Driving the Nullarbor - Perth to Melbourne

hawkeye23

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Thread starter #1
Well, anyone got any tips? Traps for young players? Advice?

Will allowing 4 full days be enough? Too rushed?

Recommended stops to avoid night driving?
 

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ExTasDeeMan

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#2
Hey hawk - i did the big trip in 2002.

Things that matter:
* Have a very reliable car, nothing cheap and nasty - preferable to get your car serviced before you make the trip. My bro and I did it in a brand spanking V6 Holden Ute.
* 4 days is ok - We did the Great O road and stayed at a mates Dairy Farm in Simpson on the way - so we took 5 days overall
* Driving at night - we pulled up stumps early in the evening at spots we would map out during the trip, like Port Augusta and Nullarbor
* On the big Nullarbor stretch, there were only 4 cops on duty at one time. So you can put the foot down if you want, but we did that and overtook a cop at 150km - realizing at the last moment they were cops, we slowed down majorly and took them at 110 on the dot.

Road Trains, be wary of them.

AND WAVE TO EVERYONE YOU SEE!!
 

Harvey Leadpipe

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#5
My missus is from Perth (well Esperance originally), and have done it a couple of times.

ETDM is pretty accurate. A couple of others:

- Do not speed in Victoria. Up around Horsham is apparently a training area for highway patrol cars (so I've been told). They'll get you from every angle.
- Open her up once past Ceduna. You'll see nothing for miles, and if you mirculously see a cop, they won't give a sh*t anyway.
- Don't rush the days though. There is some awesome sights along the Bight, cliffs, beaches, scenery etc. Enjoy it.
- Roadhouse food is better than you'd imagine. I was expecting oily, battered, low-grade, luke-warm crap, but it was pretty hearty tucker. When you think about it, you don't come across many lean truckies.
- To relieve boredom, count the black and red posts aligning the side of the road. Black = road fatility, red = injury.
- The South Australian leg is boring.
 

hawkeye23

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Thread starter #6
Loving your work here fellas. Also, Harvs, as you're a foodie, I'm taking your word for it not being shytehouse bain-marie offerings for the whole journey. Am kinda looking forward to it now.
 

ExTasDeeMan

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#7
hawkeye23 said:
Loving your work here fellas. Also, Harvs, as you're a foodie, I'm taking your word for it not being shytehouse bain-marie offerings for the whole journey. Am kinda looking forward to it now.
Just on that note, when you see the price of food in the Nullarbor roadhouse, remember where you are (and careful about the water, its borewater).
 

hawkeye23

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Thread starter #8
ExTasDeeMan said:
Just on that note, when you see the price of food in the Nullarbor roadhouse, remember where you are (and careful about the water, its borewater).
Had already factored in the borewater thing, and am planning on stocking up on 1L bottles of water before leaving Perth, ETDM.
 

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#12
Have done it a few times now. Leaving next Wednesday to do it again

ETDM is spot on with a lot of his advice.

I am putting new tyres on, had a full service last month, will take a jerrycan of fuel and one of water. Depending on your love of driving and your available time and what you want to look for the time can vary.

The first time I did Adelaide Perth I had a wife and a 2 year old son, we also had a Shell map which located service stations along the way..they averaged 400-600kms apart which was good as my car did 700kms on a tank. We planned 3 days and stayed at Nullarbor ..about 1100km from Adelaide. Just before you get there stop at the whale watching platform... we didnt see any whales on that trip but the views of the cliffs is awesome.

Next day was Nullarbor to Norseman and as noted keep an eye on the views ..some real corkers. Eucla is awe isnpiring as you turn left down the hill the bight opens up for you and you can visualise how a long ago ocean lapped against the hills to your right. Rising back out of the valley you get to Madura :mad: the dearest place for fuel on the whole trip . The 147km stretch of the Nullarbor was interesting but ultimately boring... and not flat..it dips and rises to break the mind. Norseman is booooring.

Norseman to Perth is 720kms if you turn right and take the Kalgoorlie rd...1400 if you turn left and go via Esperance

Now I am on my own...well driving to Adelaide I am .. I do it in about a combined 32 hours. Perth to Ceduna 3am to 10pm and then a rest then Ceduna Adelaide the next morning.

Learn how to do the 1 finger steering wheel wave ...and if a truck driver indicates make sure its a quick indicator flick..that is a signal the road is clear and you can overtake..but still take care

Speeding...Harvey said do 150km... I wouldnt ... if you have cruise control do about 10kms above the limit until you get to Ceduna..then set it to 130-140, whatever you feel comfortable with. Ceduna to Norseman is pretty open for speeding ... only areas I take care is around Eucla , Madura and Norseman and also the Nullarbor stretch... but after Norseman drop back to 10km above

I also fitted a CD player in my car as radio is non existent for patches..apart from local ABC . Your phone will also NOT WORK from Ceduna to Norseman ..but hey 1200kms without a phone doesnt mean much except if your broken down:mad:

Take your time and enjoy it and dont be scared by it ..and stay out of my way next Wednesday
 

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#13
hawkeye23 said:
Well, anyone got any tips? Traps for young players? Advice?
Take fruit and sugar lollies ... and water as noted.

