Moodini Bluff – Madura – Cocklebiddy – Caiguna – Baxter Rest Area (16)
What a magical morning I wake to, birds calling in the bush all around me and not much road noise – washing almost dry to boot. I decided to go for a walk around in the campsite while the washing dried. There are little tracks leading off everywhere for campsites and it goes back a long way from the highway. Walk complete, I take off for Madura via Moodini Bluff – the range of hills I’ve had on my right all day yesterday comes very near the highway. It’s very craggy and shrubby trees abound.
Not very far up the road is Madura which is where I play my first hole for the day – Brumby’s Run – a Par 3 which took me 6 shots!! This fairway has trees all around and for good measure one smack bang in the middle.
Madura was settled as a pastoral run in about 1876, and was well known for producing polo and cavalry horses for the British Imperial Indian Army. Madura is the midway point between Adelaide and Perth. The roadhouse, restaurant, take away and motel units as well as the Caravan Park make for a thriving hub. It is on Madura Pass, whose lookout at the top of the Pass has spectacular views of the Roe Plains – sweeping across the plains to the Southern Ocean. Enchanting!!
As I wandered along the road towards Cocklebiddy, I was treated to more Eagles – this time managed to get a shot of one taking off from a feast. The country has changed in colour now –it has a tinge of grey to many of the plants and the shrubby trees are more prevalent. I come across the turnoff to the Eyre Bird Observatory – only 35 kilometres down the track but decide, on reading the warning signs about the loose and exposed rocks, I wouldn’t be going down there. I’m travelling through Nuytsland Nature Reserve at the moment and feel like I’m driving on Morney Plain back home – same type of vegetation as far as the eye can see.
When I arrive at Cocklebiddy, which lies of the southern edge of West Australia’s vast sheep grazing country – some of the pastoral runs around here are bigger than a number of European countries. That is an amazing fact for me to get my head around. The Cocklebiddy cave system is world famous and records have been made and broken in diving them.
I get my card signed, and then head to the golf course for a hit – this is the Eagle’s Nest Par 4 – I like this hole as the Ladies tee is 100 metres down the fairway and there are no trees YAY!! Even though I take 6 shots I’m happy with that, but for practice on the way back, I hit off and reached the tee in 2 – go figure!! I had lunch and decided to head to Caiguna.
I’ve been noticing these sheds with solar panels at regular intervals along the highway and needed to check one out to see what they were for – Telstra has equipment there – so now I know.
Caiguna is a roadhouse and the Nullabor Links hole is called 90 Mile Straight – a Par 4 which is anything but straight!! This hole has a dog leg to the left through thick bush when you hook like me!! I had a tough time finding the green and took 8 shots. Back to the roadhouse for fuel $1.96 per litre (I didn’t fuel at Cocklebiddy as I thought I’d give the smaller outlet a go – fool!!) At the roadhouse begins the most famous stretch of road in Australia – 90 miles (145.6 kilometres) of road – not one bend!!
I headed along the famous straight and came across 3 more Wedge tail Eagles feasting – they really are majestic animals. My favourites!! About 5 kilometres out is the Caiguna Blowhole – a hole for the caves beneath the Nullarbor to breathe. The information signs at the site are very good and give an insight as to what lies below the surface. The blowhole actually looks like it has been drilled out. I’m heading to Baxter Rest Area about 30 kilometres along the road and pass a campsite which has water supplied – a great service to travellers – a tank supplying rain water to be boiled before use. I fill up a few bottles for cuppas. I arrived at Baxter’s early enough to go for a walk around – there’s even a toilet block and dump point here – very well serviced and there are quite a few vans in already.