For everything about the EYRE PENINSULA you are in the right place. From getting there, to places to visit, to the best accommodation this article summarises all your needs for the EYRE PENINSULA.
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The Eyre Peninsula is a large, triangular peninsula along South Australia’s coastline. Bordered by Spencer Gulf to the east, the Great Australian Bight to the west, and Gawler Ranges to the north, Eyre Peninsula is a large but sparsely populated area and home to around 60,000 people, but don’t let that fool you – there are countless things to do on the Eyre Peninsula. The traditional home of the Barngarla indigenous peoples, Eyre Peninsula was used as a whaling and sealing base before the first permanent settlement was established at Port Lincoln in 1839.
The Eyre Peninsula weather is quite varied. The north-western areas around Ceduna are hot, dry and arid, while the southern parts of the Peninsula can be quite cool. In general, temperatures are slightly cooler than Adelaide in summer, while in winter it’s slightly warmer than Adelaide.
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Getting To The Eyre Peninsula
Flights are available to Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Ceduna, but getting around Eyre Peninsula will require your own car (need car hire, click here) as public transport in the area is very limited. From Adelaide to Port Augusta at the start of Eyre Peninsula, it’s a 300 kilometre, 3 1/2 hour drive. From Port Augusta to Port Lincoln at the southern end of the peninsula, it’s further 350 kilometres south – about 3 and 3/4 hours. There are also a handful of long-distance coach services available.
As it’s quite a large area, there’s quite a few things to do Eyre Peninsula, so let’s have a closer look!
Eyre Peninsula Attractions
Unsurprisingly, much Eyre Peninsula tourism revolves around the ocean. Just glancing at an Eyre Peninsula map shows how much the coastline the area has, so it’s hardly surprising that the best attractions on the Eyre Peninsula are all water-based. So whether it’s swimming in, eating from, looking at, fishing in, or diving under the ocean, Eyre Peninsula has lots to offer.
Port Lincoln Shark Diving
If you’re brave enough, one of the best things to do in the Eyre Peninsula is to go cage diving with great white sharks. Located at Port Lincoln, it’s the only place in Australia where you can see these fearsome creatures in their natural habitat. Just offshore in the Neptune Islands Marine Park, you’re locked into a steel cage and lowered into the water while sharks circle around. Sightings are quite common, though the Port Lincoln shark diving best time of year is generally April through December. And since you’re in a cage, no real swimming or diving experience is necessary.
Cuttlefish Diving Whyalla
If great white sharks are a bit too intimidating, maybe consider giant cuttlefish diving at Whyalla. This unique and strange looking creature (sometimes called the “chameleon of the sea”) uses the waters around Whyalla for spawning between May and August each year. The incredible mating and spawning phenomenon is a fantastic show, and can be viewed while either snorkelling or scuba diving. There’s several operators in Whyalla with a range of guiding and tour options.
Coffin Bay Oysters
Located at the southern tip of the peninsula, Coffin Bay is famous for its incredible oysters. Farmed in the shallow and tranquil waters of Coffin Bay, the oysters here are extremely fresh and very delicious. Take a tour of the oyster farms, grab a freshly shucked dozen to go, or visit Oyster HQ for oysters and wine on the deck as the sun sets. Be sure to check out nearby Coffin Bay National Park for fantastic swimming and hiking opportunities too!
Also, it must be known the Cowell on the eastern side of Eyre Peninsula is also famous for oysters. So be sure to check out Cowell and Coffin Bay.
Australia’s long, wild and remote southern coastline stretching westwards from the Eyre Peninsula is a great spot for whale watching, and the Peninsula itself is no different. Between May and October, dozens of southern right whales (and the occasional humpback whale!) calve and raise their young along the coastline before heading south to Antarctica for the summer. It’s recommended to stop at vantage points along the road and keep your eyes out – look for the tell-tale puff of a whale exhaling, and you might even spot a full body breach!
For a change of pace (and staying dry), be sure to visit Murphy’s Haystacks at Mortana (between Streaky Bay and Port Kenny) on the peninsula’s north-western coast. It’s a group of several overhanging granite rock formations, the largest of which is over eight metres high! The rocks are quite fascinating, and it makes for a nice change from all the water activities
Eyre Peninsula Road Trips
Although there’s several companies offering Eyre Peninsula tours, it’s hard to beat your own self-guided road trip around the Eyre Peninsula. And there’s some great routes, featuring outstanding scenery and beautiful Eyre Peninsula towns. Just as a general word of warning, distances can be surprisingly long on the Peninsula. The next town might be quite some distance away, and there’s no guarantee their fuel pumps will be stocked! Always carry spare water, and don’t let your fuel tank get too low.
