Caiguna, Western Australia

Caiguna is a small roadhouse community located on the Eyre Highway in Western Australia. It is the second stop east of Norseman on the journey east across the Nullarbor Plain. Between Balladonia and Caiguna is a 146.6-kilometre (91.1 mi) stretch of the highway which is one of the longest straight stretches of road in the world.[2][3] The unofficial Central Western Time (CWT) starts at Caiguna heading eastward.

Caiguna
Western Australia
Caiguna Roadhouse, 2017 (03).jpg
Caiguna Roadhouse
Caiguna is located in Western Australia
Caiguna
Caiguna
Coordinates32°16′8″S 125°29′24″E / 32.26889°S 125.49000°E / -32.26889; 125.49000Coordinates: 32°16′8″S 125°29′24″E / 32.26889°S 125.49000°E / -32.26889; 125.49000
Population8 (2016 census)[1]
Established1962
Postcode(s)6443
Location
  • 1,098 km (682 mi) from Perth
  • 374 km (232 mi) from Norseman
  • 336 km (209 mi) from Eucla
LGA(s)Shire of Dundas
State electorate(s)Eyre
Federal Division(s)O'Connor

HistoryEdit

The name is an Aboriginal word possibly meaning "spear track". In 1841, Edward John Eyre's party, consisting of Eyre, a man named John Baxter and three Aboriginals including one named Wylie, travelled across the Nullarbor, leaving Fowler's Bay in South Australia. On 29 April, two of the Aboriginals killed John Baxter and disappeared into the desert, taking most of the party's supplies. Due to the terrain, Baxter could not be buried, so his remains were wrapped in a blanket and left behind, and Eyre and Wylie pressed on for another month, after which they were rescued by a French vessel off Thistle Cove near modern-day Esperance, Western Australia. A memorial to Baxter is located 10-kilometre (6.2 mi) south of the roadhouse.[4]

The townsite was established in 1962 to assist traffic crossing the Nullarbor for the Commonwealth Games in Perth.[5][6]

During the 1960s and 1970s, Ansett and Trans Australia Airlines domestic flights used a VOR station at Caiguna as a turning point on routes between Perth and eastern Australian capitals such as Adelaide, Melbourne, and Sydney.[7]

Present dayEdit

As with other communities along the Eyre Highway, Caiguna today consists of little more than a roadhouse. The John Eyre Motel provides roadhouse facilities including a basic caravan park, and is one of only three Nullarbor roadhouses to be open 24 hours. A landing strip is located nearby and connects to the roadhouse with a short taxiway. The John Eyre Motel hosts a 310-metre (339.0 yd) par 4 golf tee as part of the Nullarbor Links golf course.[8]

There are several nearby attractions for people crossing the Nullabor Plain. Numerous rockholes, blowholes, and gnamma holes are located on tracks off of the Eyre Highway in the vicinity of Caiguna, including the Caiguna Blowhole, and the Jillbunya and Cardanumbi Rockholes. These features were formed by years of chemical and physical weathering of the limestone bedrock of the Nullabor Plain.[9][5]

The Readymix logo geoglyph, created during the sealing of the Eyre Highway, lies around 13 kilometres (8.1 mi) north west of Caiguna.[7]

Nuytsland Nature Reserve stretches along the coast of the Great Australian Bight directly south of Caiguna and contains numerous points of interest, including a Memorial to John Baxter and Toolinna Cove.[4][10]

GeographyEdit

ClimateEdit

Caiguna experiences a steppe climate (Köppen climate classification BSk).

Climate data for Eyre
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.6
(79.9)
26.6
(79.9)
25.7
(78.3)
24.2
(75.6)
21.4
(70.5)
19.0
(66.2)
18.3
(64.9)
19.5
(67.1)
21.4
(70.5)
23.3
(73.9)
24.5
(76.1)
25.6
(78.1)
23.0
(73.4)
Average low °C (°F) 15.3
(59.5)
16.0
(60.8)
14.2
(57.6)
11.8
(53.2)
9.0
(48.2)
6.7
(44.1)
5.7
(42.3)
6.0
(42.8)
7.6
(45.7)
10.1
(50.2)
12.1
(53.8)
14.1
(57.4)
10.7
(51.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 17.4
(0.69)
19.5
(0.77)
27.3
(1.07)
24.6
(0.97)
38.2
(1.50)
39.6
(1.56)
34.8
(1.37)
29.6
(1.17)
23.6
(0.93)
19.7
(0.78)
21.3
(0.84)
21.1
(0.83)
316.2
(12.45)
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics (27 June 2017). "Caiguna (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2016 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 1 January 2019.  
  2. ^ Moon, Ron; Finlay, Hugh; O'Byrne, Denis; Williams, Jeff (1994). Outback Australia: a Lonely Planet Australia guide (1st ed.). Lonely Planet. p. 328. ISBN 978-0-86442-239-2.
  3. ^ "Sign at the start of 90-mile straight, Australia's longest straight road". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 13 October 2009. Archived from the original on 7 September 2014. Retrieved 8 October 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) Additional archives: 26 December 2015.
  4. ^ a b The Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 2004). "Travel – Caiguna". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ a b "Caiguna". Aussie Towns. Retrieved 18 October 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ Shire of Dundas. "Eyre Highway". Retrieved 17 October 2006. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ a b Whyte, Brendan (2004). "The diamond in the desert: the story of the giant Readymix logo on the Nullarbor". The Globe. 55: 1–24.
  8. ^ "Hole 11". Nullarbor Links. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  9. ^ "Perth - Adelaide Adventure: The Nullarbor - Digital Edition" (PDF). Kalgoorlie Tourism. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  10. ^ "Nuytsland Nature Reserve". Western Australia Parks and Wildlife Service. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  11. ^ "Climate statistics for Eyre". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 22 March 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External linksEdit

  Media related to Caiguna, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons