Best overnight stops in Nullarbor

This is one of Australia’s most iconic road trips, but it also comes with long distances, isolation, and the unknown. You can find out everything you need before crossing the Nullarbor.

The Nullarbor Plain is a journey you will never forget. It will test your endurance and ignite your adventurous spirit.

Nullarbor plain: What is it, and where is it

Nullarbor is a vast, arid area located in southern Australia. It is the largest limestone karst landscape in the world, stretching across South Australia and Western Australia.

The word “Nullarbor,” which is Latin for “no trees,” describes the largely treeless landscape of the plain.

The Nullarbor Plain covers an area of approximately 200,000 square kilometers (77,000 square miles). It is characterized by its flat, vast expanse interrupted only with low shrubs, pastures, and occasional rock outcrops.

The Nullarbor Plain begins at the northernmost point of the Eyre Peninsula and extends to the east past the Great Australian Bight. This is a large, open bay located in the Southern Ocean. The Great Victoria Desert borders it to the north, and Norseman is generally considered its western end.

The Eyre Highway connects Western Australia to South Australia, and the Trans-Australian Railway runs from Perth all the way to Sydney.

The Nullarbor Plain is an important ecoregion in Australia despite its desolate look. It supports a surprising variety of wildlife, including kangaroos. Emus. Dingoes.

The drive across the Nullarbor, while not geographically accurate, is the drive between Ceduna and Norseman (both in Western Australia), which is South Australia.

If you’re on this road and don’t plan to drive off-road in the desert, then there is only one way to proceed.

The majority of people who plan this drive don’t do it alone but as part of a larger drive, for example, driving from Melbourne or Perth to Esperance, as I did, or Adelaide to Esperance.

There is no better way to drive across Nullarbor Plain. I’ll be talking about the journey from east-west because that’s where I came from.

It is 1200km between the towns, and I would recommend driving the distance over at least two days. Three or four days will allow you to see some Nullarbor attractions on the way.

It is possible to drive the entire route in a single day, but you should consider safety and spend time at the various attractions.

Highway One is usually called the road that crosses Nullarbor. It is known as the Eyre Highway in this region. The route has one lane in each direction and is paved. There are almost no overtaking lanes.

There isn’t a lot of traffic, but there are a lot of trucks, caravans and road trains. Some of them can be as long as four trailers. At my last crossing, we saw many wide loads. Two of these large mining trucks were so wide that they took up two lanes, and all traffic in the opposite direction had to move off the road to let them pass.

Flying Doctor planes can land on certain parts of the highway in an emergency. There are no medical services available between Ceduna & Norseman. The Flying Doctor will be your only option in a crisis.

The Nullarbor contains the longest straight stretch of road, “90 Mile Straight”, a 146km road without a single bend. The route begins just west of Caiguna.

You should make sure your car is in good mechanical condition before you embark on a road trip. It also needs a spare tire that works and plenty of water and food. To reduce the risk of meeting animals on the roads, I recommend driving only during daylight hours.

There is enough traffic to be able to flag down someone and get help if your car breaks down or you are in an accident.

Nullarbor Roadhouses

The roadhouses are the only signs of civilization along the Nullarbor. Although they are not small towns, you can find a wide range of services.

Each roadhouse is also a fuel station. Toilets and food are available to the public. There is usually a basic restaurant with take-out food as well. Evenings are generally when a bar opens.

Each roadhouse offers accommodation. Think of standard motel rooms or even budget “dongas” instead.

Fuel on the Nullarbor can be more expensive (up to $1/litre) than in cities. Accommodation may seem costly, but keep in mind how remote these areas are.

The caravan park will have both powered and non-powered sites. Many of the sites will accept bookings, but others are first-come, best-dressed – another reason I don’t recommend long driving days.

Each roadhouse is self-sufficient. The hostels have diesel generators to provide electricity and desalination plants for drinking water. Prices will be high, and restrictions on goods and services are likely.

There will be hot water showers in campgrounds and parks, but they will cost money and only last 3-5 minutes.

You can purchase food and drink along the way, but I recommend bringing plenty of water with you.

Bring enough food to last the entire trip if you have special dietary needs. Most of the food on the island is standard. I was a vegetarian, and my options were virtually non-existent. Even my usual fallback, hot chips, wasn’t readily available because of the potato shortage.

Penong is the next small town after Ceduna. After that, roadhouses are everywhere. As you head west, they are in the following order:

Nundroo Roadhouse

Yalata Roadhouse was under construction at the time I passed through in May 2023.

Nullarbor Roadhouse

Border Village







The Best Overnight Stops in the Nullarbor

I’ve stayed overnight in three of these roadhouses: Nullarbor, Cockledibby, and Eucla. We stayed in tents each time and during the winter. All three places were good, and I’d stay there again.

Eucla is the only place I would recommend to campers and caravanners who are crossing the Nullarbor. Eucla is located in the middle of Nullarbor Drive on the WA side. It has a quarantine officer and police officers, and it’s a bit bigger than other stops.

Eucla had the only campground that was covered with trees. The other two were very open, which is not surprising on the treeless plain.

The campground was spacious and not at all crowded during our stay. The campground had a good mix of powered and unpowered sites.

The bathrooms may be dated but are very clean and well-maintained. Showers cost $1 (coin required) for 5 minutes, and water was plentiful and hot. The batteries lasted longer than 5 minutes. I had to turn it off before they stopped.

Other facilities include a BBQ area, a camp kitchen, and a laundry. There is a bar and restaurant at the service station. There is a pool in the summer months, but it was empty when we visited.

Eucla does not require reservations. Just check in at the service center. We welcome pets.

There are a number of motel options available if you’re not traveling across the Nullarbor in a caravan, RV, or tent. The details are available on the website, but it is best to call and book. You can read the Eucla TripAdvisor Reviews here.

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