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Road Trip 1 - Coastal Loop
For this road trip, head north from Adelaide via route A1 until you reach Port Augusta. Turn southwards to Whyalla, then follow the coastline through Cowell, Lucky Bay, Port Neill, Tumby Bay, and eventually arrive in Port Lincoln. There’s plenty of great opportunities for sightseeing along the coast, plus of course the dolphin and shark swims mentioned above! From Port Lincoln, head west to Coffin Bay, then follow the coastline north through Elliston, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay, and finally Ceduna – last stop before the Nullarbor. Have a glance at Australia’s famous treeless void, then from Ceduna, follow highway A1 eastwards to Port Augusta, and then back to Adelaide.
Road Trip 2 - Food Tour
Eyre Peninsula seafood is justifiably famous all around Australia, so if you’re not keen on swimming with sharks or sea lions, tasting the region’s best export still makes a great basis for a road trip. You’ll be following the same itinerary as Road Trip #1, but with a focus on tasting as much as possible. And it’s not just oysters! Be sure to sample delicious lobster, abalone, prawns, mussels, cockles, and many many more!
Eyre Peninsula Accommodation
As a well-travelled area, there’s plenty of Eyre Peninsula accommodation options to choose from – whether it’s a hotel, motel, caravan park, Airbnb, or even just camping. Port Lincoln accommodation can be tough to choose, so below are some well-regarded options for accommodation Port Lincoln, plus of course Port Lincoln motels and even Port Lincoln camping too.
Eyre Peninsula Hotels & Motels
There’s some great Port Lincoln hotels to choose from, including The Marina Hotel and The Port Lincoln Hotel, or for a cheaper option the Hilton Motel is worth a look. In Whyalla, consider staying at Quest Whyalla or Alexander Motel Whyalla. In Tumby Bay, Tumby Villas is highly recommended, while on the west coast be sure to stay at the Streaky Bay Hotel Motel.
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Eyre Peninsula Airbnb
As you’d expect, Airbnb has some fantastic options for accommodation in various parts of the peninsula. At Whyalla, consider this Self-Contained Studio Apartment, or if you’re happy sharing with someone else this Single Room in Whyalla Town Centre has great reviews. In Port Lincoln, large groups and families will enjoy this Quirky & Affordable Cottage with Sea Views, while The Little House is a clean and modern retreat for couples. For a touch of luxury, consider The Boathouse at Coffin Bay, while further north along the coast you’ll find the Jewel of the Bay Beachhouse in Smoky Bay.
Eyre Peninsula Caravan Parks
There’s quite a few options for caravan parks Eyre Peninsula. At Whyalla, check out Discovery Parks – Whyalla Foreshore, while in Port Lincoln you’ve got the choice of Port Lincoln Tourist Park, or Port Lincoln Caravan Park North Shields. On the western coast, Coffin Bay Caravan Park is highly regarded, along with Venus Bay Beachfront Tourist Park and my personal favourite the Streaky Bay Foreshore Caravan Park. And finally, at Ceduna, choose from Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park, or Ceduna Shelly Beach Caravan Park.
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Eyre Peninsula Camping
With pristine nature reserves and beautiful national parks, camping Eyre Peninsula is a great way to really escape the city life. For quiet, remote options on the eastern coast check out Shingle Beach near Whyalla, Red Cliff Beach near Tumby Bay, or Fisherman’s Point Campground in Port Lincoln National Park. Coffin Bay National Park is a great spot for camping, though it’s 4WD access only. On the western coast, highlights include Black Springs Campground in Coffin Bay, Tractor Beach near Streaky Bay, and Point Brown south of Smoky Bay. Many of these spots offer free camping Eyre Peninsula as well, which is great if you’re on a budget.
Overall, the Eyre Peninsula is one of Australia’s undiscovered gems. With incredible experiences, gorgeous scenery, unusual environments and delicious food, it’s a great idea to visit Port Lincoln and explore Eyre Peninsula now, before the crowds get in.