Archie’s Eastern Walkabout continues: Backpackers beat boredom and Big’s reign on the Bite

Date Posted:24 March 2011 

Archie and Marie continue on their Eastern Walkabout. After leaving Perth to begin their 3 ½ month road trip, we last saw our Nutty travellers slip through the gates to the Nullarbor…

Driving along the Nullarbor, it’s easy to see how some guests of this great stretch of land may seep into a level of boredom. It is apparent that in order to distract oneself (we think the backpackers are the top culprits) you hit the town by decorating the various trees and shrubs along the roadside. Seen along the route were various dress-up displays on flora consisting of shoes, hats, bras, panties… and of course anything else that you might come across in your luggage that is more suited to amusing a passersby and the odd crow or two. Some of these displays really are quite fantastic, and make the trip much more memorable.

However, the moderate pace does give you time to absorb the scenery and local fauna, and it is this time that you get a chance to really appreciate our fine country. Spotting the majestic wedge tailed eagle souring through the skies has been one of our highlights.
Temperatures cool down a bit (thankfully!) as we approach Eucla and Border Town, where the road travels very close to the Great Australian Bite. The influence of the Southern Ocean stretching out to the Antartic make the cooler air much more bearable. Being coastal Perth-dwellers ourselves, we are much more used to a cooler shift brought on by the seas! Spectacular views of the rugged coast line are definitely enjoyed at the occasional tourist stopping points along the Bite.

Stopping at Eucla we spot our first Australian icon! The Big Whale is just one of the various “big” themed attractions Australians have adored for years throughout. Our sighting was quickly followed by The Big Joey at Border Town – I think we’ll start our own album collection of these large friends!
The next stop is the Nullarbor Road House. Away from our giant animal findings and incredible scenic views, reality of the road trip hits. Everything here is high, high, high. High petrol prices ($1.88 per litre in this part of the outback) and high temperatures (again) sitting in the 50s with howling desert winds. We had planned to play a hole on the world’s longest 18-hole golf course. Imagine travelling in your golf buggy through this course stretching from Kalgoorlie in the west to Ceduna in SA… Alas, the temperature convinced us to delay the experience.
The historic relic of an early Nullarbor crossing reminded me of chap called Colin that we had met in our travels the previous night. After a 12 month tour of Australia, he was cycling back to Melbourne. Cycling? We just spent a day in 52°C heat…
…I did not envy him.