Driving across the Nullarbor Plain

Nature
The wow factor for nature - does it show nature at its best? Doesn't need to be the wilder-beast migration or diving with hundreds of hammerheads. Rather make you pause as you realise just how awesome the natural world can be
6
Culture
How much does this experience showcase some of the better and finer things that us humans can offer? Sure, it can be ancient ruins and renaissance churches, but it can also be festivals or soaking up some of the great modern cities of the world
1
Fun factor/activity
Very simple - was it fun? This is usually linked in with doing some kind of activity - i mean, walking along some cliffs is nice, but paragliding from them, now that is fun. Its a vastly underrated factor in a truly great experience
5
Avoid the crowds
Big tour groups and being surrounded by loud fellow tourists can sap the life out of even the greatest of travel experiences. This score is to reflect just how much you can avoid this. But. . . The score also takes into account if the crowds actually add to the experience, such as with a party town or a bustling food market
10
World famous
How world famous is the experience?
7
unique
How hard is it to have a similar experience in other places round the world?
9
Overall Score
The highest score of nature or culture, + fun factor, + avoid the crowds, + the highest score of world famous or unique. Then turned into a score out of 100. More details at the bottom of the page
75 *What the scores mean and where do they come from
continent
Oceania
country
Australia
Length of time
1-2 days
Rough cost
Obviously people have different tastes, so this will depend on those tastes, but this is a rough idea of price of the whole experience based on 2 people able to split the accommodation costs and excluding travel there and back
$ 150
Time of year visited
December
Primary Tags
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RANKING
How this travel experience ranks compared to all the other experiences on this site
76th/334 This travel experience's ranking compared to all the other experiences on this site
Top 30% SUMMARY RATING: Superb

Summary

The Nullabor Plain is a giant, flat and practically treeless plain (nullabor in Latin means “without trees”) on the Great Australian Bight coast between Western Australia and Southern Australia.  Whilst there are some stunning cliffs and a hill range in the distance, the region is known for, well, basically having nothing there . . . no trees . . . no small towns . . . not even the bright red sand you associate with the outback.  All you find is some scrub and the one road that connects the 1250km / 777miles between Norseman and Ceduna . . . part of which has longest stretch of road without a turn at  146km / 91miles.  Now that may sound dull . . . and it is . . . but there is something cool and unique about staring ahead at the straight road of nothingness around you and knowing, for the next 12 hours or so, all you’ve got are road trains and lunatic cyclists to occasionally keep you company

 

If can, don’t fly from Perth to Adelaide – driving across the Nullabor Plain is way more of an experience and about the closest you’ll come to feeling like you’re in the Mad Max post-apocalyptic world.  I swear I saw Tina Turner singing on the side of the road at some point

 

Couple of tips:

  1. Gas – fill up with as much gas as you can beforehand.  Less so from a safety point of view (whilst it is super remote, you do have fellow strange people driving by who can help).  It is more just from a cost point of view – the petrol stops along the way are very expensive
  2. Camping – you can camp in a couple of places along the way that provide basic facilities.  Don’t camp just off the road – when you see just how much the roadtrains swing when they’re hurtling along at 150km / 90 miles per hour, you’ll realise why

Experiences nearby

The below map shows experiences nearby with a colour that reflect the Overall Score of those experiences

Score Detail

Background - how many times have you asked someone what a travel experience was like and the response was "amazing" or "awesome"?  That response is nice to know, but it makes it hard to differentiate that experience compared to others.  That is exactly what these scores are trying to do - differentiate the experience by giving a score out of 10 based on 6 categories and then giving an overall experience score

This overall experience score is calculated by:  take the highest of the "Culture" or "Nature" score (1-10) + "Fun factor" (1-10) + "Avoiding the crowds" (1-10) + highest of the "Unique" or "World Famous score" (1-10).  Then convert into a score out of 100

Extra detail - the logic being that I find all of the 6 individual scores important, but I don't want to mark an experience down just because it doesn't cover both "Culture" and "Nature", or because it isn't both "World Famous" and "Unique".  Take the examples of Safari in The Serengeti and walking through Rome - they both appeal at opposite ends of the nature / culture spectrum, and you can have a fantastic time without needing to appeal to both sides.  So, their overall scores aren't penalized for their lack of one or the other, and I've done the same for "World Famous" vs "Unique".  But . . . I do think that the "Fun factor" of an experience is important, irrelevant of other factors, and so is "Avoiding the Crowds" (or where there are crowds that add to the experience).  So, both of these scores are standalone