BallaGNOMEia – Balladonia, Australia - Atlas Obscura


Woorlba Homestead Rest Area
Balladonia, Australia

Gnomes have taken over a rest stop on Australia's longest straight road. 


Australia’s famous Nullarbor Plain is a lonely, eerie place. Flat and desolate, it draws the adventurous, the nomadic … the strange. Those who have crossed its 1,030 miles have reported UFOs hovering in the sky, and the mysterious Min Min lights dancing on the horizon. In the last few years, however, a growing number of reports have come in of odd, humanoid creatures living along the Nullarbor’s treacherous 90 Mile Straight—creatures so well organized and intelligent that they have formed their own community: BallaGNOMEia.

The first reported gnome sighting occurred in 2018 at the Woorlba rest stop, about 30 miles east of the Balladonia Roadhouse in Western Australia. Although no one knows for sure where the gnomes originated from (strong evidence points towards Queensland), or how they came to settle the Nullarbor, it is believed that they were brought over by “gray nomads” (retired folks who criss-cross the country), unaware that the mischievous beings had hopped aboard their caravans, looking for respite from the elements—and a free ride. 

Since its founding, BallaGNOMEia has grown considerably. Although caution should be exercised when approaching the gnomes (they’ve been known to abscond with a picnic lunch or two), they appear friendly enough and enjoy interacting with tourists. However, if you decide to camp at Woorlba, be warned that gnomes are a highly festive, rowdy species whose parties are known to last all night. 

Know Before You Go

BallaGNOMEia is located at the Woorlba rest stop on the Eyre Highway's 90 Mile Straight. Settlement of BallaGNOMEia is strongly encouraged, so if you pass any hitchhiking gnomes on your road trip, please consider picking them up and dropping them off in the community. 

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September 17, 2020

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