It was many years ago when I crossed the Nullarbor Plains and all I remember was the corrugated road and the dust. We travelled with a caravan and I had just got my licence, so my parents let me help with the driving. Not too much to see from what I remember. It was a long and dusty journey and no bitumen most of the way.
Null-arbor is a latin word meaning 'no trees'. This was far from the truth. Again semi-arid country with bushes/trees/plants/flowers that survive very well in this climate. Even though it was a 1200 kms journey (from Norseman to Ceduna), it was interesting and very unique. Lots of eucalypt trees as well and a lot of dead ones also. See map at end of blog.
dead eucalypt trees
The only part that had no trees was over the SA border where there is a small section of plains with just grass and scrub.
start of the long journey over the Nullarbor
There are stops every 200-250 kms for fuel and caravan parks at the back of a roadhouse. Our first roadhouse, Balladonia, had a small museum with piece of space junk from the NASA Skylab that fell out of the sky onto this guys property. President Carter even phoned the guy to apologise for this. Also a tribute to the camels/Afghanis who brought them to our country.
space junk from NASA skylab
museum honouring the camels and Afghans used for transport in the Nullarbor
On the long road every now and then we came across this sign and the road becomes a 'runway'.
one of the many Royal Flying Doctor Service landing strips on the hwy
Royal Flying Doctor landing strip - on our road!
Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. For my birthday we stayed at a roadhouse called Caiguna. I cooked dinner on the promise that I would get a meal the next day. It was windy and cold and I loved it. What was more interesting was the farmer that had called in to the roadhouse to buy some fuel. $1400 later he left - check out his mode of transport.
farmer taking off in a museum relic??
The caravan park became one big dust bowl as a result. Most of these places only have about 5-10 people staying in the park (if that). Sunset was beautiful out in the middle of nowhere and lots of stars under a very clear sky.
sunset at Caiguna
Caiguna roadhouse/caravan park
The sign on the toilet door was also very interesting. Needless to say I was very watchful and wore my crocs most of the time. The floor of the ablution block didn't help to detect these unwanted reptiles!
what a sign to the loo
could you see a snake on this floor?
My birthday meal was spent at Caiguna also. This sign says it all. I believe it is a tribe that is lost - preceded by the words 'where the ..'
what tribe was that?
Mmm, my favourite meal of the day!
happy birthday to me breakfast
The signs were also interesting and of course there was a lot of road kill to remind us. All we saw were the kangaroos. Was hoping to see a camel.
signs in WA
We also pulled into another roadhouse for fuel and this is what happened to a poor unfortunate driver after hitting a kangaroo. What would the towing bill have cost? Hope they had insurance.
car being towed after hitting a kangaroo
We also had lunch with a beautiful view of the plains from an escarpment.
view of the Nullarbor from the escarpment
Nullarbor Plains - lunch stop
Along the way we also saw the most unusual trees. Unfortunately we couldn't stop for them all. There were also bras/panties trees, glove trees, Christmas trees and big fluffy toys trees.
pots/pans/bottles and junk tree
It was a long road but all bitumen. Most of the users of the Eyre Highway are nomads like ourselves and huge semis transporting goods. It is not a lonely highway at all.
Eyre Highway - the long road to SA
our lonely motorhome
are we there yet?
heaps of semis on the highway
fellow nomads sharing the road
We arrived and stayed the night at Eucla. Eucla is a small town near the WA border. The views were awesome - overlooking the plains and the ocean. You could also see the Eyre Hwy and the transport on it. The toilet facilities were very clean and we even got beautiful rainwater which made my hair look and feel really nice. Even the TV stations worked here. I also had some resident roosters and hens visiting our campsite.
are we on a farm - Eucla caravan park
rooster singing happy birthday to me
We also got closer to the dunes and there was an old telegraph station there which has been covered by sand over the years.
old telegraph station covered in sand
You could see our campsite at the top of the escarpment.
looking at the escarpment at our caravan park at Eucla
welcome to Eucla - check out the kms to Perth and Adelaide
view from our caravan park at Eucla - Great Australian Bight
view from caravan park at Eucla
overlooking the Eyre Highway
Finally we had reached the WA/SA border. We were required to toss out all our vegies and fruits. WA do this at their borders but SA were going to check our van at Ceduna which was about 480 kms away. We had to eat it up or throw it out. We also lost 2.5 hours at the crossing. SA have daylight saving. This now brings us half an hour ahead of Brisbane. The signs changed slightly - the emu is now a wombat!
farewell 3 months in WA
welcome to SA
changed signs - do the animals have wings here?
At this stage the highway has changed from many years ago. It used to be further inland but now they have moved it closer to the ocean views. You can see the Great Australian Bight. The views were stunning as were the signs.
Great Australian Bight
You are always thinking about a chunk of land breaking away - possibly the chunk you are standing on. There are certainly a lot of signs to remind you of the treacherous cliffs.
husband looking at views - is this where I think about pushing him over to claim insurance??
another ominous sign
You can also free camp with these beautiful views.
free camping with beautiful view of Great Aust Bight
There are still plenty of beautiful heathlands along the cliffs.
cliffs of the Great Australian Bight
the dunes, heaths going to the ocean
heathlands on the Nullarbor
It is also possible to play golf on the Nullarbor. It is the longest golf course in the world - about 1400 kms. It starts at Kalgoorlie and finishes at Ceduna. The idea is that you play 1-2 holes at each stop/roadhouse.
golf course on the Nullarbor
I also found another unusual sign. Had they put the emu back into the picture!
Another interesting thing was transporting of the huge loaders - they would be going to the ' gold Superpit' at Kalgoorlie. They are worth 2.5 million dollars.
2.5 million loader!
Perth to Adelaide including Nullarbor Plains (Eyre Hwy)
Eucla is on the border of WA, 12 kms from Border Village in SA.
And that was how I spent my birthday this year. Really exciting and loved every minute of it.