Travelling Australia
Bunda Cliffs
Bunda Cliffs
Bunda Cliffs above a calm sea. Piles of dark coloured rock tumbled into the sea against the white rock are the result of rockfalls from above.
Bunda Cliffs Bunda Cliffs at the Head of the Bight, the white layer at the base is seen only in the distant cliffs.

Bunda Cliffs stretch for 200 kilometres along the Great Australian Bight between the Head of the Bight and the border with Western Australia. Bunda Cliffs are the southern edge of the limestone slab forming the Nullarbor Plain which extends far inland. The light coloured base is Wilson Bluff Limestone, this is white, chalky material formed as part of an ancient seabed when Australia began to separate from Antarctica 65 million years ago. This Wilson Limestone is up to 300 metres thick but only the upper portion is visible in Bunda Cliffs.

Above the white Wilson Limestone are whitish, grey or brown layers of limestone or crystalline rock. Some layers incorporate marine fossils including worms and molluscs indicating their marine origin; other layers are made up entirely of marine sediment (foraminifera). The cliffs are capped by a hardened layer of windblown sand laid down between 1.6 million and 100,000 year ago.

The explorer John Edward Eyre was the first European explorer to come this way, in 1841. Although he was helped by local aboriginals to find water elsewhere on his trip, there is no water behind Bunda Cliffs and shortage of fresh water was a major impediment to his party. Many plants growing along the top of the cliff are adapted for survival in the very low rainfall of this region.

The Eyre Highway runs less than a kilometre inland from the Bunda Cliffs. Over a distance of 85 kilometres there are five main lookouts on the cliffs with signed, gravel access roads from the highway. The western lookout is most favoured because it provides a vantage point looking along the cliffs to the east. This lookout is at 31° 34' 45"S, 130° 08' 39"E.