5 Reasons Why You Should Drive Across the Nullarbor Plain

nullarbor plain sign

It takes six days to traverse Australia’s legendary road trip stretching 1,256km from Western Australia’s goldfields to the coastal landscapes of South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula. You won’t find trees here, with Nullarbor meaning “no trees” in Latin, with shrubs producing the only shades of green en route. Semi-arid sceneries, wide open spaces, wildlife, space junk and cattle stations fill the views in between, putting in perspective just how great and perhaps peculiar our backyard really is.

Completing the bucket list drive is not just about discovering the continent’s near-barren interior but can be a journey of self-discovery. Or to claim bragging rights for having completed the Eyre Highway—the longest straightest road in the country.  

But, before you embark on this iconic and colossal stretch of land, you’ll want to make sure your car battery is up for the task. Head to your local Battery World before heading off to get your car battery health checked, or be fitted with a new one.  

From its starting point in Norseman to Caiguna, we share the top things to do on your journey along the Nullarbor Plain.

Conquer the world’s longest golf course

Test your swinging ability by completing the world’s longest golf course, Nullarbor Links. The free outback 18-hole golf course spans 1,365km from Western Australia’s gold rush capital Kalgoorlie to South Australia’s Ceduna along the Eyre Highway.

Make a detour to Kalgoorlie-Boulder Visitor Centre to purchase your scorecards before you tee off. A hole is in each participating town or roadhouse, giving you an excellent excuse to take a break from the car and hit pars, creating some friendly competition on your road trip – and bettering your golf game. Each course features a green, tee and natural terrain fairway, surrounded by the outback’s rugged beauty; Now that’s the money shot!

See space junk in the outback

The saying ‘when worlds collide’ couldn’t be more accurate in Western Australia’s outback. The small roadhouse community of Balladonia made international headlines in 1979 when parts of the first United States space station, US Skylab, fell along the coast after spending six years orbiting Earth. The 36m space vessel’s blazing return resulted in debris scattered across the Nullarbor and Eastern Goldfields, with NASA’s misfire landing garnering global attention.

See the Space debris for free at Balladonia Cultural Heritage Museum. The roadhouse museum also displays the region’s Aboriginal heritage, European exploration and settlement, construction of the Eyre Highway and local flora and fauna. You can also view Space artefacts at the Esperance Museum, 203km south of Norseman.

Stand on towering sand at the border (almost!)

Western Australian town Eucla is ten minutes from South Australia’s gateway. Besides its border town status, the town is moments from historical attractions and high times.

Climb the shifting white sand dunes of Eucla National Park. Visit the old telegraph station, once the country’s busiest regional communication hub. See the ruins of the 1887-built jetty, a stark reminder of the pioneering town’s shipping history. Make sure to check out the Eucla Museum and the Bureau of Meteorology before crossing the border (and switching time zones!).

Experience the enormity of the Bunda Cliffs

Ok, enough of desert scenery – time to see landscapes with the almighty ‘wow’ factor, with South Australia’s Bunda Cliffs evoking that awe-struck reaction.

The remote cliffs are one of the state’s most renowned landmarks and the world’s largest single exposure of limestone bedrock. The impressive cliffs extend 210km along the coast and soar between 40-100m over the Great Southern Ocean. The coastal cliffs are part of a 65-million-year-old seabed formed when Australia parted ways with Antarctica. There is also a Western Australian section of the cliffs, Baxter Cliffs.

Five primary lookouts are accessed via the Eyre Highway to see the splendour of this remote stretch of coastline. If wanting a bird’s eye view of Australia’s rugged coastline, treat yourself to a scenic flight with Chinta Air departing from Nullarbor Roadhouse. The flights over the Great Australian Bight offer spectacular views of the Bunda Cliffs with the chance to see southern right whales performing their aqua aerobics at sea.

You can still glimpse the southern right whales from shore, standing near the cliff’s edge between May and November or on a whale-watching tour at Fowlers Bay.

Treat your eyes to colour at Ceduna Aboriginal Culture Centre

Return to life in technicolour with a visit to the Ceduna Aboriginal Culture Centre. South Australia’s premier art centre proudly supports the work of local Aboriginal artists, providing economic and artistic development opportunities to artists within the state.

The centre displays and sells artworks on behalf of artists, with nearby surroundings – from the vast plains of the Nullarbor, untouched virgin mallee and spinifex country north of Ceduna, tidal movements of the Great Australian Bight and ancient rock formations such as the Gawler Ranges of the east—reflected in their colourful creations.

With over 100 Battery World stores across Australia, there’s bound to be one near you. Check out your local Battery World store today.

This article originally appeared on Thrillist Australia.

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