Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY

Tuesday 25th July 2005 to Thursday 27 July 2005

Tuesday 25th July 2006

Well we finally got away at about 2:10 p.m. on Tuesday the 25th of July after a rather hectic two weeks of preparation. What should have been plenty of time to organise ourselves turned out to be somewhat chaotic, due to repairs to the caravan front axle taking about a week longer than we expected and a break-in on the Nissan Patrol which left us with a broken left rear door window and the rear view monitor being ripped out and stolen. This took a considerable number of $$$ as well as time to repair and put us well behind schedule. And we won't mention running into the house with the caravan (I said we won't mention that!) even though it was pouring with rain and the wide mirrors were not fitted at that time)

All of this and some other problems that occurred meant that we were left busily stacking the caravan until just minutes before we left Kalamunda. However after saying goodbye to our children (a couple of times) and also to our feathered friends, the drive from Kalamunda to Merredin, almost 300 kilometres away, was quite uneventful despite the rain showers we drove through, and we arrived safely at about 5:20 PM.

One of us is keeping a record of all the towns we travelled through, which today consisted of Mundaring, Sawyers Valley, The Lakes, Bakers Hill, Clackline, Grass Valley, Meckering, Cunderdin, Tammin, Kellerberrin, Doodlakine,Hines Hill, Nangeenan, and Merredin

Tomorrow should see us leaving Merredin around stopping somewhere out past Norseman for our second night on the road.

Leaving friends
Saying farewell to friends

Roll em out - Time to go
Roll them out - Time to go

Wednesday 26th July 2006

Wednesday the 26th of July we started out from the caravan park at about 8:18 AM with the aim of reaching Balladonia before the end of the day. As we have been on this journey before, and feel that it will be much easier to visit these places at a later stage, sight seeing was not on our agenda and with the exception of the occasional stop for a break or a cup of tea we didn't make a stop until we reached Norseman where we filled our fuel tanks again with diesel that cost us $1.46 per litre, this is only two cents more than we had to pay in Kalamunda.

Once we had a brief drive around Norseman we set sail again on our way to Balladonia which was a further 194 kilometres.

At this stage we had the feeling that we were at least starting to head toward the eastern states, particularly as our little navman (whose voice is actually a woman) kept telling us we had 1200 kilometres to go before we reached Ceduna. Fortunately we didn't have to go that far before we camped for the might.

The last 50 kilometres were travelled through road works, but fortunately they were not working as we were travelling through the area and finally at about 5:15 p.m., having travelled 909 kilometres since we left Kalamunda, we arrived safely at the caravan park at Balladonia.

As diesel fuel was priced at 179.9 cents per litre we were quite happy that we filled our fuel tanks in Norseman. We meandered over to have a look through the roadhouse and priced the meals that were available that night and decided we were quite happy to return to the caravan where we had a late beer o'clock before setting up the barbecue and enjoying some lamb chops for dinner.

When it was time to have a shower, we were unable to use our own shower as there was no water available to connect to the caravan, it was necessary to use the facilities supplied within the caravan park site. Water is very precious in this area and it seems they must preserve some of their precious water by having a hot water system and water pressure unit powered by compressed air that ensures that the water changes from hot to cold regularly in about 10 second cycles. Consequently anybody having a shower would make sure it was quite short.

Nevertheless, we didn't take very much rocking to get to sleep and as we did not have any CDMA telephone signals were unable to log on to the Internet and did not have any communication with anybody at all that night, nor did we have television reception.

It didn't take long for us to retire for the night to ensure we were ready for a fresh day tomorrow.

Sunset Near Baladonia
Sunset on Eyre Highway near Balladonia

Spacelab at Baladonia
A bit of Skylab on Balladonia Roadhouse

Thursday 27th July 2006

Today saw us move out of the caravan park at about 8 a.m. onto the Eyre highway again with a view of reaching Eucla, some 510 kilometres further east. this was a journey to reach the end of the Eyre Highway and once again, there was no real intention to do very much in the way of sight seeing on the way.

About 40 km out from Balladonia, we took a bend on the highway that lead to the longest straight section of road in Australia. It was a further 144.6 km later before we were required to turn the steering wheel again to travel around another bend as we reached Caiguna. As we left Caiguna we were required to wind our clocks forward 45 minutes to match Central West time

From here we had an uneventful drive to Cocklebiddy and about 40 km before we stopped and put 100 ltres of fuel in the Patrol from the jerry cans we carry on the roof rack. We then continued on to Madura, where we pulled in to the lookout at the top of Madura Pass.

After a few photographs from the lookout, we set off down the pass and onto the flats that we would remain on until we reached Mundrabilla and Eucla.

We stopped at Mundrabilla to top up the fuel tank again, collecting 44.2 litres of fuel at 158.0 cents per litre. This is one of the cheapest locations to buy fuel on the Eyre Highway between Norsman and Ceduna, although on this trip Eucla was only 157.7 cents per litre and we expect Penong to also provide some relief from the very inflated prices on the Eyre Highway.

We arrived in Eucla at about 3.45pm and settled in at the Eucla Caravan Park, with a view over the plains below to the old Telegraph Station and the ocean beyond.

Once settled, we disconnected the Patrol from the caravan and drove down to the Old Telegraph Station where we had a wander around it and took a few more photographs of the remains of the building covered in sand.

On our way back to the caravan park we stopped off at Eyres Monument for a few more photos before settling down in the park with a beer and a wine at Beer O'Clock.

The evening was spent enjoying the sunset, then BBQ lamb chops and the last of our salad items as we are not permitted to convey any fresh salads or vegetables into South Australia.

It was then time to get organised for the night and prepared for a reasonable start in the morning as we head out with the intention of reaching Ceduna as our next overnight stop.

Telegraph Station at Eucla
The Old Telegraph Station - Eucla

Monument to Eyre
Eyres Monument - Eucla

Beer O'Clock in Eucla
Beer O'Clock in Eucla Caravan Park