There’s 2000 kilometres of coastline to explore on Eyre Peninsula, and rarely will there be another boat bobbing on the best patch, tourists blocking your camera lens, or even footprints in the sand.
Watch Southern Right Whales play with their young beneath cliffs at the Head of Bight; jump in and swim with dolphins and sea-lions at tranquil Baird Bay, or dive with the fluorescent cuttlefish at Whyalla.
Get an unequalled sense of time and space on the drive across the Nullarbor Plain. Stretch out under a billion stars in camping spots along the coast or in pristine wilderness areas right across the region. You’ll find wildlife everywhere, and nowhere more than in the Gawler Ranges (the only place in Australia where you’ll see three of the five big kangaroo species in one spot … the euro, red and grey kangaroo).
Buy seafood straight from the factory or the fisherman, or listen to your own line sing as a salmon takes the bait in pounding surf. Hike across dazzling dunes or stroll along the water’s edge in search of delicate seashells.
Take time to discover seaside towns and friendly farming communities, the volcanic monoliths and stark salt lakes of the Gawler Ranges, a hinterland of golden grain and vast desert plains extending right up to the Outback.
Festivals and Events
Time your journey to coincide with one of many quirky Eyre Peninsula events. See thousands of oysters shucked at the Ceduna Oyster Festival in October. Toss a tuna at Port Lincoln’s John West Tunarama Festival in January. Go off the rails at the Kalamazoo Classic in Cummins each April. Or immerse yourself in a country show, race meeting or sports carnival.
Australia’s Seafood and Aquaculture Trail
Discover why Eyre Peninsula accounts for 60 per cent of South Australia’s seafood on the country’s only extensive seafood and aquaculture trail. Stretching from Whyalla to Ceduna, the trail will take you on a journey through 16 amazing businesses. Tour South Australia’s only sea horse farm at Port Lincoln. Hand pick your own crayfish at Elliston. Eat world-renowned Smoky Bay or Coffin Bay oysters at the farm gate. Grab a copy of the trail brochure and map at visitor information centres across the region.
Set beside one of the world’s largest protected harbours, Port Lincoln is a regional hub for seafood and aquaculture. You’ll find an abundance of freshly-caught seafood, and activities and adventures for every taste: from diving with sharks to hiking along coastline and tasting local wine from a cellar door overlooking Boston Bay. Take to the calm waters for fishing and sailing, discover sheltered bays, booming surf beaches and spectacular lookouts.
A Town or Two
Escape the wilderness for a while to explore the regional city of Whyalla (South Australia’s third largest) and other Eyre Peninsula towns. Visit the Whyalla Maritime Museum and tour the steelworks. Buy jade at Cowell; fish off historic jetties at Streaky Bay, Venus Bay, Elliston and Coffin Bay (and just about everywhere else); hike the 4 kilometre walking trail; check out Aboriginal crafts in Ceduna; or visit the mining museum at Iron Knob.
Whale of a Tale
Watch in awe as up to 100 Southern Right Whales (many weighing 80 tonnes and measuring up to 18 metres long) pass by the South Australian coast on their annual migratory sojourn to Antarctica. At Head of Bight, stand just metres from the action on viewing platforms built above the towering Bunda Cliffs.
Talk to the Animals at Baird Bay
Play with sea-lions and dolphins on the swimming experience of a lifetime in the pristine waters of Baird Bay, on the far west coast of Eyre Peninsula. Stay for the day to fish for whiting and enjoy a sumptuous lunch aboard the 12-metre Investigator.
Go beneath the Nullarbor to explore the enchanting Aboriginal hand prints of the Murrawijine Caves (they’re just a short drive from the Nullarbor Road House). Or stay on the surface for 360-degree views and a clear picture of why the Nullarbor Plain takes its name from the Latin “nullis” and “arbor” (meaning no trees). Covering an area of 77,000 square miles, the plain was created about 25 million years ago when it emerged from the sea.
Constantia Designer Craftsmen
Take a tour and learn why Constantia Designer Craftsmen had the honour of designing and building two main tables for the Canberra’s new Parliament House. The Port Lincoln company is one of only six in the world to receive full membership to the International Guild of Master Craftsmen.
Wander through deep gorges, seasonal blooms and volcanic rock domes more than 1500 million years old in the Gawler Ranges National Park. It’s South Australia’s newest national park and home to a vast array of flora and fauna including 21 rare and threatened species, from the southern hairy-nosed wombat and hopping mouse to the Mallee fowl. You can enter the park from various spots along the Eyre Highway (or from the Outback to the north) and a permit costs just $7 per vehicle.
Snorkel among Australian giant cuttlefish in their annual spawning grounds just offshore from Whyalla, and watch as these “chameleons of the sea” quickly change colour and texture to blend with any environment. The amazing natural phenomenon occurs from May to August and you can hire equipment from Whyalla Diving Services.
Hang ten at legendary Cactus Beach on Eyre Peninsula, trying your moves on the left-hand surfing breaks of Castles and Cactus and the mighty right-hand break of Caves. These surf breaks aren’t for the faint-hearted, so inexperienced riders might do well to catch the action from the beach before pitching a tent at the campsite nearby.
Activites and Experiences at Eyre Peninsula
- Aussie Lifestyle
Nearest Airport: Port Lincoln