Dodging Roos and Border Closures Across the Nullarbor


Photos by Myles Carroll

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

Just one, specifically—the Eyre highway, though the route is most commonly referred to as the Nullarbor. It’s this stretch of road (the longest and straightest of its kind anywhere in the world) that WA filmer Myles Carroll decided to tackle recently, packing up his life’s belongings for a move from Margaret River to Sydney. Driving four days and nights across three time zones, Myles managed to street clear of roos and reheated servo pies, capturing some of the highway’s best scenes from his side window. A patch of Australia that’s as desolate as it is beautiful, the ‘Bor is a trip that’s been on our bucket list for a while now, so we decided to live vicariously through Myles solitary journey across the heart of Aus. Let’s pepper him with some questions.

Hey Myles! You just drove across the damn Nullabor! What the hell for?

Hey! Yeah, I just went straight up the guts of Aus. Well, I had to move to Sydney from Margaret River because I’m now studying screen production at AFTRS. I had so much gear to take over it was just easier to drive it all over and I had always wanted to tick it off the list, so killed two birds with one stone!

How long was the drive? 

I think on Google Maps it says around 45 hours, but I broke it up into four days and just camped on the side of the road. Sounds like a lot, but being from WA, we drive long distances all the time for waves so it wasn’t too much of a struggle. Gnaraloo to my home [in Margaret River] is about 14 hours and we do that for a two day swell run, so I knew what I was in for.

What kept you entertained for the drive? Got any recommendations?

Podcasts, podcasts and more podcasts. My Spotify completely cooked it! All my downloaded music just wouldn’t play, even stuff that had been downloaded for years. Nothing but two playlists would play: a mate’s hectic tech-house tunes and a depressed music playlist as the other (laughs). No in-between. Sad songs on the Nullabor by yourself sure makes you feel lonely, don’t recommend it.

Of course, I had a couple of the Joe Rogan Experience in there. Theories of the Third Kind, this one is pretty good for diving deep in the rabbit hole of conspiracies, and I have to give a shout out to The Grim Reapers! They are a local podcast from Perth and are fucking hilarious. One of the hosts, Chris White, used to make the Tension bodyboard videos back in the day and they just talk shit for an hour. Anyway, make sure you have your music downloaded!

If I was planning the same trip what advice would you give me before I headed off? 

Bring your own food and eat healthy; I think that’s a big reason why I found it pretty cruisey. Eating a servo three meals a day for four days would have made it so much tougher. Cramping up in the car is the worst on a long drive, and eating healthy and drinking enough water reduces it massively.

Take your car to a mechanic before you leave—once you hit the Nullarbor there’s not much help if anything goes wrong. And watch out for kangaroos! There are a shit ton out there and avoid driving a night if you want your car dent-free and in one piece when you come out the other side.

Essential gear for the journey? 

A carton of Emu Export for a nice sunset tin and a good pair of sunnies. A jet boiler is pretty handy, it takes two minutes to boil water. I don’t know if you’ve tried to boil water camping but usually takes fuckin’ ages.

What was the most interesting thing you witnessed along the way?

Definitely the Great Aussie Bight! When you first turn up where the land just ends on these massive cliffs, you just have this ‘holy fuck’ moment where you’re mesmerised. I parked up there for the last hour of light and cracked a few tins, even though it was howling it was so sick. Almost made it more wild with these waves crashing into the wall of rock and the wind whistling through different holes in the cliffs.

If you were to go back to one place on that drive, where would it be and why?

Ahh, probably Penong (heard the pub is a must-visit) and head down to Cactus. I originally planned to take about two weeks to do the trip with a mate and we were going to surf our way along the bottom, but WA closed its borders again so he couldn’t come over. Plus, the forecast was 40 knots onshore for the whole period I had to drive over.

Any blowouts?

I didn’t bring any golf clubs! There’s a golf course that stretches along the Nullarbor, it’s the longest golf course in the world and the holes are behind each roadhouse along the way. Pretty rattled I didn’t pack any clubs… how often can you say you played the world’s longest golf course?

But thankfully no major blowouts! I was about a metre off hitting a roo just before entering VIC and had to do a little Tokyo Drift around the big fella, which otherwise would have been a massive blowout. My little Subi Outback doesn’t have a good track record with kangas, so missing it was a huge win.

See more from our travel feature Neck of the Woods here.

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