There’s something very beautiful about the Nullabor. Many just see the long drag that you have to take when going across the country. However, it isn’t like that. The landscape and vegetation changes many times as you move through the countryside, often with little or no transition. Trees, no trees, scrub, plains, rolling hills. And the thing that surprised me the first time, the ocean. We think of the Nullarbor as being in the middle of the country, miles from anywhere, but around the Western Australian border the Australian coastline comes up next to the road only to fall away again.
It is here that you see the cliffs. We have all seen the iconic pictures of the cliffs of the Great Australian Bight but it is not until you stand in front of them, transfixed by their beauty that you truly get it.
Don’t be in a hurry, take your time and let the place soak into you.
The other places that are very nice is the lookout at Madura pass which overlooks the snaking Eyre highway below, the visitors centre at the tip of the bight, and the old telegraph station which is being slowly over taken by sand.
And then you are at the other end, Penong, where townships start with houses, pedestrians and traffic. The solitude of the Nullabor now seems like a distant memory.
With the sun setting I continued on passed Ceduna down the peninsula to Smoky bay where I pulled into a caravan park for the night which was nice after three days rough camping.
From Smoky Bay I proceeded down the coastline checking a number of the villages and townships, Streaky Bay, Venus Bay, Ellison.
Murphs haystacks – apparently a tourist on a bus mistook these rocks for haystacks on the hills and the name has just stuck. What is unusual is that there are no other surrounding rocks like this at all.
At Ellison there is a cliff top drive that has a number of sculptures along the way. I think the 14 fits in with this group although they do look a bit worried or intimidated by its presence.
A friend messaged me after I had filled up at Ellison that I should try the whiting burger at the Ellison roadhouse. As I was still at the servo I stuck my head in the door and enquired if they were the roadhouse. It turns out they were so I ordered the burger. It was close enough to lunchtime.
He also suggested that I should go down Locks Well as it was a nice climb. Climb? This is a riding holiday not a climbing holiday. It did look nice down there so I proceeded down the stairs. There was this nagging thought in the back of my head half way down about having to come back up these 16 flights of stairs in full bike gear. Nah, how bad could it possibly be? Bad!
My next overnight stay was with friends in Port Lincoln overlooking the bay. Nice.