Located 984 km east of Perth and 219 km from Norseman, Balladonia is the first stop on the long Nullabor journey from West Australia to South Australia (equally it is the last stop before Norseman for travellers from South Australia). The stretch from Balladonia to Caiguna (181 km) boasts one of the longest stretches of straight road anywhere in the world.
The area around Balladonia, in spite of it being on the edge of the desert and enjoying a miserably low rainfall, was settled in the 1880s and the lonely Balladonia Homestead, a remarkable stone building, is one of the reminders of the endurance and initiative of these early settlers. The homestead is located 28 km east of the roadhouse and has been open to the public but in recent times the owners have closed it up. For more details ask at the Balladonia Roadhouse or contact the owners on (08) 9039 3456.
Things to see
There are a number of rocky outcrops in the area which are of some interest. 14 km east of Balladonia are the Afghan Rocks where the only fresh water dams in the area were used as a vital water supply in the early days of trans-Nullarbor transportation. It is said that the rocks were named after someone found an Afghan camel driver washing his feet in the dam and shot him.
Near the Balladonia Roadhouse are the Balladonia Rocks (ask at the roadhouse for directions) which offer superb views of the flat plains which dominate in the area.
Balladonia's one great claim to fame came in 1979 when one of the US Skylab's fell to earth in the area. Anyone driving through the area can only wonder at the Skylab's remarkably sophisticated choice of landing place. You could spray the area with space debris and no one would ever be hit or harmed.
For tourist information, see Nullabor website.