Skip to main content

The Eyre Highway and The Great Aussie Bight.

Road Trip Day 15: 6th June 2007

The last time I travelled along the Eyre Highway from South Australia to Western Australia there was no such thing as ipods. In fact Music CD's were still years away from taking over from LP records and audio cassettes. There was no such thing as a digital camera and even video recorders were just starting to hit the markets as a home consumer item. That was May of 1978 and I'd just turned eight years old.

I don't remember much of the sights coming over because our families trip, back in 1978, was all about getting to Perth as quickly as possible. I think I spent a lot of the trip asleep in the back seat of the car. Most of my recollections of the journey relate to places we stopped for the night or for food on the way.

This time, Rose and I are taking a little longer so we can see a few of the breath taking views we missed the first time.

The Eyre Highway runs right along side the Great Australian Bight - the cliff top, bottom edge of Australia. Sometimes the highway is only a few hundred metres away from the edge. Travelling from SA to WA the first view of the bight you can experience is at 'The Head of the Bight'. This is the eastern most end of the Australian Bite and is a 14 kilometre detour off the Eyre highway.

What the sign doesn't tell you is that once you get to the visitor centre you can't get anywhere near to the view you're looking for without paying a AU$10 admission fee (adults). That's $10 each to see one end of the bite. All along the rest of the highway you can see the bight for free.

During the months between June and October you may also spot a whale or two all along the bite so maybe the admission fee relates to that? However there are no guarantees of seeing a whale. Rose and I weren't willing to pay $10 each to see a view. There are so many better ways they could raise money for maintaining the park and facilities without blocking access to the view.

Our next brief stop was to get petrol at the Nullabor Road House. This was one place my family stopped in 1978 due to a broken water pump (I think). We had to head around to a private residents home on a back road behind the Road House in order to get the car fixed. It is here that a photo of my family was taken with us all standing in the middle of a dirt airstrip, looking like we're really in the middle of nowhere.

Whilst at the road house I noticed a sign advising people not to feed the wild life on the Nullabor Plains (which is a huge, treeless, national park). I was surprised to see a picture of a dingo. I didn't think dingoes were this far south. As if to confirm that dingoes are indeed this far south we saw one running around in the bushland just off the side of the road.

There are some road signs you can only see in Australia. Ones like this (see photo) are common along the Eyre highway. I'm sure this sign means that somewhere within the next 96km you may have to watch for a camel chasing a wombat and a kangaroo.

As you travel along the Eyre Highway there are several lookout stops along the way where you can view the Australian Bight close up (like one more step and you'll fall off the country close up). Rose and I stopped at the first two.

On the first lookout we met a British Couple travelling in the opposite direction. They advised us that the next lookout gave the most spectacular views of the ones they'd visited so far. They even showed us some digital pictures of the Bight they'd snapped along the way.

Rose and I were well behind our travel schedule so we decided that we'd stop at the second lookout with the best views and then skip the rest.

The British couple were not wrong about the second lookout. You really can see all along the Bight - as you can see in the photo (with me looking like I've just returned from a South Pole expedition - well it was really cold!)

If you're wondering about the cliffs, you don't have to climb any hills to get to the top of them. Australia, at this point sits on a huge plateau that is several hundred feet above sea level. Once you get past the Eucla road house and motel the highway drops back down a lot closer to sea level. You feel like you're driving out of some hills with no memory of ever having gone up hill in the first place.

Speaking of the Eucla Road House and Motel, Rose and I stopped here for lunch. The roadhouse has one really memorable feature - a giant concrete whale in their playground. I remembered stopping here back in 1978 because Rose and I played on that whale. I think we even stayed in the motel here.

I do remember our family pulling in to this road house along with a small green truck (kind of thing) with some people in that we'd been over taking and they'd been overtaking us unwittingly at various points on the road.

