Half Way Across Australia – or is it??!! Kimba, South Australia
The 4000 km drive across Australia* is such a LOOOONG way even getting halfway is an achievement.
The small town of Kimba, deep in the South Australian Outback on the Eyre Peninsula, leaves Cross-Australia travellers in no doubt that they’ve reached this significant milestone. If you don’t feel a photo coming on when you reach the ‘Half Way across Australia’ sign, you’ve got WAAAY more willpower than I!
It’s all happening at the half-way-across-Australia mark! Tourist Shop, Bakery AND the BIG GALAH!!
And depending on which way you’re travelling, just up (or down) the road is the ‘Half Way Across Australia Tourist Gift Shop and Bakery’! Even the most jaded traveller would be tempted to stop here, wouldn’t they?
But on the off chance you’ve driven right past the sign AND you’re unaccountably tempted to skip the tourist gift shop and/or bakery, chances are Kimba’s other BIG attraction at the halfway marker will reel you in.
The Big Galah, Kimba, South Australia
Because you can’t miss the Big Galah!
The eight metre*** high statue of this iconic Australian bird outside the gift shop is what’s known in tourism parlance as a ‘sure thing’. By the time you get to Kimba from any direction, chances are you’ve already driven through a whole lot of nothing – with a whole lot more to come!
Half Way? Kimba, South Australia
So the Big Galah**** and the attendant plethora of tourist drawcards awaiting your ‘pleasure’ will likely be an irresistable lure – for the photo opportunities alone!
But is Kimba REALLY half way across Australia?
It is – at least according to the Half Way sign, the Eyre Peninsula tourist guide and several websites promoting the town and region, all of which conveniently fail to provide any distances to support their claims. Although the website indicates the measurement to be ‘as the crow flies’**
According to Google Maps the distance from Perth to Sydney is 3934 km by road. It calculates the shortest road distance from Sydney to Kimba at ~1700 km, and from Kimba to Perth ~2230 km. Even taking the longest possible route from Sydney via Melbourne brings the Sydney-Kimba leg to only ~1900 km – still less than half, especially as the distance to Perth then also becomes greater than 4000km.
And while measuring ‘as the crow flies’ would decrease the Kimba-Perth leg, it would also decrease the Kimba-Sydney leg.
Grotesque? NO! It’s the Big Galah! Kimba, South Australia
Perhaps Kimba is the CLOSESTtown to the magic 1977 km half way mark? No – other towns of varying sizes between Kimba and the oblivion of the Nullarbor – such as Ceduna, Wirrulla and Poochera would have greater claim to half way honours if it’s a matter of road distance.
So why Kimba? Maybe Kimba just thought of it first – then travellers, grateful for something to break their long journey don’t question the sign’s authenticity OR the inexplicable presence of a Big Galah!
And unless you’re travelling from Sydney to Kimba and back again, you’ll pass the halfway point somewhere down the road anyway.
So lets keep this a secret, shall we?!?!
A REAL Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) for comparison purposes!