Eyre Peninsula is one of South Australia’s most spectacular coastal regions. The triangular-shaped peninsula sits right in the middle of the state on the immediate eastern side of the Nullarbor Plain. It’s just south of the Eyre Highway and the first place that travellers come to after a crossing of the Nullarbor or the last place before they head off west.
The EP is best known for its incredibly stunning scenery and delicious seafood. It’s a major tourist destination, with plenty of things to see and do for every type of traveller.
This article will outline all the practical information you need to know about the Eyre Peninsula including the best things to see on your trip.
Table of Contents
- 1 About the Eyre Peninsula
- 2 How to reach the Eyre Peninsula
- 3 Why go to the Eyre Peninsula?
- 4 Highlights of the Eyre Peninsula
- 5 Ceduna
- 6 The Eyre Highway and the Nullarbor
- 7 While you’re crossing The Nullarbor Plain
About the Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula sits at a unique part of South Australia. The long, triangular-shaped piece of coastline sits on the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight. It has the incredible Southern Ocean surrounding its edges, as well as, the Gawler Ranges running to the north and the Nullarbor Plain running to its west.
There are a number of major towns on the peninsula, including Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Ceduna. These places offer the best bases for which visitors can use to explore the various things to see and do in the area.
How to reach the Eyre Peninsula
Most people reach the Eyre Peninsula via the Eyre Highway which runs across from Port Augusta to Eucla. The highway is the main sealed road that connects South and Western Australia across the Nullarbor Plain.
Depending on where you begin or end your Eyre Highway road trip, the Eyre Peninsula is either the first or last major destination.
Approximate distances and times to reach either Ceduna or Port Lincoln on the Peninsula are:
• Adelaide to Port Lincoln 648km or 6-hour drive
• Adelaide to Ceduna 777km or 8-hour drive
• Eucla to Ceduna 493km or 5-hour drive
Why go to the Eyre Peninsula?
There are plenty of good reasons to spend some time on the Eyre Peninsula. The coastal area is known for its incredible landscapes and a variety of wildlife. It’s no wonder that the peninsula attracts a large number of travellers year-round.
The ocean off the coast of the Eyre Peninsula is home to some iconic sea life. From dolphins, great white sharks, sea lions and whales to cuttlefish, the opportunity to see some of these beautiful animals is what draws many people to the region.
The area also accounts for an estimated 65 per cent of Australia’s seafood. This makes the towns in the area a magnet for foodies, who come to taste some of the freshest seafood you can find anywhere in the country.
On land, the peninsula’s natural beauty is another drawcard. The Gawler Ranges run to the north, the white sand beaches line the coast and the arid Nullarbor stretches to the west. There’s so much to explore in such a small region of the state.
Being either the first or last stop on many Eyre Highway road trip adventures, the peninsula offers a chance to rest and relax or prep for the journey ahead.
Highlights of the Eyre Peninsula
Whether you have a few days or a few weeks, the Eyre Peninsula has plenty of things to see and do to keep you entertained. No matter if you’re looking to relax or get active and enjoy the outdoors, here are some of the best experiences on the Eyre Peninsula.
Diving with great white sharks
If you’re up for an adrenaline rush, then cage diving with great whites is the perfect activity for you. Port Lincoln is home to some of the largest sharks in the world and getting an up, close and personal view of them is best from within the water.
There are a number of diving operators on the peninsula, with some being the oldest such companies to offer cage diving in the world. This makes it one of the ultimate bucket list experiences to tick off here.
Swimming with dolphins
Another great underwater experience on the Eyre Peninsula is swimming with dolphins and sea lions. Bottlenose dolphins and Australian sea lions hang out in the calm waters near Baird Bay. You can jump in and snorkel with these beautiful creatures with many of the experienced tour operators on the peninsula.
Snorkel with cuttlefish
Thousands of giant cuttlefish gather around Point Lowly and Stony Point in winter to attract a mate. These beautiful rainbow-coloured fish put on a spectacular show of colour that makes for a really unique experience. Snorkelling with these fish usually means departing from Whyalla with a tour operator, who know exactly where to take you to find them.
If you’re lucky enough to visit the peninsula in winter, then you can enjoy the sight of southern right whales off the coast of Fowlers Bay. They come to the warmer waters of the Great Australian Bight to meet and calve, along with humpback whales on the occasion.
