Crossing
the Nullarbor
5, 6 and
7 October 2006

It is a long way across the Nullarbor (Latin nullus arbor = no trees)... about 1100km of dry desert across the southern coast of Australia, the Great Australian Bight.

We were blessed with excellent weather —as one may hope in October; one may not find in winter or summer extremes.

The pictorial centrepiece of the Nullarbor is the great cliff, 200km long, the longest cliff without harbour in the world. This is the edge of a 20,000 square kilometre slab of limestone, which supports very few trees. Here are three pictures from a lookout 111kms east of the South Australia-Western Australia border.

To the east...

... to the south ...

... and to the west, from which the winds blow.

There is a separate web page on our stop at the Head of the [Great Australian] Bight, where whales gather from May to October.

Further west in Western Australia, the sharp cliffs of the Bight soften, but the difficulty for vegetation seeking a footing on limestone is still evident, here very spectacularly.

We spent two nights bush camping, once near Fowlers Bay in South Australia...

...where the sand is advancing towards the town and where the cemetery was less hospitable than at Bramsfield

... We managed to find a secluded spot in the struggling scrub several kilometres from town, where another dozen oysters were shucked, this time without attracting insects.

...the moon shone through the trees

...madame was brought her morning tea

...and took a picture of the early morning view from her window

When we got to camp the next night, we were west of Eucla in Western Australia. To pass through the rigorous border quarantine station we had had to eat our last apple, our last potato and surrender our lemons and garlic.

Thus a dinner of cans and dried peas, King Island Brie and crackers.

in another idyllic place

... if just a little wondy at dawn... this just the tent lurch of a minor gust

Back on the road, another warning sign, about camels, kangaroos and wombats... there are such signs all the way. There are relatively few vehicles, considerable numbers of road-killed kangaroos — indeed the road-kill far outnumbers the vehicles! Teams of crows and occasional wedge-tailed eagles do the daily clean up. Great road trains – trucks with multiple trailers – refresh the table overnight. Driving after dusk is not for ordinary vehicles.

No camels, perhaps they carried off the trucks with which they collided.

and the wonderful diversion of coming up behind a Dodge 6

.. not just once, but again at the end of the day, in Norseman, Western Australia... What was that hare and tortoise story??

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See the sights at the Head of the Bight