Travelling Australia
Wayne & Pam BENTLEY
27 December 2003 to 31 December 2003

Saturday 27 December 2003

At four minutes past seven in the morning of the Saturday, December 27, 2003 we drove out the driveway toward what we hope to be six or eight months of touring the greatest places in Australia.

Three hours after turning east on Great Eastern highway in Midland we made our first stop in Merredin where we topped up with fuel (diesel was 94.5 cents per litre) and then stopped in a parking bay in the main highway through the town for the traditional grey nomad essential cup of tea.

After sitting in an air-conditioned vehicle for three hours it was a bit of a shock to the system to get out into the heat of the day. It appears was about 39° in some places we passed through.

At about 90 kilometres before Coolgardie we made our lunch stop in a truck bay at the side of the highway. The bush flies had obviously decided to congregate at the same location and thought we had brought their lunch along. Add this to the fact that it was possibly the hottest part of the journey we quickly decided that eating lunch whilst driving in an air-conditioned vehicle was a better option.

At 2:10 p.m. we passed through Coolgardie without stopping. After leaving Coolgardie we headed south towards our days final destination of Norseman.

On arrival in Norseman in the first thing we saw was a BP service station advertising unleaded fuel for 112 cents per litre.

After driving around the town we discovered a Caltex Service Station right beside the caravan park. The price of unleaded fuel was about 96.9 cents per litre and diesel was only 95.9 cents per litre. Obviously we purchased our diesel there.

With full fuel tanks we drove into the caravan park where an overnight powered caravan site cost us $20. Due to water restrictions there is no grass in the caravan park however it is fairly tidy and the abolition blocks were clean and spacious.

Although it had cooled down somewhat, it was still reasonably warm on arrival at 5 p.m. but a glass and a half of a sweet white wine for Pam and a couple of cold beers for me and life looks pretty good!

All that is needed now is a good feed, a good night's sleep and then we will be ready for the next leg of our journey, which will take us from Norseman through to Eucla, just 12 kilometres short of the South Australian border.


Parked in Merredin

Norseman Caravan Park

Sunday 28 December 2003

Today started out from Norsman at what seemed like an ungodly hour of 6:40am and we headed east, with our days destination being Eucla, some 710 kilometres.

This stretch of the Nullabor crossing does not have a lot of sightseeing opportunities, hence almost all of the next 8 1/4 hours was spent driving, with the exception of a short stop for morning tea before we reached Ballidonia, a toilet break at Cocklebiddy and just long enough to pour 40 litres of diesel into the Patrol about 30 km east of Cocklebiddy. Lunch was consumed on the road after topping up with fuel.

On arrival at Eucla we went down to the Old Telegraph Station to do the tourist bit and took a few photos before returning to the Caravan Park and settling down for the night. The 2 cans of beer tasted really good by this time.

Stopped in Eucla for the night, Caravan Park was not too bad, the sites were not exactly level but the ablution block was clean and tidy and couldn't complain about too much here.

Fuel consumption was poor due to a very strong headwind almost all the way, using 135.7 litres of diesel to travel 724.5 km. that works out at 18.74 litres per 100 km, or for the oldies like me, 15.09 miles per gallon. Put another way it is 5.33 km per litre.

Madura Pass

Old telegraph Station - Eucla

Monday 29 December 2003

Just a short drive today - compared with the past 2 days. We left Eucla at about 6:55 am Western Standard Time (WST) and drove east.

Stopped at border village and took a couple of photos with a foot in either state, then continued on until we came to the second turn off to view the cliffs about 50 km from Eucla where the camera came out again.

The next stop was about about 125 km from Eucla where we went in to the most spectacular cliff viewing area. a sample of the view is on the right.

We continued on and had another look at the cliffs but not a patch on the second one we saw.

Then came the Nullabor Road House at 10:25 WST but did not stop. We did not stop at Yallata (Aboriginal community) or Nundroo but did have a cup of tea in a truck bay about 20 minutes down the road from Nundroo. It was just a skip in the park from there, through Penong (a small rural community) to Ceduna where we have taken up residence in the Foreshore Caravan Park for the next 2 nights.

Tomorrow is a rest day when we will look around Ceduna but mostly rest up and plan our next moves.

You might not see her, but in the first cliff photo Pammy is standing on the cliff out near the end. (Gives some idea of the size of it!)

Pam (too small to see) standing on top of cliff

Cliffs of Great Australian Bight

Tuesday 30 December 2003

A very quiet day today, just a drive around Ceduna and checked out the other Caravan Parks, beach and some parts of the town.

Ceduna is not a place I would like to settle in and it could be neater and tidier. They have a fairly large indigenous population, many who congregate on the foreshore in front of the caravan park.

The main town area beach is not a swimming beach, with a lot of limestone type rock in the water and weeds growing over the rocks. There is a jetty that runs about 200 metres out into the water.

Filled up with fuel at the Ceduna Motel (Staff brand fuel) and used 89.9 litres of fuel @ 91.9 cents per litre. Works out at about 5.87 km per litre, (17.03 litres per 100 km) or 16.61 miles per gallon. Fuel cost for this trip so far is $17.97 per 100 km traveled.

Tomorrow we will move on down through Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay and look for somewhere to spend tomorrow night (New Years Eve) about half way between Ceduna and Port Lincoln.


Ceduna Foreshore

Wednesday 31 December 2003 - New Years Eve

Just a short drive today, leaving Ceduna and driving south along the coast, calling in on Smoky Bay on the way.

Smoky Bay was a very nice little town about 39 km south of Ceduna, only about four streets in it but it has a very good beach that looks good for swiming and fishing. The caravan Park is right on the beach near a long jetty that people can fish from. Our thoughts are that if we come this way again we would continue past Ceduna and stay ar Smoky Bay for a couple of days. An ideal place to 'veg out' and recharge the batteries.

We then continued south, only stopping once to take a photo of a bay about 10 km out of Streaky Bay.

Arrived at Streaky Bay and liked what we saw so decided to stay and booked in to the Foreshore Caravan Park for two nights. Went to a Foodland shop and topped up on a few things we were getting low on, returned to the caravan and after such a hectic day, had a bit of a snooze. Then went for a walk along the water up into the town site and had a drink in the Pelican Bar of the Streaky Bay Hotel.

We watched a fireworks display on the foreshore near the caravan park at 10 pm and also enjoyed a drink or two until we saw the new year in.

Tomorrow we will do the 'tourist' thing and have a look around the many bays and a few attractions in the area.

Streaky Bay beach in front of Caravan Park

Pam combining Pelicans & wine