The Eyre Highway, the only east-west road in the south of Australia, runs across the Nullarbor Plain between South and Western Australia. At Ceduna, in the northwest of the Eyre Peninsula (South Australia), it comes close to the Southern Ocean and then runs almost due west for almost 1000km. Here begins the Nullarbor (from Latin nullus arbor, no trees), an endless bare and almost treeless expanse of salt scrub vegetation. Geologically the plain consists of sediment deposited on the bottom of an ancient sea which was later raised, to become a hot and arid desert landscape. At various points along the course of the Eyre Highway side roads go off to the rocky coast on the stormy Southern Ocean, with its bizarrely shaped limestone cliffs, karstic formations and overhanging rock faces. In addition to the magnificent views of coastal scenery, travelers between June and October may be lucky enough to observe whales passing on their annual migration. In 1841 John Eyre became the first European to cross the Nullarbor along the Great Australian Bight from Adelaide to Albany. Nowadays, 150 years later, the long, monotonous journey holds no terrors for travelers on the well engineered highway with its filling stations, rest areas and overnight stopovers. The distance from the South Australian border to Norseman, the end of the Eyre Highway, is 725km. The transcontinental railroad runs parallel to the Eyre Highway some 100km north, cutting across the empty waste in a dead straight line for 480km. A telegraph line was laid along the edge of the Nullarbor Plain in 1877 from Albany to Eucla, linked by way of Port Augusta with the overland telegraph line to Adelaide in the east and Darwin in the north. Time zones Travelers from west to east must put the clock forward twice by 45 minutes each time, changing to Western Australian Central Time at Caiguna and to South Australian Standard Time at the state border to the east of Eucla. Stopovers on Eyre Highway The first place with a rest area, filling station and overnight accommodation on the journey eastward from Norseman is Balladonia (190km), amid the gentle hills of the Fraser Range. The stone fences built by the early settlers can still be seen. 28km east of the motel and caravan park, beyond the ruins of the old telegraph station, is the Balladonia Station Homestead (1822). Beyond this is a 145km stretch of dead straight road to Caiguna (182km from Balladonia). Between Balladonia and Caiguna are rock pools - natural waterholes - at which the camel trains of the 1890s used to halt. At the roadhouse sightseeing flights over the coast are on offer. The next possible stopover is Cocklebiddy, 66km from Caiguna. Behind the roadhouse can be seen the ruins of a mission station for the Aborigines. To the northeast are interesting caves; on the coast to the south is a bird-watching station. 91km east of Cocklebiddy is Madura, founded in 1876, with the hills of the Hampton Tableland in the background. At Mundrabilla, 114km east of Madura, is a bird sanctuary. 68km east of Mundrabilla, only 12km short of the South Australian border, is Eucla, with a police station and a medical post. To the south of the settlement are the ruins of the old telegraph station, now almost completely buried by the sand dunes, which are a favorite subject with photographers. Beyond the state boundary the Eyre Highway continues for another 480km over the Nullarbor. On the South Australian section of the highway are five lookouts with impressive views of grand coastal scenery.