For many backpackers hoping to travel the West Coast of Australia, at some point you would have to make the trip across the Nullarbor to complete your journey. We had previously travelled from Melbourne to Adelaide and our next leg of the trip was Adelaide to Perth. In this post, we will cover our full itinerary from Adelaide to Perth via The Nullarbor including accommodation, fuel & rest stops as well as places of interest.
Adelaide – Port Augusta (310km, 3 hours)
Stay: Port Augusta, Augusta Caravan Park (Stirling North)
Fuel & Rest Stops: None (We didn’t stop)
Our first stop would be at Port Augusta where we gave our car a good wash, checked our car and stocked up on food and water supplies. We stayed at Augusta Caravan Park in Stirling North, a 5 mins drive to the main town area where there is an automated DIY car wash, Augusta Car Wash, that provides high pressured jet hoses for you to clean your car. Simply pay at the machine according to how much time you require and start washing! There’s also a lot of petrol stations in and around Port Augusta so just drive into one to refuel and give your car a quick check. For food and water, there is a nice big Woolworths at the city centre where you can find fresh fruits/vegetables, canned food and water as well.
Port Augusta – Ceduna (470km, 5 hours)
Stay: Ceduna, BIG4 Ceduna Tourist Park
Fuel & Rest Stops: Kimba, Wudinna
Interest: “Halfway across Australia” sign (Kimba), Eyre and Wylie Sculpture (Kimba), Fresh oysters (Ceduna)
A 5 hour drive west bound will take you to Ceduna, known as the “Oyster Capital” of Australia for their delicious and fresh oysters. We refuelled at Kimba and Wudinna before arriving at Ceduna to stay the night. We chose to stay at BIG4 Ceduna Tourist Park but there are many other caravan parks and motels in this town as well. Known for its fresh oysters, we bought a one dozen tray of unshucked oysters for $13 from the caravan park reception and it was the freshest and most delicious oysters I have ever tasted. We were told the oysters were from the morning’s catch and it definitely tasted like that! If you are looking for a more indulgent oyster experience, check out Ceduna Oyster Barn where you can choose from variety of ways to have your oysters.
Ceduna – Border Village (480 km, 5 hours)
Stay: Border Village, Border Village Roadhouse
Fuel & Rest Stops: Penong, Nullarbor Roadhouse
Interests: Lake MacDonnell (Penong), Head of Bight – Whale Watching, Giant Kangaroo holding Marmite
Leaving Ceduna feels almost like leaving civilisation behind. Ceduna will be the last relatively large town you will see for the next couple of days. Fuel up and take a break at Penong and the Nullarbor Roadhouse before making your way to your next overnight stop at Border Village. Border Village is literally a roadhouse beside the quarantine centre where your vehicle and items will be inspected for prohibited goods. This includes fresh fruits, vegetable, honey and other bee products. You will have to discard any prohibited items due to the fruit fly exclusion zone rule so it is best to consume them before you arrive here. Fuel at Border Village is also more expensive so if you can hang in there for another 15 mins, go past the quarantine station to the first town, Eucla, and fuel up there! Look out for the iconic Kangaroo holding Marmite, it’s really hard to miss anyway.
Border Village – Cocklebiddy (284 km, 3 hours)
Stay: Cocklebiddy, Cocklebiddy Wedgetail Inn & Roadhouse
Fuel & Rest Stops: Eucla (WA), Mundrabilla
Interests: Bruce & Samantha (Wedge-tailed Eagles), Eucla
Fuel at Eucla is known for being cheaper than at Border Village despite just being 15 mins away. Apart from fuelling up here, visit Eucla’s Old Telegraph Station if you have the time. It has been covered by sand over the years and will soon be fully covered so take the opportunity to visit it while you can! A short 3 hours drive will take you to Cocklebiddy for your next overnight drive but should you need a break or to fuel up, Mundrabilla is a good stop. While you’re there, look out for Bruce and Samantha, the two rescued Wedge-tailed Eagles, that live at the roadhouse.
Cocklebiddy – Norseman (436 km, 4.5 hours)
Stay: Norseman, “The Railway” – Motel and Woodlands Guesthouse
Fuel & Rest Stops: Caiguna, Balladonia
Interests: 90-mile straight road
Cocklebiddy will be the last remote roadhouse you will stay at before heading towards Norseman, which is an actual town! You will travel down Australia’s longest and straightest road on this leg of your journey just after Caiguna. Look out for the iconic 90-mile straight sign and remember to snap some pictures of this memorable (and extremely boring) ride. At the end of this very straight road, you will arrive at Balladonia where you and your car can fuel up. It will probably be the last of the classic desert roadhouse you will see as you finish up your journey and arrive at Norseman. We rewarded ourselves with a beautiful spa ensuite at “The Railway” Motel and Woodlands Guesthouse. Norseman is a quiet town but we did enjoy our little in-room spa jacuzzi after the past few days of camping.
Norseman – Esperance (204km, 2 hours)
Stay: Best Western Hospitality Inn Esperance
Interests: Cape Le Grande, Lucky Bay, Great Ocean Drive
Esperance, a mere 2 hours south of Norseman, is a beautiful coastal town popular with tourists for having the whitest sand in the entire Australia. Fuel prices will fall considerably here so you can cast your fuel woes into the wind once you have arrived at this town. There is SO MUCH to do at Esperance if you are here in good weather. Unfortunately for us, the two days we were here it was pouring and Cape Le Grande was closed due to a prescribed burn. We were so bummed but we still had a chill time at Taylor St Quarters, a beachside pub/cafe with pretty good food. We even managed to make the Great Ocean Drive the next day visiting some really beautiful sights. There is plenty of accommodation options here including caravan parks, motels and hotels.
Esperance – Hyden (382km, 4 hours)
Stay: Lake King Tavern and Caravan Park & Wave Rock Caravan Park
Interests: Wave Rock, Hippo’s Yawn, Mulka’s Cave, The Humps, Gnamma Trail, Kalari Trail
Our next stop after Esperance is Hyden, home to the famous Wave Rock. It is 4 hours from Esperance and on the way to Perth (our final destination). Many visit Hyden for the Wave Rock but there is more than just that at Hyden. Spend an extra day at Hyden and visit Mulka’s Cave, The Humps and walk the trails – all these are a short drive from Wave Rock and are located in the same area.
Hyden to Perth (332km, 4 hours)
CONGRATULATIONS! The final leg of your trip is a very boring 4 hour drive to Perth but before setting off, drop by The Bush Bakehouse for some fantastic pies, soup and coffee. They serve generous portions for a reasonable price and is the perfect place to fill up before starting your drive to Perth.
We took this route through Hyden to visit Wave Rock instead of the more common route via Albany as we were coming back down to visit south WA on a separate trip and we really wanted to see Wave Rock as well. Our entire trip took us 9 days at a leisurely pace but can be faster or slower depending on how much driving or sight seeing you wish to do. Let us know in the comments if you have done this trip too! 🙂
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