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Border Village to Ceduna – Bunda Cliffs & Koonalda Homestead



Printed: March twenty fifth 2024

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Final night time whereas we had been having dinner Bernie and Cathy discovered notices on-line indicating that the Eyre Freeway east of Border Village was closed and a detour through the Previous Eyre Freeway was in place. We determined to not fear an excessive amount of about it final night time hoping that the way in which can be clear this morning. Anyway, we thought, that ‘may’ facilitate a go to to the Koonalda Homestead as a result of it appeared just like the detour went on the outdated freeway to the homestead after which returned to Freeway A1 through the entry highway to the homestead?

Aiming to go away at 8.15am this morning we had been packed and able to go at 7.45am … despite the fact that all of the digital watches stated it was solely 7.00am! Groan, it felt like we had been on the highway once more earlier than we went to mattress, ha, ha. With the SatNavs plotting a route through the outdated freeway we resigned ourselves to some dust highway driving and set off east. After 800 metres, there have been no indicators as much as point out an precise highway closure and no detour indicators directing us onto the alternate route, so we continued on the A1.

We had determined to not pull into the

first/final Bunda Cliffs picture level because it had been deemed ‘boring’ on the journey over. Arriving on the subsequent picture level we did pull in to {photograph} the cliffs once more from this vantage level. It was about the identical time of day … or was it? Tracey’s watch had bought forward of everybody else and despite the fact that we’d solely been on the highway about half an hour swiftly it was 9.30am. Not in line with Bernie and Cathy although. We’re all with Telstra why did just one watch swap to Australian Central Daylight Time??

Persevering with east we pulled in on the subsequent picture level too. We had been strolling out to the viewing level when Tracey seen that the couple already on the market had been flying their drone. She stated to Bernie – what in regards to the drone, are you going to take drone pictures of the cliffs? It was not a consideration on the westbound journey because it was far too windy that morning. The breeze appeared gentle for the time being and different individuals had examined the wind circumstances with their drone hadn’t they?

Bernie returned to the automotive to gather the drone and the remainder of us

continued to the viewing level. We felt our age once we stated good morning to the (very) younger couple already on the market with their drone. OMG, they didn’t look sufficiently old to be on holidays with out their mother and father!! Anyhow, they packed up and headed off with their drone and Bernie arrived and wasted no time launching his drone. Fingers crossed for some nice pictures from an elevated vantage level.

We drove on in direction of the final/first picture level counting down the Ks to be 88 kilometres from the border so we may take the highway into the Koonalda Homestead. We did spot a observe on the left however discounted it. Hmmn, have we missed the turnoff or are we but to succeed in it. Anyhow, we quickly arrived on the ultimate picture level for the Bunda Cliffs and exited proper in direction of the coast. With a couple of extra photographs taken, and a few suggestions shared with westward sure travellers we returned to the automobiles.

Bernie was eager to look a bit extra for the homestead and Tracey was completely satisfied to go alongside for the trip. Cathy and Steve declared they weren’t venturing down the observe we had handed and they might

see us later in Ceduna. And so commenced one in all Tracey and Bernie’s whacky vacation adventures or, in the event you choose, a wild goose chase.

We drove again to the freeway and turned left, now heading west once more once we are alleged to be on our manner residence! We discovered the observe we discounted earlier and began driving inland. After only a few kilometres we discovered an historical automotive wreck. Magnificence, picture op. Even when we discovered nothing else, we had a photograph of 1 rusty automotive! Whereas Tracey was getting the shot taken Bernie introduced that he actually wanted to pee … so he did. Yeah, good on you mate, stated Tracey, what about me? You’ve bought your Go Lady he stated and don’t you suppose it’s vital to take care of the driving force’s consolation!!

After about 16 kilometres we reached the Previous Eyre Freeway. We had been looking at a T-intersection. Ahem, we thought it was alleged to be a crossroad with an choice to cross the outdated freeway and proceed to the homestead. With no telephone sign we had been with out Apple Maps. The MU-X’s maps had bought us this far however had been not useful. Left or proper,

left or proper? We turned proper and bounced alongside the Previous Eyre Freeway for some time searching for proof of homestead buildings, however … there was nothing!

