The Nullarbor Plain journey stretches 1200km from Ceduna in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. Many are under the impression it’s a long and boring drive with nothing to see but disagree we must. The Nullarbor is an outback adventure along the Eyre Highway, exploring the spectacular coastline of the Great Australian Bight, travelling the 90 mile straight and observing Australian wildlife and the changing landscape along the way.
Fuel is available at several outlets along the Nullarbor Plain, however prices are higher due to the remote location and cartage costs. Fuelling up in Ceduna is highly recommended. The next service is at Penong
which is 76km on. The small village also has a pub and camp ground. Surfers might like to check out Cactus Beach
21km south of Penong which is known for its excellent surf breaks.
35km on is the turnoff to Fowlers Bay. The 32km unsealed road, west of Bookabie, offers a scenic approach to the coast as the magnificent white sand dunes draw near. Nestled behind the dunes is Fowlers Bay Motel and Camping Ground, which has amenities, laundry and drinking water. The fishing is fabulous here and at nearby locations such as Scott Bay and Mexican Hat (mud maps are available at motel reception). Common catches are Australian Salmon and King George Whiting. Whale watching tours operate from Fowlers Bay and you are almost guaranteed to see whales in season with the experienced local guide.
Back on the highway the next service is Nundroo
which is 80km west of Penong and at Yalata which is 55km further. Fuel, food and refreshments are available as well as motel accommodation and camping.
The Head of Bight turnoff is 134km on and 11km in reaches the carpark. This is where the beaches meet the cliffs and a whale watching platform sees action between May and October. To view the Southern Right Whales entry fees apply.
The Bunda Cliffs
are the spectacular highlight of the Nullarbor Plain and can be accessed at several lookout points along the coast west of Nullarbor Roadhouse
. The roadhouse sells fuel, food, drinks and ice and offers motel accommodation and a camp ground more suited to vehicle based campers and caravans.
50km west of the roadhouse the lookouts over the Bunda Cliffs and Great Australian Bight begin. Gravel tracks lead to the coast in the Nullarbor National Park where you’ll find absolutely breathtaking scenery. The exposed limestone cliffs drop 90 metres to the Southern Ocean and the overall effect is postcard perfect.
Beautiful scenery along the coast continues to impress on the way to the state border where you are required to stop at the quarantine check point and discard any fruit or vegetables, honey, seeds, plant material, etc. The checkpoint is manned 24 hours and Quarantine Officers have the right to inspect your vehicle and its contents. Refusal or failure to declare possession of these items involves fines and/or no entry over the state border into Western Australia. Once you’ve been cleared to enter WA you can check out the official state border line.
Across the border and into Western Australia is Eucla, where there are fuel supplies, food, drinks and ice and the Eucla Hotel with bar, restaurant and camp ground with amenities. If you follow the unsealed road past the camp ground you will find Eyre’s Memorial, Traveller’s Cross and the Old Telegraph Station ruins nestled in the sand dunes. Eucla is 182km from the Nullarbor Roadhouse and there are no fuel stops in between.
From Eucla onwards there are several fuel stops with accommodation and camping at Mundrabilla 65km on, Madura 115km further, Cocklebiddy 91km further and Caiguna 65km further west.
At Caiguna “Australia’s Longest Straight Road” begins. You just can’t pass up the opportunity to stop and photograph the sign that marks the 90 Mile Straight, being the longest stretch of straight road in the country. The straight measures 146.6km to be exact and snapping this moment makes a great memento of your Nullarbor Plain experience.
The next service and accommodation is at Balladonia, 161km west of Caiguna and is the last stop before the end of the journey. Here you can learn about the “Nullarbor Nymph” legend, pertaining to sightings of a free spirited blonde woman dating back to 1971 and as recent as 2007 at Balladonia.
The Eyre Highway ends 188km on at Norseman, where you can finally hit the shops. The regional town centre has a service station, supermarket, newsagent, post office, banks and a variety of other small outlets.
The Nullarbor Plain journey is scenic in many aspects. The coastline is obviously the highlight but the drive itself is a unique experience. The vegetation changes along the way from treeless plains to shrubs and bushes and eventually trees. Some trees sport memorabilia left by those who’ve completed the journey. There is plenty of wildlife to look out for, kangaroos, emus, wombats, camels, wedge-tailed eagles and try to avoid the lizards crossing the road, as well as the larger more noticeable creatures. The Nullarbor is an Australian adventure worth embarking on and whichever way you tackle it there is more to see at either end.
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Destinations in South Australia
Lincoln National Park
Return from Nullarbor Plain to South Australia