Saturday, March 10, 2012

Beginning the trek across the Nullabor

Sunset Ceduna

We had stayed overnight at Ceduna Waters – the sunset was just beautiful and as we had the beach to ourselves it felt amazing. The only visitors to our patch were the one dirt bike and then a couple who came to walk their dog for half an hour. It does get much better than that. In the morning after a leisurely commencement to our day we drove the 8 km into Ceduna which is the major commercial centre for the far west of Eyre Peninsula and also supports the communities further to the west.
Ceduna Waters Sunset

There is a lovely foreshore and we parked the caravan and walked from there. There is the customary jetty with a number of people fishing. The water is very clear and we could see large fish quite close to the shore – apparently these are mullet which are a reasonable eating fish but difficult to catch as they do not take the hook and bait. Perhaps they could be caught with a net but we didn’t see that happening. Although there were a number of people fishing no one had caught anything.
Foreshore Ceduna
There is a reasonable size shopping area – we went looking for a hairdresser so that Peter could have a number four (thinks the shorter the better with the risk that he may ask for a number two!) but one shop was closed (on a Friday) and the second one couldn’t give him an appointment until Tuesday so we were waiting around until then. After a visit to the information centre we decided to head out of town and begin our trek across the Nullabor.
Ceduna jetty
The grain silos at Ceduna
First stop was just 75 kms down the road at Penong where the shop advertised it was the last for 1000 kms. As it appeared this was likely to be the last opportunity ice creams were necessary. We soon found that it might have been the last actual shop the fuel stops certainly had ice creams. We continued west initially thinking that we would camp overnight near Nundroo. The area was grain growing and then some sheep farming but soon we were back in the desert – red sand with scrub like trees and then no trees. Fortunately the road is a good two lane bitumen highway and there was some traffic including road trains, caravans and cars. There appears to be fuel stops every 150 – 200 kms apart although as you would expect the price goes up. We are now paying 1.999 litre for diesel where in Ceduna it was 1.539. There are a variety of road signs along the highway but of particular interest was the triple sign warning of camels, kangaroos and wombats. We photographed the sign but the only camel we have seen as yet was a dead one on the side of the road, and surprisingly no kangaroos or wombats. We did come around one bend and had to slow quickly as two dingoes were standing in the middle of the road.
Dingoes on road at Nullabor
The roadhouses normally offer camping opportunity, albeit at a price. There are also a number of rest areas for free camping with the rule of thumb to try and camp with at least another camper so if you haven’t been joined within an hour or so move on and find another. We are unsure if this is really necessary but decided not to take any risks. We filled with fuel at Nundroo and decided to continue to head on although it was getting late in the day.

Next stop was at the “township” of Nullabor which consists of the roadhouse with fuel, the customary camp area and basic cabins/motels. We contemplated booking into the camping area but decided against and were we pleased. Just a few kilometres out of “town” we joined the coast and saw the sign post to the Great Australian Bight Marine National Park. We pulled in, there was another group camping, so we had found our spot for the night and it is just beautiful. This area and the Head of the Bight which is 12 kms off the highway before Nullabor are the premier whale watching area of Australia but unfortunately we are ahead of the season which opens on the 1st May. Apparently up to 170 Southern Right Whales may gather at any one time – it would have been great to have seen these. Still the cliffs and views here at the Marine Park are spectacular so we think we will stay another night just to enjoy the quietness. In addition we cross the border into Western Australia about 100 kms further west and have to go through the quarantine so can’t take any fruit or vegetables with us. We have some fruit and vegetable eating, or cooking, to do before then! Fresh or uncooked fruit, vegetables and certain plant material will be confiscated.
Ceduna Waters Sunset
Our caravan parked at Ceduna foreshore
Ceduna township
Sign at shop in Penong
How far have we to go
Wildlife signage BTW - saw none of them alive however,
did see one dead Camel and half a dozen dead Kangaroos
Eastern end of Nullabor Plain
Plains as we drive the Nullabor
Head of Great Australian Bight signage
Wildlife signage at Nullabor Roadhouse - Mmmmm
I think that they dream!!


  1. Good to see you are well on your way, and still being cheapskates and free camping.....We are off to Phillip Island for a week tomorrow in the van and will pay for the priviledge.....oh well, hopefully there will be some left to take us o/s in May! Have fun you two and keep safe x

  2. Roanne, dead only and then only one!!

    Julia & Dave cheapskates MMMmmmm ok sounds ok enjoy Phillip Island

  3. Is it the wild life or the dodgy people tha cause the rule to camp with another group?

    1. Don't know Sandra, we tend to ignor it a bit but choose where we camp reasonably carefully, if there are a lot of broken bottles and skid marks all over the place then we continue on. Wildlife we dont worry about as we figure if we dont disturb them then they should leave us alone