Day 19 – 1st February 2018 – Nundroo to the Nullarbor Roadhouse
We packed up camp at our Nundroo East campsite and headed into Nundroo to play the next hole of the Nullabor Links course. Oh my. This is one challenging and nasty hole. It took us a long time to work out where to tee off, we were wandering around in the rain, amongst a wasteland with abandoned cars and nothing that resembled a fairway. It was meant to be a Par 5, but I got 18. Yep, that is correct. 18. Col got a tidy 10. We started with 3 balls, lost 1 and found 4.
After that we drove to the Nullarbor Roadhouse. Nullarbor meaning ‘No Trees’, and there really isn’t. We did stop along the way on the Eyre Highway for Col to use his chainsaw and collect some firewood before getting to the Nullarbor. It was a beautiful drive. Again it has been raining all day. Not what either of us expected. I saw this sign and it made me laugh – I never knew that there was a danger of camels walking out onto the road, but apparently there are over 100,000 wild camels on the Nullarbor Plain!
There is not a whole lot at the Nullarbor Roadhouse Caravan Park – at first it looked to me like an abandoned drive in. But when you look closer you do find some interesting things indeed. Be aware that while you can buy emergency items here, it is very, very expensive!! A cube of water is $15 and a medium jar of Nescafe $20. So stock up in Ceduna before you cross the Nullarbor. Be aware that you cross the border into WA at Eucla and have to throw away your fresh fruit and veg, so plan your meals ahead. You also have to pay $1 per 4 minutes to use the showers here too. I wondered how they would monitor this but it is a coin operated shower!
Cute little camp kitchen area.
After we set up camp we headed off to see the ‘Head of Bight’. It does close at 4pm when it is not Whale season, so keep this in mind and it also costs $7 for an adult. It is really beautiful, and I can’t imagine how amazing it would be to see it filled with Whales and calves! Whale season is the 1st June to the 30th October and they are open a little longer during the peak season.
I was in the van when it filled with the most spectacular light. I went outside to see this amazing sunset. Really beautiful.
Day 20 – 2nd February 2018 – Nullarbor National Park
I would like to give a shout out to Scrubba Wash Bags. We like to use this for washing clothes when free camping. We purchased one in preparation for our big trip but unfortunately there was a faulty valve and we were unable to use it. We contacted Scrubba to explain the issue and they very kindly posted out a replacement to the Ceduna Post Office for us. Very happy to have one on the journey and really appreciated the great Customer Service. Thanks Scrubba! To see a photo and how to use it, go to the Tips and Tricks section under Laundry.
I liked this sign on the way to the Park, a warning that there is a Fruit Fly Check Point in 293km!! Lots of preparation time. Don’t want to catch anyone by surprise (Camping Crew don’t panic, Col is not heading in the wrong direction. We just came across the sign on the way to the Nullarbor National Park).
Today we went out exploring around the Nullarbor National Park and found some beautiful spots. The track was not particularly challenging to look at, but the mud was incredibly slippery. At one point we were sliding sideways for a few seconds which caught us by surprise. Luckily Col was able to get it back under control.
When you first look around, it seems beautiful but quite barren.
But when you look closer, it is full of really beautiful details.
We came across a Wombat warren, but no Wombat’s unfortunately or fortunately. Depending on how you look at it. We did find a Wombat skull though, hopefully he lead a full and interesting life.
Col would get vertigo when we went near the edge of the Bunda Cliffs. You need to be very careful as they are quite unstable. This cute little purple rock daisy was not stressed at all.
Col did a video of the Nullarbor National Park drive.
We were meant to play the hole at the Nullarbor Roadhouse, but I am still recovering from my ’18’ trauma at Nundroo. Hopefully I can face it tomorrow!
Day 21 – 3rd February 2018 – Nullarbor to Cocklebiddy
Day 21 – seriously… 3 weeks already?? Where has it gone? This is a pic of the sunset over the Nullarbor Roadhouse last night. Again a beautiful show.
We packed up camp at the Nullarbor Roadhouse this morning, but before we left we played the Golf Links hole there. I had read about a crow that steals the golf balls and they suggest to spray smelly stuff on the ball to prevent it. I thought it was urban myth…… I was wrong. This hole looked more like a typical hole on a golf course, as in you could determine where the fairway was and where the green was (fake grass). Usually on a golf course you would experience some challenges such as sand bunkers and water. But the Nullarbor Golf Links course has other challenges and items of interest. Walking up the fairway we crossed what we think was a road intersecting the fairway. A little further up there was a Wombat warren, with multiple mounds and holes and a low concrete wall ran across the fairway. There is also the infamous crow. I managed to find all the challenges on this fairway. Plus more. There are also warning signs everywhere about caution due to snakes, so I decided not to go looking under any bushes for my miss hit balls. I was pretty nervous retrieving it from the wombat warren too. Glad to say we made it through unscathed, and it also wasn’t raining today when we played, so that was a nice change.