Rose decided we should check the cars oil and water before setting off - both were fine but Rose noticed that the bolt that holds the engine in had vibrated loose and was falling out. Well okay that's an exaggeration... it was one bolt that helps to hold the alternator in place. It had lost the nut off one end and was well on its way to falling out. We had to borrow a spanner and get a nut from the motel manager who was very helpful despite being very busy with other customers.

One of the more unusual things that Rose and I encountered was the 'bottle man'. Rose had seen him on the way over and said she wanted to get a photo on the way back. I have no idea who made the bottle man, what he is about, or why bottles and other containers hang from the tree around him? If you live somewhere near Madura and know about the bottle man - leave a comment and tell me about him.

By the end of the day we didn't get as far as we had hoped. Tonight we're staying at the Madura Pass Oasis Motel. Ballidonia is still about three hours up the road. No doubt we'll pass through there tomorrow.

Comments

  1. Thank you so much for your advice and comments about the Head of the Bight. We're following in your footsteps soon !

    ReplyDelete
  2. No problem Ian. It's a challenging trip but well worth doing at least once in your life time.

    If you click on road trip 2007 (if you haven't already) you'll get all my posts relating to my trip - could give you a few ideas of what to look out for.

    Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I enjoyed reading your blog about that eerie highway and the great Aussie Bite!
    My dauhter and I are planning to do this trip in July 2008 from East to West.
    I wonder whether it may be best to book accomodation in advance?
    Somebody told me it has become a very busy road with 'lots' of tourists.
    My daughter would like to sleep in the swags 'wherever', but I expect it to be very cold, especially at night, so would prefer the comfort of a motel.
    She thinks it can be done in 5 days, I think 8 - 10 days may be more suitable from the info. I gathered so far.
    Any idea / advice?
    Thanks for any advice you can give us.
    Greetings
    ceci :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the read and best of luck with your trip. Rose and I drove across during June of 2007 and I wouldn't have called it a busy road at all - but I guess it depends on when you're traveling and how much you stick to the speed limits (you'll be over taken a lot if you go too slow and you'll do a lot of overtaking if you go too fast). I kept pretty much at the speed limit and things didn't seem too busy.

    You can probably do the trip in five days if you just want to rush it and not spend too long at the various sights but maybe allow for a day or two more if you don't.

    For our entire Road Trip Rose and I never booked any accommodation in advance because we never really knew where we were going to be at the end of a day. With that said we never had any trouble finding a free room at a reasonably priced motel.

    (Oh and, as you might have picked up from some of the photos of me wearing jumpers and stuff - it was cold during June so you may want to really rug up if you're going to really rough it overnight).

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Comments not directly related to the post will be deleted. This includes spammy generic comments with links to websites not related to the post.

Popular posts from this blog

Yukino Yukinoshita Figurine Cartoon Figure Doll Model Desk Ornament Toy Gift - MULTI-A - Product Review

I must admit I was not familiar with the Anime character Yukino Yukinoshita, from the Japanese book and TV series My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU. I bought this figure because I was browsing for one that looked similar to an Anime avatar my partner used for a time on social media.


What actually sealed the deal for me to purchase, aside from how similar the character looked, was the little panda (Pan-san) with the black star eye, which I felt gave the whole figurine set a bit of an edgy look.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime TV series the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Yukino.

Standing (or is that sitting?) at 14.00 x 15.00 x 14.00 cm / 5.51 x 5.91 x 5.51 inches the figure is an ideal size for displaying on a desk or bookshelf without taking up too much room. The 1/8 scale allows for a good level of detail, particularly in the characters clothing which, despite being P…

Virtual Reality Addiction Meets Online Shopping and Death!

I'm certainly not the first person to predict the idea of immersive virtual worlds. Movies like Tron (1982) and The Lawnmower Man (1992) are two of the earliest popular culture references to the concept I can think of, off the top of my head. Then of course there is The Matrix (1999) where the VR world idea really hit the mainstream big time.

However, back in early 2005, the practice of online shopping, with real money, for digital products in virtual worlds like Second Life (which was more cutting edge back then) began to meld in my mind with the idea of corporations controlling that experience through marketing and advertising.