Will allowing 4 full days be enough? Too rushed?

Recommended stops to avoid night driving?
No , not if your avoiding night driving.

Day 1 720km Perth to Norseman is good ,

Day 2 900km Norseman to Nullarbor is easy and daylight. Summer is good as you have a lot of light.

Day 3 1100km Nullarbor to Adelaide

Day 4 737km Adelaide to Melbourne

All should be achievable in daylight hours
 

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#14
Animals/Roadkill

Depending on the weather and the time of year animals on the roadside can be a hazard or not there.

Kangaroos... mainly just before daybreak and dusk and an hour either side of those times...keep eyes peeled

Emus...scary scary animals. Driving along and on the side of the road was a funny looking bush...until it moved. Emus tend to be erratic so take care

Wedge Tail Eagles....magnificent bird to watch .... but they feast on roadkill...in the middle of the road and they wait till the last possible second to give up their food. As they rise slowly and bank to the side you cant help but be hypnotised and thats when you run over the bones of the kangaroo and can cause a puncture..so take care

Dingoes...usually around Nullarbor roadhouse...apparently they have become semi domesticated and scavengers.

Rabbits Foxes etc just run over them they are not Bugs Bunny or the rabbits you had as a kid
 
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Did the trip as a 9 year old in 1977. 3 adults and 5 kids in panel van with no side windows at the back. Sat/laid on a mattress for days. Even broke down at one point. Fortunately it was August so the weather was milder.

Seems insane now.
 

hawkeye23

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Update.... boring as hell for most of the trip. I've shown below a couple of photos. The first is a roadkill (not claimed by us, but still noteworthy nonetheless), the second is mr hawkeye's breakfast steak on the last day, ordered expecting to be the size of a minute steak at best.



 

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#20
Done the trip too numerous times to remember. Both in the truck and by car. (my ex hus was a truckie and I learnt to drive the semi over the nulllabor). Last time it was just the son and myself was we decided to leave WA and head over to SA.

Dont forget about the wild camels around the area. If you look closely you will see them. Some people dont believe me when you tell them that they are out there until I show them the pics taken on one of the trips.

Took me only 4 days to do the last trip and that is with towing a trailer full of our personal belongings. Slept at Norseman the first night and pulled up for frequent stops to stretch my legs. Would do the trip again as I loved it.
 

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#21
hawkeye23 said:
Update.... boring as hell for most of the trip. I've shown below a couple of photos. The first is a roadkill (not claimed by us, but still noteworthy nonetheless), the second is mr hawkeye's breakfast steak on the last day, ordered expecting to be the size of a minute steak at best.



Did the steak taste a bit gamey? Kangaroo steak?

The correlation between the 2 pics was hard to ignore
 

hawkeye23

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Thread starter #22
PerthCrow said:
Did the steak taste a bit gamey? Kangaroo steak?

The correlation between the 2 pics was hard to ignore
The roadkill was cited two days prior to the steak being consumed, so I would certainly hope they weren't one and the same critter. Didn't taste gamey, AFAICR.
 

utility

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#23
hawkeye23 said:
Well, anyone got any tips? Traps for young players? Advice?
Don't do it.

A mate drove from Melbourne to Perth and then flew back. Petrol cost a fortune especially in the less serviced areas. He also said it is boring as hell driving through the Nullar'bore' as everything is the same and rather plain. The trip cost him around $3k for him and his girlfriend... he was pretty angry with himself as he felt for the most part it was a total waste of money.
 

hawkeye23

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Thread starter #24
utility said:
Don't do it.

A mate drove from Melbourne to Perth and then flew back. Petrol cost a fortune especially in the less serviced areas. He also said it is boring as hell driving through the Nullar'bore' as everything is the same and rather plain. The trip cost him around $3k for him and his girlfriend... he was pretty angry with himself as he felt for the most part it was a total waste of money.
Really?? 3K??? :eek:

We got out of it for under 1K, including all meals.
 

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#25
hawkeye23 said:
Really?? 3K??? :eek:

We got out of it for under 1K, including all meals.
I spent 3k ... :(

2 thou for a new engine

1 thou for petrol food and train ticket back :mad:

But I budgeted for a 2 way dance of $900 and I reckon I would have come close
 
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