PERTH 3: Day 3= 17th September: Cook, Nullarbor Plain, South Australia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cook is a railway station and crossing loop located in the Australian state of South Australia on the Trans-Australian Railway. It is about 826 kilometres (513 mi) west by rail from Port Augusta and about 100 kilometres (62 mi) north of the Eyre Highway via an unsealed road.[1][4] It is on the longest stretch of straight railway in the world, at 478 kilometres (297 mi), which extends from Ooldea, South Australia to beyond Loongana, Western Australia.

Cook is the only scheduled stop on the Nullarbor Plain for the Indian Pacific transcontinental passenger train and has little other than curiosity value for passengers strolling around while their train is replenished. 


Cook was established in 1917 on the Nullarbor Plain when the Trans-Australian Railway was built. It is named after the sixth Prime Minister of Australia, Joseph Cook.[5] When the town was a major Commonwealth Railways centre for track maintenance and locomotive and rolling stock repairs, it supported a school and hospital. At that time, railway employees and their families depended on two weekly provisions trains for the delivery of supplies. When the town was populated, water was pumped from an underground artesian aquifer but since then, all water has been carried in by train.

The 1964 black-and-white film Nullarbor Hideout was set in and around Cook.


As of 2016, Cook was officially described as an “unbounded locality” which is not used as an address. Since 2013, it has been administratively classified as being in the locality of Nullarbor.[1]


Photographs by Ken in our stop at Cook. It is now a ghost town with only four people.

Dry bush outside the town of Cook.

The town of Cook ……. the ghost town with only four people ….. buildings in the distance behind the trees.

One of the first buildings in the ghost town with only four people.

Two of the buildings used by the four people.

A sign pointing to the defunct swimming pool.

A sign pointing to the defunct Cook Area School. See the photos below.

The old school building.

An old rusty train wheel.

Harriet and Ken in front of a colourful mural on the tank base.

The colourful mural on the tank base without Harriet and Ken being in front of it.

A school house room with one remaining desk. It reminded me of the primary school I went to at Wilsons Creek from 1956 – 1960.

Memorial Rock.