Robot Uprising: Patrolling Your Home, Garden and Now The Streets!

Many people think of the inevitable Robot Uprising as a humanoid, Terminator like, robot army, wielding laser guns, hunting us down in some kind of distant future, human Armageddon. What they don't realize is that the robot armies are already taking shape, albeit in a much more passive aggressive form.

I've previously documented the Roomba as the first wave of mass produced robots surveilling your home under the guise of being a floor vacuum.

These irritating devices are supposed to quietly work away in the background while you perform Yoga poses in peaceful bliss but are actually noisy enough to attract your attention and... why does the thing keep missing that one spot in the middle of the floor but has cleaned the same corner four times already!

Halloween - The Door-to-Door Salesperson of Holidays

Halloween isn't really a thing in Australia but over the years it's been gaining momentum thanks to variety and party hire stores that stock up on all things spooky for the occasion.

I dread Halloween every year because I never know if this is going to be the year some wide eyed group of costumed up kids is going to knock on the door and yell 'Trick or Treat' at me. A truly scary thought.

Halloween is a fantastic idea for a holiday, completely ruined by the tradition of going door to door for treats. If you or your family does this, I sincerely hope you never knock on the door of houses that a) You've never met the owner in any capacity and, b) are clearly not participating in the festivities demonstrated by their lack of any Halloween decorations at all.

If you're like me you probably hate door-to-door salespeople, a practice that has thankfully decreased but is still employed by phone and power companies from time to time. There's nothing worse than peop…

Super Sonico Cartoon Sitting Girl with Swimsuit Model Toy - RED - Product Review

I was not familiar with the Anime character Super Sonico created by Tsuji Santa of the Japanese computer and video game software company, Nitroplus, as the mascot for Nitroplus' annual live music festival event "Nitro Super Sonico".

I was actually looking through the GearBest website for another Anime character and liked the look of this particular display figure enough to add it to my cart. (It also helped that the figure was on sale at a significant email only discount at the time).

This particular version of the character features Sonico dressed in her Santa Cape and Swim Suit  complete with holiday trimmings. The hood/cape can also be removed and replaced with Sonico's headphone wire and trademark, long pink hair.

When my purchase arrived I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and detail. Having since discovered the Anime character (and also TV series) the figure is based upon I can say it's a fairly faithful depiction of Super Sonico.

Standing (or is tha…

Kevin Smith's Tusk (2014) and Yoga Hosers (2016) - Movie Review *Very Minor Spoilers*

It may seem somewhat redundant to be talking about Tusk and Yoga Hosers four and two years after their respective release dates but there is still one more movie to come (Moose Jaws) in Kevin Smith's True North trilogy so you're going to want to revisit or view them for the first time at some stage before that film (if you have any interest in it of course).

Both films are not highly regarded by critics and probably polarize even Kevin Smith fans since they're not exactly along the lines of Clerks but you can see some pretty broad hints of Smith's leanings toward weird comedy horror in Red State.

Even Kevin uses these two films as self deprecating punching bags for his film career. It's not that he thinks they're bad films, he just recognizes the silly weirdness doesn't give them broad appeal and therefore they often get poor reviews.

Full disclosure, I'm a Kevin Smith fan but, whilst I've been wanting to see both of these movies for a while, Kevin…

IGTV - Vertical Video Done Right by Instagram

I am not a huge fan of vertical videos because they are reduced down when played in a standard horizontal format player, so it can be hard to see the detail. Usually vertical videos have black blocks on either side. It feels a lot like your watching the video from a neighbouring dark room through a narrow door frame. Also you don't get as much width in your shots making it hard to frame all of the action.

Instagram TV (IGTV) basically says 'so what' to all of the above. You can access IGTV through an icon menu item on the Instagram app (or I think you can install it separately).
You'll be taken directly to the IGTV app where the first video in your stream will automatically start playing (usually with the sound off) after first seeing some old style TV static to give that authentic 'television' like experience.