Driving across the Nullar-bore

After a relaxing night in Salmon Gums we were ready to take on  the longest two days of driving of the whole trip, travelling across the Nullarbor Plain. For us this meant a 1,202km drive between Norseman and Ceduna, with little more than occasional rest stops along the way.

While other travel blogs we had read mention a number of other things to do along the way, most of these require a 4×4 so were off-limit for us. The Nullarbor is however, home to the world’s longest golf course, the Nullarbor Links. With a hole at each roadhouse along the Eyre Highway, the 18 hole 72 par course spans a total of 1,365km and takes ‘crazy golf’ to the next level.

Although the Eyre Highway is for the most part very straight and easy to drive, there are some interesting hazards to watch out for along the way.

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While you do get the feeling at times you really are away from civilisation, the drive was not as remote as we had expected. We were expecting to be running on fumes by the time we reached each petrol station, and for long periods without seeing any other traffic.
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In reality we regularly passed the friendly wave of other caravans, or the huge road trains which travel this route, and the longest stretch between petrol stations (198km) used up less than half a tank of fuel.

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Crossing the Nullebor takes you over the border into South Australia, as well as across time zones, with this proving one of the more complicated aspects of the journey. While the time moves +1hr 30, this happens 45 minutes at a time, and neither our phones or the sat nav seemed to know which one was correct for a large part of the drive.

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We ended day one at the Mundrabilla Roadhouse, meaning we had travelled an impressive 740km, or the equivalent of driving from Coventry to Inverness. It’s amazing what you can do with two drivers and large quantities of sweets!

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Needing some time out of the van, we joined the truckers and retired caravaners in the roadhouse bar for a drink and to plan the following days journey (continue along the same straight road for hundreds of km’s).

Day two was very much more of the same, with another 400km of driving. With our Spotify playlists close to exhaustion, we even tried out our ‘learn Spanish’ audio lessons. So we can both now ask ‘where the bar?’ is in a country 10,000 miles away!

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The Head of the Bight therefore provided a welcome break from the driving. Just a short drive from the Eyre highway, the site is a renowned whale watching spot between July and October. Despite there not being any whales during our visit, it was well worth the $7 (£4.50) each entrance fee just for the incredible views of the Bunda cliffs from the wooden viewing platforms.

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Crossing the Nullebor was a unique experience, and there was definitely a sense of achievement as we made it to the end and the relative normality of Ceduna, where we watched yet another brilliant sunset.

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However, there was even less to break up the driving than we expected, and although the roadhouses provide valuable breaks, they are very basic and overpriced because of their remoteness. It’s fair to say that neither of us are in any rush to repeat this part of our journey!

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