The Nullarbor Plain Adelaide to Perth Road Trip
Wild camels roaming a desolate landscape, and not one tree breaking the horizon. The Nullarbor Plain has a history of unsuccessful crossings of this torrid terrain pepper the Nullarbor Plain. Here we take a look into how you can make this arduous journey an adventure to remember.
The Nullarbor Plain is situated in SW WA
Situated in the south of Western Australia and bordering South Australia. The Nullarbor Plain takes its name from the sheer lack of trees across the 200,000 square kilometers that this area covers. This colossal expanse of land is home to the Eyre Highway, which is considered one of the country’s best road trips that you can take.
Take the railway
If driving isn’t your thing, you can sit back and relax as you take the transcontinental railway line, used by the Indian Pacific train. The Nullarbor Plain stretches between Norseman in Western Australia and Ceduna in South Australia, and at its widest point, it is approximately 1,200 kilometers.
First settlers were the semi-nomadic Aborigines, the Spinifex, and Wangai people
This region of Australia may look uninhabitable upon the first inspection, but back in ye olde times, the land was used by semi-nomadic Aborigines, the Spinifex, and Wangai people.
European settlers came around 1840
Despite the harsh conditions of the Plain, European settlers were determined to cross it. One interesting account comes in the form of Edward John Eyre who departed from Fowlers Bay, South Australia. On 17th November 1840 with John Baxter and a group of three Aboriginal men departed however this expedition failed.
The second attempt was made in 1841 led to a mutiny
However, on his second attempt on 25th February 1841, the expedition descended into mutiny. Supplies ran low as they approached Caiguna, two months into their journey. Two of the Aborigines killed Baxter and took the party’s supplies.
Eyre and an Aboriginal completed the Journe in June 1841
Eyre and the third Aborigine, known as Wylie, continued on their journey. Surviving through the means of bushcraft. The fortunate occurrence of receiving some supplies from a French whaling vessel anchored at Rossiter Bay. They finally completed their crossing in June 1841, four months later.
Today it takes just six days to Cross the Nullarbor on the Tourist trail
Starting from Perth
Fast-forward to the present day and you can cross the Nullarbor in just six days. Book on to one of the many tours available tours that will begin in Perth. Travel through Norseman, Balladonia, Caiguna, Madura, Border Village, and Ceduna.
Starting from Adelaide
Similarly, if you’re starting off in Adelaide, Greyhound tours offer a 10-day tour. Where you’ll sleep under the stars in swags. This particular tour will take you through the Flinders Ranges and Gawler Ranges, Eyre Peninsula, Coodlie Park. Then to the Great Australia Bight and Koonalda Homestead, the Nullarbor, Esperance, Stirling Ranges, Shannon National Park, and Perth.
The cost $1645 for a 9-day tour
The price tag for this particular tour is pretty hefty at around $1645, but your meals are also included in this. You’ll get to see so much in just 9 days, making it the perfect way to travel from South Australia to Western Australia. Visit www.greyhound.com.au for more information.
If you’re thinking about embarking upon the Indian Pacific railway to explore the Nullarbor Plain it will take you around two days from Adelaide to Perth, or Perth to Adelaide. Traveling by Great Southern Rail along this route you’ll pass through Cook which is a small town on the Nullarbor Plain. You can get off and stretch your legs and Kalgoorlie where you might spot a few koalas along the way.
Traveling by train longest and straight railway in the world
Traveling by train, you’ll be able to take in the vastness of the Nullarbor Plain as the route will take you along the longest stretch of straight railway in the world, at a whopping 297 miles in length.
The Indian Pacific Railway
The great thing about the Indian Pacific railway is that it extends all the way to Sydney. You can travel from Perth to Sydney in just three days, whilst taking in the views. Prices are flexible depending on the class you choose to travel in, and your travel dates. Do your research beforehand so you are not disappointed at www.greatsouthernrail.com.au.
Drive Across the Nullarbor
If you decide to drive across the Nullarbor Plain, then be prepared for an adventure. You can choose to either camp along the way if you wish. Or you could stay in at some of the motels and guest-houses along the way.
The Nullarbor Plain Adelaide to Perth Road Trip See Cattle Stations and Rugged Coastline
During the drive, you’ll pass vast cattle stations and rugged coastline. Going it alone (without a tour group, we don’t literally mean go on your own. You don’t want to turn into one of those “lost in the Outback for 30 days stories”) will mean you can take the trip on your own pace and go exploring along the way.
The Nullarbor Plain Adelaide to Perth Road Trip View Bunda Cliffs
Whilst embarking on this trip you can view the Bunda Cliffs, which are considered the sixth most dramatic cliffs in the world. They’ll certainly make for some impressive snaps. Travel here at the right time of year (June – October) and you may even spot a southern right whale. At up to 49 ft long, and their testicles weighing up to 500 kgs each, that’s definitely one to tick off your Attenborough commentary list!
Fraser Range located between Norseman and Balladonia
You can also explore the Fraser Range located between Norseman and Balladonia. An oasis of hardwood eucalyptus forests with blackbutts, salmon gums, and gimlets. (those are types of trees to you and me) You can really witness a slice of “real Australia” here. However, you choose to explore the Nullarbor Plain, remember to shop around and find the right tour for you. If you’re going to road trip it, remember to pack plenty of supplies services are scant.