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Driving Across the Nullarbor: A How To Guide

Driving Across Australia's Nullarbor Plain

Driving the Nullarbor plain of Australia is one of those things you just have to do once in a lifetime. Its an accessible adventure, which unlike many other of Australia's iconic drives doesn't require a 4WD - but it isn't a Sunday drive either.

I've given all distances in this hub in kilometres - 100km = 62miles (google "km to miles" for a quick conversion). You need to get familiar with kilometres and your car's petrol consumption if you are going to do this trip safely.

Lets Talk About Distance and Time

Australia is big, very, very, big. And empty - Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world so the rest of this huge country is empty, very empty. Get off the main road here and you can literally die expecting someone to rescue you so make sure you have some basic survival skills. Between Norseman in the west and Ceduna in the east its 1209km there are road houses every 200km or so - but nowhere has a population larger than 20 in my guide book and most are pop=nom. There is an 1.5 hour time difference from the western to the eastern side of the Nullarbor.

Where is the Nullarbor?

Many people think the Nullarbor is everything between Perth and Adelaide - that's not true. The Nullarbor Plain is a remote limestone plain, which because of the porous nature of the rock has no surface water, but a lot of caves and some blow holes. The name comes from bad Latin meaning "no trees" but in fact there is vegetation, this is not the Sahara, most of the way you will see low scrub, but yes there are no trees!

Alternative Ways To Cross the Nullarbor

There are a number of ways to cross the Nullarbor: lets consider them in order of increasing levels of insanity.

Fly Across the Nullarbor.

Check out JetStar or Tiger Airways- they will sell you a one-way ticket Perth-Adelaide for under A$200 - this is the cheapest and quickest way to cross the Nullarbor. The flight will take around 3 hours. It is after all, a long way!

Catch a Train Across the Nullarbor

The Indian Pacific train crosses the Nullarbor, in fact does the whole 5000km from Sydney to Perth. The Perth to Adelaide leg takes 2 nights and a day. The train is famous and there is no competition on the route - its therefore expensive. You can however take your car with you which means if you are going to drive you only have to do it once! The train crosses the centre of the actual Nullarbor Plain between Port Augusta and Kalgoorlie and is nowhere near the road which is several 100kms to the south. The train is expensive: a seat will cost $300 while taking a car plus 2 people in a second class sleeper will give you no change our of A$2000 - that's after a A$800 discount for being a Youth Hostel Association member. The membership is less than $50/year - no brainer that one!

Cycle Across the Nullarbor

People do, people need to have water dropped to them. I am neither a cyclist nor insane enough to comment further!

90 Mile Straight, Nullarbor Photo: Aleisso.zz via flickr

90 Mile Straight, Nullarbor Photo: Aleisso.zz via flickr

Drive Across the Nullarbor

If you have less than a week its going to be a rushed trip and all you will see is a lot of very straight road. There is a road house every 200km which will offer fuel and food and some form of shelter: basic rooms and always a camping area. There will be toilets and paid showers.

There will be no free water for windscreens or for drinking. The price of fuel will be a lot higher than the city.

There are also designated rest areas all along the highway most of which will have camping areas and toilets, maybe picnic tables, never any water. In fact you can camp practically anywhere you like except for Aboriginal land on the South Australian side.

Kalgoorlie skyline, Western Australia

Kalgoorlie skyline, Western Australia

Getting to the Nullarbor from the West.

Driving from Perth you can get to the western edge of the Nullarbor in one long day's driving to Norseman - 798km. Leaving Perth is not like driving out of Sydney and there is little traffic and good roads through the Perth "Hills" - once you hit York at around 100km out of town its all flat until you get to Adelaide.

If you can't quite manage that distance an overnight stop in Kalgoorlie (595km) - an interesting historic and working gold mining town is worth a look.

If you have the time you could easily spend 10 days driving the longer and far more interesting route from Perth through the Margaret River wine area to the spectacular south coast and the via Albany and Esperance where you turn north to get Norseman.

Norseman at 2000 people is the biggest town until you get well into South Australia. It its another gold and nickle mining town but but also has a small tourist industry. This is your last best hope of a supermarket, reasonably priced (not cheap) petrol and a choice of accommodation.