There are both land-based lookouts and two-hour boating tours for you to observe these beautiful giants.
With South Australia’s coastline being the main seafood frontier of Australia, fishing is naturally one of the main activities to enjoy on the peninsula. There are so many opportunities to get a good catch, whether you opt for a fishing charter or throw a line in off the jetty. From Ceduna to Port Lincoln, you can find some of the famous King George Whiting as well as plenty of other fish like salmon, garfish and tommy ruff.
Taste some fresh seafood
The Eyre Peninsula is known as the seafood hub of the whole country. This means that eating some fresh seafood is something that you definitely can’t miss out on. The best way to do this is to follow the self-drive Seafood Trail which takes you to Ceduna, Streaky Bay, Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay. At the stops along the way you can sample oysters, prawns, tuna, abalone and lobster.
You can even visit a working oyster farm and seafood factory from where you can see how the fishing industry all comes together. This is a really interesting experience for anyone interested in great seafood.
SA Premium Oysters offer an oyster tour with the option to sample the freshest possible oysters anywhere, plucked straight from the pure bay waters in which they are grown for you to enjoy right there on the platform overlooking the oyster lease in Smoky Bay.
Venus Bay Prawns are a passionate local favorite, an exceptional product of the most premium standard. Gosh! Are they good! If you love prawns you’ll adore these Western King Prawns.
Relax on the beaches
If you’ve just crossed the Nullarbor, then it’s likely you’re looking for somewhere to rest and recover. The stunning white sand beaches on the Eyre Peninsula are the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Coffin Bay National Park and Lincoln National Park both harbour some incredible secluded beaches to explore. Almonta Beach has some of the whitest sand you’ve ever seen, and you can even camp inside Lincoln National Park for a truly unforgettable coastal experience.
Hiking in the Gawler Ranges
If you prefer to explore on foot, then the Gawler Ranges National Park further inland from the peninsula is the perfect place. The park area to the north of the coast is characterised by the stunning outback landscape with red earth and volcanic rock.
You can either head out on a bushwalk or go on a guided 4WD tour. There’s a high chance you’ll spot some native wildlife such as koalas, wombats and kangaroos. It’s the perfect introduction to the Aussie outback before you head across the Nullarbor.
Enjoy the coastal scenery
The Eyre Peninsula has some spectacular coastal scenery to enjoy. The peninsula is home to two national park areas with plenty of boating, fishing, swimming, walking and camping opportunities. Lincoln National Park on the east coast of the peninsula and Coffin Bay National Park on the western side, both have stunning landscapes with white sand beaches and rugged coastline. There’s also plenty of chances of spotting some unique native wildlife and birds in the protected areas.
Ceduna is a major town on the north-western edge of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s a popular place for visitors because it’s conveniently located right on the Eyre Highway and is considered the gateway to the Nullarbor Plain.
It has all the essential amenities that you’ll need to either restock after or prep for, your Nullarbor trip. It has plenty of accommodation options, as well as, a supermarket, pharmacy, hardware, and souvenir stores.
However, the town also has plenty of things to see and do and you could easily spend a few days there. Ceduna is known as the Oyster Capital of Australia with some of the best seafood on the peninsula. There are also plenty of nearby fishing hotspots such as Denial Bay and Smoky Bay if you want to throw your own line in.
The Eyre Highway and the Nullarbor
The Eyre Highway is one of Australia’s greatest road trips. The 1675km long road stretches from Port Augusta in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. It often skirts along the coastline of the Great Australian Bight as it traverses across the Nullarbor, the semi-arid limestone plain that characterises this part of southern Australia.
The Eyre Peninsula sits to the immediate east of the Nullarbor and just south of the Eyre Highway. This makes it one of the major destinations for travellers who make the bucket list-worthy road trip across the Nullarbor each year.
If crossing the Nullarbor from Western Australia, the Eyre Peninsula is the first destination in South Australia that many people stop to explore. This makes it very appealing for weary travellers who want to stop and relax and restock after a long drive.
On the other hand, for travellers who are heading west, the Eyre Peninsula is the last major destination before they head across the Nullarbor. This makes it the ideal place to prepare for the long road and get last-minute supplies.
Whichever way people cross the Nullarbor, the Eyre Peninsula is a major part of any trip.
While you’re crossing The Nullarbor Plain
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