Halfway Across Australia!

Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ

Half Way Across Australia - or is it??!! Kimba, South Australia
Half Way Across Australia – or is it??!! Kimba, South Australia

The 4000 km drive from east to west is such a LOOOONG way even getting halfway across Australia is an achievement.

Kimba, South Australia

The small town of Kimba, deep in the South Australian Outback on the Eyre Peninsula, leaves cross country travellers in no doubt that they’ve reached halfway mark. If you don’t feel a photo coming on when you reach the ‘Halfway across Australia’ sign, you’ve got WAY more willpower than I!

It's all happening at the half-way-across-Australia mark! Tourist Shop, Bakery AND the BIG GALAH!!
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 ‘Halfway Across Australia Tourist Gift Shop and Bakery’! Even the most jaded traveller would be tempted to stop here, wouldn’t they?

The Big Galah, Kimba, South Australia
The Big Galah, Kimba, South Australia

The Big Galah

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 lingo 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
Half Way? Kimba, South Australia

So the Big Galah**** and the other tourist drawcards awaiting you will likely be an irresistable lure – for the photo opportunities alone!

Where is the REAL Halfway Point?

But is Kimba REALLY halfway 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 these 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
Grotesque? NO! It’s the Big Galah!

Perhaps Kimba is the CLOSEST town to the magic 1977 km half way mark? No.  Other towns of varying sizes between Kimba and 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!

A REAL Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus) for comparison purposes!

Want more information?


* From Perth (Western Australia) to Sydney (New South Wales)
** ‘As the Crow Flies’ = shortest distance between two points
*** 8 metres = 8 ¾ yards
**** I’ve included a photo of a REAL galah for comparison purposes
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  1. Sydney is not the eastern most point of the country nor Perth the western most point.
    This needs to be factored in to your calculation.

    1. Wow! What a cool clip!! She’s a LONG way from home – and I bet those two Perths are MILES apart – not just in distance, either! Thanks for sharing, Jimmy!

    1. You’re right Glen – what does it matter if it’s not exactly half way?!?! It’s not like I’m going to see another Giant Galah anywhere else in Australia, if not the world, if not the universe 😀

  2. Well, now I’ve seen it all, the big banana, pineapple, orange, ram, trout, crayfish, koala, even the great rocking horse in Gawler, and now a whopping great galah! Somewhere in the back of my mind lurks the big potato, I just can’t remember where that is. Somewhere, from the depths of memory, I also seem to dredge a massive gumboot. The world certainly is a funny place.

    1. The Big Potato is at Robertson NSW. Maybe there is another one somewhere else but I don’t know.

  3. @lorik – Galahs (both bird and human) are everywhere when you look!!
    @Sallie – I’m yet to visit Australia’s geographic centre – but I’m sure there’ll be plenty more craziness there …
    @SFlaGuy – Hahaha, Attack of the Giant Galah!! I’ll go you halves in the profits … It’d be WAAAAAY worse if you were drunk or hungover!!
    @Stewart – Big Thing kitsch is all very well – but the real thing gives it perspective!
    @Pat – Haha, so do I!
    @RedPat – You wouldn’t believe how good it feels …
    @37&Counting – There’s only a small number of states – but they cover a HUGE geographic area!!
    @Jim – Thanx!
    @Gerald – Correct! The galah zigzags all over the place with an erratic flight path! Don’t set your GPS by this bird!!
    @MaryHC – That’s the trick to appreciating them – they’re both great in their own little way!!

  4. It must be important – Lions Clubs International was there! 😉

    Have never been to Australia, but I am quite impressed by your profile info that you have traveled in every Australian state. That could be no small feat!

  5. I like whimsical stuff like that once in a while — and the center of your huge country is a darn good place for craziness. (We stopped once in someplace, Kansas at what they said was the exact center of the US. … and they didn’t even have a big galah. (Or anything but a boring marker.) But we still took a picture.

  6. They really did get the colour right in the big galah, didn’t they!? The real one is much prettier though. I just realised it is a long time since I have seen one – time for a country trip. We see lots of white, and sometimes black, cockatoos here in Sydney though.

  7. OK, so I have a certain fondness for “Big” things, I’ll take a flock of the real ones any day!

    cheers and thanks for linking to WBW

    Stewart M – Australia

  8. I’m imagining driving up to that bird in the middle of the night after a long ride of nothingness. It would be sort of a 50’s horror movie moment.

  9. @Gary – Thank you!
    @Hootin Anni – Really? Well that puts you in the majority, I believe!
    @Neil – Not just looking, but BEGGING!!!