The Sea -at the eastern end of the Nullarbor Photo: Michael via flicr

The Sea -at the eastern end of the Nullarbor Photo: Michael via flicr

Getting to the Nullarbor from the East

On the South Australian side of the Nullarbor the small town of Ceduna (4000 pop) is the last "big" town before Norseman. Its also the first time, coming from the west you have a choice in sealed roads - heading straight east for another 500km will see you in Port Augusta - or you you hug the coast going south around the Eyre Peninsular and Port Lincoln for a much more interesting drive. From Port Augusta its only 3 hours south to Adelaide.

Not a joke: roos and wombats Photo: Alessiozz via flickr

Not a joke: roos and wombats Photo: Alessiozz via flickr

Actually Driving the Nullarbor

Driving east is more comfortable than driving west - you don't have to drive into the sun in the afternoon. That's why shipping a car on the train from Perth to Adelaide is half the price of shipping it from Adelaide to Perth.

Getting on the road an hour after dawn makes sense as this is the coolest part of the day, but don't drive within an hour of sunrise or sunset - that's when the wildlife is most active and hardest to see.

Don't drive at night unless you have very good spot lights on the car. Most Australian animals are nocturnal so you are more likely to hit one then. The warning signs which are available on postcards are not just for the tourists: they are for real - kangaroos may be cute but they are also stupid and a roo will easily write-off a car.

Road trains are the legendary huge semi-trailers of Australia which can over 50m long, 2.5m wide and travel at over 100 km/hr. Avoid passing them unless you are very sure that you have kilometres of clear road. Road trains are responsible for most of the road kill you will see on the roads - and even dead a kangaroo can flip a car if you hit it wrong.

Driver fatigue is the biggest problem driving the vast distances involved. Don't die to keep a date - pull over and sleep if you have to. The heat haze can play tricks on your eyes and its often hard to judge distance because of the lack of landmarks.

Driving in summer you will get temperatures of well over 40C. Driving in the winter you will get temperatures below freezing overnight. Either way its dry: take lots of drinking water for you and the vehicle. Keep drinking too to avoid dehydration even in an air-conditioned car.

Useful Nullarbor Links

Sample Nullarbor Driving Itinerary

Day 1: Perth-Kalgoorlie coinciding with a day that you can visit the SuperPit on a tour. (595km)

Day 2: Kalgoorlie-Eyre Bird Sanctuary (640km). The Bird Sancturary is remote, another ex-telegraph station which is now a bird sanctuary and study centre. Its 4WD access only but they will meet those in 2WD.

Day 3: Eyre-Nullarbor (462km). Taking in the caves and blow holes on the way. Crossing the border puts the clock forward 1.5hours and means we have to surrender all fresh fruit and vegetables.

Day 4: Nullarbor-Ceduna (300km). Short day as we want to buy some food for Christmas - because our Christmas in Australia will be in Ceduna!

As I publish this we haven't done the trip yet so the photos aren't all mine: they are if there is no credit on them! i'll be adding a lot more photos and details on what's worth it and what's not when we return in the New Year!

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Emma on April 05, 2013:

Thinking of doing the drive from Perth to Sydney in Dec-Jan 2014 then flying back. Would it be better to hire a small camper and taking the tent I am going with my 3 kids and the dog. Just researching different ideas ATM.

sandy on February 12, 2013:

hi im 53 i think it was a mid life creisis just wanted to get home to tassie. did it in 5 days in my lancer loved every minute of it so peaceful plenty of people around one of the best things ive done for myself and my car didn't miss a beat.

AJH on June 28, 2012:

Kangaroos are stupid especially in the mountains where they like to herd on the road because it is a big open area. It makes it worse when you come around a blind corner doing 80 and having to come to a complete stop instantly.

Graham on May 24, 2012:

Thinking of towing my camper across later in the year with my Falcon Ute which is only on LPG. Don't seem to be able to find a definite answer on LPG availability from say Port Augusta to Perth. Can anyone who has done it in an LPG only vehicle give me some assurances please ?

Tommo on May 03, 2012:

Gday everyone. I'm heading for Perth on May 12th 2012 looking for work and whatever else happens on the way. Thanks for all the great tips. It eased my concerns regarding fuel and camping stops. I've got a ute and a swag and an esky for a lazy beer at nighttime. Very excited!!

Ausemade from Australia on April 22, 2012:

One of those iconic Australian drives, just need to work out when we can do it. The scenic vistas must be spectacular and there are caves beneath the Nullarbor filled with prehistoric fossil bones of Australia’s unique megafauna that include oversized kangaroos, wombats and ferocious marsupial lions...

