Eyre Highway, Sydney to Perth drive

Submitted: Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 08:03
ThreadID: 25002 Views:3935 Replies:12 FollowUps:14
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Hi there,

Planning a trip with 4WD and camper trailer and three young boys (5, 7 & 9) from Wollongong to Perth, leaving end Nov, returning in time for school end Jan 06. Plan to drive to Adelaide, have a look around, and then to Kalgoorlie (WA), and from there leisurely see WA Sth west corner. Kids do travel well for their ages (and gender!).

Any advice gratefully accepted in relation to the big Adelaide - Kalgoorlie drive. In particular - reasonable time frame, driving conditions, good places to stop for the evening, places to avoid, things worth seeing, and anything else valuable.

Thanks!
Cathy
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Reply By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 11:38

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 11:38
Hi Cathy

I'm sure you will get of advice for this question. Here are some of my thoughts:

Adelaide to Ceduna - allow at 2 days. I suggest you take both ways - one on the way over and the other on the way back. Both routes have interesting sites to see. The coastal route is longer - so you may wish to add an extra day here.

In Ceduna - check out the Shelly Beach Caravan Park - a few Kms south of Ceduna. We pulled in there one summer night in 2003 at about 7 pm - got a chalet - walked to the beach and were still swimming at about 8 pm. Extremly pleasant spot.

Ceduna to Noresman - allow 2 days. Anywhere you stay for the night is as good as the next - just pick your stops to fit your travel time. There are several emergency phones along this stretch of road. If you like I have GPS co-ordinates for them.

One thing to watch out - especially during summer - is the effect of changing time zones and WA not having "daylight saving". In effect - travelling east to west and crossing the border - your day will be 3 hours longer - and 3 hours shorter the other way.

Things to avoid - fuel prices - can't avoid that of course. But on East side the expensive fuel starts afterPenong (from memory). On the west side - when you get to Noresman - don't get fuel on the highway - go into town itself.

If you drive south through Noresman - on the left in town you will notice a vacant yard full of wrecked caravans that didn't make the trip - a reminder to everyone to take care and go gently.

Do you have anywhere in particular you want to go in WA?

All roads good bitumen.
AnswerID: 121800

Follow Up By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 11:42

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 11:42
Made some typing errors

I typed - I'm sure you will get of advice for this question.
Should have been - I'm sure you will get of plenty of advice for this question from others.

I typed - Adelaide to Ceduna - allow at 2 days.
Should have been - Adelaide to Ceduna - allow at least 2 to 3 days.
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Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:47

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:47
Hi Jay Gee,

Wow - thanks for all of that - very helpful.

We plan to do anti-clockwise kalgoorlie, Perth, Bunbury, Albany, Esperance, then back East.

We have family in Bunbury, and are largely going for Christmas with them, planning to see SW corner fairly well.

We don't have GPS, and didn't really plan on getting for the trip. Able to do without OK?

Thanks again
Cathy
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Follow Up By: Member - Jay Gee (WA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:35

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:35
Hi Cathy

You won't need a GPS to do the trip.

But it can add a bit of interest for the kids.

You should enjoy Bunbury. It's a great spot - but maybe I'm a bit biased.

Jeff
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Reply By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 12:43

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 12:43
There is a town called wudinna which is first town after Kimba. 16k North is a Granite monolith with good views of surrounding farmland and free bush camping. There are other rocks in the area, the service stations should be able to help you out. 6k further down the road is Pygery where you cancut through to the coast. road may be fully bitumen now as they have been working towards that since 1988. Then you can work your way towards ceduna along the coastal route without taking the really long way (but that is worthwhile to) too many places of intrest to go into here but some are, Talia caves and beach, Dolphins beach, The fantastic venus bay and associated back beach and surfers beach, Pt labbat and sealion colony, Fantastic coastal scenery around Streaky bay including a massive rock pool with the entire fish identification book swimming around in it. West of Ceduna the beaches come alive with huge Mullaway that time of the year so I might see you there. From Norseman it is about 100k North to Widgiemooltha where you can turn off to visit Cave Hill with its fascinating granite formations and dams, You can then take along abandoned railway track to burra rocks and then to Coolgardie and on to Kalgoorlie. Here you can get the Golden quest discovery trail book which is over 1000k of self drive loop past alot of the historical features of the area. Just some ideas ask if you want more detail of any of the areas mentioned
AnswerID: 121806

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:52

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:52
Davoe,

Thanks fot that - I got the map out and found the places you had mentioned. Probably a good idea to head to coast from Pygery.

Thanks again - will print off and take to refer to on our trip.

Cathy
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:58

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:58
get in touch with us when around Kal i live ther and used to live on the Ep Love getting out and about so If I am on My week off will be able to get together with a map and show you enough spots to keep you busy for the next 3 months
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Reply By: Footloose - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 14:12

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 14:12
Jan can be a very hot time of the year on that stretch. Take a car fridge for cool drinks. Don't underestimate the effects of long hot stretches on the driver if not used to it.
AnswerID: 121813

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:53

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:53
Footloose,

Thanks for the reply!

