Balladonia, Western Australia

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Balladonia
Western Australia
Balladonia Roadhouse, 2017 (01).jpg
Balladonia Roadhouse, 2017
Balladonia is located in Western Australia
Balladonia
Balladonia
Coordinates 32°27′29″S 123°51′58″E / 32.45806°S 123.86611°E / -32.45806; 123.86611Coordinates: 32°27′29″S 123°51′58″E / 32.45806°S 123.86611°E / -32.45806; 123.86611
Population 20 (2014)[1]
Established 1879
Postcode(s) 6443
Location
  • 916 km (569 mi) from Perth
  • 192 km (119 mi) from Norseman
  • 518 km (322 mi) from Eucla
LGA(s) Shire of Dundas
State electorate(s) Eyre
Federal Division(s) O'Connor

Balladonia is a small roadhouse community located on the Eyre Highway in Western Australia. It is the first stop east of Norseman on the long journey east across the Nullarbor Plain. Between Balladonia and Caiguna is a 146.6-kilometre (91.1 mi) stretch of the highway which is one of the longest straight stretches of road in the world.

History[edit]

The name is an Aboriginal word meaning "big rock by itself". The area was settled in 1879 and the original Balladonia homestead was built 28 kilometres (17 mi) away from the present townsite. From 1897 to 1929, Balladonia was a station on the Perth-Adelaide telegraph line, due to a previous coastal line being shorted by salt spray from the Southern Ocean. The arid climate and lack of suitable water sources restricted the town's development.

In July 1979, the area gained worldwide attention when the re-entry of the Skylab space station left a trail of debris across the nearby countryside.[2]

Present day[edit]

The Balladonia roadhouse, a modern air-conditioned facility for travellers, has a display of Skylab debris and newspaper clippings, as well as a pub and motel rooms. Access via 4WD is possible to the start of the cliffs, believed to be the longest in the world, of the Great Australian Bight from Balladonia. Information is available from the roadhouse.

There is the ruined shell of a telegraph station just to the east of Balladonia at the start of the famous 'Ninety Mile Straight'. However, it is signposted as being private property. Also in the area are freshwater pools 14 km east at Afghan Rocks, named for an unfortunate camel driver who was shot by thirsty travellers.[3]

Pastoral lease[edit]

Balladonia Station is a pastoral lease adjacent to Noondoonia Station to the north, and Nanambinia Station to the south of the Eyre Highway.

The station was visited and written about in a newspaper in 1924, and the reflections on the conditions at that time included concern about rabbits.[4]

The homestead of the station was notable for its substantial size and architecture in the 1930s. [5] An earlier photograph in the 1890s reveals the stone walls in the vicinity of the homestead, and a possible earlier stage of the homestead building. [6]

During most of the twentieth century the Station was also the stopping place on the Eyre Highway [7]

Geography[edit]

Climate[edit]

Balladonia experiences a steppe climate (Köppen climate classification BSh).

Climate data for Balladonia
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.3
(88.3)
30.6
(87.1)
28.1
(82.6)
24.9
(76.8)
20.9
(69.6)
18.0
(64.4)
17.6
(63.7)
19.2
(66.6)
22.3
(72.1)
25.0
(77)
27.8
(82)
30.2
(86.4)
24.7
(76.5)
Average low °C (°F) 14.6
(58.3)
14.8
(58.6)
13.5
(56.3)
10.9
(51.6)
8.0
(46.4)
5.8
(42.4)
4.8
(40.6)
5.3
(41.5)
6.8
(44.2)
8.8
(47.8)
11.3
(52.3)
13.2
(55.8)
9.8
(49.6)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 18.6
(0.732)
19.4
(0.764)
27.1
(1.067)
20.0
(0.787)
26.9
(1.059)
26.0
(1.024)
20.3
(0.799)
21.4
(0.843)
20.2
(0.795)
22.6
(0.89)
21.9
(0.862)
18.5
(0.728)
262.8
(10.346)
Source: Australian Bureau of Meteorology[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Balladonia". WAnowandthen. 25 July 2014. Archived from the original on 31 August 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014. 
  2. ^ Shire of Dundas. "Eyre Highway". Archived from the original on 6 October 2006. Retrieved 17 October 2006. 
  3. ^ Sydney Morning Herald (8 February 2004). "Travel – Balladonia". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 October 2006. 
  4. ^ "BALLADONIA, W.A.". Western Argus. 24, (5052). Western Australia. 4 March 1924. p. 18. Retrieved 5 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  5. ^ "The Substantial Homestead on Balladonia Station". Sunday Times (Perth) (1849). Western Australia. 2 July 1933. p. 11 (First Section). Retrieved 4 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  6. ^ "BALLADONIA.". Western Mail. XIV, (685). Western Australia. 10 February 1899. p. 25. Retrieved 4 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  7. ^ "Balladonia Station, owned by Messrs. Panton Bros, and Sharpe, is a very popular stopping place for overlanders.". The Bunbury Herald and Blackwood Express. 36, (5452). Western Australia. 5 April 1929. p. 5. Retrieved 4 March 2017 – via National Library of Australia. 
  8. ^ "Climate statistics for Balladonia". Australian Bureau of Meteorology. Retrieved 12 May 2009. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Balladonia, Western Australia at Wikimedia Commons