29th April–Nullarbor to Caiguna Roadhouse

Distance: 555 km
Fuel: 52 ltr
As usual after a shower packed up and took off west. After about 60km turned off for the first lookout over the Great Australian Bight. Spectacular scenery, towering cliffs.
170429 013 Great Australian Bight Cliffs
More kilometres, more cliffs.
170429 020 Great Australian Bight Cliffs
Crossed the WA border and went through the usual Quarantine check and time change. The latter was just before lunch time so lunch kept getting  further away, I was getting hungry.
Topped up with petrol at a roadhouse for $1.61/ltr, good job I did because at the  Cocklebiddy Roadhouse where I had originally intended to stop it was $1.74. Not impressed with that and the fact that with the clocks going back meant it was only 1pm decided to push on another 70km to Caiguna. A good move fuel was 2c cheaper.

170429 046 Caiguna Signs
Booked in and checked the map – previously I had intended to stay at Norseman for the night before moving on to Kalgoorlie but with the extra 70kms under my belt decided that tomorrow will go straight to Kalgoorlie.
Still no phone reception so used a Telstra pay phone to ring the caravan park to book for two nights (it was a 1800 number)
Still plenty of daylight left so drove to the Caiguna Blowhole about 5km down the road. Not an exciting sight but interesting.
170429 042 Caiguna Blowhole
There was a definite wind coming out of the ground.
170429 039 Caiguna Blowhole
Had a meal at the roadhouse but on the way back to my caravan in the dark had a fall. Silly really normally carry my phone and use it as a torch but because it is useless at the moment left it in the car, Dumbo!

28th April–Ceduna to Nullarbor Roadhouse

Distance: 324 km
Fuel: 32 ltr
I am such a dope. I had intended to buy a Telstra SIM card for the spare phone I packed. When did I remember? When I was parked at the Nullarbor Roadhouse looking at the Telstra only phone tower! Anyway to continue…
From Ceduna the first stop was a quick sortie into Penong to see the windmills.
170428 005 Penong Windmills
Then a fairly long stint with nothing much to do other than occasionally turn the steering wheel to accommodate the rare bend in the road while listening to the audio book of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” read by Stephen Fry.
Nullarbor is not an Aboriginal word as I had assumed but from the Latin Nullus Arbor meaning No Trees (and there aren’t any)
About 15km before the Nullarbor Roadhouse is the turn off to “The Head of the Bight”. 14km of sealed road to a visitor’s centre, boardwalk and lookout. It is on Aboriginal Land and costs $5 (more for the less elderly).
170428 026 Head of the Bight
Well worth the money, during the season whales can be seen but even without them it is spectacular scenery. The only thing south is Antarctica.
170428 029 Head of the Bight
Finally the Nullarbor Roadhouse… What can I say? Diesel is $175/ltr, they generate their own electricity, desalinate their own bore water and charge $30 for a powered site plus $1 for a shower. I had a Nulla Burger for my evening meal and it was very good perfectly complimented by an $8 stubbie of Carlton Draught.
The original Roadhouse is still there (remember when there were only two sorts of petrol? Standard and Super).
170428 041 Nullarbor Roadhouse
But the new one also has a motel, caravan park and even a golf fairway.
170428 045 Nullarbor Roadhouse
Now this is a road sign you don’t see every day.
170428 048 Nullarbor Roadhouse
Haven’t seen any of the camels yet but I would imagine hitting a camel at 110kph would do a lot of damage to both of you.

27th April 2017–Port Lincoln to Ceduna

Distance: 498 km
Fuel: 41 ltr
So excited to be leaving Port Lincoln – cold and miserable place as far as I am concerned. Up early to get milk and ice from the local Coles, like the ACT they don’t have plastic bags.
Stopped a few times on the way to look at landmarks and cairns – a pet peeve – this was one of them.
Now how on earth does that qualify as a site of interest with road signage, parking, a cairn and a plaque? Talk about more having money than sense.
One place I did find interesting was Murphy’s Haystacks. I think the rock formations are created in a similar way to The Devils Marbles in NT though not as spectacular.
Arrived Ceduna early afternoon and checked into the caravan park right in the town centre.
Walked around the shops and waterfront before taking a 35km drive along a dirt road to the OTC Earth Station.
The road was well graded so it was pretty easy but the dish no longer belongs to OTC and has a much more glamorous use.
Perhaps it has been replaced by these dishes much nearer town.
I don’t know if that is so this site was totally unsign posted except for a warning that there was 24 hour surveillance and that trespassers would be prosecuted.
During the early evening strolled to the pub next to the caravan park for a beer and food. Learned all about the difference between South Australian descriptions of glass sizes and the rest of the civilised world.
The weather is much improved quite warm(ish), only needed my light jacket this evening.
I think I have solved the fuel consumption problem. I suspect it was a combination of windy, inclement weather, hilly countryside and the speed limit. Today the drive was virtually flat, windless and I set the cruise control on 100kph for the whole journey. Fuel consumption was nearly as good as without the trailer (Ok, No it wasn’t but it wasn’t that bad either).

26th April 2017 Port Lincoln and About


Cold Night

The night was windy and miserable; the vent on the camper roof kept banging and waking me up. It rained intermittently so I couldn’t leave the glass panels open. Was warm enough but it was not a good night.

