Day 1- Adelaide to Ceduna 777.5km
The first day of the road trip was to Ceduna along A1 then onto Eyre Highway (A1). We stopped Port Augusta on the way, which was very pretty by the water- very clear water! It was a nice day and got quite stuffy in the car. The drive consisted of very long straight roads, a lot of greenery on open plains, some red sandy parts, and we drove past the Flinders Ranges. The road seemed to just on and on forever in the distance. It looked brill! It wasn't a hard drive. There were hardly any towns, very little civilisation, the odd roadhouse or farm house. It must be so hard living out in middle of nowhere. There were quite a lot of people on the road, more than we though. A lot of cargo trucks used the road- or road trains- as they as so big, often 2-4 carriages. There was some road kill, but not much. Nath did the first part (majority!) of the drive- we swapped over at Kyancutta with only 225km left to go! An easy day for me I reckon! The car was splatters with little bugs everywhere from the drive! We stayed the night at Highway One Motel, Ceduna which was $120 night. It was a nice little unit which was overlooking the ocean. It was one of the biggest towns on the Eyre Highway, with no other town as big until Norseman, 1198km away. It had shops in the town, some beaches and a jetty and where we were staying there was a 24hr petrol station with different food places in it, where we got some dinner from. It was a nice place to stay, I was a bit jumpy through the night though as I heard some weird bangs but just me being paranoid as usual. Nath had a lovely sleep, all recouped for the biggest drive tomorrow!
Day 2- Ceduna to Norseman 1198km
We set off around 7.15am once it got light. We saw a lovely sunrise as we were driving, very pink! It started out as an okay day but got duller as the day went on and rained for quite a lot of it. The drive and roads were pretty much the same as yesterday for the majority of it. Very long, very straight. We had half a tank this morning when we set off, so that would do us around 4 hours. We set off for the Head of the Bight, 250-300km away. We passed a sign in the middle of the nowhere along the road saying no fuel for 144km. We had a quarter of a tank at this point and figured it would be a close one. The tank seemed to go down quicker than ever- Nath covered the dial up so he couldn't see it! At 70km to go until the next petrol station, the red light came on- not a good sign! It was the scariest, heart pounding drive, wondering when we were going to break down and what we would do. We weren't exactly spoilt for choice for help or breakdown assistance, or even civilisation for that matter. Breaking down right in the middle of the outback- great! It was definitely Nath's fault! I told him we should have filled up! Somehow we kept going and the last 10km were the longest ever- but we made it! We have no idea how but thank god we did! We drove 70km with the red light on! When we filled up at the station, we put in 63.5 litres of fuel and the car is suppose to be 61.5 litres! Never again!
The Head of the Bight was amazing! It had viewing platforms to see Southern Right Whales that come to the area every year between June and October to calve and breed. Yesterday there were 130 Whales in the area. We could see around 15 in one eyesight, but more kept popping to the surface as others went under. There was so many! It was really truly amazing! It was $15 to access the platform and worth every penny! We saw babies with the mothers, we saw tail lifts and we saw some rolling near the surface, flippers in the air, which prevents male advances and calves suckling! Crazy! It was worth the drive over just for that. There were also amazing views of the beautiful coastline that stretches for 800km.
We entered the Nullabor Plains just after the bight. Nullabor means 'no trees'- just flat plains, stretched as far as you could see. The rest of the drive had bushes and some small trees. You could also see the ocean from some parts of the roads. They were really good kept roads across, just single lane, but very easy to overtake as the road always stretched straight for miles. It was a really good drive! So worth it! We got to see the real aus!
We swapped the driving at Eucla, just after the WA border, with 709km left to go. Nath did the first part, me the second. At the border, somebody had to check the car to make sure we weren't carrying prohibited foods. The clock also went back 1.5 hours so we gained more driving time! We originally were going to drive to Balladonia, but as the day went on we realise we would just make it to the next town for sunset so thought why not. Norseman was the next populated town with shops etc. since Ceduna. We did the full Nullabor in the day! Impressive!
There were some good road signs on the way- camels, emu, kangaroo, wombat, cows for the next how ever many km. Today we saw quite a lot of dead kangaroo, some dead cows, dead birds, live birds, two huge wedge tail eagles at the side of the road, foxes and strangely, wild cats. The highest we paid for petrol was $1.73/litre, compared with the normal $1.15 in cities. We filled up 4 times along the way.
I drove the second half of the day and drove the legendary 90 mile straight (146.6km straight road)- the longest straight road in Australia. It is also claimed to be the second longest straight road in the world! Most of the road along the road trip has been straight, but this is obviously the longest stretch. We swapped back over again for the last leg of the drive from Balladonia to Norseman, with 191km left to go. We made it to Norseman at 5.05pm, just as the sun set. You shouldn't really drive at night, especially not in our car, as wildlife has a tendency to jump in the road! We have now done the Nullabor, and survived- also without running out of petrol! That's the longest part of the drive done now. Just one last drive tomorrow and we will be in Perth by tomorrow night!!! For the night we stayed at The Railway Motel, Norseman at $110/night with some breakfast included. It was very worn but nice and had everything we needed. We went to the pub for dinner which was nice, then crashed out after a long day!
Day 3- Norseman to Perth 721km
Nath drove the first part and I drove the second. We set off at 6.45am this morning as the sun rose earlier, not that you could tell, it was so misty and miserable you could hardly see anything! The drive was pretty much the same as the other days, more red sandy areas with lots of trees though. We followed Highway 94- the golden pipeline heritage trail- the pipeline and dam project that delivers potable water to communities in Western Australia's Goldfields. The pipeline continues to operate today, supplying water to over 100,000 people in over 33,000 households as well as mines, farms and other enterprises. We swapped over driving, me driving the last part, with 346km left to go to Perth. We headed straight to Perth and arrived earlier than expected around 1.30pm.
The Nullarbor drive was a brilliant experience and we got a real feel for Australia outside of the main cities. It would be hard to live out where some people live, near nothing. No doctors, shops, hospitals, people! Quite a few areas of the road across were also used as airstrips/runways for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, so they can reach people in remote areas in emergencies, which is brilliant and can obviously be life saving for them. The road trains were an experience, to try overtake anyway! Some of the road trains could be up to 40m. Huge! As we drove near the city, we got good views of the skyline! It was exciting driving into our new home!!