At one point I decided to hit a few practice balls along the fairway, and then it happened. A black looming figure appeared in the sky, lurking ominously. Watching. Waiting. Then the moment presented itself and it swooped at speed toward my ball, grabbing it in it’s beak and making a fast getaway to a location, not too far from the fairway and out into the scrub. Col tried running out there (he ignored my calls of ‘Beware of the Snakes’), he wanted to see the Crows hiding place and how many balls it had collected over time. But the Crow was sneaky and Col was unable to locate the hiding spot. We tried to entice the Crow to come after a few other balls, but it seems it only likes to do it for shock value. One is enough. So heed the warnings my friends if you do decide to play this hole. Spray the ball with smelly stuff or have your video camera ready.
So off we went on our adventure and stopped at a few lookouts along the Eyre Highway overlooking the Bunda Cliffs. There are some truly amazing places and worth the time to stop and appreciate.
We reached the Border Village in no time and it caught us both a bit by surprise. I had wanted to stop here as my Grandfather, Jim Sitters who recently passed away, had been the manager here back in the 80s. I had heard many stories about this place and wanted to stop and take it in. One such story was, after Jamie Lee Curtis had finished filming ‘Road Games’ nearby, she came into the Border Village Roadhouse and ordered a case of Dom Perignon for herself and her film crew. As you can imagine it is not something that is well stocked on the Nullarbor! Grandpa had to order it in, and he had some funny responses to his request to order when trying to place it. This is just one of the many great stories. So I stopped and grabbed some pics and am sad that I can’t take them back and show him. Ask how much it has changed since he was there. But that is life. I felt a little closer to him after being there, although sad that he has now gone. These photos will be of more interest to my family. I said to Col that I would like to stay here on our next trip.
The rain had settled in again so we decided not to play any more golf today. We did stop for a short rest at the Mundrabilla Roadhouse, great service and great hot chips! They also had a pizza oven (but not as good as Nige’s).
We kept driving until we reached Cocklebiddy (love that name). It was an interesting drive in the rain. Sometimes when a road-train passed it dumped so much water over our cars that we were temporarily unable to see! The deep puddles were also grabbing and pulling at the caravan tyres, causing it to swerve unexpectedly. The good thing is it kept the Roos, Camels, Wombats and Emus at bay. We only passed a couple of small, cute dingos. We decided to stay at a free camp tonight, just outside of Cocklebiddy. It is pouring and there are massive puddles forming around us. We will hopefully be able to leave tomorrow and off to Norseman. This is Col going out to wee….
Day 22 – 4th February 2018 – Cocklebiddy to Norseman
Pleased to say that when we woke up in the morning the water had mostly drained away and we were able to get out of the Gravel Pit camp near Cocklebiddy quite easily. It did rain hard overnight, so I was relieved.
We packed up camp and drove to Norseman where we found a beautiful free camp in town. To get there we drove along Australia’s longest straight piece of road on the Eyre Highway. 146.6km without a bend.
I finished my Audible book ‘The Silent Child’ by Sarah A. Denzil, and really enjoyed it. Started the next one and it is nowhere near as good, ‘The Girls of Mischief Bay’ by Susan Mallery. But still keeps me alert and helps massively with concentration while driving. The towing is also going really well so far too, I am pleased to say.
We didn’t arrive in Norseman until after 4pm and as it was Sunday, the shops were closed. So Col got creative for dinner with what food we still had (as we had to throw out our fresh fruit and veg crossing the border).
Day 23 – 5th February 2018 – Norseman
Another chores day, unfortunately these don’t stop, even when you are on holiday for a year!! We did the laundry, emptied the port-a-loo, did the grocery shopping and cleaned the van (not that it stays that way for long!).
We also saw an ad for a job for 6 months at a place that we stayed at and loved on the Gibb River Road – Home Valley Station. Col and I had planned to try and find work during the last 6 months of our trip, once we reached Broome in June. But this job was just too tempting, so after much discussion we decided to throw our hat in the ring and see what happens. So we spent a day updating our Resumes and writing our cover letter, then submitted our application. They were looking for various roles such as Housekeeper, Receptionist, Food and Beverage Staff, Handyman/maintenance person, People and Culture Coordinator. So we will see what happens. It is from May to October and full time, way more hours than we had planned, but again, an opportunity too good to pass up without trying. So watch this space.
Some random information – you know you have been staying in too many caravan parks when you come back from the toilet block singing bad songs!! But one of them got into Col’s head and he was singing it up to 20 times a day (don’t worry, he wasn’t going to the toilet that often!) It just got stuck in his head – “Way out west, where it rains no more. Got a job with a Company drilling for oil. It’s tough out here. Living and working on the Laaaaaaand”. He sang it so many times, day after day and it made me laugh a lot. They were the only lyrics that he knew. When he finally stopped singing it, I would start, just to set him off again. It was very funny. He’s whistling it now as a matter of fact hahahaha.
Jem and Stan – you will be happy that we did find some Camels in Norseman!