As Around The World enters another bunch of “Middle of Nowhere” stages on the Nullarbor Plain, stage 320 offers up a lumpy uphiller. The ascent is never particularly testing – indeed the sharpest climb is just forty feet in half a mile – but the lumpy ascending nature of the profile is unrelenting for twenty three miles.
The rollout approaches Cocklebiddy after just a mile, and because Mark Beaumont took a detour through the town, which sits just off the Eyre Highway to the south, the stage goes that way too. It also offers some respite from the monotony of the straight roads because the detour hangs a right/left/right loop over a quarter of a mile before rejoining the main highway on an east/north east trajectory.
The road runs along the northern edge of the Nuytsland Nature Reserve for the first fifteen miles of the stage, and as the road’s heading east, that means the forest is on your right. The only feature of any note after leaving Cocklebiddy is a junction at eight miles where a dirt road heads north to link up with the Trans-Australian Railway about seventy miles to the north. I had a look at the junction on Google Maps and it’s marked by a traffic cone sitting on top of an old oil drum. At twelve miles there’s a further junction, this time heading south into the scrub: it’s marked as the Eyre Bird Observatory: there’s also a rest area with an observatory a mile further east along the highway.
And that’s it for features. The road hangs a slight right at fifteen miles, following the curvature of the Great Australian Bight coastline twenty miles to the south, and the remainder of the stage is generally east, which is good because that’s definitely the right direction to be heading, albeit slowly.
Distance: 23 miles / 37 kilometres
Ascent: 322 feet / 98 metres
RGT Magic Road: Zo0aO7Hsstew
Max elevation: 242 ft
Min elevation: 166 ft
Total climbing: 318 ft
Total descent: -281 ft
You must log in to post a comment.