THE NULLARBOR, SA
It’s a plain; a whole lot of nothing (Nullarbor means ‘no trees’ in Latin after all), the presence of absence as it were. Or is it? Drive along one of the longest sections of straight road in the world (about 146 kilometres of bitumen without a turn), and you should spot the country’s biggest (feral) land mammal, the camel; desert flowers stretching off for infinity that bloom into colourful life with the seasons; and magnificent sunsets setting it all off with low desert light come evening. A drive here is time enough for endless contemplation, but don’t simply set your cruise control and fall asleep at the wheel. Take one of the tracks that stab off the Eyre Highway to see what the Nullarbor and its namesake national park are all about: staggering views of the Great Australian Bight, where the desert scrub comes to an abrupt end at vertical sea cliffs, the Southern Ocean beyond. From May to October, you’ll spot southern right whales gathering off the coast to calve. It seems the presence of absence can be something very beautiful indeed.