Faye on April 05, 2012:

@Natalie, how did your drive go? Very interested to know how much you spent on petrol as we are driving Melbourne to Perth in 2 weeks in a Ford Territory with 3 young kids in tow!

Natalie on March 22, 2012:

im driving from Sydney to Port Hedland WA next week, has anyone done the drive??? also how much petrol money do you think i will need??? i have a 2001 Ford forte sedan..

Jayne Carey on February 25, 2012:

I am 70 yrs. of age & drive the Nullabor every 2 years, in my little Hyundai I sleep in the car only stopping at Caravan Parks , they have good Kitchens for campers.

You will find a Microwave, Fridge & usually a B.B.Q or cooker of some Description.

I have met some very nice people travelling, but it is interesting as it does not matter what time you leave your camp site,Motel or take off in you Caravan you always meet the same people when you stop for the night.

I think Petrol prices are not that more expensive than the country towns around Australia as where I live here in Deniliquin NSW we pay $1.59 AU a litre the dearest I have found across to & from perth is $1.86, although I hear the only place that are over charging is the actual Roadhouse named the Nullabor, so do try to get past it, I suppose it depends on how much your tank takes & how far you get on a tank.

Not having a Caravan I usually get charged about $10.00 a night AU for site as I only use Shower & Toilet & do not have to have a powered site.

Most of the Motels are pretty cheap to stay in I think the dearest I have paid was at Ceduna for a Cabin & that was $100.00 AU for the night.

Had trouble with my car only once & the Garage at Eucla was GREAT he was so helpful & could not do enough for me.

I never go off the sealed roads, only to go check out the whales & at Eucla I wonder around to the old station, but I do not have a 4x4.

By the time I hit Coolgardie I am due to sleep in a bed so stop off aat the Caravan park there & get a single cabin at $40.00 for the night, there I dye my hair & make myself all beautiful to hit Perth to see my 2 kids that live there & my friends that are scattered everywhere.

I sometimes come back to Melbourne by train as it does not cost the $600.00 for your car it is only $219.00 & a sit up seat for a pensioner is $226.00 AU

I have been backwards & forwards by train as well but personally I think they are OVER PRICED, just for a shared sleeper with no meals is $678.00 Australian Pension discount, dearer for Backpackers & NON Pensioners full fare is $2418.00 that includes meals but no Alchohol or soft drinks & believe me they really charge like wounded bulls for drinks & snacks.

It is a GREAT trip by car & I only carry about 2 litres water & some hard boiled eggs for breakfast then grab something in the way of a snack at lunch & maybe have one decent meal all the way.

I do not rush it across as I like to take my time, some days I do 5 to 6 hundred Kilometeres some days I do more

MaaMuD on February 09, 2012:

Hi. Very interesting and informative read. I am intending to drive from Adelaide to Perth next week. Was thinking of spending 3 driving days in my 1995 Hyundai excel sprint. Any advise other than enough rest, day driving only, plenty of water for consumption and car coolant, at least 250km distance to next petrol, hot and cold weather wardrobe...do I need to get a petrol Jerry can? Any other advise. I am an overseas student, just finished with studies and looking for a break. Have been around Sydney, Melbourne, Tasmania, perth and even took the train from Adelaide to Perth. Any advise? Thank you.


Marty on February 09, 2012:

Hi I have travelled across a lot and I find the best place for cheap fuel and affordable everything is Nundroo in SA. I find the staff helpful and although a little run down it is cloean neat and tidy and the restaurant meals great.

Mark D. on February 05, 2012:

Thanks for the article! It was a Very Interesting Read!

Driving the Nullabour in 3 weeks. I'm trying to gauge prices at the road houses... The last petrol prices i got was from Norseman. Has anyone done it recently who can advise on the approx. prices.

I will buy plenty of water although i doubt i'll need a jerry-can.... Anything else you can recommend?

