Did you know….
…the historic Bunda Cliffs were formed 65 million years ago when Australia separated from Antarctica?
….up to 180 whales visit the Head of the Bight each year?
…female whales travel in pods of 2 in order to birth and raise their calves, this is a rare spectacle to witness.
Most important of all though:
At Nullarbor Roadhouse, you can see it all, from high above in the sky!
We were lucky enough to embark on a 2 Day Adventure at Nullarbor Roadhouse to experience A Flight, A Night & A Bite!
A Flight, A Night & A Bite is the “MUST DO” on the Nullarbor this winter for every traveller.
The package includes:
(1) A Flight – 30 Minute Scenic flight over the Head of the Bight, Bunda Cliffs and incredible landscape with Chinta Air!;
(2) A Night – a toasty motel room with a hot shower and a bed so comfortable you don’t want to wake up; and
(3) A Bite – a 2-course meal, with generous servings and either a bottle or a glass of wine, depending on how many in your party.
Our experience began on a Tuesday morning in Brisbane in early June. Two flights later, the sun was setting on the Nullarbor as we picked up our 4WD in Ceduna and hit the Eyre Highway to begin our adventure on the Nullarbor Plain.
By the time we arrived at 10.30pm, in weather far colder than we are used to in Queensland, we were absolutely delighted to find our rooms pre-heated, showers hot, and beds clean and comfortable.
The next morning, after thoroughly enjoying the NIGHT of the package, we awoke for our much-anticipated FLIGHT.
We were informed by the Chinta Air Pilot, Tom Pappin, that 11.00am was the ideal time to fly, due to the positioning of the sun. While we waited, we explored the Nullarbor Roadhouse, and for a place in the middle of nowhere, there is a lot to see and do!
We collected a free mural flyer from the Nullarbor Roadhouse shop and explored the artwork around the site, by mural artist, Pam Armstrong. There are pieces you can’t miss, like the amazing whale mural on the exterior wall, and the Aussie Rock Legends in the Nullarbor Roadhouse bar, but with the help of the map (get yours from the front counter in the shop), we were able to find some absolute hidden gems we may not have otherwise seen.
Everything has a story or is dotted with artwork at the Roadhouse, from the barbecue area to the wind breakers, and of course, even the replica building of the old Nullarbor Roadhouse Garage has some murals if you take a peek through the windows!
Once back in the office, with Tom, the pilot, the formalities before the flight didn’t take long. After a few minutes of paperwork, it was time to take off, on what could only be called the flight of a lifetime.
Every passenger on the scenic flight is guaranteed a window seat, and after buckling up and adjusting our headsets we took off on Nullarbor Roadhouse’s own airstrip! Of course, everyone knows the highway is a straight road, but we didn’t fully appreciate the landscape or the location we were in until we could see the old highway, the new, and the exact point where the barren landscape meets bright blue ocean!
While we absorbed our surroundings in awe, Tom the pilot was able to inform us through our headsets of the history behind the scene below us. He was well-versed in everything from the Nullarbor Plain to Australian Wildlife and how the spectacular Bunda Cliffs were formed.
Around half-way through the flight, after flying high above the sand dunes and cliffs, we turned to fly above the Head of the Bight! Seeing the Bunda Cliffs from this perspective was something truly special, that not many have done!
Then, of course, there were the whales.
Despite being so early on in the season, there were already 5 Southern Right Whales breaching close to the shore. As we watched them breach, spray and snapped up photos. Tom informed us of the migration patterns, breeding habits and origins of how the Southern Right Whales got their name! (No spoilers here though!)
After our 30 minutes in the sky, we somewhat reluctantly returned to Nullarbor Roadhouse, which we could now appreciate on a whole other level. It’s surrounded by Australian history, incredible and diverse landscapes (dirt, shrubs, sand dunes and ocean) and home to one of the most unique experiences either of us will ever have!
Almost immediately after landing, we headed out to the Head of the Bight! The viewing platforms at Head of the Bight were an easy 20km drive from the Roadhouse and gave us the opportunity to see the cliffs, whales and ocean from another perspective.
It was a tranquil and beautiful spot that absolutely did not disappoint. The whales we had seen from above were less visible, but with views like this, we couldn’t complain!
Murrawijinie Caves in Nullarbor National Park (approximately 10km from the Roadhouse along a dirt track – be sure to get your free cave map from the Nullarbor Roadhouse Shop!).
To us, having just seen the area from the sky, seeing the caves and climbing beneath the rugged landscape was another opportunity we could not resist.
We rode in our 4WD out to the caves, though many guests prefer to ride their pushbikes, and quickly arrived at Cave No. 1. Here, at the mouth of the caves was a plaque which informed us of what we were about to see.
Incredibly, beneath the Nullarbor Plain are lakes, tunnels and limestone caves, which are adorned with a variety of plant matter and a refuge for animals.
Almost immediately upon reaching the bottom of the cave (which is around 10 degrees cooler), we sat down on the rocks and watched the Swallows and Hawks fly from side to side, completely oblivious to our presence.
After our day of adventure, we were ready to enjoy the final piece of the package, the BITE. We sat down in the Nullarbor Roadhouse restaurant, alongside another beautiful mural, and went over the highlights of the day.
Our two-course meal was generously sized and delicious, and the sauvignon blanc was the perfect accompaniment. The menu was diverse and we were able to order a vegetarian meal without requesting any substitutions! We enjoyed the Pasta of the Day, and the Famous Nullar-Burger, as you can see in the photo below it’s quite a mouthful!
Though our main meals were incredibly filling, the atmosphere, conversation and service was so good, we decided we could definitely make room to enjoy our second course; dessert. Upon arriving in front of us, they looked so scrumptious we couldn’t wait to dig in… this did mean we didn’t get a chance to take a picture before diving into them!
What better way to end the experience by enjoying a quick nightcap in the Roadhouse bar with some fellow Nullarbor travellers.
We could have, and would’ve loved to stick around all night, but it was back to our motel rooms for another comfortable night’s sleep before an early drive back to Ceduna.
A Flight, A Night and A Bite was the ultimate adventure for the two of us, but don’t take our word for it, try it for yourself!