We left our readers in Perth in our last blogpost. But this is not the end of our fifth roadtrip through Australia. There is one missing piece: the Nullarbor.
From Perth (which we already visited back in 2011) we took the highway to Coolgardie. Nothing new, we’ve been here before. The turn to the Nullarbor is in Norseman, about 170 kms south of Coolgardie. This is where our last adventure starts. We’ve read and heard a lot of stories about this apparently utmost boring highway. Mentally we were prepared for the worst.
But, stories left aside, it was a nice experience. The weather was a bit unpredictable, with rain and sunshine alike. Yes, some stretches are boring. Driving on the longest straight road of Australia is not very exciting (except when you pass the marker).
The border between WA and South Australia is the next exciting event. The border lays just beyond a hill at Eucla, from where you can finally see the ocean again! Although the road follows the coastline, there is a lot of bush between that coastline and the actual highway. And since we cross a border again, it’s fruit and vegetable time … Really, there’s a lot to do about nothing. We didn’t have anything with us, but the controls are a big laugh! Play it smart, and you can take everything with you. Getting caught is at own risk.
The Nullarbor Roadhouse has a caravan park and motel, but if you only wish to take a shower, you can use their facilities. It is the only place to besides Eucla, and there is a café as well! We didn’t need any of these luxurious services but stretching the legs is delightful! We did get some excitement though! A Royal Flying Doctors plane was taking off at the very moment we stopped at the roadhouse. The only sideroad well worth driving (just about 1 km) is towards the Head of Bight in the Great Australian Bight. This is a well-known breeding and feeding place for whales.
Unfortunately, we didn’t spot them here. You could go to an Aboriginal-managed place, a bit further away, but there you have to pay. It is said to be one of the best places to see the whales tough. We don’t think it is right to ask for money to see whales playing around in their natural habitat, just because the land you’re watching them from belongs to your people.
Our last stop on the Nullarbor is the caravan park of Penong, a small town but we were glad we got that far without incidents. There are lots of free camping spots along the road. Most of them are clean and spacious (but almost none of them have toilets of any kind). We only slept at places with at least some other travellers. We never felt insecure. The Nullarbor ends at Ceduna, at yet another checkpoint. Yes, within the same state you can encounter fruitfly zones, or rather, fruitfly free zones. And to make sure these areas stay fruitfly free, checks are carried out at checkpoints or at random on the road (like in Mildura).
We crossed the Eyre Pensinsula where we’ve been in 2012. The Hay Plain is the next massive plain to cross. It was amazing to see such an area with nothing! There aren’t many places in the world, and especially not in Europe, like this. But one must be very attentive – rest, sleep, survive. We saw a serious car crash which proves this sentence right!
After returning our car in Canberra, we ended this expansive road trip in Sydney. The most beautiful and exciting city in the world! This time we explored Chinatown, Paddy Market and the university area. The last places we didn’t see so far .Of course we returned to some familiar places. Culture and nature combined. That’s what makes Sydney so special to us. The good food, the friendly people. We love it! It’s a pity we have to fly more than 30 hours, are we would visit the city several times a year!