The Nullarbor Journey
The Nullarbor is one of Australia’s great road journeys. It is an adventure in itself. From unique flora and fauna, blowholes blowing cool air up from the depths of the extensive cave system under the Nullarbor, opportunities to view the majestic Southern Right Whales as they migrate along the Bight to calve, lookouts over the impressive Bunda Cliffs, remnants of long past telegraph stations being reclaimed by the sand to interesting displays on the early days of this inhospitable place including the camel trains and pieces of the famous ‘skylab’, the Nullarbor has it all for those willing and eager to delve a little deeper into this fascinating journey.
Nullarbor highlights is a journey across the treeless Nullarbor Plain from Ceduna in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. We hope by highlighting some of the attractions along the way along this long journey it will wet your appetite and next time you are heading west or east across the country via the Nullarbor you take the time to explore a little off the beaten path and be surprised by what you find.
Ceduna to the border
Ceduna is about 770km west of Adelaide and is the last chance to stock up on supplies before starting your journey across the Nullarbor. Just west of Ceduna there is an idyllic camp spot to set up for a few days before heading off on the long trip west. Davenport Creek Camping Area is located 40km west of Ceduna right on the coast with camping behind the sand dunes. 4wd access is recommended with the only facilities here being toilets.
Heading west it is an easy run to the town of Penong (known as the town of 100 windmills) characterised by the field of windmills just prior to town. There are bush camping opportunities available along this section all right on the coast at Point Bell and Point Sinclair. About 80km from Penong is the Nundroo Roadhouse with a detour via Fowlers Bay taking you to a small fishing village again right on the coast. This detour is highly recommended and well worth the time taken. The Fowlers Bay Conservation Park can be found on the outskirts of Fowlers Bay village.
Heading west from Nundroo Roadhouse the next place to have a break from the long journey west is the windswept Wahgunyah Conservation Park. This is a great spot to spend a night or two. Camping here is for totally self sufficient campers with no facilities provided. Access is available to 2wd vehicles but 4wd is recommended.
Just prior to the Nullarbor Roadhouse the Head of Bight is a 12km detour off the highway and well worth the effort. During whale watching season, generally May to October this is the spot to head. Southern Right Whales migrate here to calve in the calm waters.
The next port of call west of Nundroo is the Nullarbor Roadhouse. For those in need of fuel this is your last chance before reaching the border. Just west of the Nullarbor Roadhouse you enter the vast Nullarbor National Park. For a top nights camping on the Nullarbor head south off the highway just 10km west of the Nullarbor Roadhouse to Gilgerabbie Hut. Camping is permitted in the vicinity of the hut and for those planning ahead you can even hire the hut for a night or two.
Heading further west and deeper into the Nullarbor National Park there are several vantage points to take in the views of the famous Bunda Cliffs along the Great Australian Bight. These impressive cliffs plunge 100 metres to the wild ocean below.
Once through the quarantine checkpoint and over the border into Western Australia at the top of Eucla Pass the small village of Eucla can be found. Fuel is available here as is accommodation and campsites at the caravan park overlooking the shifting sands of the Eucla National Park and the mighty Southern Ocean.
About 190km east of Norseman the Balladonia Roadhouse can be found. As well as fuel, food and accommodation be sure to check out the museum where interesting history of the area including the Afghan Camel Trains and pieces of “Skylab” are on display. West of Balladonia Roadhouse Newman Rocks is a top spot to spend a night near the end of your Nullarbor Journey and soak up the peace and solitude of this majestic place.
Norseman marks the end of your Nullarbor experience. The Afghan Camel Trains which were an integral part of the early days of this part of the country are immortalized in these uniquely Australian corrugated iron sculptures, one of the attractions of Norseman.
Looking for something to do around Norseman the Dundas Coach Road Heritage Trail heads off south of town covering about 25km and traverses some interesting country and historical locations. It is part of the original route used by gold prospectors during the 1890s when this area was awash with gold mining and thousands of hopefuls trying their luck. Interpretive signs along the way tell their stories.
Also from Norseman the Granite and Woodlands Discovery Trail takes in temperate woodlands on its 300km journey from Norseman to Hyden. For those with the time this is a journey in itself. There are opportunities along the way to picnic or camp, stretch the legs on a walking trail with interpretive signage along the way.