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Nullarbor Plain: South Australia

  • October 25, 2016
  • By 50 Shades
  • 20 Comments

There are few travel experiences that would surpass the trek across the Nullarbor Plain, spanning two states – South Australia and West Australia. Located on the coastline of the Great Australian Bight and being a treeless plain, it’s a 2,000 km journey from Ceduna to Perth, but it can be broken up into manageable segments with plenty of interesting places to see along the way.

The South Australian section of the Nullarbor Plain officially begins at the town of Ceduna, located on the shores of Murat Bay and at the beginning of the Eyre Highway.

nullarbor-map

Ceduna

Like many of the towns located on the West Eyre Peninsula, Ceduna is very much a fishing and seafood centre. It is also a great place to stock up on provisions prior to embarking on the journey across the Nullarbor Plain.

Ceduna Jetty

Ceduna Jetty

There are a few interesting things to do and see, including:

  •  Browse Ceduna National Trust Museum which houses a historic collection of pioneer, farm and Maralinga memorabilia and is worth a visit.
  •  Walk out along the jetty in Ceduna and try your hand at fishing, crabbing or squidding.
Ceduna Foreshore & Jetty

Ceduna Foreshore & Jetty

  •  Stroll along Ceduna’s Coastal Walking Trail that winds along the foreshore of beautiful Murat Bay for 3.6 kms.
  •  Take in the views from Pinky Point Lookout at Thevenard end of the walking trail.
Old Huts at Ceduna Museum

Old Huts at Ceduna Museum

  •  Get some fresh seafood at one of the two fish factories in town or some delectable oysters at Ceduna Oyster Bar.
  • Cruise out to the islands of Nuyts Archipelago which are located a few kms offshore and dive to catch some Rock Lobster or Abalone. Or just relax on the sparkling beaches on the islands.

Penong

Lake Macdonnell Salt Flats

Lake McDonnell Salt Flats

An easy 75 kilometres drive to the west of Ceduna, is the small town of Penong that is probably most memorable for its large amount of windmills that pump water from the Anjutabie water Basin.

It is worthwhile spending a day or two exploring the area with a couple of attractions only a short distance away. These include:

  • A visit to Penong Woolshed Museum
  • Catch a wave at Cactus Beach, a world renowned surfing spot with great surf breaks such as Cactus, Castles and Caves.
Cactus Beach

Cactus Beach

  • Experience the wondrous pink lake at Lake McDonnell that is bursting with bird-life and is tinted a pink hue on one side and blue lake on the other. There are massive deposits of salt and gypsum in Lake McDonnell with 100,000 tonnes of salt annually harvested from the brine pools.
Pink Lake at Lake McDonnell

Pink Lake at Lake McDonnell

  • Drive out to Point Sinclair, a pretty little bay with a jetty and an old shipwreck surrounded by large limestone rocky cliffs and white sand dunes. Sadly, this was the location of a fatal shark attack in 1975, where a 12 year old boy was taken by a great white whilst he was swimming in the calm water bay. There is a memorial plaque near the jetty to commemorate the loss of the young boy.
Port La Hunte

Point Sinclair

Head of Bight

Head of Bight Visitor's Centre

Head of Bight Visitor’s Centre

One of Australia’s greatest marine parks, Great Australian Bight is primarily intended to provide for undisturbed calving for the southern right whale and protection of Australian Sea-lion colonies. Head of Bight is a premier whale watching area, in season, where white sand dunes meet the Bunda Cliffs.

Bunda Cliffs, Head of the Bight

Bunda Cliffs, Head of the Bight

There is a purpose built boardwalk and viewing platforms that gives fantastic views of the whales and the towering cliffs into the pounding Southern Ocean. A visitor’s information centre at Head of Bight provides educational information on the marine park, flora and fauna and the Bunda Cliffs.

Head of Bight Boardwalk

Head of Bight Boardwalk

Nullarbor Bunda Cliffs

The Bunda Cliffs form the southern edge of the Nullarbor Plain which extends far inland. The cliffs are some 60 to 120 meters high and sheer with the white lower bands comprising of white Wilson Limestone. There are five coastal lookouts to view the dramatic Bunda Cliffs which stretch for 200 kms to the West Australian border.

Bunda Cliffs

Bunda Cliffs

After you have spent the day being blown away by the eye-popping Bunda Cliffs you will reach Border Village just prior to crossing the border into West Australia. Border Village is a combination of the Western Australian agricultural checking point and a very comprehensive service centre offering petrol and other provisions.

The border from South Australia to West Australia

The border from South Australia to West Australia

Once you have crossed the border in West Australia and the town of Eucla the vast Nullarbor Plain continues all the way to Norseman. It really is one of those quintessential Aussie experiences, seeing the vastness, the enormity of our country and the isolation of Australia’s outback regions. Make sure you do this just once during your lifetime.

Linking up with Travel Photo Thursday

Linking up with Weekend Travel Inspiration

 

 

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By 50 Shades, October 25, 2016 Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.
  • 20

50 Shades

Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.