Cathy
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Reply By: motherhen - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 16:41

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 16:41
We did sort of similar in reverse last January. As we were holidaying in the hottest part of the year, we "hugged the coast". We started with the Karri forests around Pemberton & Northcliffe, calling in at several Bays along the coast, the Tree Top Walk, Denmark, Albany, Cape Riche, Fitzgerald National Park, Hopetoun, Esperance, and the glorious bays East of Esperance, in particluar the Cape Le Grande NP. We then went the rough way direct to Balladonia (alternative for bitumen road travel is via Esperance and Norseman). After crossing the Nullabor, we then went around the Eyre Peninsula. Generally it was quite cool along the coast, so we occasionally ventured inland to warm up, including the Gawler Ranges, and the Monolith country Davoe mentioned. It was quite hot inland, but not intolerable. On really hot days we drove during the middle of the day to enjoy the air con in the car. We continued on as far as the Clare Valley to visit the area where my Grandfather was born before returning. If travelling with children, i would suggest not tackling too much in one day, either breaking during the day at a scenic spot to allow for lots of walking, or on really hot days, stop and make camp in the afternoon in time to let them run around before dark.
AnswerID: 121815

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:54

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:54
Motherhen,

Thanks for the reply, and the helpful information!

Cathy
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:03

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:03
Cathy
good on you for taking on such a big adventure. It is an easy drive, but hot,long and boring for 5,7 and 9 year olds.
Keep them well away from the edge of the cliffs along the Bite.
We found an excellent camping spot on the beach down the dog fence track before you get to the head of the Bite.
Have a great trip
AnswerID: 121816

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:56

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:56
Bob,

Thanks for the tips!

cathy
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Reply By: cmilton54 - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:04

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:04
Fueling stops for cheapest
1 Penong Caltex
2 Mundrabilla
3 Norseman by caravan park
Cheers
Charlie
AnswerID: 121817

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:57

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 09:57
Thanks Charlie!
Cathy
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 20:01

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 20:01
Norsman is actually the cheapest fuel within a few hundred k certainly cheaper than Kal
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Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:44

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 17:44
Cathy,

Just completed this trek, although from Port Augusta to Perth - having already been to Warburton and Alice. I had a 9 and 11 year old and a DVD player which only got used on day 3 out of Port Augusta. Game boys are great, carry spare batteries and give them plenty of warning of impending stops otherwise you get cranky at them finishing a level whilst you want them to be sight seeing, eating etc etc.

For a change I went to Whyalla and toured an old warship on display, then drove across the Eyre Pen to Streaky Bay overnight. Lovely part of the coast in the summer I'd guess.
Next night was Border Village but would have preferred to travel less. You can camp off the side of the road through the nullabor national park, but I was cautioned against driving up the side tracks heading to the railway line trying to find a good campsite as that was not allowed. Not sure who would know, but them's the rules.

Might be a bit late for the whales at the head of the bight, but you can ask at Ceduna info centre before making the 10k detour off the highway just east of Nullabor Roadhouse.

As others have said, Mundrabilla had cheapest fuel on Eyre Highway.

Not much vegetation beside the road for much of the trip to camp behind, but there are several 24hour stopover points with toilets of various degrees of hygenicity...

I stayed at Fraser Range Station, which is half way between Balladonia roadhouse and NOrseman and thoroughly recommend it to all travellers. Friendly owners, great facilities. 2km off the highway and full caravan park type powered sites, or rooms in old shearing quarters and a huge fully equipped kitchen even with full strength washing up liquid - unlike normal caravan park 1/4 strength stuff :-)

If you want to go to Kalgoorlie, then turn right at Norseman, but also consider travelling straight on to Hyden/Wave Rock/Perth at Norseman. It's a great road, well signed with information on the changing landscapes and well appointed campsites in pretty much virgin country. Norseman info centre has a 20 page booklet on the trip. It's also a shorter route to Perth.

The other trick we found when the kids were younger, was to rotate each child through the front passenger seat. The drivers would rotate to the centre rear seat in between two kids. Each seat would have special toys, games and jobs to do. Front seat was prize seat and they had music selection duty and keep driver entertained duty. Left hand rear seat had food distribution duty. Right rear could relax! It is really helpful to change positions twice a day, or when drivers change, as it changes the relationships in the car and keeps them all fresh and less annoyed with each other.

Hope this is helpful. enjoy your planning.

Tim

AnswerID: 121822

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:04

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:04
Tim,

Thanks so much - very helpful. Gameboys are purchased ready for birthdays before leaving!!

Will check out Fraser Range Station - is there any farming things for the kids to see or do? Is it a sheep station?

Is the Norseman to Hyden road sealed? Is Kalgoorlie worth a visit, do you know? Had planned on wave rock, and was unsure where to fit it in, your option sounds good.

