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.
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. Continue reading
Our journey to Esperance started early, and was delayed by a flood near Ravensthorpe. This meant we had to take a very cautious 7km detour over a gravel track, which luckily the van seemed to survive unscathed. Amazingly the sat nav’s paved alternative to this was a 11 hour detour!
An hour further east from Esperance is the Cape Le Grand National Park, which we made our first stop. Entrance to the huge park was a very reasonable $12(£7.50) per vehicle. Given our limited time, we only visited the park’s most well known beaches but we could have easily spent a full day or more there.
So the distances between stops (and petrol stations) definitely started to increase as we travelled further away from Perth. However, we still found our days packed with things to see and do in between the driving.
The biggest challenge has been fitting it all in while still making it to a campsite, before darkness and the kangaroos make driving more dangerous. So far all of our encounters with kangaroos have involved them harmlessly hopping across the road in front of us, although Rachael has already managed to kill one bird.
The Margaret River region has an incredible number of beaches, and we did our best to visit as many of these as possible during our short visit.
We started off in Dunsborough, a very nice little town just 30km along the coast from Busselton. Our visit was timed with the Easter holidays, and its clearly a popular holiday destination, with the town centre full of people. However it was early, and the beach itself was still quiet with just a few paddle boarders.
Not far from this is Meelup beach where we also made a quick stop. This was very secluded and again there was beautiful white sand and clear blue sea, with lots of families swimming and sunbathing.
Perhaps the most impressive waves we have seen so far were at Canal Rocks, where we sat and watched as they came crashing over the huge rock formations – great fun from a distance, and a complete contrast from some of the more secluded beaches we had visited earlier. Continue reading
We started our tour of the Margaret River region with what we thought was going to be a short stroll along Busselton Jetty. However, it turns out it’s actually the Southern Hemisphere’s longest wooden jetty at 1.8km long. No wonder there is a train to the end!
We were a little concerned when we did make it to the end and looked at the sign showing the distance to all of the World’s major cities, as well the largest Australian ones. Only 3,670km to Brisbane then, and that’s in a straight line.
The city of Perth is surrounded by some of the best beaches in Western Australia, so it was only right that we spent some time exploring them. Top of our list was Freemantle, one of the oldest settlements in Western Australia, and just 22km south of Perth.
After a very nice flat white in Il Cibo (they really are good over here), we spent sometime walking along the beach and pier, watching the many fishermen at work and taking in the impressive views over to Rottnest Island.