To not be deterred Bernie turned to the ExploreOz app on his telephone. Bernie downloaded this navigation system as a again up for emergencies. Not that this was an emergency. We knew the place we had been and how you can get again to the freeway, however Bernie was decided to search out the outdated homestead. Ooh, the app says there’s a automotive wreck a bit additional alongside the highway, possibly it is going to be at/close to the homestead? Nope! However not less than it was the place ExploreOz stated it might be.

Bernie turned the truck round and we began bouncing west alongside the Previous Eyre Freeway. We encountered a shingleback lizard so now we had photographs of two rusty automotive wrecks and a lizard for our troubles. Tracey was turning into an increasing number of satisfied that this was positively shaping as much as be a Gaffney Wild Goose Chase!

We reached the flip off for the entry observe from the freeway, however Bernie wasn’t admitting defeat but, he needed to drive ‘only a bit’ within the different course

to see what we may discover. ExploreOz stated there can be a tank smash, we duly arrived at a pair of rusty outdated tanks, ExploreOz stated there can be a grid, we crossed a cattle grid. Woo hoo, ExploreOz was now displaying the Koonalda Homestead and Shearer’s Quarters if we flip proper on the subsequent crossroad.

And as we drove in previous the Koonalda Homestead signal the factor Tracey was most enthusiastic about? The signal confirmed there was a rest room! Once we pulled up adjoining to the homestead, we had been stunned that we didn’t have the place to ourselves, there was a 4×4 and caravan already on the web site parked over behind the shearer’s quarters. Gotta give Bernie factors for perseverance … or stubbornness?

We climbed out of the truck and ventured over to the homestead. On the verandah we learnt that the Gurney Household leased the Koonalda Station from 1938 to 1988. The station was solely possible as a result of water for his or her inventory was pumped from the Koonalda Cave. We had been additionally capable of see among the fittings from the Previous Eucla Telegraph Station with home windows and doorways on the homestead recycled from the deserted telegraph

station. And if we appeared on the exterior partitions and the fence across the homestead, we may see it was made out of railway sleepers salvaged from the Trans-Australia railway close to Prepare dinner.

We opened the display screen door with an eerie crreeeaaak and entered the homestead. There have been a couple of few flies buzzing about which dropped at Tracey’s thoughts the opening scenes of The Dry, the movie starring Eric Bana tailored from Jane Harper’s e-book of the identical identify. Now it was feeling very creepy contained in the homestead!

By now Tracey’s have to pee was turning into extra pressing so it was time to enterprise into the lengthy drop bathroom. Actually whose loopy thought was it to hunt for the outdated homestead fairly than proceed to the relative civilization of the Nullarbor Roadhouse? Somebody with a way of humour (?) had added to the directions about it being a dry composting bathroom (or some such factor) that they’d heard one thing shifting within the deep, darkish gap. Comfortable to report that Tracey survived the expertise however might want to replenish the bathroom paper stash in her bag! There have been solely empty bathroom rolls blowing across the ground of the bush bathroom.

We accomplished a circuit of the rusty automotive graveyard. Again within the outdated days in case your automotive broke down on the unique Eyre Freeway you simply walked away from it. By the point the Eyre Freeway was moved nearer to the coast when it was sealed within the late 60s and early 70s the outdated freeway was a junk yard of rusting automotive wrecks. Sooner or later a choice was made to tow all of the wrecks to the homestead to scrub up what’s now the Nullarbor Wilderness Safety Space. Strolling across the rusty wrecks of automotive deserted within the desert dropped at thoughts The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

We returned to the Eyre Freeway utilizing the entry highway that we must always have are available in on as a result of, sure, it’s a crossroad and also you drive straight in for 14 kilometers, cross the Previous Eyre Freeway proceed for a kilometre or so and, voila, there you might be on the homestead. In comparison with the observe we drove in on, this unmade highway was a veritable superhighway! At this stage we had been pondering that the 88 kilometres from the border that we had been advised on the Customer Info Centre

in Ceduna maybe ought to have been 88 kilometres from the Nullarbor Roadhouse?? Will attempt to examine the maths later.