I'm looking forward to the drive. :D

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on January 16, 2012:

I did it in Dec - but we were very lucky with the weather - Beaware that it could hit 45C. I have no idea what current prices are - in a lot of ways it doesn't matter - as you will have no choice. I doubt that you will find LPG everywhere (its not that common in WA) - but petrol - fine - there's a road house of some shape or form every 250km or so - and its clearly signposted the distance to the next fuel stops

sweetpealee on January 16, 2012:

Want to know what it would be like with two young kids. We are thinking of doing it in december. Are there enough petrol places along the way that sell LPG for the car? What is the longest stretch with nothing? What is the price of LPG/Petrol? Thanx I really would love to travel the nullarbor plain I am not australian born and have never seen it so it would be great.

Tia on December 10, 2011:

@honestway - mate.... if you were travelling at 100mph you were well above the speed limit, had you slowed down you wouldn't have had the crash...

RedSturtz from A land far far away.... on November 12, 2011:

I crossed the Nullarbor twice as a child, by car. But my nephew has me beat - by the age of 2 he'd crossed it 5 times by car!

Nick Scaife on September 26, 2011:

I am also one of the mad cyclists :)

but to be honest we will be doing the 18,000 KMs in 7 months... with a cycling partner... check it out


I love the comments about the Nullarbor... will defo be holding on to this info :)

Nova Scott from Upstate New York on August 07, 2011:

I have always wanted to visit Austrailia! This sounds like an interesting place to go if I do ever go down under. I'm sure I probably wouldn't have thought of it if I hadn't read this hub so, thank you! You convinced me.

driving school cheltenham on March 28, 2011:

Taking time to read this was a great decision. Thanks for the tips!

Jody on March 21, 2011:

Well I went in 2009, on the train from Sydney to Perth. This is something I have always wanted to do, and I decided this was the day.

It was a fantastic trip. You would think the Nullabor is lots of nothingness, but there is lots of animal spotting to be done, and on the train you can spot them at dusk and dawn. The very times when you shouldn't be driving. The landscape is kind of fascinating too for a couple of days.

I don't think I'd be brave enough to drive it, and definitely not to bike it. However, never say never. Maybe one day. The campervan is a great idea, then you don't have to worry about where you are gonna sleep or if you will reach a truckstop by dusk, also you can shut the snakes outside (all going well).

Wyn Woods on February 05, 2011:

Really enjoyed reading these comments, particularly Eileen and Steven, which brought back great memories. First crossed the Nullarbor in 1971 when it was still unsealed and like Eileen, we arrived in Norseman reddish brown and with hair so full of dust it stood up like we'd been electrocuted! I crossed it again, alone, in 2002 on a 50cc scooter, on wnich I rode right around Australia. Like Steven, no music, no cooler bag with munchies, but I did have a flask of coffee (prepared in the mornings before setting out)and a big bottle of water. Loved the isolation and was never bored. Planning on doing it again soon in a little campervan (I am female and nearly 70).

CRAIG DICKSON on November 28, 2010:

i drove the nullabor in 1996 from adelaide to perth and was the most fantastic thing ive ever done in my life. i left adelaide thinking perth was just down the road, be carefull its only when you do it you realize how far and how big oz really is, but im going to do it again next year with my fiancé as she has never been there and she will love it. if your thinking of doing it and you want some tips you can email me on cdwindows@aol.com.

jeremysharon on November 12, 2010:

Good Information , thank you very much!

Thank you.

I wish i could see it but i wish to visit Australia and I will definitely visit it!

Thanx for your tips! Good Information!

Regards!and Jerry I will definitely read your recommended book!

freecampingaussie from Southern Spain on August 03, 2010:

We just did this recently and have been across before ! is a great trip !!! well worth doing everyone, great article

Jerry G2 from Cedar Rapids, IA on April 28, 2010:

This was a fortuitous time to discover this hub - I just finished the book "Cold Beer and Crocodiles" by Roff Smith, where he spent almost a full year cycling around the entire continent. Heck of a read if you can find a copy - I recommend it.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on April 28, 2010:

Frankly you don't need a 4WD to drive the Nullarbor - its some of the smoothest roads we drove in Australia. If you have got the capacity and are diesel I would take spare fuel because it will be much cheaper in Melbourne or Adelaide than elsewhere. Water of course, and lots of good music for the car! If your vehicle is good condition you are unlikely to have issues - though I wouldn't go wandering off the hardtop without a gps and up to date maps - in fact I don't think you can unless you have permits

David on April 28, 2010:

I am planning to drive from Melbourne to Perth in the next week, its good to know what I have to do. I have a 4wd what would you suggest I take besides water but spare parts for my ute.


