The largest piece of limestone on earth, the Nullarbor Plain is one of the strangest landscapes in the world.
As you travel across it’s windblown, barren surface you might feel more like you have left earth and are traversing the surface of another planet. Crossing this huge plain is a quintessential Australian road trip experience and the incredible vast landscapes will make you feel small and insignificant in a powerful way.
The Nullarbor Plain is a unique and fascinating part of the world – here are some weird facts about it that you probably didn’t know.
1. Its’ Name Is Latin And Means “No Trees”
The name Nullarbor comes from the Latin word “nullus” meaning “nothing” and the word “arbor” meaning “tree”. However, this name isn’t completely accurate – there are a few trees to be seen on the plain. They are mostly short, hardy shrubs such as saltbush and bluebush – tough plants that are resistant to drought and can grow even in hot and dry conditions. All along the outer edges of the Nullarbor you will find woodlands filled with Myall acacia trees.
2. Over 100,000 Wild Camels Roam The Plain
If you spot a camel wandering across the plain don’t worry – you haven’t gotten lost and ended up in Egypt. These camels were imported from British India and Afghanistan to use as transport while building the railroads during the 19th century. The railroad workers thought they would eventually die off, but they have flourished in Australia’s deserts. Australia is the only country in the world with herds of feral camels. Other creatures that call the Nullarbor home include wombats, emus and kangaroos.
3. It’s Home To The Longest Straight Road On The Planet
Can you imagine driving for 146.6km in a completely straight line, without a single bend or turn in the road? The Eyre Highway is where you will find this curve-free road, stretching between Caiguna and Balladonia.
4. The Nullarbor Nymph Once Roamed The Plain
The legend of the “Nullarbor Nymph” was a very successful publicity stunt in the 1970s. Reports and grainy footage of a feral woman living half naked among the kangaroos on the Nullarbor Plain brought journalists from all over the world to the small town of Eucla (which had a population of 8 people at the time).
5. You Can Play On The World’s Longest Golf Course
As you drive across the Nullarbor Plain, you could play 18 holes of golf along the world’s longest golf course – the Nullarbor Links. Each hole is in a different town or roadhouse along the epic Eyre Highway from Kalgoorlie to Ceduna, for a complete course that spans 1,365 km. A round of golf usually takes around five days to complete, but it is worth it to be able to boast that you have played this record breaking course.
The Nullarbor Plain is strange and beautiful and unlike anywhere else in the world – so why not explore it on your travels in Australia?
Photo Credit: Wikimedia