Again on the freeway we had been nicely west of the place we had been an hour in the past so now had a while to make as much as attain Ceduna earlier than nightfall. We pulled in on the Nullarbor Roadhouse for a fast, late lunch with it now gone 2.00pm. What was that that was stated in regards to the relative civilisation on the roadhouse?? There was a discover on the door saying – Please bear in mind there was a snake hatching right now! Whaaaaat?! The discover went on to say – You may even see juvenile snakes across the roadhouse. Please advise Administration instantly in the event you ought to see one. Ugh, we managed a fast sandwich and a fast go to to the loos with out seeing something slithery.

Regardless of it being straight after lunch Tracey took a brief flip at driving between Nullarbor and Yalata. Bernie piloted the truck from Yalata and again by way of Nundroo. We talked about looking for the Large Wombat at Scotdesco however we weren’t even positive if we had been speaking about it early sufficient or if we’d already handed by it once more?

So, we didn’t see the Large Wombat this afternoon, however we determined to cease once more on the Windmill Museum at Penong. The late afternoon solar was reflecting off the blades right now, so it’s laborious to say whether or not the overcast circumstances in February had been higher than the overly brilliant circumstances this afternoon?

It was simply after 5.30pm once we arrived on the Quarantine Checkpoint at Ceduna. There was just one caravan in entrance of us, however we didn’t even have to attend for it to be cleared with one other quarantine officer popping out to conduct our examine. We stated we didn’t have any fruit or greens however needed to open our fridge for her to take a look anyway. When Bernie opened the tailgate, the officer complimented him on how neatly packed it was. Oops, there WAS a half a bulb of garlic within the fridge, nevertheless it was OK, garlic just isn’t on the prohibited listing. We had been requested once more to verify that we didn’t have any potatoes. No, no potatoes. OK, thanks very a lot you possibly can undergo. Besides, pulling the fridge slide out had damaged the fridge slide and Bernie struggled to push it again

in sufficient to shut the tailgate. That’s a nuisance. Was it the tough journey out to the homestead this morning that jiggled it out of alignment?

Our subsequent cease was on the BP Roadhouse to replenish prepared to go out within the morning. With the truck needing 67 litres that was the bottom the tank had been on this journey. It nonetheless had 13 litres in it, so we had been removed from arriving in Ceduna operating on fumes. We’ve been driving right into a headwind a lot of the day, so our gasoline economic system was decrease than it has been.

We made our manner again to the Ceduna Foreshore Resort and Motel and checked in. Despite the fact that Bernie booked each rooms they’ve put us in separate elements of the motel once more tonight. In February we had an upstairs room and a floor stage room. We took the upstairs room then, so Cathy and Steve took the upstairs room tonight. It’s unusual why they wouldn’t simply e-book us into rooms facet by facet like most different locations have?

We took a brisk stroll alongside the foreshore and out the jetty since we spent so many hours on the

highway right now. With half-hour of train achieved we met Cathy and Steve within the Bistro for our farewell dinner. From tomorrow we’ll go our separate methods for the remainder of the journey residence. Cathy and Steve will proceed through rural SA and western Victoria. We’re going to swing all the way down to Adelaide to go to mates for a few days after which make a ultimate push by way of to Melbourne on Thursday.

And I’ve to notice that on the ‘comparatively civilised’ Nullarbor Roadhouse Cathy and Steve managed to keep away from juvenile snakes too, however they noticed a dingo skulking round. In addition they drove into the group at Scotdesco and located the Large Wombat. Maybe we must always have tried a bit more durable in order that we may have added the wombat to our catalogue of Large Issues ha, ha.

After reviewing the pictures of the odometer that we took on the homestead, on the freeway and at Nullarbor Roadhouse we’re nonetheless confused in regards to the directions for reaching the homestead. The turnoff (the ‘proper’ one which we got here again out to the freeway on) was 97 kilometres from Nullarbor making it 85 kilometres from Border Village. That’s not very

completely different from the 88 kilometres we thought it was, however we utterly missed the flip off. In fact, it’s not helped that it isn’t signposted in any respect from the freeway. When you make the flip off, there’s a signpost that proclaims – Nullarbor Wilderness Safety Space, Koonalda Homestead 18 kilometres however there’s no manner of seeing that rocketing previous at 110 kph. Ah nicely, Bernie’s perseverance paid off and we bought our photographs of the rusty automotive wrecks and learnt slightly bit in regards to the robust lifetime of the early pastoralists.

Steps: 8,442 (5.84kms)


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