Skip to main content
Buy TET Life art on Skateboards and more. etourist Skateboards Store.

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.


Buy Gifts and Apparel featuring art by TET

Popular posts from this blog

Guest Post: MY SOOPER DOOPER NEW CONSERVATORY/ART STUDIO!

Today's guest post is by Artist, Writer, and Mental Health Advocate, Jo B Creative who writes for her blog, Creating My Oddessey.

You should see our (almost) brand new conservatory, half of which is my art studio. 'Lucky me!' I think to myself. Not every creative bod can boast that. It's HUGE! Like a giant greenhouse.

We first moved to our pleasant cul-de-sac house - great for raising kids - when our son, who's on the cusp of thirty-one, was four. One of the main reasons that we wanted it was that, apart from its location on the fringes of a historic market town in rural Hampshire, UK, it had a sizable conservatory looking onto the back garden. It was brown wood framed and had a corrugated transparent roof sloping down from downstairs ceiling height. On the face of it, it doesn't sound that glamourous, but we loved the idea of a conservatory. Luxury! I even liked the red brick walls which it was built against - the original exterior of the house - and the light …

Boom Crash Opera Born Classic But Not Again

Boom Crash Opera are an Australian Band that reached the peak of their popularity in the mid to late nineteen eighties. They are a band that I knew about at that time but was never really excited by until they released their ill fated double album Born and Born Again in 1995 (Album cover pictured).

At the time of its release I was very much into emerging Australian musical acts and was also looking out for new sounds that were different and had kind of a futuristic/electronic sound. Artists that I was buying at the time included; Swoop, Nine Inch Nails and Pop Will Eat Its Self. As well as a really interesting release by David Bowie, the concept album, Outside.

Born was a fairly radical departure for Boom Crash Opera (BCO). The first single, Gimme, was often compared to the sounds of Gary Glitter, particularly his single, Rock n Roll part 2, because of the pounding drum loops. Watch the video below.



My favorite single from the album is dissemble which probably went nowhere on the char…

Batman v Superman: Dawn of the Onesie #Sadbatman

Although we haven't seen it clearly for sure, film director Kevin Smith (who has seen a well lit, color photo of the suit), says Ben Affleck's Bat costume is pretty much identical to the Frank Miller, Dark Knight Returns suit. If that's true then Ben's world weary Batman will be going 'old school' and be wearing his underpants on the outside (as he should).

Upgrading the World's Smallest Skateboarding Manual Pad - Driveway Skateboard Obstacles

Having successfully manualed on the world's smallest skateboarding manual pad numerous times I felt it was time for an upgrade.If this is your first time here, the world's smallest manual pad is basically a small sheet of half inch thick marine ply board roughly one and a half feet by three feet laid flat. It may not actually be the world's smallest manual pad in terms of the height but it's definitely a beginner level skate obstacle.To upgrade it I had some lengths of two by four pinewood beams, that could give my manual pad some perfectly respectable height, without being beyond your average beginner skater who's just learned how to ollie onto a curb.I broke out my jigsaw, drill, and other tools. Scrounged together pretty much all the big nails and screws I had and time lapsed the build. Watch the video below.I didn't really get to skate my new, improved manual pad that day but promised I would in my very next video. Unfortunately skating my new obstacle didn…

getpaidtodraw.com - Your Questions Answered.

Is it a scam? Is the sales message too good to be true? Can you really sit back, relax and get paid thousands of dollars in residual payments?

If you've discovered the site getpaidtodraw.com and have been looking for someone who has bought this product before taking that leap then this review will peel back the glossy sales message and give you the answers. Prior to buying this product I came across much distrust and misinformation about getpaidtodraw.com by people who hadn't purchased it. There was a real need for information so I decided to take the leap and make the purchase specifically so I could write this informed review. Note that I am not, in any way, a getpaidtodraw.com affiliate.

For this review I will be focusing on the getpaidtodraw system which includes; the ebook, instructional videos and database along with access to the systems author Jules Camber (who replies to emails as 'Jamie, President of Champ Entertainment, Inc and Beats365, LLC'). I'll touch …

Book Review: Short Range - Stephen Leather

I haven't read a novel in quite a while so I was looking forward to Stephen Leather'sShort Range, which is his sixteenth Spider Shepherd thriller.

The book was given to me as a gift, and I can't say I was familiar with Stephen or this book series. Essentially it's my first introduction to the character of British MI5 Agent, Dan 'Spider' Shepherd.

Fortunately I do like a good thriller novel, and Stephen includes enough information about his lead character, as the story unfolds, that I didn't feel like I was missing any crucial information from past adventures.

The basic premise of Short Range is undercover agent Dan Shepherd is assigned to an operation to take down a terrorist group. His assignment crosses paths with another operation using a child informant to help them take down a drug dealer. Meanwhile Dan's personal life is about to be shaken up in a way he never sees coming.

As far as police thrillers go this one hits the ground running, quickly ge…

Kids today are smarter than their parents?

How often have you heard it said that kids today are smarter than their parents? I’ve heard it quite frequently in the media – even Dr Phil has said it. I say speak for your self. It’s not true and don’t let the media fool you.

Today’s kids may have access to more information that may give them more choices but in my experience, they only take in what they want to hear and still make stupid, uninformed decisions. Just like we used to at their age.

Like any cross section of people there will be exceptions. There are kids that are genuinely smarter, more mature and responsible for their age. However the vast majority know everything they need to know by the time they turn fourteen. They’re ‘adult’ enough to be responsible for all their own decision making so parents should just let them do what they please…right? Just like we thought at fourteen.

Don’t be fooled. Just because your son knows how to download MP3’s onto an ipod, or your daughter can chat to five friends at the same time on he…