On the western edge of the great Nullarbor Plain lies the small town of Eucla. As the easternmost settlement in Western Australia, it’s a very popular place for travellers to stop on the long drive of the Eyre Highway. The journey from Ceduna to Eucla across the Nullarbor is one of the greatest road trips in the country, covering the vast semi-arid flat plain. The 493km trip takes you from the beaches of the Eyre Peninsula along the spectacular coastline of the Great Australian Bight all the way to Eucla in Western Australia.
Although you can technically cover the distance from Ceduna to Eucla in a day, you can easily stretch out the trip, with plenty of things to do and see on the way. The Nullarbor Plain and Far West Coast have some of the most unique landscapes in Australia and taking your time to explore it is one of the greatest adventures.
This article will outline all the information you need to plan your trip from Ceduna to Eucla.
Table of Contents
- 1 When to travel from Ceduna to Eucla
- 2 How to get to Eucla
- 3 Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Eucla
- 4 Popular towns and things to see on the way
- 5 Ceduna
- 6 Eucla
- 7 While you’re crossing The Nullarbor Plain
When to travel from Ceduna to Eucla
The weather is relatively moderate in Eucla for most of the time. However, there are of course some benefits for travelling at different times and in different seasons. Summers are quite hot along the Far West Coast, meaning that this is the best time to enjoy the beaches. On the other hand, winters are much cooler and offer more comfortable driving weather. Winter is also the only time that you can find the Southern Right Whales off the coast of the Great Australian Bight. This is one of the real highlights of travelling along the Eyre Highway and is a common reason people choose the cooler months for their trip.
For the most predictable and moderate weather, however, autumn and spring offer perfect conditions for driving and enjoying the sights along the way. It’s also much less busy during this time, outside of the common holiday periods. However, no matter what time of year you plan on heading to Eucla, you’ll still have a fantastic trip.
How to get to Eucla
Eucla is located on the Eyre Highway in the far eastern part of Western Australia. It’s just 11km from the South Australia border and the easternmost settlement on the highway. The journey from Ceduna to Eucla is 493km or approximately a 5-hour drive.
The Eyre Highway is the only sealed road that connects Eucla and Ceduna across the Nullarbor Plain. It’s an incredibly long road that begins in Norseman in Western Australia and runs all the way to Port Augusta in South Australia, skirting along the dramatic coastline of the Great Australian Bight and across the vast semi-arid plain.
The Eyre Highway is known as one of the must-do road trips in all of Australia, with hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing each year, travelling between South and Western Australia.
Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Eucla
If you’re planning to cross the Nullarbor from Ceduna to Eucla, there are some important things to know about safety on the highway before heading off.
The Eyre Highway is the main way people travel from Ceduna to Eucla. The road is part of the National Highway A1 and is a sealed highway that connects Western and Southern Australia across the Nullarbor. It’s considered a bucket list road trip in Australia and attracts many travellers every year.
The full highway runs from Port Augusta in South Australia, across the top of the Eyre Peninsula through Ceduna and across the Nullarbor to Eucla. From Eucla, it continues onto Norseman with the full length being 1675km. The section across the plain from Ceduna to Eucla is 493km.
The highway is named after Edward John Eyre, an English explorer who first crossed the Nullarbor in 1841 with his Aboriginal companion, Wylie. It was another century before construction on the road began, and it was finally completed and sealed in 1976. Today, the road sees hundreds of thousands of vehicles each year, including trucks and travellers who make the long journey.
The Eyre Highway is a well-maintained and sealed road, but there are still some safety considerations you need to take into account before you attempt the journey.
The Eyre Highway is a very remote road with very few settlements along the way. The most important driving tip is to avoid driving at night. The highway is particularly known for animal crossings at night, which is dangerous for both you and the native animals which call the area home.
You should also make sure that you have a basic first aid kit, jumper leads and car repair kit with you so that you can manage anything that happens on the way. It’s also a good idea to purchase roadside assistance which will mean that you can call for help if you need no matter where you are on the highway.
