Road trip across Australia – Day 1 Merredin

Today was a short trip, just to get out of Perth. We eventually stopped in Merredin, which is just 262 kilometres east of Perth.
The idea was to get out of the city, to give ourselves a good full day to get on to the Nullarbor.
Getting out of Perth took about an hour, by the time we had cleared Mundaring, a hills suburb which is the last big town in the metropolitan area heading east. Generally the drive, starting from Royal Perth Hospital where my wife works, up Lord Street and on to Guildford Road and along to Great Eastern Highway, the main highway which heads East, was quite good, except for the fact that Perth’s stupid traffic light system, which seems to be designed to halt the flow of traffic rather than aid it, meant that following main roads we were not given preference over side streets.
Another hold up was caused by the necessity for two lanes to form one lane for the bridge which crosses the Swan River at Guildford. This is a major artery, with lots of new suburbs and communities being built in the Swan Valley and Midland area, so it is probably time that a multi-lane traffic bridge was built here.
The other major hold up occurred at the intersection of the Roe Highway and the Great Eastern Highway, but as this hold up was caused by works that are being done to improve the intersection, I was not bothered by it, as it is progress and you should expect delays when major works are being carried out.
Once we got past this intersection, the drive was really good and quite easy. Just past Sawyer’s Valley the road really improves and the speed limit is raised to 110 kmh. They’ve re-routed this road in recent years so that now you bypass the major Avon Valley town of Northam, saving quite a bit of time.
As we headed east past the town of Meckering the sunset was absolutely sensational. Note that we were heading east, but we could enjoy it via our rear and side mirrors, and heather took a delightful photo.
We kept going past the towns of Cunderdin, Tammin and Kellerberrin, reaching Merredin at about 6.45pm, a drive of just over three hours – but much of that was taken up with battling city traffic.
Merredin on a Friday night is not exactly bursting with life. We drove through the town, and saw one restaurant, one pub and a Subway store open on the main drag. We thought we might drive further on to Southern Cross, about another hour up the road, but when we phoned the only motel to make a booking there was no answer and we decided not to chance it, so opted to stay in Merredin.
We stayed in a two bedroom villa at the Merredin Tourist Park. They were a few motels in town, which looked to be mostly empty. I had stayed in a couple before, but the villa here was actually much better than the motels I’d stayed at previously.
Our villa was very clean and functional, and the beds comfortable. We also had covered parking, which is good because as soon as the sun goes down it is freezing. I know this because I am the one who gets to walk and toilet Tyson, the dog. Normally Merredin Tourist Park doesn’t allow dogs to stay in the villas, which is fair enough, but Tyson is a Lions hearing Dog, so has Guide Dog status, and he does have a lot more rights than other dogs.
The Merredin Tourist Park was a good choice as it was reasonably priced, comfortable and well-maintained.
I am writing this early on Saturday morning and we will be leaving soon for a big day’s drive which should get us out onto the Nullabor somewhere. I am looking forward to getting closer to the middle of Australia.

1 comment to Road trip across Australia – Day 1 Merredin

  • The BP Roadhouse at the entrance to the Eyre Highway at the northern edge of Norseman, is a great place to fill up with fresh water, fuel and some food. They also have a laundromat and shower.

    Lots of room but be careful where you park. There are many large trucks using this roadhouse.

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