The Nullarbor Plain is a vast, arid region in southern Australia. The name "Nullarbor" comes from the latin terms nullus optus transien meaning 'nothing to see here, move right along' and bora supra meaning 'supremely boring'. The Aboriginal name for the area is 'Oondiri' meaning 'don't bother'. It is the world's largest collection of absolutely nothing, and occupies an area that cannot be measured by conventional means. Nullarbor is also the name of one of Australia's biggest cities located in the middle of the plain, just out of sight of the Eyre Highway.
Despite the fact that there is absolutely no reason to live in the Nullarbor, the Spiragraph Aboriginal people inhabited the area for millions of years prior to European settlement. The first settlers, for no known reason, were determined to cross the Nullarbor.
“It's the most magnificent place on Earth, a kind of Shangri La, and probably the site of the Garden of Eden. I wish I'd crossed it sooner!”
Edmund John Eyre was the first to cross the Nullarbor, and between 1840 and 1841, he and three Aborigines with a pack mule built the highway that connects Port Augusta and Norseman, which Eyre named after himself - the Crazyman Highway.
In the 1950's, the Australian Federal government recommenced the terra nullius policy and, despite the fact that the area was actually inhabited by people, allowed the British to test nuclear weapons in the Nullarbor.
Every Australian has crossed the Nullarbor at least once. Australians who have not crossed the Nullarbor are considered "un-Australian".
“Look mate, if ya han't crost th Nullarbor, then ya jus not bloody Straiyan. Ya midaswel be a seppo or a bloody frog or summink. So get in ya ute an do it. An on the way back, pick up a carton wood ya?”
The Nullarbor is also considered a bogan heaven, because it contains the southern hemisphere's largest collection of broken down cars. However, until the number of bottle shops increases significantly, it is unlikely to be more than a popular tourist destination.
“I'm sure it's all very interesting when you can understand all the seven-syllable words, but basically it comes down to a big flat expanse of iron-rich dirt and rocks, with the Southern Ocean to the South, and more desert on all other sides. Oh and I think there are some caves.”
Hot and dry during the day, and cold and dry at night. The only rain ever recorded in the Nullarbor was 12mm in 1983.
Transport plays a major role in the Nullarbor, because everyone who is there is by definition on their way across it, whether by road or rail. There are no towns between Norseman and Ceduna, only a single route between West and East, with scattered roadhouses.