It’s also important to remember to take breaks while you’re driving. The crossing of the Nullarbor can be a long and lonely drive with the seemingly endless, flat semi-arid plain. It’s a good idea to plan at least a couple of stops along the way to stretch your legs and have a break from driving. The longer you take to make the journey, the more you’ll appreciate the landscape and learn about the Nullarbor and its neighbours.
The stretch of Eyre Highway between Ceduna and Eucla is very remote with the main settlements being in the form of roadhouses. These multipurpose stations are spaced along the highway and include a petrol station, hotel, caravan park, bar and restaurant. After Yalata heading west, the roadhouses are the only form of settlements until you reach Eucla. One of the most iconic roadhouses is the Nullarbor Roadhouse, located 95km west of Yalata on the Eyre Highway. It’s nearby a couple of other attractions such as the Head of Bight lookout and makes for a nice spot to have a meal or stay the night.
Popular towns and things to see on the way
While you can technically make the journey from Ceduna to Eucla in five hours without stopping, there are plenty of worthwhile things to see on the way. The Nullarbor may seem like one large expansive plain, there is still some interesting places to stop and take a break from driving. Whether you’re limited on time or not, here are the best towns and things to see on the way from Ceduna to Eucla.
Ceduna is the last major town in South Australia before heading west to Eucla. It’s located on the northwest corner of the Eyre Peninsula and on the eastern edge of the Nullarbor Plain. It sees hundreds of thousands of travellers passing through on the Eyre Highway every year. The trip from Ceduna to Eucla across the Nullarbor is certainly one of the most popular trips to do and is one of the main reasons people find themselves in town.
Ceduna is known as being the Oyster Capital of Australia, with some of the best oysters and freshest seafood in the country. One of the most popular activities to do in Ceduna is to tour a working oyster farm in nearby Smoky Bay, which offers any foodie a chance to sample some of the freshest oysters straight from the water.
Beyond the delicious food, Ceduna is also a popular rest stop on the Eyre Highway. The town has all the amenities and accommodation that you’ll need. From hotels to caravan parks and all sorts of shops including Terry White Chemmart, Jim’s IGA and Ceduna Meat Service, you’ll be able to pick up all the supplies you need for your trip.
Ceduna also makes for a great base to explore the Far West Coast and Eyre Peninsula on day trips. The town’s convenient locations means that you can reach many of the region’s best activities and attractions such as surfing, fishing, 4×4 driving, swimming and walking.
Most surfers have heard of Cactus Beach. This world-famous surfing destination at Point Sinclair just outside of Penong is popular amongst experienced surfers who come to tackle the left hand and right-hand breaks. Novice surfers should head to Fowlers Bay or further on to the Eyre Peninsula for gentler waves, with Cactus Beach being a notoriously wild place to head out for a surf.
This famous salt lake is a former salt mine on the largest gypsum deposit in Australia. It’s just inland from Cactus Beach and has become a popular place to stop to get the famous Instagram photo. The incredibly high salt level of the water combined with algae and pink bacteria makes the colour of the lake turn a fluorescent pink colour. The contrast with the blue lake water next to it makes it an impressive sight and popular spot for a photo opp.
Penong Windmill Museum
The Penong Windmill Museum is one of the most popular stops on the Eyre Highway. The museum showcases a range of windmills, including the biggest in Australia named “Bruce”. It’s a unique photo op and an interesting place to explore the agricultural history of the area in Penong.
Fowlers Bay is a pleasant little fishing town off the Eyre Highway not far from Ceduna. It’s popular for fishing and surfing and is a quiet alternative for a night’s stop. Fowlers Bay is also one of the most popular places for departures of whale watching tours during winter. Southern Right Whales are only found off the coast of the Great Australian Bight in the cooler months and are one of the coast’s major attractions.
Considered one of the best experiences on the far West Coast, Coorabie Farm is a 50, 000-acre property just 8km off the Eyre Highway in Coorabie. The working sheep and crop growing farm owned by Leon and Deb is also a farm stay and camping experience. They offer self-contained cabins, double rooms in shearers quarters and powered and unpowered camping sites if you have your own setup. They are 160km west of Ceduna and offer great country hospitality and a unique place to stay for a few days while you take a break from driving.
