No place in Australia can capture the imagination like The Nullarbor. An epic adventure across two states, renown for desert solitude, massive sharks and wild Southern Ocean Bunda Cliffs. Few Australians have traversed this road, but those who have, will never forget the experience…
There’s something special about going to a place that nobody knows about. It’s an adventure with no expectations, only a curious anticipation. The Nullarbor is yet another place that very few Australian’s will ever dare to cross. And even fewer tourists.
Bob’s Quick Facts: The Nullarbor…
From Perth to Adelaide, it’s about 2,800kms of sealed roads. The Nullarbor Reserve is almost smack bang in the middle of these two cities. If you wanna get here, you’ll need to hire your own campervan or 4WD from either Perth or Adelaide.
A 2WD Campervan will be fine for this trip as the highway is totally sealed.
Roadhouses offer camp grounds (every 250kms or so) from $25 Per Night for Campervans & Motorhomes
Be sure to buy fuel at every roadhouse when crossing the Nullarbor – you do not want to break down out here!
Wave Rock (Hyden)
After driving your campervan through hours of Australia’s infamously huge Southern Wheat Belt, you’ll arrive at the small town of Hyden. There’s not a lot going on in this rural WA town, except for the massive fucking wave-shaped rock just on the outskirts of town. It’s definitely worth the stop, just for the token photo if anything. Not a bad place to stay for the night, with the local pub serving up cheap, country-style meals.
Interesting Fact: Wave Rock is a culturally significant landmark for the original inhabitants, the Ballardong People. It was believed that the formation was created by the Rainbow Serpent, as she slithered her swollen body across the land having drank all of the water in the area. Over 140,000 tourists visit this site each year.
Where to Stay: Wave Rock Caravan Park is literally at the base of Wave Rock, a great place to spend the night in your campervan. There’s also backpacker accommodation if you don’t feel like sleeping in the van (why?!!).
Even though it’s a bit of a detour, Esperance is a MUST-SEE destination. The town itself is full of character, while the beaches are ranked alongside some of the greatest in the world. It’s remote, and yes there is the occassional shark, but the turqoise waters and fresh, white sands are too good to stay away from. There’s great waves, and National Parks abound on either side – often with kangaroos playing in the sand. If you’ve come out this way, you would be stupid not to park your campervan here for a day or 3.
What to Do: Esperance is absolutely one of the most beautiful places in Australia. The ocean is as clear and blue as anywhere in Australia and perfect for surfing, swimming or snorkelling. Nearby Cape Le Grand National Park is the very essence of perfection, with ultra-white sand, crystal-clear water and wild kangaroo’s playfully bouncing on the beach. Spencer Lake (Pink Lake) is also a visually stunning landmark in the area and well worth a look.
Norseman, 90-Mile Straight & Cocklebiddy
Sadly, as is the case in much of rural Australia, Norseman is a dying town. Empty old pubs and relics from the goldrush era are pretty much all that remain in this old country town. There is fuel and a small supermarket though – and it’ll be the last supermarket you see for 1,200kms…
You’re officially on The Nullarbor now. 90-Mile Straight is pretty much that – a straight road for around 126kms that will get your eyes playing tricks on you. Roadkill abounds and you’re now in camel country – so watch out! Cocklebiddy is basically a roadhouse, where you can grab a cheap meal, fill up on petrol and camp out for the night (there’s showers and bathrooms for an overnight fee). Around this area there’s a few Caves you can explore, but watch out for snakes in the low-lying grasses. You’re a long way from help if shit hits the fan!
Interesting Fact: There isn’t much to Cocklebiddy, just a roadhouse and interestingly, the 10th hole of the longest golf course on Earth! The Nullarbor Links Golf Course starts in Kalgoorlie and finishes in Ceduna – a span of 1,400kms with 18-holes spread across the Nullarbor (at each Roadhouse along the way).
Where to Stay: There’s endless desert around if you’re looking to free camp! Otherwise Cocklebiddy Roadhouse (Wedgetail Inn) have budget rooms and a small campervan-friendly area to sleep (with bathrooms!). They also have fuel & food, so be sure to stock up here before continuing east or west.
Nearing Eucla, you’ll notice the trees become very sparse. In fact once you cross the South Australian border in your campervan, you won’t see any trees.
You’re in Nullarbor Reserve, where the horizon extends forever in every direction. Eucla is a roadhouse and camp site around 500m from the rugged, remote coast. It’s on a hill overlooking the bunda cliffs, making sunsets spectacular. It’s worth stopping here and cruising the road towards the coast to check out the remnants of the old Post Office as it slowly becomes devoured by the dunes. The beach itself is remarkable – not much surf, but you won’t see another sole on the sands for around 500kms in either direction…
Interesting Fact: Only 13kms east of the WA-SA Border, Eucla was established in 1877 as a station for the Overland Telegraph. The name ‘Eucla’ is supposedly a term coined by the Mirning Aboriginal people, meaning ‘bright’. The ruins of the telegraph station and nearby jetty still remain and are well worth the short drive from the camp ground on top of the hill.
Where to Stay: Eucla Amber Motor Hotel, just behind the roadhouse, is surprisingly big – with budget rooms as well as powered & unpowered campervan sites from $15 a night. There’s also a decent restaurant and bar. Otherwise, there’s still miles of desert out there if you wish to free camp!
The Bunda Cliffs
As you get across the SA border, there’s numerous turn-offs to the infamous Bunda Cliffs. Some of them are well marked, but the one’s you’ll really wanna see are the unmarked turnoffs. You can pretty much park your campervan on the southern edge of the Australian continent and have lunch, drink beer or skip around in your undies while dosing up on cheap wine…
Fowlers Bay, Penong & Ceduna
Welcome back to civilisation…sort of! Ceduna will be the first real town you’ve seen in a while. But before you get there, be sure to spend a day exploring Fowlers Bay and Cactus Beach (turnoff at Penong). Cactus Beach is iconic in Australian surf culture. It’s remote, sharky and eerily beautiful. I’ve been here twice, surfed my ass off both times and used up a whole 8GB SD card shooting the cliffs, the waves, the pink lakes and the endless sand dunes. It’s a very special place.
Port Lincoln & The Eyre Peninsula
It’s a bit off the track if you’re headed for Adelaide to return your Campervan, but I promise you, this is almost the best part of the trip. The landscape changes a little, there’s lizards sunning themselves on the road and beautiful beaches all along the West Coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s a beautiful part of Australia. Port Lincoln, at the very bottom tip of the Peninsula has a population of around 15,000 with a couple of pubs to relax and enjoy. But what you’ll really wanna do is do a shark cage dive or a swim with the sea lions. I couldn’t afford the shark dive (around $400!), so i chose to swim with the Sea Lions instead – and it was a fantastic experience wading in the waters off the coast of Port Lincoln.
Hire a Campervan and explore Australia’s great Nullarbor region!
Bob’s Campervan World have a massive range of motorhomes, campervans and 4WD hire campers available for rent in Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth & Sydney – the perfect locations to begin your kickass roadtrip!
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