Highway One: Across the Nullarbor

By Catherine Lawson | November 7, 2013

On their Big Lap of Australia, Catherine and David head along the sweeping plains of the Nullarbor.

Catherine Lawson and David Bristow, along with baby Maya, are doing a lap of Highway One, the road that circles Australia. 

THE BEAUTY OF SO many famous Australian landmarks can be captured in a single sunset shot, but the allure of the Nullarbor’s vast, treeless plains is not so easily pinned down.

This sweeping stretch of roadhouses, ruins and rest areas spans two states, stretching for 1194km between Ceduna in South Australia and Norseman across the Western Australia border.

Across the Nullarbor Plain, Highway One traverses the world’s largest, flattest, limestone plateau, skirting crumbling cliffs on the edge of the Great Australian Bight and cutting a path through a national park that protects the largest semi-arid karst (cave) landscape in the world.

Nullarbor National Park’s 2.8 million hectares of low-lying saltbush and bluebush is home to Australia’s largest population of southern hairy-nosed wombats and a trio of very accessible open caves at Murrawijinie Caves, located 10km west of Nullarbor Roadhouse.

The furthest and easiest to explore of Murrawijinie’s three caves contains indigenous ochre hand stencils, located just inside the cave’s wide entrance and clearly illuminated in the beam of a good torch.

To reach Murrawijinie Caves, follow the signposted dirt track that begins just west of Nullarbor Roadhouse and leads for 10.4km to the first of three caves.

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