The University of Newcastle, Australia

Tim Ross - Book Talk | MOTEL: Images of Australia on Holidays

20 Nov 2019 from 7:00pm - 8:00pm

Join Tim Ross for a nostalgic, thought provoking and funny exploration of Australian holidays of the past. Using storytelling and Australian Motel history, Tim will take you on a sentimental motel journey.

Tim Ross - 'MOTEL' Book Image

Wednesday 20 November, 7PM
Venue: Watt Space Gallery
20 Auckland Street, Newcastle


Tickets and Book: includes two admissions and a copy of MOTEL. Images of Australia on Holidays – $39.95
Ticket only: includes one admission – $20.00

Talk runs for one hour followed by question and answer. 

Please note – books included with tickets will be distributed at the show.

Tickets can be purchased here.


If any country was born to holiday, it’s Australia.

Sun, space, beaches – the desire to hit the road and “get out of town” remains a strong and enduring part of our cultural identity. Many of us remember the summer ritual of packing up the car with half the stuff we owned and heading for our chosen “spot” in often incident-packed road trips.

Central to those memorable journeys was the motel. “We’ll stay a night in Gundagai,” Dad would say, to break up the trip. Discovering the configuration of a new motel was all part of the holiday adventure – did it have a colour TV? The little packs of cereal? A couple of complimentary Arrowroots to go with the free tea and coffee? Bricks on the inside as well as the out?

In his new book Motel, Tim Ross captures the heyday of Australia’s motels via a deep trawl through the National Archives, presenting a fascinating slideshow of Australians on holidays between 1950 and 1989.

A pictorial love letter to a somewhat bygone era, it captures the accessible glamour and car-friendly convenience of the road-side motel, from Gold Coast ‘palaces’ to out-of-the-way comfort stops (some with attached restaurant! Dinner: 6.30-8pm)

Motel is an affectionate tribute to one of this country’s greatest democratic institutions. From Prime Ministers to punters, at some stage we’ve all had to lay our head down at a welcoming motel as the sun sets on the highway

Image: From 'MOTEL. Images of Australia on Holidays'