Last Updated on May 7, 2021 by Red Nomad OZ
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!
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
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!
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.
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?!?!
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The Galah (Eolophus roseicapillus)