SMITH, Warwick

WARWICK ALBERT SMITH was born in 1944 and learned to drive at the age of ten 10 in a 1949 Chevrolet truck picking up hay on the families hilly dairy farm at Bombay, South Auckland, New Zealand. He started paid employment at 17 for the Bombay Store, in an overloaded Morris Commercial van delivering chook feed and groceries. “Going very fast down, and very slow up” Warwick was a familiar sight in the Bombay Hills. Warwick also gained experience at Vernons Timber at Pukekohe before spending eight years at New Zealand Dairy Company, Paerata driving milk tankers. He then went to Storage and Export (NZ) Ltd and continued driving for Trailways Transport who bought them out. During much of this time he was also a talented saxophone player for local band ‘The Over Tones’.

After deciding to move to Australia Warwick moved to Darwin in 1979 and got a job driving with Gulf Transport carting cars from Alice Springs to Darwin and Kununurra. A change of jobs to Ascot Haulage a few months later saw Warwick carting from the Alice Springs railhead up the track to Darwin. After moving to Queensland in 1981, Warwick worked on the Wonga dam before returning to the Top End in 1983. He worked carrying power poles for Vic Carrusi and delivering concrete for Direct Mix before returning to Ascots / NTFS in 1986. Unable to stay away from milk, Warwick spent the next 10 years carting bottled milk on “the world’s longest milk run” from Malanda in Townsville to Darwin including supplying businesses enroute and Darwin's domestic needs.

In December 1994 a Transtar 4700 arrived at Alice Springs. Following a photo shoot in early 1995 with a helicopter and lots of polish, the photo of Warwick driving down Bond Springs Airstrip in No#45 went on to grace calendars and International Harvester advertising material around the world. In 2003 Warwick went on to drive a head turning bronze Freightliner which arrived via the Brisbane Truck Show. A few months later Darwin's milk was sourced from Adelaide, Warwick again moved to milk tankers for the run to Darwin. In 2008 Warwick came off the road, to work local in Darwin, with an occasional run down the track or to the West. He is still doing this today at 73.