AUSTRALIA, South Australia to Western Australia via the wonderful Nullarbor Plain, 27-29 March 2013
The truly fabulous experience that is the Nullarbor (Treeless) Plain crossing from Ceduna to Caiguna Roadhouse, 514 miles
Australia, Crossing the Nullarbor Desert 27-29 mar 2013, Elliston, Elliston Walkers Rocks, Venus Bay, Streaky Bay, Ceduna, Nullarbor Desert, the explorer Edward John Eyre, covering amongst others 180 selective slideshow images, Nullabor the treeless plain, start road sign, motorcyclist crossing Gibson & Simpson deserts, dingoes, eucla telegraph station, head of bight, nullarbor lookout, border crossing, quaratine station, western Australia, southern Australia, border village campsite, caiguna roadhouse, ceduna foreshore, yalata, dingos, roe plain, trees, eagles, eagles nest, weird golf course, elliston bay, emus, coastal path, eucla, great Australian bight, pelicans, hampton tablelands, longest golf course in the world, murphy's haystacks, smoky bay, start and end of the nullarbor, marked with smart signs, madura roadhouse, mundrabilla, roadkill, rfds-royal flying doctors, big 4, head of bight visitors centre, madura pass, Roe Plains, Yalata aboriginal land, murphys haystacks, inselbergs, piers, diggers hats, blue tongued skink, southern right whales, flies, kondole, anangu peoples, marine park, bunda cliffs, nullarbor national park, , leeuwin way, whales, sand dunes, delisser sand hills, east-west telegraph service & station at eucla, munrabilla station, 200km from gate to farm house, cocklebiddy, highway 1 the eyre highway, moodini bluff, 90 miles straight at caiguna, nuytsland nature reserve, eucla national park. We were previously in this area in 1995, 2007 and then again in 2017.
Wednesday March 27th 2013
Summary, Elliston to Ceduna
It rained heavily overnight and was extremely windy. It was overcast first thing then cloudy but warm all day. We drove to Elliston rocks by the sea, often called by the locals Walkers rocks, there is a campground there as well, we then continued up the coast north to Venus Bay, a small fishing hamlet where all the holiday homes were shut up.
We saw lots of pelicans bobbing on the sea. We then went onto Streaky Bay which was mostly about fishing. We then saw 2 blue tongued skinks crossing the road in front of us. These are lizards with little legs and chubby bodies and quite numerous through out Australia. We took a photo of one of the skinks. We then had lunch at Smoky Bay right by the beach with many palm trees and Norfolk Pines. Very relaxing lunch. It has a fabulous jetty. It was very quiet as again a holiday home area, presumably for folk from Adelaide but currently all shut up.
We arrived at Ceduna at 3 p.m. and purchased fuel and then checked into the campsite. A Big 4 site costing $27 for the night. We did some final groceries shopping in town and visited an ATM at the Westpac bank (ours whilst on holiday) to get money out for fuel on the Nullarbor. We also visited the tourist info to get the weather forecast and purchase the crossing the Nullarbor sheets etc. See the site for image details including our certificate for proof of crossing. The temperature for our crossing was predicted to be between 21 and 24 degrees centigrade so somewhat cooler than it had been of late which was good news.
It was also suggested there would be a few rain showers on the Nullarbor as well, another good sign for our long journey across to Western Australia. It was 38 degrees centigrade at Eucla yesterday which we have to pass and is not good news. We saw lots of Aboriginal people in Ceduna town, sadly many were drunk, with the police patrolling in case of trouble. To some extent the aboriginal issue is a problem of our making, they do not fit in well to a western lifestyle being somewhat more nomadic, the Māori in our humble opinion have integrated much more successfully in NZ that the Aboriginals in Australia.
Anne did laundry and Keef did jacket potatoes in the microwave with a tuna mayo filling. Checked and sent emails. We then watched TV in the motorhome which was only the second time we have done so, preferring chatting, and reading our books. Still, lots of flies around but they disappear at night, thank God. We are getting up at dawn tomorrow.
Thursday March 28th 2013
Summary, Nullarbor Plain Crossing, Ceduna to the South Australian border with Western Australia at Border crossing village.
It was 21 to 24 degrees centigrade. We got up at 5.45 a.m. having set the alarm. We finally left at 7.30 a.m. after taking a shower and eating breakfast. There was not much traffic on the road apart from a few road trains until about mid-morning, so it was a good time to travel, and mostly selected to keep the temperature under control, too hot is just not good. We drove through farmland, much of it wheat which had been grown and cut. It stretched for as far as the eye could see and then we moved into scrubby bushland. 10 kilometers before the Nullarbor plain officially started the landscape changed to low vegetation, sandy soil and few to no trees, hence Nullarbor or no trees.
