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Chasing Slow – Part 3: Crossing the Nullarbor

Crossing the Nullarbor

It’s time to hit the coast! (again).

After heading inland and having an introduction to the outback at Flinders Ranges, we drove south for about 500 kms and were reunited with the South Australian coastline.

Our plan was to spend a week or two slowly making our way in and out of the peninsulas to the west of Adelaide before calling into Streaky Bay and then making our way across the Nullarbor, although after having such a good run of luck with the weather at the ranges, windy, wet and wild weather was our expectation turned reality.

We found a nice free place to set up camp on the eastern side of the Eyre Peninsula called Moonlight Bay Campground and made it our home for the night, just above the water’s edge.

Camping at Moonlight Bay

Read more about camping at Moonlight Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.

Early the next morning, we set off with the plan of visiting some different towns and places along the coast, but with strong winds and the rain coming in sideways, we spent little time at Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay and the attractions in between, then moved on and drove all of the way over to Venus Bay to camp there for the night.

Once we pulled into Venus Bay, the weather situation was much the same, so after a quick walk of the dog, we set off to Streaky Bay and ended up staying next to the footy oval at an RV Camping Ground.

Streaky Bay was a sight for sore eyes! As we arrived, the weather was calm with the water across the bay looking like glass.

On a grey nomads recommendation. we booked in at the new Streaky Bay Caravan Park called The Islands, & it quickly went to the top part of our “favourite caravan parks” list. The place was newly built with views over some small islands and across the bay. With a severe wind warning for the Nullarbor for the next week, we decided to book in 10 nights, batten down the hatches and wait for the storm to pass.

Read more about The Islands Streaky Bay Caravan Park.

The wild weather passed, we then spent a few days fishing off the jetty and exploring the area. Although we saw plenty of Whiting nibbling on my bait, none were hooked (other than this tiny little thing that you can see hanging off my line) and instead we enjoyed taking a look at Sea Lions, Dolphins, Kangaroos and Lizards when we ventured out of town.

Eva on the Sand Dunes at Streaky Bay

Read more about visiting Streaky Bay and the surrounding area.

We could have stayed in Streaky Bay for another 10 days without a worry as the area is full of so many interesting places to visit and the caravan park managers were great people to be around, it made it hard to leave.

With an itch to get over to Esperance (a further 1,500+ kms to the west), we packed up, put a 22 hour podcast on and started the drive.

Our first place to visit on the itinerary had us excited: Lake MacDonnell – The Pink Lake of Penong! The reason we were so excited to see this “pink lake” is that it’s already the third one we’ve come across on our trip, but the others were green, so here was our chance to see a pink, pink lake.

Unfortunately for us, there was nothing pink insight.

We didn’t stick around long and drove another 220kms to the Head of the Bight.

The Head of the Bight is at the start of the ‘Great Australian Bight’, which is a long, tall cliff that seems to go on for ever. Some Southern Right Whales call this place home from May to October each year, we saw about half a dozen of them, including a rare white one.

We wanted to camp on top of the cliffs, so we drove for about another 150 kms and found the perfect place to set up for the night, this was of course after a quick stop at the Nullarbor Roadhouse for a sneaky beer.

Our thirst was quenched and we drove to the Bunda Cliffs to camp at the end of the world, about 50 kms shy of the WA border!

Read more about camping at Bunda Cliffs on the Great Australian Bight.

The next day, we set the mission of getting right across the Nullarbor to Newman’s Rocks Campground on the eastern edge of the Fraser Range, over 600 kms from the where we camped at the Bunda Cliffs.

We got up, packed up and made our way to the Western Australian border, consecutively ate a whole bunch of Bananas and bag of apples in front of the border police, said goodbye to our caravan’s house plant and kept on driving.

The drive was long and uneventful. By the time we had arrived at Newman’s Rocks, due to driving so far and having the clock set back by 1.5 hours, we made the decision to take advantage of the extra sunlight and get a bit closer to Esperance, so we drove another 250 kms.

We ended up driving about 900 kms for the day ..at 90 kph.

It was pitch black when we arrived at Salmon Gums, under an hour away from Esperance. Maybe it was the exhaustion, but we couldn’t even find the entrance to the campground and camped on the side of the road!

Read more about Newman’s Rocks Campground.
Read more about Salmon Gums Green Lake Campground.

Crossing the Nullarbor was a good experience and we’re glad to not only have ticked it off the list, but made it to Western Australia. Now, it’s time for us to chase some slow in Esperance!

Got plans to make your own trip over the Nullarbor? If so, here’s a list of all of the petrol stations along the way, you’ll notice some are pretty far apart, but less than a tank of fuel and no need for jerry can unless you have a vehicle even thirstier than ours!

Petrol Stations on the Nullarbor

• Ceduna to Penong: 74km.
• Penong to Nundroo: 82km
• Nundroo to Nullarbor Roadhouse: 142km
• Nullarbor Roadhouse to Border Village: 184km
• Border Village to Eucla: 13km
• Eucla to Mundrabilla: 66km
• Mundrabilla to Madura: 116km
• Madura to Cocklebiddy: 91km
• Cocklebiddy to Caiguna: 66km
• Caiguna to Balladonia: 181km (this section includes the notorious 90 Mile Straight)
• Balladonia to Norseman: 191km

If you’ve crossed the Nullarbor before and had any interesting experiences, we’d love to hear about it in the comments section below!

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