Nullarbor Plain landscape

Nullarbor Plain landscape

The Nullarbor Plain is one of nine distinct landscapes in the Alinytjara Wiluṟara region. It is an Australian icon and the world’s largest limestone plain landscape, covering 270,000 square kilometres. Its name comes from the Latin words nulla, meaning ‘no’, and arbor, meaning ‘tree’. There are no towns or communities in this landscape, only roadhouses and accommodation associated with Highway One, which connects Adelaide to Perth.

Key characteristics

  • The world’s largest limestone plain landscape, with the South Australian section similar to the size of Tasmania
  • Over 250 limestone caves that provide habitat for unusual fauna
  • No known permanent surface water, with large circular depressions, called dolines, and rock holes that hold water during wet periods

Native plants and animals

  • Birds unique to South Australia including the Nullarbor quail-thrush, plains wanderer and Naretha bluebonnet
  • Birds of prey such as osprey, white-bellied sea eagle and peregrine falcon
  • Reptiles such as the Nullarbor bearded dragon
  • Southern hairy-nosed wombats
  • Dingoes
  • Eleven threatened flora species including the Nullarbor emu bush


The coastal cliffs that form the southern edge of the Nullarbor Plain drop spectacularly into the pristine waters of the Southern Ocean. This, combined with close visual accessibility of large pods of Southern Right Whales that visit the region from July to September, attract many tourists. AW has undertaken extensive work on signage and track rationalisation in this area to discourage visitors from risking their safety by venturing onto the crumbling cliffs, many of which are undercut.


Tourists visit the Nullarbor region primarily as part of a touring route between Adelaide and Perth. Many come for the whale-watching and beauty of the coast and the wilderness value of the Nullarbor Plain. There are roadhouses and accommodation associated with Highway One at Border Village on the border of South Australia and Western Australia and at the Nullarbor Roadhouse near the Head of Bight.

Access to this region may require a pass or permit. Visitors should also be aware that there are safety issues specific to the region.