My name is Marlene and I’m a long distance driver for Integrity Coach Lines.
I have been in this job for nearly 3 years. Previously I worked in Newman as a mine site bus driver transporting workers to and from site and also mine site tours and VIP tours.
People often ask me if I get bored doing the same trip Perth to Broome and return each week and I always reply “no”. I have a huge office with amazing views and each week is different with new people to meet.
Over the past few years I have met lots of interesting people and have learnt a lot about the WA countryside from some the local people who are regular travellers with us. There’s a saying “Strangers are only friends you haven’t met yet.”
My favourite time of year is wildflower season. The landscape is transformed with drifts of beautiful wildflowers ranging in colour from whites to pinks, reds, purples and yellows. I look forward to seeing it all bloom and slowly change in the weeks to follow. The birdlife is quite beautiful too, with flocks of bright green budgies which are spectacular on the wing.
We do have some challenges on our weekly journeys with wildlife a constant one. Kangaroos are always a challenge and cattle, goats and sheep with the odd emu. Driving at night is certainly a challenge but also a time to see the beautiful night sky with shooting stars a regular sight.
As a New Zealander I am always in awe of the WA landscape with it’s unique trees and grasses which are constantly changing with the light. The sunsets are beautiful and the vastness is amazing.
The best part of the journey is arriving back in Perth and farewelling another group of passengers, heading to the yard, finalising paperwork, cleaning the coach and heading home for a shower, a cuppa and some breakfast.
Article Courtesy of Marlene Hanson, photo's by Ra Kirkwood