The Dingo Fence
The Dingo Fence is a famous long barrier that is also often referred to as the Dog Fence. It runs for an incredible 5600km and was built as a pest management device during the 1880s to keep the dingoes away from the fertile area in the southeast of the country. It begins on the Darling Downs in Queensland and finishes on the edge of the Great Australian Bight near Nundroo. It’s one of the longest manmade structures in the world, so many people like to stop and get a glimpse of the fence on their trip from Ceduna to Eucla.
For most people, driving across the Eyre Highway from Ceduna to Eucla is the best way to experience the great Nullarbor Plain. This flat, semi-arid limestone bedrock stretches for 200, 000 square kilometres across South and Western Australia. It’s one of the most unique natural landscapes in the whole country and reaches from Ceduna all the way to Eucla. It’s a remote and harsh terrain with very few settlements and a spectacular coastline where it meets the Southern Ocean along the Great Australian Bight.
The drive from Ceduna to Eucla on the highway is certainly one of the best ways to appreciate the incredible vastness of the plain. It’s also home to some impressive features such as the Bunda Cliffs and Cocklebiddy Cave.
Chinta Air Scenic Flights
For a completely different perspective of the region, Chinta Air are South Australia’s outback aviation specialists. They offer scenic flights for small groups and air tours over the incredible outback landscape. They operate from three different bases, including Ceduna, Rawnsley Park Station and the Nullarbor Roadhouse. They offer flights over the Far West Coast and Nullarbor Plain including the Bunda Cliffs and Southern Right Whales swimming below in winter.
One of the defining features of the trip from Ceduna to Eucla is the Bunda Cliffs. They are the longest continuous stretch of sea cliffs in the world stretching for 100 kilometres along the Great Australian Bight and can be up to 90 metres high. There are five lookouts off the Eyre Highway along the dramatic cliff edge where you can enjoy the view.
Head of Bight
The Head of Bight is the northernmost extent of the Great Australian Bight. It’s a short detour of just 20km off the Eyre Highway and is worth the drive to this spectacular location. There is a lookout platform at the point from where you can gaze at the Bunda Cliffs and try to spot some Southern Right Whales during the cooler months. It’s known as one of the best land-based whale watching spots in the whole country.
For golf enthusiasts, this is the longest golf course in the world and a unique way to experience the Nullarbor. The 18-hole par 72 course spans 1365km across the plain with one hole in each roadhouse along the Eyre Highway. It begins in Ceduna continuing all the way to Kalgoorlie and can take a few days to complete the course.
For a bit of a photo-op, a stop at the Border Village roadhouse is a must. The roadhouse marks the border between South and Western Australia and has a restaurant, pub, accommodation and a swimming pool for weary drivers.
Eucla is a very small settlement in Western Australia, with a population of just over 50. Yet, it’s one of the largest on the vast Nullarbor Plain and is located just 10 minutes from the South Australia border. The journey from Ceduna to Eucla is 493km on the Eyre Highway, making it a popular place for passing travellers to stop for a break. There are a few things to see and do in town, as well as, accommodation, a fuel station, restaurant and café for supplies and refreshments.
The area around Eucla is part of the Eucla National Park stretching down to the south-east corner of Western Australia. The park area is characterised by stunning sand dunes, white sand beaches and the historical telegraph station. The station was originally built in 1877 and was one of the most important stations on the line between South Australia, Victoria and Western Australia. It’s now abandoned and slowly being swallowed up by the imposing sand dunes but is still an interesting place to visit.
The best way to learn more about the telegraph station and Eucla’s history is at the Eucla Historical Museum which documents the town’s origins and what it was like in the early days. A popular attraction is also the old Eucla Jetty which sits on the beach just outside of town. It’s just a 15-minute walk from the old telegraph station and makes for a very picturesque photo.
While you’re crossing The Nullarbor Plain
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