A Day Out

Up early to get the laundry washed, dried and packed before 9am. Pretty pleased ($3 for washing machine, $3 for dryer).

After some breakfast I drove into town to see the sights. First stop Makybe Diva, it’s a horse that won the Melbourne Cup and it definitely looked like a horse to me.

170426 011 Port Lincoln

Nearby was the Mosaic Couch another attraction of the town.

170426 015 Port Lincoln

Not mentioned in the brochure was a statue of Flinders and his Cat.

170426 019 Port Lincoln

Back in the car to visit the Old Mill which you can climb for spectacular views of the town,

170426 026 Port Lincoln Old Mill

Well, views anyway.

170426 022 Port Lincoln

The Axel Steinross Maritime Museum was next, it was closed but there was an interesting variable pitch propeller and a couple of boats outside.

170426 029 Port Lincoln

Onward and upward to Winterhill Lookout for more views.

170426 037 Port Lincoln Winterhill Lookout

A 40km drive to Coffin Bay, alas not some macabre beauty spot but a small fishing port named after an Isaac Coffin.

170426 046 Coffin Bay

All the time it was bitterly cold. At Coffin Bay I bought coffee and a sausage roll which went down well.

Back to Lincoln National Park to see a monument to Flinders. The bastards wanted $9 to go in so I gave it a miss – I had already seen Flinders and his Cat which was probably enough Flinders for one day. But when too much Flinders is never enough there is always a cairn to mark where he found some water for his ships.

170426 050 Coffin Bay

Went to a couple of other interesting spots at the Marina and Billy Lights Wharf but by then felt I had exhausted Port Lincoln’s attractions so returned to the caravan park to watch the goings on there. Believe it or not the sun came out for a few moments.

170426 060 Port Lincoln

While it was a good day out, the weather doesn’t suit me at all, far too cold.

On reflection perhaps I should have made this two trips the southern part in summer the northern part a little later in May. Having said that tomorrow’s forecast for Ceduna where I am heading next is better and it has only been two wet, cold and or windy days. I just hate cold weather so much.

In New Territory

25th April 2017 Port Augusta to Port Lincoln

Distance: 379km
Fuel: 45Ltr

Signs of the Time


I had to visit Iron Knob. In the 15 minutes of a geography lesson at school when I was taught all about Australia Iron Knob was one of the few places that got a mention so I had to see it.


After a brief look round (it is not an exciting town) it was on to Kimba.


Kimba is not that exciting either but it does have a pie shop and a Big Galah. I enjoyed a quite reasonable steak and kidney pie (no sauce, thanks) and stretched my legs before moving on. I had intended to visit a signposted lookout but I was 20kms down the road before I remembered; I hope it was a disappointment.


I was thinking of stay at Tumby Bay for the night but after a reasonable morning of sunshine with a few clouds the weather turned nasty. Tumby Bay was wet and miserable so it was another 30 minutes of driving to Port Lincoln where I booked into the caravan park for a couple of nights.

My fuel consumption it has rocketed, used over half a tank to travel 380km – without the trailer a tank lasts over 700km, I expected to use more fuel but not quite this much. Will have to see how it goes tomorrow without the caravan and might have a look underneath to see if I have sprung a leak.

Setting Out

The First Day

Distance: 244km
Fuel: 19ltr
My camper was in Canberra so leaving home was really just a matter of packing the car with all the stuff the camper couldn’t hold.

There was 30 litres of water and 20 litres of fuel though I cheated with the water taking empty containers and filling them up when I arrived in Canberra.
I spent the Friday night at Katie and Geoff’s House, in the morning I had to buy a few things like milk and ice (thank you Katie for taking me) but eventually I set off before noon.

22 April 2017 – Driving to Narrandera .

Distance: 281km
Fuel: 34ltr
A well travelled route but I let the TomTom take me its variation of the quickest route via Jugiong and the back roads to Cootamundra, Junee and Coolamon. Definitely saw a lot of sheep going this way and not much traffic.
Arrived at Narrandera mid afternoon but having visited here only a month or go past did nothing but get fuel and eat.
The weather was warm and mostly sunny.

23 April 2017 A change of plan.

Distance: 479km
Fuel: 47ltr
I had intended to stay the night at Balranald but after setting off at 9.30am was there just after 12pm. As I have said on other occasions the Hay Plain is not the world’s most exciting drive and apart from being buzzed by a crop duster (they are totally mad) this was no exception. Decided to press on to Mildura.



24th April 2017 Port Augusta

Distance: 550km
Fuel: 60ltr
The weather was fine until the SA border when it started to cloud over. Usual stop at Yamba just inside SA for the state quarantine Service to check for Fruit, veggies etc Stopped at Morgan for ice and I also bought a sausage roll (living the good life).
From Bulla on the showers started and by Port Pirie it was a downpour, visibility was poor and when I bought fuel just outside Port Augusta the service station exit was under several inches of water.
The caravan park was quite a big one with more vans and motor homes than I had seen in a park but this is the last place on my journey that I have visited before so from tomorrow all is new and progress will be much slower.


All is forgiven – woke to a beautiful sunny morning. Showered, had breakfast wiped the windows and headlights clean of bugs (an advantage of wet weather).
Noticed A frame caravan owners are obsessed with sweeping before they dismantle their camper – a statistic based on an observation of two.
No rush this morning might only be only travelling about 155km.