20 Comments
  • Janet Camilleri
    October 26, 2016

    People often think that the Nullarbor Plain is boring. We found it anything but and enjoyed a leisurely week driving each way, with our caravan. We particularly liked the Bunda Cliffs, and Cocklebiddy Cave!

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2016

      Yes I agree Janet. I found the drive across the Nullarbor to be fascinating. I was under the impression that it would be flat and boring, but it was the complete opposite. :)

  • Kristie
    October 26, 2016

    This is so great! I was only talking about this overseas with friends last week. Now your post has really has inspired me!! I’m book marking it. Great pics too feel like I’m there with you. Now I really need to see more of our beautiful country. Lovely blog you have too by the way Kathy!

    • Kathy
      October 26, 2016

      Kristie, definitely do yourself a favour and see our gorgeous big country. Even the remote areas of Australia have their own beauty and uniqueness. The Nullarbor crossing was an incredible experience. Thank you for the compliment. :)

  • Ruth
    October 29, 2016

    Whoaa! I am a fan of cliffs and pier, so, I am sure will like this area. And, that pink lake, I will like to see that one. #TPThursday

    • Kathy
      October 29, 2016

      For such a remote and barren spot, The Nullarbor does offer some beautiful landscapes. The pink lake was down a particularly bumpy dusty dirt road but was worth the drive. I loved every bit of the drive across the vast plain. :)

  • Jim ~ ReflectionsEnroute
    October 29, 2016

    Bunda cliffs are so colorful. I hadn’t really ever heard of Nullarbor plain before but we are thinking of an extended trip in Australia sometime in the future and this route might just end up on our itinerary.

    • Kathy
      October 30, 2016

      If you want to traverse our vast wide country then a trip across the Nullarbor is mandatory. It is a long distance by road but one that I think is fully worth the effort. Whoever said that the centre of Australia was dead needs to take another look! Hopefully you will get to explore Australia one day soon. :)

  • Lyn @ A Hole in my Shoe
    October 30, 2016

    Geez can you believe I have never been across the Nullarbor? I must say the main reason I haven’t is because I too thought it would be a dull and boring trip. Your photos show how wrong I was. I almost feel un-Australian.

    • Kathy
      October 30, 2016

      We thought it was going to be a boring drive too, but it was far from this. Such an interesting stretch of plains with a lot of places to stop along the way – believe it or not! Did you know there is even a golf course across the Nullarbor with a hole at each roadhouse? :)

  • Lyn aka TheTravellingLindfields
    October 30, 2016

    I so want to do this drive. I did it many, many years ago, not long after the road was first sealed but I can’t convince my other half to do it. I’m going to show him this post right now.

    • Kathy
      October 30, 2016

      Many people tend to think of the Nullarbor as a long and tedious drive, but it was far from it. I found the entire trip fascinating and some of the scenery simply stunning. :)

  • Kreete
    October 30, 2016

    I will most definitely add this to my to-do list in Australia! I haven’t made it to SA and WA yet so it’s great to see some photos and hear some of the stories before hand. I would love do do a bit of walking in the area! The boardwalk looks stunning and the cliff views just top it off! Loving the pink lake and the shipwreck too! Thanks for sharing! I’ll pin this for the future!

    • Kathy
      October 31, 2016

      I hope you do get to explore SA and WA as both states have so much to offer. I wouldn’t recommend walking the Nullarbor, but there are certainly lots of walks in SA and over on the west coast of Australia. The Heysen Trail in SA is supposed to be fantastic and also the Cape to Cape Track in WA is amazing. So much to see and do! :)

  • Rhonda Albom
    October 31, 2016

    Australia is large. The scenery you show is very stark and expansive. I like the simple border between Southern and Western Australia.

    • Kathy
      October 31, 2016

      Yes Australia is a vast country with a lot of stark and desolate areas, but there is a certain beauty in the starkness. I would thoroughly recommend a drive across the Nullarbor Plain. :)

  • Paula McInerney
    October 31, 2016

    I haven’t done the Nullarbor Plains, but Gordon has and says there is so much diversity. One of these days we will do it together. Great photos

    • Kathy
      October 31, 2016

      Thanks Paula. I think every Aussie should drive the Nullarbor. It is a lot more interesting that you would think. :)

  • Michele {Malaysian Meanders}
    November 2, 2016

    One day, I would like to visit Australia and take a campervan trip all around the country. With all there is to see, I figure I should set aside 6-12 months. Anyways, this looks like a very interesting drive. I’ve always wanted to see a naturally pink lake. I’m glad you told me how tall those Bunda cliffs are as it is difficult to judge from a photo.

    • Kathy
      November 2, 2016

      Yes you would definitely need between 6 to 12 months to see all of Australia. It took us 7 months to circumnavigate the country and that was omitting the far northern state of the Northern Territory and Far North Queensland. We hope to explore these areas on another trip within the next few years. The Bunda Cliffs are an amazing sight and the drive across the Nullarbor Plain very worthwhile. :)

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