The Nullarbor is a vast, almost treeless plain, stretching for about 1100km's from East to West in the southern part of Australia, spanning across South and Western Australia. The name Nullarbor comes from the Latin Nullus (no) and Arbor (trees), describing the vast empty plains first encountered by European settlers in the 1800's.
|Kimba - half way across the continent|
For many modern day Australians, crossing the Nullarbor is one of those must-do items on their things-to-do-and-places-to-go-before-I-die list. With the Christmas holidays looming and our only family in Austalia living on the other side of this great plain, there was really no other option - we will cross the Nullarbor.
|A bit apprehensive of what lies ahead|
We planned our trip over four days, which is really quite short for such a long trip. But with limited time off work and trying to make the most of the time spent with the family, that's what we had.
|Beware of the wildlife|
The first part of the trip, from Adelaide across the Eyre peninsula to Streaky Bay, were busy with lots of travellers making their way to the coastal holiday spots, but after that the traffic became quiter with only those in for the long haul still on the road.
|Where Australia falls into the Southern Ocean|
We spent our first night camping just outside Ceduna, on the dunes overlooking the great Southern Ocean. On day two we made it all the way across the border into Western Australia where we suddenly gained two and a half hours. Seeing that it was December 21, the longest day in the Southern Hemisphere, we were travelling west - chasing the sun and we just added a few hours to our day - we spent many hours on the road!
But what a beautiful part of the world to spend it in. Before we left I prepared myself for desolation and arid landscapes, but I was pleasantly surprised. The landscape was mostly green and although there were areas that had very few trees, it was hardly the treeless expanse I was expecting. I suspect the fact that we spent 8 years of life in real, sandy desert, helped to made this part of the world look like green pastures.
|Remnants of the Gold Rush in Coolgardie|
We spent the next night on a delightful farm called Fraser Range Station, 100kms east of the town of Norseman. And to add to the anomaly of the Treeless Plain, Fraser Station is surrounded by the largest hardwood forest in the world, all of which is crown land. It is the most amazing sight - to drive for hours through a tunnel of eucalyptus trees.
|Hardwood forrest near Fraser Range Station|
Once we reached Norseman, we were in mining country and back in civilization. We passed the town of Coolgardie, where the main street still features old buildings dating back to the gold rush days.
|Royal Flying Doctor Service sharing the road with vehicles|
Thanks to the few hours we gained the day before, we made it to Perth in 3 long days. We had a great time spending Christmas and New Year with the family and then made our way back across the plain to Adelaide.
|Sunset at Ceduna|
We enjoyed every part of the trip and were pleasantly surprised by the natural beauty of a seemingly desolate place. Our only regret was that we could not spent more time exploring the region and getting to know the people who call this plain home.
|Seeing the Flinders Ranges means we are close to home|