VOLUNTEER ACROSS THE NULLABOR
On your way from Esperence in southern Western Australia, back inland to Norseman, take note if there are any WWOOF Australia Host Farms in the region. It would be a stunning place to stay for a week or so, to encapture the entire feeling and landscape of the place.
Leaving the coast and travelling inland, again the landscape will become sparser of vegetation and noticeably flatter. We’re getting back into beef cattle and sheep station properties, as opposed to vegetable and fruit growing.
Your journey from here back to Adelaide is going to be a couple of days drive at the least, as the distance is almost 2,000km or over 20 hours of constant driving.
So, plan for a few stops along the Nullabor so you can really appreciate and explore this natural wonder of where the desert meets the ocean. You’re in for some unique surprises.
So out here, in the middle of no-where, you will find old forgotton rubbish dumps … from work camps, road camps, mine camps etc. Great for exploring and finding bits and pieces.
If you’re fairly well self-contained in your traveling vehicle, then you can take your time and look out for tracks that lead off the Highway and camp “out in nature” in the wild. Otherwise, every Roadhouse and Petrol station along the highway, usually has accommodation, parking and camping facilities, easily accessible and safe. I personally prefer to get off the beaten track and find my own little niche area, with no-one around, to setup camp and relax under the stars. You never know what you’re going to find when you get off the highway. Watch out for sandy boggy tracks though. Be sensible.
So each night, find yourself a place off the Eyre Highway, snuggle in behind some trees and cover, light your campfire and sit under the stars. Find yourself in this vast open space.
Suddenly, you’ll come over a rise, and the weather and terrain change completely. As you near the South Australian border, pastures and farmland comes into view. Rainfall is more abundant on the eastern side of the Nullabor, so even though it’s still flat and open, it’s also greening up.
This is where you pull out your WWOOF Australia Mobile App and start searching for any Host Farms in the area, or good volunteer opportunities in the Roadhouses over the peak tourism season, or smaller farms that start to appear. Then you pass through Ceduna, the Gawler Ranges National Park, on your way to Port Augusta and eventually back to Adelaide. Again, there are now lots of Host Farm opportunities to enable you to hang around this area for a while and explore the natural treasures that abound. Remember, most of the isolated parts of Australia, where civilisation has abandoned it, there are treasures and gems left over from the pre 1900s colonial times. Take your time, look around, explore and talk to the locals.
As you can see from one of the images, town are few and far between on the Nullabor Plains. Adelaide being 1986km from Norseman.
The terrain starts out rather featureless, with low scrub and red sand each side of the road. Remember, you’re still a fair distance inland at this point, so there are no references to the coast or beaches. Desert country.
Along the way, you’ll be looking for rest spots, or somewhere to make a cup of tea on the side of the road, if you’re so equipped. Keep an eye out for small tracks that lead off the Eyre Highway, as these will usually be short tracks into an old workcamp or rubbish dump.
As a result of Australia being so vast, and Australians living in a paradigm that there is so much space out there, that a pile of rubbish dumped in the middle of no-where, will make no harm or difference to anyone.
When you get past Eucla, the terrain again begins to change. You’re getting nearer the coast, the Great Australian Bight. Sea fog comes in to meet the desert climate, creating amazingly spooky atmospheres, especially in the evening.
And then you arrive at the coast. The cliffs, sandy beaches, limestone caves and inlets. Absolutely amazing scenery. Whale watching, dolphins and land based wildlife abound through here, as there is no civilisation, except for the passing traffic.
The straight road just keeps going. On and on and on. It’s Australia’s longest stretch of straight road. It’s also a wonder to cycle the Nullabor, as it’s relatively flat and thus easy to navigate on a bicycle. However, you must be prepared with food, water and shelter, as it’s a treacherous environment to a non-adjusted human being.