It became apparent that there is a Code of Conduct to be followed when driving through the empty expanse of the desert.
Namely, the Nullabor Desert Driver’s Wave.
The N.D.D.W. requires a simple lift of the right hand off the steering wheel in greeting to a driver coming in the opposite direction. If feeling particularly laconic, it is acceptable to just lift two fingers of the right hand.
There are subtle rules to the Official N.D.D.W. Protocol.
1. Always perform the N.D.D.W. to a driver towing a caravan, a trailer that looks like it is full of camping gear, or in a car with a roof box on it. They are likely to be fellow travellers.
2. It is not necessary to perform the N.D.D.W. to the driver of an oncoming 4WD, if the vehicle has no van, trailer behind, nor roof box, and the driver is wearing a wide brimmed hat whilst driving. Said driver is likely a local. They may or may no return your greeting. They are in fact probably going pig or roo shooting, or looking for left over bits of Skylab.
3. N.D.D.W’s should also be given to oncoming motorcyclists. Your greeting will usually be returned by way of a subtle nod of the helmet, though some may wave back with their left hands. See Protocol Rule 4 for exceptions.
4. Don’t bother waving to a motorcyclist on a Harley. They are too bad-assed to acknowledge the N.D.D.W. and are probably members of an Outlaw Biker Gang.
5. It is not necessary to greet the drivers of Road Trains with the N.D.D.W. You’ll be too busy getting the hell out of the blast of air that slams into you at 240 kms/h in their wake to take any part of either hand off the steering wheel.
6. If you see a cyclist do not perform the N.D.D.W. in greeting. Instead, pull over and prostrate yourself in total respect and bow your nose into the desert dust until they pass into the shimmering distance.