Do you have a bucket list? Have you managed to tick anything off that list?
I have been fortunate in my life, so far I can tick off a number of dreams from my list. In no particular order they are -
1. Sipped a glass of champagne while taking in the view of Paris from the top of the Eiffel tower.
3. Swum under a waterfall in more than one outback Australian waterhole.
4. Strolled around Monet's magnificent gardens in Giverny, France.
5. Slept in a haunted castle in Ireland.
I could go on but then this list would be far too long.
This journey, was another memorable bucket list experience I was excited to finally achieve.
So far we had crossed through the wine and fruit growing regions of NSW, during massive floods (Part 1), the wheat belt of country Victoria and South Australia and had now reached the beginning of the Great Australian Bite. The Nullabor was in reach.(part 2.)
After leaving Ceduna we were amazed at the size of each wheat farm that stretched for kilometres. Our first stop was Penong Windmill Museum, located in the tiny town of Penong on the edge of the Nullabor. The museum was officially opened only a week before we arrived, so it was all brand new. The towns folk were rather excited about their new exhibition. Since solar pumps are beginning to replace windmills across the Australian landscape, this community decided to salvage some of the most iconic windmills, restore them and place them altogether in an outdoor museum as a tribute to the way things once were. We had a wonderful time walking around and reading the information about them all. I was surprised at the difference in sizes of them. Included in the collection is the largest windmill in Australia that spans over 35 foot.
Just around the corner and across the road, we played our first golf hole. Yes folks, before leaving Ceduna we had paid a visit to the Information centre to pay our golf fees to play the Nullabor Links. Friends had told us about this and it seemed a great idea. The Nullabor Links comprises of 18 holes of golf that span from Ceduna all the way across the Nullabor with the final hole to be completed in the old gold mining town of Kalgoorlie, situated in Western Australia, 1,388 km from Ceduna in South Australia. That would have to be the world's longest golf course! It is a brilliant idea to make tourists take a break along the long straight stretches of road. You will find a golf hole at each roadhouse, caravan park or town along the way. Most of them are pretty rough, dry, with a lot of dirt and overgrown scrub, but that makes it all the more fun as you tackle the unique obstacles that arise. A fair warning to those who decide to give it a go, while we had a lot of fun, be careful. I teed off at one hole and as I walked up towards my ball for my second stroke, a brown snake slithered across my path and attempted to take my golf ball. For my overseas readers, an Australian Brown Snake is one of our deadliest snakes, it will strike if it feels threatened. We decided that was enough golf for that particular hole. The snake won that particular hole that day!
How anyone can say the drive across the Nullabor is boring, I'll never know. We found it fascinating! There was so much more to stop and see than I could have ever imagined. The word Nullabor comes from the Latin derivatives of Nullus - no and arbor - tree. It is a flat open ancient seabed with almost no trees to be seen for miles. That being said, on leaving Penong, we detoured along Point Sinclair Rd, across Lake Macdonnell all the way to Point LeHunt to find another long jetty ideal for whale watching, disappointingly, there were no whales in sight that day. There was however a great picnic spot with a shelter and wall covered in clever mosaic art pieces. I took photos of them all to show my neighbour as she is in the middle of a long term mosaic project, I hoped these might inspire her.
On return to the Eyre Highway we continued our drive until we reached the next detour that took us to the Head of the Bite and the Great Australian Bite Marine Park for that first glimpse of whale watching. Due to the massive storms that had been through the area in recent days, the seas were churned up and it was rather muddy near the coastline. This meant the whales were further out to sea than normal. We did manage to spot one or two, but it was difficult. The boardwalk was well set up with several vantage spots to look for whales, including some sheltered areas from the inevitable biting winds and rain. That day though, my quest for whales was not satisfied. Undaunted, the search continued.
Do you have a bucket list?
Have you ticked anything off it yet?
Be sure to add your list in the comments below. :)
Next week : More discoveries along the Nullabor and we finally make it to Esperance, but do we find whales?