Chilling Out on the Nullarbor

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Plenty of truckies spent time around New Year chilling out on the Nullarbor Plain as the main East/West highway in Australia was cut due to the bushfire crisis. The fire raged over 500,000 hectares of land between Balladonia and Norseman and cut this vital link between Western Australia and the rest of the country.

It looks like this drone photographer had plenty of time to send up their flying camera and get some footage of roadhouses full of trucks as they waited for the all-clear which came twelve days after the road was first closed. 

Here in this video we see crowded roadhouses and trucks lined up on the road as the road train drivers simply had to play the waiting game. Well now, the waiting is over and the road is again fully functioning.

Our video maker, The Drone Way, also entertains us with additional footage of the beautiful scenery in the area, bravely sending the drone off the cliffs and out over the Bight to get some spectacular shots.

The issue for the 1600km Eyre Highway is the fact it is the only practical road link between Perth and the rest of Australia. The authorities are now closing the road when there is any danger, as a result of the incidents back in 2007 when three truck drivers died after running into an out of control bushfire on the main highway.

The railway line stayed open during the bushfires, but there is, currently no alternative. 20 years ago there was an initiative aimed at coming up with an alternative route, for just these occasions, but it seems to have faded from memory.

The plan was to improve the Great Central Highway, which runs from Yulara in the Northern Territory to Laverton in WA. There was government funding to improve the road to the point where road trains could use it when things like the closure of the Eyre Highway occurred. 

The improved road would also have been a boon to the local economy of the small settlements on the route, because the improved road would enable more tourists to take this route. However, like so many things from the Australian Governments, funds never materialised and interested faded into the background.

Perhaps this year’s events might put it back on the agenda. 

 

chilling out on the Nullarbor