Driving more than 4000 km from Perth to Adelaide, sleeping on top our car!
Now, with lot of nature and history exploring in the previous days, we only had 4 days left of our road trip and still a couple of thousands km to drive. We were facing a lot of time on the road – but not just any road.
Wild Kangaroos Up, Close and Personal
Our last stop before hours and days of driving and basically nothing, was an incredible encounter with one of the most famous Australian animals. At Lucky Bay, outside Esperance, where we had stayed for the night, is a beach famous for the wild Kangaroos. They have become so used to people, that they come all the way up to the people visiting their beach. If you have a 4WD you can drive directly on beach. Having parked our 4WD down the beach, a couple of kangaroos came up and took a rest in the shade of our car, while another came to sniff our pockets. It’s difficult not to pad the curious kangaroos, but it’s so important not to - both for their and your sake. Unfortunately, we only learnt this afterwards, but now we… and you know.
Roadkill encounters by hundreds
With this up close and personal experience with the kangaroos on the beach, we were ready to start crossing the Nullarbor Plain, one of the world’s greatest adventure drives. So, this is not just any drive. This is the longest, the straightest and the flattest road in the world. This is 1200+ kilometers of basically nothing. ”Nullarbor” means “no trees” in Latin, though it’s covered by bluebush and there is a great wildlife of wild camels, wild horses, kangaroos and emus among other animals.
Driving, Driving, Driving…
For us, it was a total of three days of constant driving, from morning to evening, meeting mostly road killed kangaroos, the occasional emu and the long Australian road trains, which are big trucks with up to three trailers and over 50 meters long and it gives you somewhat of a wind dance, if you don’t keep a tight grip on the steering wheel. During those 3 days we listened to many audio books, sang, played car games and just did nothing. As many other places in Australia, it’s so remote that there is no internet connection or even radio, so we simply just had each other for good entertainment. It’s almost therapeutic, though, and surprisingly beautiful to drive in “nothing”. As the road is just straight, straight, straight, we took turns driving, and it’s not a problem to stop in the middle of the road, whether it’s for a chauffeur swop or simply photo opportunities – you have a pretty good sight ahead and behind you. It’s also the road with the world’s longest line of sea cliffs. Unfortunately, it was not the right time of year to see all the whales that breed and raise their calves along this coast, but the views were still stunning when we were driving close enough to see the ocean.
To Be or Not To Be in a Town…
On our last night before making it all the way across the Nullarbor Plain, we had promised each other a nice meal in the nicest restaurant. The town, we had spotted as our location for the night, had a decent size writing font on our map, for which reason we expected somewhat of town. As we have passed a couple of houses, Martin asked me to check TripAdvisor for the best restaurant in town, as we expected there would be internet connection. We quickly realized, though, that 1. Still no internet connection. 2. No restaurants in town. 3. We had by then already passed the town! Apparently, we still had a lot to learn about driving in the remote Australian outback.
Optimistic Look Out
On our last day of driving we explored the coast a bit more, and very optimistically and slightly naïvely we were looking for Wales at the whale spotting look out in the Yalata Community. Again, at this place we were the only ones there for the few hours we spent at the look out area, and almost felt bad for the poor girl at the ticket counter.
To celebrate our successful crossing of the Nullabur Plain, we bought fresh oysters for lunch (and meat pies for the boys, which they daily claimed was “a cultural Australian experience”) in the town of Ceduna – most deliciously, and worth the drive of almost 4000 km. from Perth, where we first learned about the world’s best oysters in Ceduna. Being the oyster fan that I am, we celebrated again in the evening with oysters cooked in 6 different ways, watching Australia Open on the tv in local downtown hotel with locals of Port August.
Our final day and 4400 km. later, it was time to return our home/4WD in Adelaide. What a road trip, what amazing people we had met, what beautiful wildlife and nature we had experienced – and this was only 2 weeks in the middle of our trip around the world. But what an incredible 2-week road trip it was.