Tag Archives: Eucla

9 – The longest golf course in the world

It's a long haul

It’s a long haul

Apart from the photo stops along the Great Australian Bight the Nullarbor doesn’t have a huge amount to offer the casual tourist. But there is the longest golf course in the world. ย The course starts at Kalgoorlie and finishes at Ceduna, with putting greens established at roadhouses along the way. I got up before dawn to get you a picture of the green at Border Village in South Australia.

Border Kangaroo green

Border Kangaroo green

We left Border Village after breakfast, went through the checkpoint into Western Australia again and hit the road. The Nullarbor isn’t completely flat. The ancient shore line is evident here and there, and Eucla itself sits at the top of a rise. From up there the Southern Ocean is visible, just a few kilometres away.

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Please note Dave’s and Andy’s – important to know

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img_5148-2Unlike the railway, running some distance away inland, the highway doesn’t actually pass through much of the real Nullarbor. Which doesn’t mean to say it’s an exciting drive, just that you do see the occasional tree. We saw a few kites (the bird sort) and a couple of emus, but no camels or kangaroos or wombats. But the road signs are fun. Every now and then there’d be a sign warning about ‘roos, camels and wombats “for the next 198km”. We joked about whether the authorities had told the ‘roos, camels and wombats about the distance limit. If they did, the animals ignored them.

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Apparently there are longer straight roads, in Saudi Arabia and USA

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We stopped for coffee at a small roadhouse in the Madura Pass where the road manoeuvres its way over the remains of the cliffs from eons ago. Then on again, listening to Mozart because none of the radio stations had strong enough signals out here.

We reached Norseman at a reasonable hour, then turned left for the run down to Esperance on the south coast. The low-growing scrub was behind us. We drove through typical forest of the region, smallish mallee trees with open canopies and colourful trunks.ย  Spring with its famous wildflowers was in full swing in the West. The state has received good rainfall at the right time, so there’s a bumper season. Some of the usually dry lakes held water and puddles reflected the trees on both sides of the road. The pastures were lush and green and I’ll bet the sheep were enjoying the unusual bounty.

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Typical semi-desert forest. It has its own beauty.

We booked into a motel for the night, but it didn’t have a restaurant. The proprietor suggested a couple of places in town, but in the end we picked up some take away meals from a noodle house and took them back to our room to eat. Sometimes it’s the best way to go.

 

8 – Across the Nullarbor

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This is us, a little red triangle ๐Ÿ™‚

Ceduna to Norseman across the bottom of Australia is a long haul across (apparently) not much. There are a few road houses along the way, but that’s it. So we booked for the night at Border Village (which is a road house with motel style accommodation, and a caravan park) just on the South Australia /Western Australia border, not far from Eucla.

Ceduna to the border wasn’t a long haul, so we took the chance to add in a few side trips. Since we drove this road three years ago somebody has grabbed a brain and signposted places where you can get off the road and see the Great Australian Bight. They’ve built lookout platforms, and parking areas large enough for cars towing caravans โ€“ an excellent recognition of how many Australians are hitting the road. It’s for safety, too. Each little break might be a life saver.

The photo stops all showed a different view of the Bight. The first, and most spectacular, gave a great view of the cliffs marching away into the distance, with the Southern Ocean pounding their base. The second showed how the land had worn down, gentle slopes heading down to the cliffs, and the third was a more extreme example of the second.

The cliffs of the Bight

The cliffs of the Bight

A path to the cliff edge

A path to the cliff edge

There are beaches in places before the cliffs return

There are beaches in places before the cliffs return

Then we went to the old telegraph station near the coast from Eucla, crossing the border into WA, past the border patrol. They do a cursory search of vehicles, looking for fruit and honey. We didn’t have any, so we carried on. If we had carried fruit or honey, the items would have been confiscated and destroyed.

Sand engulfing everything in its path

Sand engulfing everything in its path

Give it a few more years and the old telegraph station will be buried

Give it a few more years and the old telegraph station will be buried

The telegraph used to be the reason for the road โ€“ connecting Western Australia with the East. The original telegraph station was close to the beach because it was supplied by sea. There’s an old jetty there, but I didn’t get that far. When the telegraph station was relocated the old telegraph station started to disappear, engulfed by sand. In a hundred years I reckon you’ll see no trace.

A mother carrying a joey

A mother carrying a joey

On the way back from the telegraph station we encountered a mob of roos in the scrub. We might think it’s ugly desert land, but for them it’s home. They’re quite hard to see.

We went back over the border to our accommodation, but decided we’d fill up at Eucla because the diesel was nine cents a litre cheaper.

Next morning was going to be a big drive, because we were going to Esperance โ€“ something like 930km.