This is a roadhouse on the Eyre Highway. A section of road between Balladonia and Caiguna stretches 147 Km without a bend - the longest
straight stretch in Australia. The roadhouse is one of only three on the Nullarbor to operate 24 hours a day. Norseman and Border Village are the other two.
Caiguna is the place where you alter your watch as you cross the country. If you are heading east you lose 1/2 of an hour, if you are heading west you gain 1/2 of an hour.
Anyone considering some off road driving in this area (Ie. 4x4) then make sure you are well prepared as it is isolated and rugged country.
The area is only notable historically for the death of John Baxter who was killed by Aborigines in 1841. Baxter was journeying with
Edward John Eyre who wrote about the incident:
"At the dead hour of night, in the wildest and most inhospitable wastes of Australia, with the fierce wind raging in unison with the scene of violence before me,
I was left with a single native, whose fidelity I could not rely upon and who for aught I knew might be in league with the other two, who perhaps were even now, lurking
about with the view of taking my life as they had done that of the overseer."
Baxter had been killed by Aborigines who were members of the exploration party. They had pressed Eyre to turn back and head for Fowlers Bay. When he refused they waited
until Baxter was alone and killed him before making off with the supplies and two shotguns. They shadowed Eyre and the remaining native (Wylie) for a couple of days but
Wylie refused their calls to join them. During the first night Eyre was effectively unarmed as though he had two pistols and a rifle, he had no ammunition for the
pistols and a bullet was jammed in the barrel of the rifle. He put the rifle over a fire to dry (holding the end of the barrel) and the rifle went off missing him by inches.
Due to the nature of the ground, Baxter could not be buried and had to be left wrapped in a blanket at the mercy of the elements. Almost 40 years later William Graham
organised a search for Baxter's remains, which were found minus the skull. Baxter's bones were shipped to Perth but no records remain to tell us what happened to them.
There is a memorial to John Baxter located about 20km south of Caiguna which was erected in 1930.
The name Caiguna is said to derive from an Aboriginal word meaning 'Spear track'.
The roadhouse was established in 1962.
TALL TALES AND TRUE
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Caiguna Blowhole, John Baxter Memorial Nullarbor Links Golf Course.
BUILDINGS OF NOTE
State : Eyre
Federal : O'Connor
Postcode : 6443
Local Government : Shire of Dundas
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