The little town of Eucla, just over the western side of the SA/WA border, is a pleasant surprise in this arid environment.
The white gravel ground of the town roads and the modern architecture makes it feel really different to the surrounding landscape, and there is a very pretty campground with an unbeatable view as well.
Once you've checked into your digs at the the Eucla Motel Hotel and Caravan Park, you'll want to head out to the nearby Telegraph Station ruins, just a couple of kays down the road.
The ruins are said to be haunted and can sometimes be completely covered with windblown sand and unable to be seen. We were pleased they were only half-filled with sand when we arrived, however, dismayed to discover that they’ve been almost completely covered with graffiti.
Names and dates have been etched into the soft sandstone as well – we found some dating back to 1976 – and, although these markings are technically vandalism as well, it somehow didn’t seem as bad as the spray-painted tags and profanities!
In the soft, fading light, the ruins seemed far from haunted but it wasn’t hard to imagine how eerie it would become after dark.
Back at the caravan park, you'll discover a peculiar oddity about Eucla – it runs on its own time zone which is, apparently, unofficial but largely accepted.
The Eucla Motel Hotel and Caravan Park was a welcome surprise for us weary travellers.
Its location, almost of the edge of the coast, affords spectacular views overlooking the sea, past the old ruins and some rolling white dunes. Many travellers made the most of the caravan park’s ‘pick your own site’ policy and set up right on the edge of the escarpment to enjoy the vista.
The park’s manager lives in house on the edge of the park and has a couple of horses, a sheep (which cruised past our camp in the morning) and a rooster which creates a nice ambience for the campground.
The facilities are clean and spacious (but don’t forget your $1 coins to take a hot shower), with a nice barbecue area (free!) where we cooked up a feast of burgers and sausages, sans the veggies/salad we had to relinquish at the border!