Brain Fuel

Brain Fuel

Buckle up and join host Amanda Keller on a celebration of great Australian journeys. Fuel your brain with bite-sized stories from the road and beyond as told by truckies, foodies, comedians, historical figures, and many more. Perfect for lovers of large horizons, big open roads, and the quintessentially Aussie moments which happen on them.

Episodes

November 14, 2021 4 min

Australia is a big country with plenty of places to get lost in. We hear from someone whose narrow escape could have meant never being able to face his dad again.

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Corner Country, in far north-west NSW, played a significant role in Charles Sturt’s pursuit of an inland sea. Now, environmental groups, governments and others are using sculptures to raise the profile of the area – and reintroduce some old friends.

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November 7, 2021 4 min

We all felt it during the lockdowns and height of the pandemic... the feeling to just drop everything and live life on the road. But for most of us, we didn't do it. But what about those who did?

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October 31, 2021 4 min

Australia is home to more than 150 “big things”, from the Big Prawn to the Big Merino. We meet Melanie Tait, heiress to NSW’s Big Potato, and learn how her family saved it from devastation.

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Heading on a road trip isn’t the same for every Australian. Sometimes poor accessibility limits opportunities for blind or low-vision people to hit the open road. We talk to a tour guide who is using every sensory input to create a rich road trip experience for blind and low-vision travelers.

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A lot of Australians will know about the famous explorer's Burke and Wills and their ill-fated journey from Melbourne to Central Australia. But what many don’t know is that the first day of their travels ended with a stop in the inner-city Melbourne suburb of Moonee Ponds - a trip which could be completed on a tram in 10 minutes today! Our story today focuses on their little-known stop on this historic and legendary journey.

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Australia has a thriving car enthusiasm scene backed by decades of muscle and performance car history. We talk to Simon Telford, Editor in Chief of Street Machine, about his most memorable muscle car community road trip into the outback.

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October 17, 2021 3 min

We talk to an expert about what a road trip in the future might look like, and see if the community’s imagination lines up.

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A few hours out of Adelaide, near the town of Orroroo, there’s a hill where cars roll up, not down. Or at least, that’s what the sign says. Every year, countless tourists turn up to try out the phenomenon. They switch their cars into neutral and freak the kids out as they gently roll up the hill. But it’s all an illusion created by the locals to fool the tourists. So how does this illusion work and should you tell the kids the trut...

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Aussies love a big roadside attraction, from the Big Pineapple in Cairns, to the Big Boxing Kangaroo in the Northern Territory, but a 15km stretch of road in WA known as the ‘Tin Horse Highway’ might feature the most bizarre and hilarious big attractions of them all.

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The Great Ocean Road is possibly the most famous drive in Australia, known for its exceptional ocean views, but over the past few centuries, its gorgeous coastal rock features have wreaked havoc on those ships that attempted to brave the southern seas. This is why a particular stretch of the coastline has been named the ‘Shipwreck Coast’, with over 600 ships known to have met their end here. We talk to an expert who shares the stor...

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September 26, 2021 3 min

Wear your seatbelt, no drink driving, stick to the speed limit - these are all rules we all know and have to follow to drive on the road legally. But do you know some of our more obscure ones? Take our driving test and find out.

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Surf Lifesaving can be traced back to a Mr. William Gocher at Sydney’s Manly Beach in September 1902. Small groups of experienced and regular surfers began to form themselves into lifesaving bodies to assist those who needed to be rescued. In 1907, the New South Wales Surf Bathing Association was formed. Now, 650,000 voluntary patrol hours keep swimmers safe every season. We talk to the people who make it possible.

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What is the perfect meal for a road trip? We find out the history of the road-side nosh in Australia, what the most popular food is, and talk to an iconic chef or two about what their pick is to keep them fuelled for the road.

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We explore the iconic ways Aussies pass the time on a road trip. It might be all about staring at the phone nowadays, but most of us remember playing a game of eye-spy in the backseat of the car when we were kids. We find out the most popular games, and where they originated from.

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We take a trip down the Stuart Highway to stop at the long abandoned ghost town Farina, and drop in on a famous underground bakehouse that’s still going strong in spite of its unbelievably sparse location. Hear from local volunteers who are putting their efforts into not just keeping the bakery going, but also into restoring the town to its former glory.

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Truck drivers have been the unsung heroes of the covid-19 pandemic in Australia, driving across the country and putting themselves at risk to keep the supply chain going. The work can be treacherous and isolating, but it’s also an opportunity to adventure across great distances, meet new people and see all corners of this extraordinary country.

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In 1937, a 23 year old Catherine Gregson, her mum, and her mum’s friend Sybil became the first women to drive around Australia, navigating by compass and infamously stopping off in Darwin to go buffalo and crocodile hunting. Catherine Gregson and her mum were told explicitly that it was “too dangerous” for them to head out on a drive around Australia, but in a classic Aussie move, they said “bugger it” and did it anyway. 

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