Eyre Highway, a road linking Western and South Australia

Eyre Highway
Eyre Highway

Eyre Highway (Australian National Route A1) runs 167 kilometers (1,040 miles) from Norseman in Western Australia (where it is an extension of the Esperance Highway) to Port Augusta in South Australia (where it is extended by the Princes Highway). The road passes through the Nullarbor Plain and the Great Australian Bight. It connects Perth and Adelaide and is part of Highway 1 and the Australian National Highway.

It names comes from Edward John Eyre, the first European to cross the desolate Nullarbor Plain by land (1840-1841).

The Eyre Highway is a lengthy and desolate stretch of road. While there are some towns in the east, the west is largely empty of life. Because of its isolation, several sections of the route serve as emergency airstrips for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, ensuring the safety of travelers.

Where is the Eyre Highway ?

The Eyre Highway is located in Western Australia, and runs from Norseman to Port Augusta in South Australia.

You can locate the Eyre Highway on the map below:

Enlarge the map

Facts about road

How long is the Eyre Highway ?

The road, which runs from Port Augusta in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia, spans 1,675 kilometers (1,040 miles) of land and plains as far as the eye can see.

If you take on this incredible tour, you’ll discover more about Australia’s pioneering heritage. You will aslo get a taste of the true outback. The Eyre Highway, running across the Nullarbor Plain, is the world’s longest straight road at 146 kilometers (90 kilometers).

There’s plenty to see on this road trip, including the beautiful Great Australian Bight sea cliffs, which are a short diversion south of the freeway.

The beautiful eucalypts of the Great Western Woodlands, a telegraph station, and a bird observatory are among the historic and natural wonders along the road

You can either camp or stay at one of the roadhouses or motels along the way.

When was Eyre Highway built ?

The construction of the Eyre Highway began in July 1941 and completed within 6 months. Originally named after John Forrest as the Forrest Highway, the road was a single lane that largely followed the current route but was in poor condition.

During the 1950s, cars getting stuck in sand along the road were a common sight in newsreels. The current alignment of the highway hasn’t changed significantly, despite various improvements. The stark contrast in road conditions on either side of Eucla remained until the mid-1980s, when the final stretch in South Australia was paved in 1976.

How access to Eyre Highway ?

You could fly to Port Augusta and out of Norseman, but most people who try this journey do it from New South Wales, Victoria, or Adelaide, with the goal of arriving in Perth (or vice-versa)

Another great road to drive in Australia is the Great Ocean Road or also the Black Spur Drive.

You can see the itinerary of the Eyre Highway on this map:

How to get ready for this trip ?

The Eyre Highway is roughly 1,675 kilometers (1,040 miles) long. It takes about two days to drive the entire route if you drive it straight. It can be completed by a standard vehicle on a well-maintained sealed road the entire way. However, if you intend to do side trips and off-road experiences along the way, you may require a 4WD vehicle.

Crossing the remote Nullarbor Plain requires careful planning as supplies are scarce along the journey. Though there are many service stations and roadhouses along the Eyre Highway, it’s advisable to carry extra petrol as not all are open 24 hours. It’s also recommended to stop and camp for the night to avoid wildlife crossings and potential accidents, as there is increased road activity during the night.

A preview of the Eyre Highway:

If you are planning to drive this road, or just want to discover this beautiful road, you can obviously watch this YouTube video:

Is the Eyre Highway open?

This tourist route is open all year round.

The highway traverses the Nullarbor and can be driven at any time, however, the weather in this region of South and Western Australia can be extreme with summer temperatures reaching 50 °C (122 °F) during the day and dropping sharply at night.

Most of the highway has a speed limit of 110 km/h (70 mph), but it decreases in areas with higher population density.

Tourists are encouraged to check www.emergency.wa.gov.au and www.alerts.dbca.wa.gov.au for alerts and road/park closures before beginning their journey.

Embark on an unforgettable journey along the Eyre Highway, one of Australia’s most captivating self-drive experiences. Stretching 1,675 kilometers (1,040 miles) from Port Augusta in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia, this road will take you through sprawling lands and endless plains. Don’t miss out on this incredible road trip opportunity in Australia!

Pictures sources: By Yewenyi at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3418270 / By Bahnfrend – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=58812082 /

Discover other roads around the world: click here or see our road map!