We came across the Mundrabillia Roadhouse by chance on our first drive across the Nullarbor Plain from Melbourne to Perth in Dec. of 2009.
My wife and I were at the end of our second full day on the road when we crossed the border into Western Australia at Border Village/Eucla. It had just started to rain and was getting dark so it was time to figure out where we would spend the night. Border Village had a quarantine stop that sort of took us by surprise and thus we didn’t think much of staying there. It did have a “Big Thing” going for it (a Kangaroo and lots of odd ball distance signs) but the accommodation didn’t really look like much. The map showed that just a few more kilometers up the road at Eucla there was both medical and police services. With this in mind we thought it could be a good spot to stop for the night.
Eucla seemed to be a bit off the highway and upon driving into the town we couldn’t really find anything – it was so dark and with the rain coming down we didn’t want to get out of the car to see where anyway was. With the next “Roadhouse” only about an hour to the west we thought that may just be the best plan – plus that would give us an hour less driving on what was going to be a very long third day on the road the next day.
We pulled back on the highway from Eucla for a long stretch down a hill and ended up behind a huge road train. With all the crud on the road now being kicked up by this truck onto our windshield we really had a hard time seeing anything and we didn’t dare pass him as at this very same time the road was filling up with kangaroos! We didn’t want hit one and bugger up the car in the middle of nowhere so we thought it best to just stay close to the truck and let him do all the killing!
This had to be the longest hour of the trip! We were so happy when we saw the lights in the distance of the Mundrabillia Roadhouse that any bed that they would have for us would be better than the white knuckled drive we had just done. Hell the place didn’t even look all that bad in the dark either!
We checked in and paid $85 cash for their standard room. The guy working the front desk was an English backpacker and we sort of wondered what he had done wrong to end up way out there – but he was nice enough and informed us that the restaurant would be closing soon so that if we wanted to eat we best do shortly.
We drove around to the side and proceeded to unload the car into the motel room.
WHAT A DUMP!!!!!
There was even a hole in the sink – and it was not the drain! But in the middle of nowhere - beggars can’t be choosers – and I think they know that. The room had very thin metal walls – it was kind of like a low rent shipping container and it was all rusting away. I sort of wished I had a crime scene kit with me – I’m sure I would have found all sorts of evidnece of past wrong doings in this room! But I expect Alice would not have liked the results – she figured the best course of action was to to sleep in her cloths and not even brush her teeth with their water.
After a pretty short and cold night in the crappy bed we got up as early as we could and decided to get on the road as soon as possible to make our way to Perth on what would be our final day on the road.
As we loaded up the car the sun was starting to break through the heavy cloud cover and I thought it may just be worth while to set up my panoramic gear to capture what would be my first (and as it turned out – only) high quality photo of the road trip. Up until this point I was only shooting the odd iPhone shot from the car window or when we stopped for food or fuel. With 3600km to make in only 3 days – there is not a lot of time left over for tripod based photography unfortunately.