Treeless arid plain
04.04.2013 - 06.04.2013 32 °C
Crossing The Nullarbor is one of Australia's most iconic road trips. The Nullarbor Plain is part of the area of flat, almost treeless, arid or semi-arid country of southern Australia, located on the Great Australian Bight coast with the Great Victoria Desert to its north. It is the world’s largest limestone karst landscape covering an area of 270,000 square km. Nullarbor literally means 'no trees'.
From Fowlers Bay we travelled west through the Nullarbor and our first stop was in the Nullarbor National Park just short of the Western Australian border where we walked down to the coastline to observe the Head of Bight and the start of the Bunda Cliffs. We continued west and camped on the awesome Bunda Cliffs overlooking the Great Australian Bight. The sheer Bunda Cliffs extend for around 200 km along the Great Australian Bight and are between 60 and 80 meters high.
The next day we crossed the border from South Australia into Western Australia (WA) and we made sure that we have used all our fresh fruit and vegetables as the quarantine laws are strictly enforced by WA. We also had to change our clocks back 2.5 hours because WA is not on daylight savings time. This relatively big time change was easy to adjust to, as now suddenly the sun set at 16:30 instead of 19:00 and sunrise is at 6:00 and not 8:30. Finally, after almost 11 months we were back in WA!
The road crossing the Nullarbor is long with lots of long straight stretches. From Caiguna to Balladonia is the longest straight road in Australia, all 145,6 km of it. Our second stop was at a rest area on this 90 Mile Road, 50 kilometers east of Balladonia. We briefly stopped in Balladonia to refill and to look at the Skylab debris that crashed here and in the Shire of Esperance in 1979. The Shire of Esperance facetiously fined NASA A$400 for littering, a fine which remained unpaid for 30 years. The fine was paid in April 2009, when radio show host Scott Barley of Highway Radio raised the funds from his morning show listeners and paid the fine on behalf of NASA.
From Balladonia we took a 'short cut' to Esperance along a 200 km 4WD track which proved to be shorter in distance but not in time. The track was very rough and corrugated for most of the distance, but two interestingly decorated gates allowed nice breaks in the journey.
We have now arrived in Esperance after travelling 1,140 kilometers along the Nullabor from Fowlers Bay and will stay here for a few days, camping on the piece of land that we own on West Beach.