Long, straight drives and losing it in the Scrub

The truck is now up and running again and we were keen to get going. After Port Lincoln, we only had one more stop on the Eyre Peninsular before preparing for the Nullarbor Crossing.

We bush camped at Haslam camping ground (Camp 6 reference 724 for SA, only $5 in the honesty box), after checking out one or two other spots that were too full to get a park. It was situated near a pleasant rocky beach with a long jetty that is mostly used for fishing. Oysters were also the order of the day, with fellow campers telling us tales of only $6.50 for a dozen huge, fresh local oysters. They were already sold out for the day, but perhaps tomorrow morning.

Would you believe it, we ran into the O’Callaghan’s again. They had been there for a few days, where their children were running around with another travelling family, who were also headed in the same direction. It’s practically becoming a convoy, with us all leaving for Ceduna the following day.

We never did get our oysters. The oyster boat was just being launched as we finished packing up to go.

On to Ceduna, and we got the last caravan spot in the park in town. Ceduna is recognised as the Eastern gateway to the Nullarbor, so I was expecting loads of sun, and heat. Instead it rained practically the entire time we were there. Didn’t matter too much, as all we wanted to do was shop and prepare for a couple of days bush camping. The other families were staying at another campsite at Shelly Beach, on the outskirts of town. They had an enclosed playroom which we all took advantage of in the wet afternoons.

While in Ceduna, we visited the local Playgroup. You can read all about our Ceduna visit by clicking here.

Mike and I thought it would be fun to play the Nullarbor Links, the world’s longest golf course. It’s an 18-hole, par 72 course over an impressive 1383 km. This idea was an attempt to break up the journey a bit, and have some fun in the process. I have to mention here that Mike and I are not golfers. Between us, we have had around 6 rounds in our life. Prior to starting the trip, we purchased a driver, 8-iron and putter from the local op shop, as well as a packet of golf balls and tees. The guy at the local tourist information office warned us to ‘keep our eyes on where the balls land’ as there is a lot of scrub and bushes on some of the holes.

The first two holes were on the Ceduna course (holes 1 and 18). We rushed out to play them during what looked like a break in the weather. The first hole was fine, but the heavens opened as we started the second, and by the end of it, all four of us looked like drowned rats. We were also lighter two balls, and praying the weather improves along the way.

Bunda CliffsNullabor roadsignWelcome to WA signThe Nullarbor is a journey of 1194 km from Ceduna to Norseman, and a further 189 km to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, where the final two holes of the Nullarbor Links are on the local course. There is a hole at every roadhouse along the journey, until Fraser Range (which is a sheep station and brilliant farm stay). There are two holes at Norseman golf course, one at Kambalda and the final two (or first two if you are travelling in the opposite direction) at the Kalgoorlie Golf club, the only holes with a dress code.

In total we spent four days crossing the Nullarbor to Norseman, stopping only for golf, food and bush camping. Our cards were stamped at every hole, and it was challenging not losing balls at every turn. I seemed to manage to hit my ball in every tree and spiky scrub, and my card was looking more like an impressive ten-pin bowling score. I was warned about the thieving birds at the 5th hole, but still managed to get my ball stolen by that bl**dy crow and had to take the penalty. But still, it is an experience, and we may never get the chance to do it again.

On our second day, we crossed into Western Australia. The border crossing inspection for fruit and vegies gave me flashbacks to border crossings in Africa. This is our first time in WA, and I have now officially been in every state in Australia.

Coby rides a sheepLunchtime on the third day we pulled into Fraser Range (only 100 km from Norseman), where the other families were already set up for the evening. After golf, (which was my best effort to date with only 6 strokes for a par 3), we also decided to have a break from driving, and set up camp. The surroundings were spectacular, the facilities just superb, and we were ready for a charge up and water fill. There was a bit of a party atmosphere after 3 hard days driving through long straight roads in unpredictable weather. It had rained on and off the entire journey. Longest straight road in Oz

Before we head off for the end of this journey, we all hiked around the ridge surrounding Fraser Range. The girls did it first and then the boys. We spotted lizards basking in the sun and kangaroos jumping around the station. Both parties climbed Mount Pleasant for the view of the station. It was then time to pack up for the final stretch to Norseman, and to finish our last 5 holes of golf.

Crossing the Nullarbor Plain was a great experience. I think it was greener than most people get to see it, and the coastline around the ‘Head of Bight’ was truly breathtaking and certainly worth the journey. But Kalgoorlie awaits, and the world’s longest round must finish. Next time you hear from us, I promise to publish our final scores.

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One Response

  1. All sounds great

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