3 Things I’d do differently on the drive from Adelaide to Perth if I did it again
Just a few weeks ago, I did the drive from Adelaide to Perth, crossing the Nullarbor. The long and short of it was that I had 3 days to make the trip, so that I could make it home in time for my daughters 4th Birthday.
Approximately 2700km to travel in 3 days seemed pretty achievable, although it meant long days behind the wheel and that I’d miss a lot of great things to see. That is why I’ve put this list together, to help anyone thinking of doing this drive get the most out of it. For those of you that have already driven it, it would be great if you could comment and share the great things you’ve seen along the way to help enlighten those that might be thinking of doing the trip themselves.
Take the Scenic route to Ceduna
I took the main highway from Port Augusta to Ceduna, and there were some cool things to see, but for the most part there wasn’t too much that was really exciting.
I really enjoyed some of the little towns I stopped in, (the silos at Kimba was a highlight), but I think that going the coastal route via Whyalla, Port Lincoln, and then Elliston and Streaky bay would have been more spectacular.
Take a drive along Googs track
This is a 4WD track I’ll definitely be back to drive. It runs from Ceduna, to Glendambo, where it joins the Stuart Highway. It is approx. 370km and 300 sand dunes, so the recommendation is to allow 3 days or so to drive it and be able to take in the walks and camping available along the way.
It is pretty remote though, so you really need to be prepared for the trip with enough fuel, and supplies. And we’d recommend a satellite phone too.
The challenge here is how to continue the journey. Perhaps if not pushed for time you could first drive the coastal route to Ceduna, take Googs track north and circle back around to Port Augusta, and then take the inland road back to Ceduna?
Check out some of the tracks around the Bight itself
I’ll be honest here, while I did get off the blacktop on several occasions on this trip, I didn’t have the time to meander and explore. If I had my time again, I’d explore some of the tracks that head off the highway down towards the bight to see where they go, and to see if I could get down to see the stunning clifftops that make the bight.
Having said that, you’ve got to be careful here – I did notice a number of the tracks have been closed by putting rocks or bollards up to stop use of them. I wouldn’t go down one of these tracks in case you get into trouble, because there are plenty of other ones to access.
Take the Old Eyre Highway instead of the modern Highway through the Nullarbor
While the Nullarbor plain gets countless mentions in songs and is a drive on most peoples to-do lists, the hard truth of the drive is that on the bitumen it is one of the least scenic and most boring I’ve ever done. There is very little to look at, and it is pretty flat, without any changes in scenery that make other desert drives more interesting.
For that reason, if I had my time again, I’d take the Old Eyre highway from the Nullarbor Roadhouse. It is a dirt road accessible from out the back of the Nullarbor Roadhouse, has some interesting side trips, and from what I’ve heard is far more exciting to drive.
Take the coastal way through Esperance
Due to time pressure, I headed North from Norseman past the turnoff to Kalgoorlie and then turned West towards Perth. This drive was quite beautiful with the red sand, beautiful gum trees and forever changing scenery and undulations, but it won’t compare to the coastal drive around Esperance to Albany and then up to Perth.
These are just a few things I picked up – a lot of you who have spent more time in these places than me will have some brilliant ideas on what to see and how to do it. Please take the time to share your experiences on the drive and the things you think others should see.