Thanks again for some great tips!

Cathy
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FollowupID: 377044

Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 20:10

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 20:10
Road from N orseman to Hyden is not sealed and Quite frankly If contemplating this route would head south from Norseman and go past the ultra impressive Peak charles then through the th Frank Hann nat Park, Wave rock would have been good in its prime but now costs too much too visit for what it is it is ok but Cave hill with its associated 4wd tracks along with Burra rocks and Victoria rocks and Gnarlabine rocks is much better value (read free). Kalgoorlie has all the conveniences of a capitol citie along with the super pit lookout, brothel tours, 3 screen cinemas as well as the 1100km self drive Golden quest discovery trail and a whole book available on this site 4days in the eastern Goldfields of tracks
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Reply By: sjy120 - Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 18:25

Sunday, Jul 24, 2005 at 18:25
Hi , I have driven trucks over to perth quite a bit a few years ago , and one thing that you used to have to watch was stopping around Yalata in SA. Don't stop or camp round there otherwise you may have a bit of dramas , we never stopped near there as I know trucks that have had things thrown thru there windscreens while sleeping. We never had any dramas anywhere else going across there.
AnswerID: 121832

Follow Up By: cwynn - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:06

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:06
Thanks for that - I can't find Yalata on my map...what is it near?
Thanks for the reply
Cathy
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FollowupID: 377045

Follow Up By: Footloose - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:10

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 10:10
I had a poor experience around Ceduna around 4 years ago. I suppose it was my fault, staying at a "budget" motel. I was stuffed and it was the only thing I could find...big mistake. Son stayed at other end of town last year without any probs.
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Reply By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 11:06

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 11:06
Cathy,

Yalata is out past Penong - whose windmills need a photo session as you're passing through.
It's an Aboriginal community that covers a section of the highway between Fowlers bay/Nundroo to Nullabor roadhouse. there's a tourist map produced by WA and SA tourist bodies called 'the nullabor - Australia's great road journey' which is helpful with things to see and do. You might get it at their centres in your local area.

Fraser Range Station is a working sheep station. Really good for a long overnight stay and look around, but as of last week they did not have tours as such.

Hyden to Norseman is not sealed, but a hard clay road with minimal corrugations. Few potholes but quite easily travelled by a 4WD and camper with care and not in a rush.
I can't put my hands on the booklet I picked up at the norseman tourist info centre, but it was called the granite and something pathway I think. You can have bush camps along the way in the campsites with (drop) toilets.

Regarding Kalgoorlie.
It's a gold mining town with a lot of history. There are good displays and mine tours, brothel tours, red dirt, and the super pit which are all interesting. Superpit weblink
It'd be harder to find secluded bush camps off the side of the main highway if you went via Kalgoorlie. More traffic, more people, different experience, depends what you're after and like all travelling, you WILL have to make decisions that mean you will miss things you would like to see.

Tim
AnswerID: 121897

Reply By: joc45 - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:49

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 12:49
Check out this site
Nullarbor website
cheers, Gerry
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Reply By: cmilton54 - Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:03

Monday, Jul 25, 2005 at 19:03
Cathy
Yalata is the aboriginal mission, after Nundroo. (AVOID)
Fraser campsite is about 100kms east Noresman we are going to stay there next trip instead of at Noresman.
Cheers
Charlie
AnswerID: 121975

Reply By: Kumunara (SA) - Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 22:08

Tuesday, Jul 26, 2005 at 22:08
Cathy

I lived at Ceduna and Penong for a number of years and made regular trips between those towns and the SA / WA Border

There are a number of interesting places and you will enjoy them if you are willing to get off the blacktop on occasions.

Twin Rocks (head of the Bight) is a great place for whale watching. It was free when I was there but the Yalata Aboriginal Community now owns that land and there is a fee to go and look. The road in is now bitumen.

The cliffs on the Great Australian Bight are worth seeing. (diamond bore and wigunda) They are now far off the road and that stretch of road is very straight. A good excuse to stop for a break.

If you enjoy fishing the far west coast of SA is a great place. Go to Fowlers Bay. There is a Caravan Park there and also holiday units. You can fish from the jetty or go to some great beaches if you are into surf fishing.

You hear some terrible stories about Yalata. There are some social problems there including alcohol abuse. Over the years there have been incidents where persons in a drunken state have walked onto the highway and been run over and killed. Take care.

To give you an example how things can be misrepresented I was at the Yalata Roadhouse and some of the people from the Community were there trying to sell artifacs. (spears, etc.) A couple of cars and caravans drove into the roadhouse and the locals started waving spears and boomerangs to try to attract their attention. The tourist put the foot to the pedal and got out of there.

Another pieace of advice if your vehicle is a diesel. Buy fuel at the Roadhouse at Penong. It is cheaper than most other places in SA.
Life's great and it just keeps getting better

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