Nullabor to Iron Knob
9 Jan 2015
|After our short visit to Kalgoorlie we hit the road for Norseman where we shouted ourselves a shower at the roadhouse. Once we were all cleaned up we were ready for our big trip across the Nullarbor.
I decided to take photos of the changing landscape as we travelled along, I have presented them in the sequence we travelled.
At Balladonia Roadhouse we visited a museum of by gone times including some Skylab wreckage from 1967 when it made it's re-entry to Earths atmosphere
We travelled along Australia's longest straight road (146.6 kilometres) , it's a shame some idiots thought it necessary to graffiti the sign.
We travelled around 420 kilometres before stopping at our first camp, at Woorlba Homestead Rest Area. It was very hot and we were greeted by some very poor looking magpies so we gave them some food and water, they just wanted to drink as they were so thirsty, later they ate the food. Lots of different types of birds visited the water dish. We felt very sorry for them so Pete found an old pot and filled it with water before we left.
We had an early start and travel another 400 kilometres calling in at a couple of Road Houses including Mundrabilla which was where we broke down in 2007, this time we only had a short stop to refuel. We actually had a few drops of rain as we drove along the Nullarbor Plains. We passed three airstrips marked out on the highway for planes to make emergency landings, luckily there were no emergencies as we travelled the Nullarbor.
In some places the roadside vegetation looked rather green and the number of road kills weren't excessive. We got our first glimpse of ocean at Eucla just before we farewelled Western Australia and said 'hello' to South Australia. We continued our journey calling in at different spots to view the Southern Ocean from the steep cliffs along the Great Australian Bight. At some of the viewing locations they have now fenced off areas so you can't go right to the edge of the cliffs (for obvious reason), its a big drop onto the rocks and water below. At other spots there were no barriers at all and we could go right to the edge. The view was great.
On arrival at our intended camp spot we were welcomed by an army of March flies, Pete decided it wasn't going to be a pleasant stay so we decided to go to another. As we drove out of the camp we saw a rubbish bin with 'Kempsey' written on the side, it amused me as we were out on the Nullabor and I see my home town written on a rubbish bin.
We then drove a bit further to the spot where we stayed in 2010 and it was on the ocean side of the highway, a bit windier but not as many March flies, probably blown away by the wind.
The next day we reached the end of the Nullarbor and stayed at Penong Caravan park. On our trip in 2010 we had also stayed there and I had left my Aloe Vera pot plant in there as I couldn't take it through the SA quarantine check point at Ceduna, I had a quick look around and found it, a lot bigger but still alive and going well.
We had eaten all our fruit and veg before going through the quarantine checkpoint at Ceduna and decided not to restock our food supplies until we got to Port Augusta, all we bought in Ceduna was a loaf of bread.
It started raining and it's been the most rain we have experienced in six months. There was a lot of water on the road at Kimba which is the half way point across Australia, apparently they had a big storm the previous day. We decided to stop the night at Iron knob at a rest area. The next morning we were ready to leave but when Pete started the motor there was a strange noise under the bonnet, a fan belt had broke. We decided to stay at Iron Knob for the weekend and head into Port Augusta on Monday when we could hopefully get a replacement.
We really wished we'd done a shop at Ceduna as there was no where at Iron Knob to buy food, there's not even a petrol station there. We really got back to basics, but we did survive. We met a lovely couple camped there 'Mary and Bazil' who gave us some milk powder and tea bags. I must have my cuppa.
The camp area was maintained by local volunteers and there was even a shower for the campers. It was a pretty good area to stay. They only asked for a donation for staying there. An impressive mural was painted on the wall of the amenities for all to enjoy. We could have been stuck at a worse location.
Iron Knob is a mining location but the town just didn't become a boom town as the mining companies bus the workers in from other locations to work their shifts and the town has been left behind. We went for a walk around the town and the houses are shacks, not the nicest place to live.