Couple loves life on the road in a sunburnt country
Bob and Diana Ecclestone at the Australia Day traditional flag raising ceremony. Photo: Katherine Griffiths
BOB AND DIANA Ecclestone have built their love of Australia - its people, its landscape and its identity - the hard way.
For the past 10 years, the Canberra couple have lived a life on the road, exploring almost every nook and cranny of the sunburnt country.
They have racked up roughly 320,000 kilometres in a trusty old bus and their car, venturing through cities and remote areas of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria and NSW.
''It's not for everybody, but we love it,'' Mr Ecclestone said. ''Some people find they miss the picket fence, or they miss the dog, or whatever.
''But we just love finding new places and meeting new people, it's a pretty wonderful country.''
The Ecclestone's made a long-awaited return to Canberra for Australia Day this year, the first time they've been here for the occasion for seven or eight years.
Mr Ecclestone said it was nice to finally be home for Australia Day, a day that has taken on special significance for the pair.
''[Australia's] a fantastic place to be,'' Mr Ecclestone said.
''In general, we're a pretty accommodating, laid-back mob, you can go anywhere with freedom.
''We've done thousands of kilometres across an area the size of Europe, there's no border checks, there's no one sticking guns in your face, it's just a comfortable place to be, it's a really wonderful joint.''
Their bus sat safely in Exhibition Park, while they attended the flag-raising ceremony at Rond Terrace in Commonwealth Park, and planned to head back to Lake Burley Griffin for the fireworks spectacular on Saturday night.
Bob and Diana plan to hit the road again in the next few days, likely heading south to Victoria.