GLENDA on April 24, 2010:

I'm off on 10th May 2010 to cycle from Melbourne to Perth. Great to catch these comments . I have to say I've stocked up on music on my iPod.. up to 10,000 songs..I'll need them. Glenda Wise. email:- glenda@glendartist.com

Alex Willis on January 31, 2010:

In 1977 I drove my VW beetle from Perth to Sydney and back. The month long holiday was to catch up with a close friend who was hosting her 21st birthday. I treated the journey like it was 9-5. Kept the motor ticking over at 50mph in those days. Breakfast, drive, rest for morning tea, drive then rest for lunch, drive, followed by rest for afternoon tea and eventually stop around 5 ish to end the day's journey in a motel. The VW being 4 years old was great for the journey and while listening to one radio station I cannot recall feeling lonely, scared or the least bit threatened by anything. Took some spare water and some snacks but other than that my diary of the time suggests it was just par for the course. Enjoyed the feeds along route - sort of just cruised along. By the way the 21st was good fun.

maxle on January 16, 2010:

The Nullabor is a hot dry arid land with a lot of distance between towns. I was gonna drive it once but my car blew up just outside Port Augusta hmm? So we trained it instead! that was back in the early eighties and still to this day I've never driven it, but I have flown over it many times since. Flying is the only way to cross it without a problem. To those dedicated drivers who venture to journey anywhere at all - enjoy!

Brian Jones on October 31, 2009:

I drove across from Perth to Port August in 2006 in a hurry and stopped at Norseman, Border Village and Port Augustus. I wouldn't recommend doing it like that as if I had had the time I could have happily spent a fortnight exploring one of the most fascinating places on Earth.This was part of a trip from Bendigo, Katherine, Broome, Newman, Perth.

aveoTSD on September 03, 2009:

That road is soooo boring. Come to New Zealand and rent a campervan from my friend at Turakina Motorhomes.

Steven on July 03, 2009:

I suppose travelling the Nullarbor is relative to the times. I can't imagine doing it on a horse or when it was unsealed but I have done it on a motorcycle four times now. So I had to laugh when I saw people comment re airconditioners!

Having done it in summer with a black leather jacket on, I can tell you it can be hellish. The strong wind is even more taxing and you can spend hours leaning at an incredible angle, a constant blast from the side, that can suck the fuel from your most managed calculations if you happen to be going from east to west. Fatigue and a mix of boredom can push you to do stupid miles such as when I rode from Nundroo (SA) to Merreden (WA), I don't recall how many kays it was, somewhere around 1600 or so or about 18 hrs in the seat! Oh and for the younger ones - no I-pods. You just sit and do your best to stretch, stand, sit and focus. No eskies at your side with drinks or munchies, no handy coffee flask or a mate to chat to. In fact I only tagged along with another bike once, otherwise I travelled alone and slept in the bush away from the road. The first trip I was 21 (1988). I carried a typical canvas water bag that is designed in such a way that they can slowly leach out water and thus be relatively cool to drink. Thats right, no camel backs either, you had to stop and remove riding gear to drink then redress and start all over. I would say though that Perth to Darwin was harder and in 1985, included gravel and deep bulldust between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek ( otherwise known as Hells Crack).

Just employ a little common sense and don't be overawed by the thought of the distance, even in the most arid areas, there is never "nothing" in between!

Just do it

Feel free to email me at emmedan@bigpond.com

I live in broome with my family now ( NW coast) of Australia

Safe travelling

Steven Jones

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on January 21, 2009:

Thanks for visiting girls! Ihave been so busy I haven't even uploaded my own photos to this hub! I have lots and lots of signs LOL

Thanks Anmaika - its all about time at the moment!

Anamika S Jain from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India on January 21, 2009:

Congratulations on your 100th Hub Lissie. Hope to see many more quality hubs from you.

Die'Dre' from The Great Pacific Northwest on January 08, 2009:

Wow! When you write a hub, you write a hub. I've been dreaming of a trip to Australia and New Zealand. Your hub just makes me want to the trip even more. I really appreciate all your references (links) and love the roos and wombat sign.

earnestshub from Melbourne Australia on December 22, 2008:

Great hub Liz, I have never driven the Nullabor.