  10. @Iris – I’ve been to Rocky, but don’t recall the Lobster. Don’t they have a Big Cow or something like that as well?? Sorry you missed the galah – that means you’ll just have to come back, right?!
    @mick – Haha! I don’t think anyone would be fooled for a minute!! The trap works really well – impossible to take a pic without a car or person in it!
    @Carole – SSSHHHhhh… don’t tell them!! I suspect if they DON’T know it won’t matter – because I reckon they’ve got a different clientele out that way!!
    @Jane & Lance – Haha! I now know I’d get cabin fever if I were an astronaut … even the kindest critic couldn’t honestly describe the Big Galah as a heavenly body!!
    @TexWisGirl – It certainly is original!!
    @EG Camera Girl – Even if you were repelled by the Galah I suspect you’d still HAVE to take a pic!
    @Karen – I’m still enjoying the Big Things – every time I post about one, I find out about more! This should fill my readers with either pleasure or dismay!
    @Michelle – HHHMMMmmm… I wonder what word most people would insert in your convenient blank?!?!

  11. @Andrew – Haha, what are you trying to say?!?!
    @eileeninmd – Yes, the real galah will win every time!!! The pink is enhanced by the setting sun!
    @Rose – Haha! Maybe we DO have the most Big Things – at least per capita! Wonder how we’d find out?!
    @PDP – Give me ‘discoveries’ like these ANY day! They make such great blog fodder!!!
    @River – We came from Perth, so we’d already passed the half-way mark! We just didn’t know it!!
    @jenny – Galahs are possibly Australia’s most ubiquitous bird! Not that I mind … I wonder can you see it from the air?!?!
    @Liz – Plenty more OZ Big Things!! I’ll hunt them all down …

  12. @Beach Bum – It all depends how you define ‘nothing’, doesn’t it?!
    @FruitCake – Come now! Where’s your sense of humour??!! It’s SO bad it’s almost good … although I suspect it exists only as a tourist trap!!
    @Are We There Yet – The sign says so, so it must be true!!! Galahs are different shades of pink, depending where you are!!
    @Rubye Jack – Haha, yes why not go all the way!! I guess it IS halfway round the world – from somehwhere!!!
    @TMWH – Didn’t go to the bakery! We went off the highway to the main town before we saw it!!! So I’m ashamed to report there’s still a bakery out there we haven’t patronised!! Although I guess I’ve patronised it in another way …
    @Filip – Come on – the other word you’re searching for is ‘ugly’, right?!?!
    @Windsmoke – I don’t think I’d take any measurement from the way Galahs fly – they zigzag all over the place!!!

  13. Well that big Galah is the right color and definitely a bird – but looking like a real Galah – I don’t think so! Definitely a good tourist trap though!

  14. Great shots! I love galahs! We had one as a pet (rescue). And I enjoyed all the “Big” things I saw while travelling around Oz, which I also snapped pics of.

  15. The Great Galah is a fun way to mark your progress across Australia. For sure my camera would beg me to click its shutter.

  16. Awww! We hit Ceduna! Aw! So dang sad we missed Kimba and this bird!
    Thanks for those cute pics!
    Have you been in Rockhampton, QLD? (What a question, huh?!) They have a huge … lobster(?) there.

  17. Hello Red:
    Even half way [or a tiny bit more or less]across Australia seems like a very long way indeed. The numbers seem to be like something out of an Einstein equation relating to heavenly bodies rather than human ones. Everything, we have decided, is big in Australia…..the distances for sure….and now the Galah!!!

  18. I’d go to Kimba just to see the galah (and the bakery).
    Which way are you traveling?
    Perth to Sydney or Sydney to Perth?
    If traveling to Sydney, you’ve already passed halfway and can now start saying “we’re almost there…”

  19. G’day Red – woo hoo – well done mate, half way there! I wonder if Australia would win the medal for “The Big this or that” around this country! I hadn’t heard of the Big Galah though!
    Great pics, thanks Red!

  20. Bonza photos especially the enormous Galah. As the Crow or the Galah flies sounds more likely the correct measurement i would say.

  21. My guess is Kimba was the first to lay claim to the half-way mark. I mean given the sort of mind that could create the Big Galah, I’m surprised they didn’t claim half-way mark to the world. That’s big bird!

  22. A very ho-hum stretch of road, and now an even more ho-hum attraction. Having lived on the Eyre Peninsula [some time ago] I must admit there are a lot of galahs in the area… though one less now, of course.

  23. …chances are you’ve already driven through a whole lot of nothing…

    I would actually enjoy something like that, way too much sprawl in my area.

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