The curiously empty expanse of Australia’s southern coast—the Nullarbor Plain—can be both enticing and daunting in equal measure. It’s a firm fixture on the ‘Big Loop’ circuit, but a worthy endeavour all on its own. From Perth to Adelaide via vast landscapes, breath-taking vistas, and wild, rugged coastline, this road less travelled will inspire, thrill, and humble even the most seasoned of road-trippers. Read on to discover this essential itinerary that will reveal all of the best bits to be found along the course of this epic adventure.
Day 1: Perth to Norseman
Kickstart your journey in Perth, stocking up on supplies and ensuring your vehicle is well-equipped for the long road ahead. As you leave the city, take the time to explore the coastal town of Rockingham and its picturesque coastline. Onwards through the charming historic town of York to Hyden, home of the famous Wave Rock. Finally, you’ll arrive at Norseman—your first overnight stop—after around eight hours of driving. The former gold mining town is the perfect place to rest up before the real adventure begins!
Day 2: Norseman to Balladonia
If time permits, a slow meander is optimal, but parts of this journey can be condensed to save days as needed. Here we go! Leaving Norseman, you'll enter the vast Nullarbor Plain. Be prepared for long stretches of straight road, characterised by the stark expanse of untouched wilderness. As you drive, keep an eye out for the iconic ‘90 Mile Straight,’ one of the longest straight sections of road to be found anywhere in the world. Your destination for the day is Balladonia, a remote outpost with a museum showcasing pieces of Skylab that fell from the sky in 1979.
Day 3: Balladonia to Eucla
Continuing east, cross into the border of South Australia, where the landscape becomes increasingly captivating. Take a detour to the remarkable Bunda Cliffs, offering awe-inspiring views of the Great Australian Bight. Arrive in Eucla, home to the famous Eucla Telegraph Station Ruins, a somewhat otherworldly reminder of the region's rich history.
Day 4: Eucla to Nullarbor Roadhouse
As you journey along the Nullarbor, be sure to stop at the iconic Nullarbor Roadhouse. This is a great opportunity to refuel, rest, and exchange stories and tips with fellow travellers. Don't miss the chance to see the quirky Tree in the Rock—a tree that has remarkably grown within a crevice in a giant limestone boulder.
Day 5: Nullarbor Roadhouse to Ceduna
Onwards to Ceduna, a vibrant coastal town where you can restock your supplies and enjoy storied local seafood offerings—don’t miss local institution, Ceduna Oyster Barn, a must-do pitstop on the famed Oyster Walk. Be sure to stop by tranquil Denial Bay to catch a stunning sunset over the water.
Day 6: Ceduna to Streaky Bay
Back in your vehicle and the journey continues to Streaky Bay, a seaside haven known for its white sandy beaches, perfect for swimming, fishing, and all-round seaside relaxing. It’s also a central hub for further Eyre Peninsula exploration, with many stunning scenes and seascapes to take in along the way. Stop by the Point Labatt Sea Lion Colony, where you can observe these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.
Day 7: Streaky Bay to Port Augusta
On the home stretch now, head towards Port Augusta, where the red desert landscape gradually transforms into greener surroundings. Port Augusta is a pivotal point on your road-trip where you can replenish any essentials that might be running low, refuel, and enjoy a variety of dining options as well as cultural and heritage diversions.
Day 8: Port Augusta to Adelaide
As you approach Adelaide, consider taking a detour to the Clare Valley wine region, renowned for its vineyards and cellar doors. Alternatively, visit the historic mining town of Burra, steeped in history and charm. Arrive in Adelaide, your final destination, where you can debrief and decompress from your adventure with all the vibrant city exploits at hand.
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