Thanks for the quick rundown. I will go to your website and take a look in a few weeks.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 11, 2008:

LOL thanks very much for your comments As I write this I am in Melbourne and our friends from NZ cant believe that we had the same length flight as they did to get here! The blankets are a good tip we are going in the height of summer but I know freezing is not uncommon in winter

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on December 11, 2008:

Just though of something else. We used to manage the caravan park in norseman between 1976 - 1981. When travellers came through we used to try and tell them to take plenty of water and blankets just in case they broke down. Did they listen NO....

On there return trips they apologised to us for being very negative thinking we were mad. They soon knew what we meant and wished they had listened.;

One traveller said to me. "gee I am glad that I am nearly there!. I asked where they were going and they said sydney.

I informed them that they had only just started their trip they had 4 more days of the same and they said but we have been driving all day we must be nearly there.

You just wonder why people do not do any research before leaving.

Hope you have a GOOD trip. we took loads and loads of photos my husband would take photos of 2 ants crossing the road I am sure of that.

Eileen Hughes from Northam Western Australia on December 11, 2008:

lissie you will have fun on the train. We did it from adelaide and they do stop and pick up travelers between adelaid and kalgoorlie cant remember the names of stops off hand.

Actually we have driven across the nullabor 3 times since february. So know it backwards nearly. Pretty boring now though I reckon.

I loved it best when we crossed it in 1964 sealed road ended at balledonia and started again this side of Ceduna. It was full of bull dust holes. And you just never knew what to expect round the next corner. We both looked like little brown fellas as we were covered in red dust. Even our map books you could not read them. There were old tyres all over the road. And old wrecks of vehicles that didn't quite make it.

Have a great trip. but take some advice. Do not get a sit up train sleeper unless you can sleep on a clothesline. I didn't sleep at all on the whole trip.

Jerilee Wei from United States on December 08, 2008:

Very informative hub! I too want to know more as we hope to go there in the next couple of years.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 08, 2008:

Hi Cameron - we are driving one way - in an old commodre station wagon WITH aircon :-) Then we are returning via train with a sleeper - its a little cabin just for the 2 of us so hopefully we can avoid the boring drunks! I know what you mean by being trapped for days next to the obnoxious- its not like anyone is giong to get on or off between Adelaide adn Kalgoorlie (which is a day and a night)!

I am really looking forward to the trip - its going to be hot though doing it at Xmas!

CAMERON RICHARDS on December 08, 2008:

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I first crossed the plain in 2000 by car and it was an old commodore sedan without air conditioning. I forget what month it was but it was hot. My friend and I took 3 days from Adelaide to Kalgoorlie and camped by the road. “Brilliant ". At some stages you get within a couple of hundred meters of the cliffs out to the great Aussie bight. At night the skies are filled with stars and days full of repeated cd tracks. I also took the train a year later along the same path in which I had a seater.

My sister had a bunkroom in which I managed to sneak one night in. It was much more expensive but I tell you soooooo much more comfortable for the 3 day trip and worth it. I wouldn’t do the train again as you can get stuck with loud and obnoxious passengers from whom you cannot escape. If you are traveling with reliable transport and people I would recommend driving it as you can stop when you want and absorb the wide open space. The train only allows limited stops, so most of the time it feels like you’re in the back of a road train with all the other cattle.

I was also on day 2 on the train when word of mouth passed through that world war 3 had started. As there was limited mobile phone service back then there was no way of finding out what was going on. We arrived in Kalgoorlie a day later for a stop of a couple hours and walked for the famous pubs. The date was September 12 and every screen in every pub had footage of a passenger aircraft flying into the twin towers. It was a wild experience.

Any way of doing it, do it and I recommend doing it a couple of times and a couple of different ways.

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 05, 2008:

You sound well prepared, so have a very good time!

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 05, 2008:

Wow Terry I am amazed no one was hurt! You probbly didn't even have seat belts on in those days!

Patty - it depends - in a 4WD which is 86 if you run the a/c the radiator needs about 1litre every time you fill up with diesel - every 500km or so. This trip will be with a newer 96 station wagon and so far its been cool in Perth ie <30C so we don't know how much water it will use! When you do these sorts of trips you learn how to check fluid levels and tyre pressures as waiting for the mechanic to do it on regular service may be way toooo late!

