A roadhouse on the Eyre Highway whose name is an Aboriginal word meaning big rock by itself. It was brought to prominence in 1979 when the American Skylab crashed
in the vicinity. The local council sent NASA a fine for littering and in keeping with the spirit of the joke President Jimmy Carter even rang the roadhouse to 'apologise'.
Afghan Rocks, 14 kilometres east of Balladonia, has freshwater pools. The rocks are named after an Afghan camel driver who was shot by thirsty travellers when
they discovered him sitting in the only remaining freshwater pool. (For the full story see 'Afghans').
Water is very scarce in this area, and unlike other roadhouses closer to the coast, Balladonia has not got a de-sal plant and must truck all its water in.
If you want water here you will have to pay for it - if it is available at all. The roadhouse is officially open from 7am to whenever they decide to close at night 7 days a week.
Have a look at the small museum but don't be conned into thinking that the big lump of Skylab is real - it is a fake.
The Parmango Road is an alternate way to get to Esperance from Balladonia without having to go through Norseman. The downside to this 'short cut' is the fact
that it is unsealed and may be impassable after rain. If you intend to go this way, check with the roadhouse staff first about the conditions.
Newman Rocks is a good overnight stop 50 kilometres west of Balladonia. The rocks are about a kilometre off the highway and are best seen after recent rain.
90 kilometres west of Balladonia is Fraser Range Station. It is a working station but it offers a variety of accommodation from rooms to caravan sites.
To the east of Balladonia is the 90 Mile Straight that is in fact 91.1 miles (or 146.6 km) of dead straight road. It is one of the longest straight stretches of road
in the world. The reason for the lack of long straight roads is that it is believed drivers are more prone to drift off to sleep on straight stretches and most roads
have deliberate bends in them to keep the drivers alert.
The area was first settled in 1879 by the Ponton brothers and John Sharp who established Balladonia Station. The name was first spelled 'Ballajuinya' which
was apparently more closely aligned to the way the Aborigines pronounced it.
Due to salt spray shorting out the Perth-Adelaide telegraph line, it was re-directed through Balladonia in 1897.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Newman's Rocks, Museum, 90 Mile Straight, Afghan Rocks.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
Telegraph station ruins, Balladonia homestead ruins.
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6443
Local Government : Shire of Dundas
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