Roadtrip #3: Perth to Adelaide (part two)

So, from the last post we got as far as spending the night in Esperance before I realised I was going to post something as long as my arm and no one would actually ever read it. No worries - I'm here writing the second half. From this point onwards we were starting to venture onto the Eyre Highway, the stretch of road that connects the east to the west and vice versa. Commonly referred to as The Nullarbor (the plains of which don't stretch the entirety of the highway), this was the point of no return! 

Cape le Grand National Park
This was on the way to Norseman, the point at which the Eyre Highway officially starts, but having heard so much about the beauty of Lucky Bay it had to be firmly marked on the itinerary. We could've spent all day here, it was just one of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen and the weather was perfect for it. Lucky Bay (and the rest of the park) can be encapsulated as the following: beautiful azure waters, exceptionally tame kangaroos, white thixotrophic sands (think quick sand), beaches, caves, and a mountain that challenged my fear of falling - yikes! 

We probably spent more time in Lucky Bay than we ought to have but I have absolutely no regrets. We first had a little walk out onto the beach where we were greeted by several kangaroos (all quite small). These kangaroos were the cutest things I'd encountered in a long time, their adorable faces I just wanted to squeeze! I was a little apprehensive about approaching these animals, after all they still are wild and have you seen the size of their claws? Still, having these little things bounce up to you to sniff your hand was one of the most amazing experiences and my first interaction with a kangaroo! 

We had a wander down the beach and, upon realising there wasn't much else to see that way, turned on our heels to head back. That's when we spotted the rock formation at the back.... It looked like a skull of sorts. Perfect chance to explore, right? We scrambled our way up, dodged through bits of bush, jumped from rock to rock, until we reached the top. The view, wow, the view was breathtakingly beautiful...

Jumping back down from the rocks we were on our way out when we decided we most definitely had enough time to climb Frenchman's Peak, a granite outcrop that rises high above the surrounding area. It's a 262m climb and it's pretty hard in places (at least it was for me!) but the views once you get to the top make it all worthwhile - I promise. 

Yeah, excuse the corner of my phone being there...

The pano shot :)
Time to leave the park and get ourselves to Norseman, the start of the Eyre Highway... but not without stopping to check out a wonderful stop...

Yeah, it's real.

Eyre Highway
We eventually hit around 5pm where we switched over driving responsibilities to Blair who wanted to take on the entire stretch of road (the 1675km journey) by himself - kudos to you pal. I'm sure we had the intention of getting to Caiguna before nightfall but naturally that just didn't happen...


We stopped at Balladonia for a little bit of food and decided what we were going to do. We decided to drive on into the night and look for a suitable rest spot as we started the 90mi stretch of straight road (runs between Balladonia and Caiguna FYI). We found a caravan park in the middle of nowhere, set up, and went for a wander into the night armed with torches and, of course, vodka. We ventured into the depths of the bush (okay, we weren't really that far in but it felt like it) and discovered and old, burnt out car. Scary! Now I'm not a fan of natural darkness, I'm sure I said that many times on the trip - it just freaks me out okay? - but coming across this anomaly in the middle of nowhere just completely freaked me out. Can we move on now?

We returned back to the cars, armed ourselves with more vodka, and had another mooch into the bush - this time going deeper and deeper. Every single movement sent shivers down my spine. I don't remember there being much wind but the bushes were moving, there were ominous sounds coming from the trees and the bushes, there was no light, and all I could think of was what kind of wild hungry animals were there outside?I didn't want to be something's dinner thank you! We actually returned to the same spot in the morning to see where certain paths went but there was nothing out of the ordinary, moving on.

Whilst there isn't an awful lot to see driving the Eyre Highway/ longest 90mi straight stretch, it is still pretty fascinating. Not much has changed over the years. In 1988 my Mum went out to Australia with her working holiday visa and took this:-

26 years later, I took this.

We carried on driving until we hit Caiguna for a bite to eat and to refuel (N.B. gas is expensive on the Eyre Highway. If you're doing this in your own vehicle and will probably use them afterwards it's probably best to invest in some jerry cans but you knew this already right?)

Caiguna marks the end of the 90mi stretch and, as we missed the photo opportunity at the start of the road we decided to take the ultimate "backpacking down under" photo... I present the most amazingly timed photo known the man:

Thank you bikers on the side of the road.

We drove, and drove, and drove (there's not an awful lot to see here - I assure you), engaged in a little drag race fun, hitting 200km per hour in our beastly vehicles, and me trying to get designated driver to slow down by saying "be the bigger man and ease off",  until we hit the border.

South Australia
We'd finally hit SA, we'd eaten/thrown away the remainder of fruit and veg left over from our journey so far so that we'd have no trouble getting over the border as we'd heard a fair few stories of how strict they are. Typically there was no one on the border. Ho hum. We stopped off at a nearby stop off point to observe the Bunda Cliffs of the Great Australian Bight and were immediately hit by hundreds of flies. 

First impressions of SA? Too many of the bloody things... and it was significantly cooler. We didn't stay for too long given the current situ with the pesky flies and the need to get back on the road, but we did take a few little snaps of the beautiful coastline.

We settled down for some more food for the night at a place called Nundroo, cracked open some more vodka (you see the pattern here, right? Road trips are aided with vodka), had some hilarious banter into the night, and slept on the side of the road where all of the trucks stop. Great. Waking up to find three trucks next to the car was scary... If you've ever seen "Roadkill" you'll know why I'm scared. Anyway. Less than 1000km to go until we hit our final destination.

Back on the road again we were just plain sailing until we hit Adelaide with just one more stop off point. Naturally, when a dirt track appears at the side of the 'Nullarbor' running parallel you just have to find a way to get on it, right?

It was an exciting 15 minutes but a slow one at that. The cars weren't exactly made for these types of road so back onto the real road we go, heading towards Port Augusta for our night stop. We pulled into the sleepy town, grabbed some food from Coles and head towards the foreshore for what would be our last BBQ on the trip. Ho hum. It was sunset as we arrived and then we all chowed down to yet another amazing bit of scran. 

We couldn't stay there for the night unfortunately, so we hit the road again to try and find a spot. Don't ask me where we stayed as I don't have the foggiest idea, I do know that it was next to water, near a very old shed the lit up on arrival, and near a police station where the resident police officer sat watching TV and swore like a sailor. Okay pal! We had a few more drinks that night, had a good long chat, I watched the stars and lights on the water, and went to bed. 

The next morning we got up fairly sharpish and got to our destination. Hello Adelaide.... Time to find a hostel.



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