with my colleague Richie. Several picnic benches were already filled with people and the barbecues were loaded with potato wedges, onions, mushrooms, snags (sausages) and fried eggs. This site also has an artesian pool and plenty of space for primitive camping (no electricity). About two dozen simple RVs were set up and people were enjoying the sunny, if cool, weekend outdoors swimming, visiting, and sharing a meal.
The cost of camping, use of the barbecue and 24/7 access to the hot artesian pool: free. These community spaces are all over the place and great draws for locals and travelers alike. They really contribute to a sense of community bringing people together and celebrating the great outdoors.