Patty Inglish MS from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on December 05, 2008:

I look forward to more pictures after the first of the year. Driving across Nullarbor sounds almost like driving across Mars, but I'd like to see it. How much water does the auto burn off on this trip - does the radiator need filling quite often?

honestway from Spain on December 05, 2008:

Great info Lissie. Its something we never did way back then, the closest was a trip by car across from Sydney to Adelaide (and back) which took in several hundred miles of flat desert between Camberra across to Hay NSW and Mildura in Victoria.

About 10 miles outside of Hay, which is the middle of nowhere, dad managed to crash into a German kangaroo - ok it was a bunch of stoned teenagers in a VW camper that decided to do a U turn right in front of us as we travelled at 100 mph. Nothing else onm the road for miles! Nice timing by those assholes. Lucky no one was hurt. The skid mark that left almost no rubber on dad's tyres was a couple of hundred yards long!

A farmer heard the skid and came out from his place and took us into Hay to get the car fixed and we continued after an extra day's stopover.

BTW, this was in 1970!

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 05, 2008:

@2patriciias there are actually some excellent travel books specifically for this type of trip - I just can't find them on Amazon or eBay :-( For tis trip we will use Gregory's Caravan and Camping which has all the major sealed roads trips in with a strip map and km details. I actually started a long neglected site with sort of information on it http://www.budget4wdtravel.com but got bored because no one came to see it! In fact I'd almost forgotten about it - I should do some updates for it! We are an odd niche because we don't have a $200k caravan to tow nor are we backpackers - we are kinda a mixture we stay in private rooms in hostels sometimes and cabins in caravan parks - but will probably actually camp in the remote spots because I refuse to pay $100 for a donga (demontable room with bed and a/c and nothing much else!)

@wandererh - mad - is all I can say - legend is that most who cycle are German or Japanese I can certainly find little in English - there is this amusing description or what NOT to ask when cycling http://www.slowcycletour.com/dont-ask-this-while-c...

What I will probably do is write the details of the trip on my neglected budget4wdtravel.com site - and link to it back here!

David Lim from Singapore on December 05, 2008:

I might actually do this so would appreciate photos and more info when you are back.  :)

You know what?  Cycling sounds even more interesting but I'm probably too old for stunts like that.  :(

2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on December 05, 2008:

Have you explored the possibility of publishing (on paper) a travelers' guide to Australia? A lot of Brits take about 3 months immediately after retirement. Others arrange to take a month off work. Something with day by day details of trips, practical advice - like this Hub - I would buy it. I've never been to Australia and need to convice my husband!

Enjoy your train trip and thanks for the Hub.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 04, 2008:

Iam looking forward to the train I've wanted to do it for a very long time! Glad you enjoyed the hub thanks for visiting

Lupo from Boston Area on December 04, 2008:

I took the train from Kalgorie to Adelaide in January of 2000. And I had drove up from Esperance just before my passage across the Nullarbor. I think my fare was relatively cheap because I had a rail pass that was good for a bunch of days of train travel.

The train ride was very nice. The train stops at an old station stop that was needed for the older type train engines to be resupplied. I think there was a well there, so the train could take on water for its cooling needs. There was once a little town there - a few buildings - but no one lives there now. The new trains do not need to stop anymore for their supplies, so it has outlived its usefulness.

They told us we could get out just to see what it was like out on the plain.  It was of course hot and the air was real dry.

Nice hub. It brought back some nice memories.

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 04, 2008:

It would be fine alone wandereth so long as you didn't try to drive too far in one day- and you'd be able to sleep in any decent sized car. We are driving one way and coming back on the train on return - which is a totally different route

David Lim from Singapore on December 04, 2008:

Sounds interesting. I have been thinking that I should go away for a while sometime next year and the Nallarbor sounds like a good idea. Probably have to do this alone as I doubt that any of the friends I travel with are up for a trip like that. :)

Elisabeth Sowerbutts (author) from New Zealand on December 04, 2008:

No not quite - a horse called Hardy Norseman was tethered under a tree overnight and in the dawn the drover found out that the horse had uncovered a gold nugget! It was 1894 and that was a start of another gold rush! There are no doubt Norsemen that came to the goldfields though - they came from all over.

Barbara from Stepping past clutter on December 04, 2008:

Is Norseman named after Norse men and women who settled there? Had to ask with my Norwegian heritage, haha. What an amazing adventure it would be to visit Australia. You have given me one more reason to put it on my wish list. Thanks.

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