Hey there, Maxxis Man here again, and I’m busy planning another amazing, all-Australian road trip. This time (the third in our holiday series) I’m inviting you to join me on an adventure across the Nullarbor – the ultimate Outback experience! It’s one of those things on every 4WD owner’s bucket list, and if you haven’t been yet, I’ll be giving you a few tips and suggestions to get you on your way. We’ll be travelling the Eyre Highway from Norseman in WA to Ceduna in South Australia, a magnificent expanse of approximately 1,200km of flat, vast, and (mainly) treeless plains. So… if you’re up for this incredible adventure, get those Maxxis tyres checked and inflated, hop aboard and let’s get going.
What car to drive and the all-important question of tyres:
A Toyota Landcruiser or Land Rover Defender with Maxxis MT772’s is the perfect vehicle and tyre combination for your crossing of the Nullarbor. While the Eyre Highway itself is sealed all the way to your destination, the assurance of a hardy vehicle and tough, durable tyres will stand you in good stead for this long journey. This type of vehicle (fitted with Maxxis RAZR tyres of course!) is also a great choice if you plan to head off from the main road on a “4WD only” detour to campsites or on other unsealed roads.
Where are we going: Our Itinerary:
We’re beginning our Nullarbor pilgrimage having driven from Perth to Norseman (but you can equally well start from Ceduna if you are coming from Adelaide and do this all in reverse). Allow yourself at least six or seven days (or more!) to truly experience all that the Nullarbor has to offer. Bear in mind that that the drive from Perth is itself a seven-hour journey – so if that’s your starting point, you may want to factor an extra day into your itinerary.
Days 1 and 2:
The Eyre Highway takes you through a number of towns and stops, with your first leg through the expansive Nullarbor from Norseman to Balladonia (265km), where you’ll find the Balladonia Roadhouse with accommodation and caravan facilities. On the way you’ll pass the Dundas Nature Reserve and famous Fraser Range, a range of granite hills covered in hardwood Eucalyptus forest (very different to the most of the Nullarbor’s bluebush and scrub vegetation). Next morning we’ll set off towards Caiguna (195km). You’ll be passing the Afghan Rocks (the site of the only fresh water dams in the area) and then on to the famous 90 Mile Straight, which is one of the longest, straightest stretches of road in the world (a photo opportunity not to be missed!) Take a look at the Caiguna Blowhole (just off the highway), before finding your accommodation at the John Eyre Motel or caravan/camping sites nearby.
Days 3 and 4:
Setting off from Caiguna, the next 210km leg of the journey takes us via Cocklebiddy (where there is a roadhouse with service station) to Madura. The highlight of this area is the Madura Pass (which can be viewed from the Madura Pass Lookout which offers a spectacular vantage point for a Nullarbor sunrise!). This area is home to Madura Station where merino sheep graze near the roadhouse, another oasis offering accommodation of various kinds. From Madura we venture for the next 195km via Mundrabilla (where Australia’s largest ever meteorite was discovered) to Eucla (famous for its Telegraph Station which once linked WA and Australia to the rest of the world) and then on to Border Village, on the border of WA and South Australia, to rest up for the night. Talking of night, don’t forget to check out the stars – you’ll see them so much more clearly out here in the vast open Nullarbor than in the city skies!
Days 5 and 6:
Well team, we’re now getting to the final exciting stage of our adventure!
Today we’re travelling the 184km from Border Village, through the Nullarbor National Park, known for exquisite landscapes of the desert meeting dramatic Bunda Cliffs, to the Nullarbor Roadhouse which offers motel rooms and caravan and campsite options. Then for the last stretch, we’ll be travelling through Yalata, Bookabie and Penong to our destination, Ceduna on the shores of Murat Bay. Here at the end of our trek, along with more choice of accommodation, there’s a renowned Aboriginal-owned Arts and Culture Centre, walking trails and opportunity to fish from the Ceduna Jetty. To Adelaide from here is a further 8-hour drive – so again, something to factor into your itinerary when planning the trip home!
Where to stop and detours off the main Highway:
I’ve already mentioned a few of the roadhouses, which are all excellent places to rest up and refuel. Once you start delving into “What is the Nullarbor?”, you’ll discover there are numerous possibilities when it comes to getting off the main highway and enjoying some of the hidden gems – such as caves, lookouts, beaches and sand dunes to name just a few. You’ll definitely need a 4WD for most of these, with permits also sometimes. Below are just a few suggestions you may not want to miss along the way:
- Balladonia Cultural Heritage Museum
- Newman’s Rocks
- Eyre Bird Observatory
- Cocklebiddy Caves
- Eucla National Park
- Whale Watching Platform at the Head of Bight
- Fowlers Bay (great for fishing)
- Windmill Museum at Penong
And the list goes on….
What to pack:
It goes without saying that thorough preparation for this trip is absolutely key and it’s highly advisable to do your research and compile a detailed list of everything you need before setting off. Essentials include a good supply of water, first aid and any medical necessities, vehicle jack, engine oil and other vehicle spares, snacks, warm clothing and depending on whether you are camping or staying in one of the Nullarbor’s other accommodation options, a tent and other camping necessities.
The Nullarbor has a reputation for being remote and titanic in its vastness, and while this is true, you’ll know by now that there are a number of roadhouses and service stations you’ll find at intervals along your way. Although this sounds obvious(!) map out your trip according to where you can get fuel (and other supplies) and fill up regularly to avoid getting stuck. Mobile phone coverage can be patchy (depending on your provider) – however, Telstra has coverage much of the way. A good old-fashioned map may come in handy and consider other emergency communication devices such as satellite phone if you are planning to head off down an off-the-beaten-track. You’re going to be covering a long stretch of road, so don’t forget your favourite CDs or Spotify download before you go! And if golf is “your thing”, you’ll need your clubs to take advantage of the Nullarbor Links Golf Course, the world’s longest golf course stretching from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna (1365km in total) with holes situated all along the way!
A final word about driving after dark:
The Nullarbor is home to many types of birds and wildlife. Animals including kangaroos, emus, wombats and camels (just to name a few) find their way on to the road – so it’s far safer (for you and them!) to avoid driving after dusk and in the dark.
Well that wraps it up from me, so once again, it’s now over to you! From myself and Team Maxxis, drive safely and enjoy this most iconic of Australian adventures – we look forward to hearing about how you went, so please let us know!
Please note: The information offered in this blog is of a general nature only and should in no respect replace detailed research, travel and safety preparations as relevant to your individual requirements and vehicle.