Then as we got near the cliffs on the coast the plants began to look greener, there were lots of small round hummocks of shrub and hardy plants. We saw an emaciated dingo after crossing a dingo fence / panel grid on the road used to keep them segregated. There was surprisingly very little roadkill squashed on the road and we did not see any roos, camels, or wombats, which was a real shame and something we had hoped to see. There were a few puddles of water at the roadside so there had been some rain via limited showers in the early hours before we arrived. We then stopped at the start and took a lot of photos of the Nullarbor Plain Road sign, a motorcyclist stopped and kindly took a joint photo of us both with the sign behind. We now use this as our HOLIDAY2013 logo.
The motorcyclist was English from East Anglia. He was on a road trip camping from Fremantle across the Plain and Gibson and Simpson deserts. He told us he had been surrounded by a pack of 8 hungry dingoes at night in his tent whilst cooking his bacon supper in the tent and had to use his remote alarm on the bike to scare them off, very frightening, they are ferocious when hungry… remember Cindy Chamberlain and the movie A Cry in the Dark. He also told us he had seen a brown snake under his ground sheet whilst camping in the Port Lincoln National Park, scary or what. His wife had chosen not to travel with him (very wise) and stayed in a luxury hotel in Perth.
We visited the Head of Bight to do some whale watching. We saw nothing, but it was fantastic coastal views from the lookout at the end of the pathway in the visitors’ centre. Much of the cliffs and coastline was aboriginal land owned by the Yalata peoples. We had lunch on a clifftop viewing point and then called in at 2 more on route, just lovely scenery. We arrived at 3 p.m. at the SA / WA border crossing roadhouse which had a campsite at the back of the motels. We paid $25 to stay overnight as a bit tired after 500+ miles of driving. We used the toilets and showers in the portacabins but the “keep the door shut” against snakes and snake themed tiling did not particularly calm us, hee-hee.
We had a power nap, Keef did photos and Annie read her iPad book. We actually drove 481 kilometers today.
Friday March 29th 2013
Summary, Nullarbor Plain Crossing, South Australian border with Western Australia at Border crossing village to Caiguna, WA.
We got up at 8.15 a.m. as less milage to do today. Had wash in the portacabin, breakfast and checked the motorhome for any plant, fruit, or vegetable matter as we were about to go through the quarantine area at the border crossing into Western Australia. It was only 100 meters from the campsite back on the Eyre Highway, highway 1 at this point although the National route A1 starts at Sydney and ends at Esperance, to the border crossing station.
Keef noticed that the front driver side tyre was looking particularly flat, he had noticed in in Port Lincoln first. It was now beginning to cause some stress as we had to keep pumping it up at every roadhouse or fuel stop, we made.
At the quarantine station a man came aboard the motorhome and looked in our fridge and some cupboards. He asked if we had any animals, we said no. He even checked in the van loo to see if we had any stowaways, ha-ha, as if.
Then we noticed a sheep had run across the border, we said aren’t you going after it, he joked you can have it if you want for a BBQ assuming you can catch it. So much for their hot quarantine regulations.
At Eucla on the Eyre highway we saw the monument to Edward John Eyre explorer, and then drove 4 kilometers down a dirt track to the old Eucla Telegraph station, which was now a ruin amongst the sand dunes. It operated from 1877-1927 to link Western Australia with the rest of Australia and the world. It was a key communications station in its time, so sad to see it as just a pile of rubble nowadays. IN its hey day it sent 11,000 messages annually.
We then rejoined the Eyre highway and drove with a high ridge of land on our right and sea on the left which could be seen from the hills. We stopped at Madura pass, which counts as the halfway point between Adelaide and Perth, to get a view over the vast Roe Plains. We stopped at the Madura roadhouse for more fuel. Then off the highway we saw 2 emus. There were lots of eagles eating roadkill kangaroos off the highway. We sadly still hadn’t seen any live roos, camels or wombats which was a tad disappointing, to say the least.
We had lunch at Cocklebiddy roadhouse and watched a man do golf into the hole at Eagles nest, part of the longest golf course in the world, it covers Ceduna to Kalgoorlie, wow with one hole at most roadhouses.
We stopped at 3 p.m. at Caiguna which has 10 powered sites costing $25, we had to turn our watches back 45 minutes as now on western time. We relaxed and read our books.
We drove 347 kilometers today , it was 22 degrees centigrade in Caiguna.