The Eyre Peninsula is a surprisingly raw and beautiful place located in South Australia. It may be a seven-hour drive west from Adelaide, but it is totally worth visiting and we wish we came here earlier! It took us a month to see all these beautiful locations, but you could definitely do it in 10-15 days. We traveled in our Troop Carrier 4WD and free camped most of the time, but there are some great caravan parks and accommodation to stay at that I will mention at the end.
Swim With Giant Australian Cuttlefish in Whyalla
Every year between the months of Mid May- July the Giant Australian Cuttlefish Congregate to Whyalla to Breed. I highly recommend passing through or making the trip to Whyalla to witness these beautiful creatures, and the best part is that it's free! The best time to see them is in the morning, and make sure you bring your snorkel gear and some weight belts if you would like to dive down and see them closer. They are only 2-3 meters under the water and you can just walk off the rocks so there's no need to bring a boat.
Port Lincoln Shark Diving
Port Lincoln is one of the only places you can go shark cage diving in Australia. We weren’t game enough to try it out, but if you’re a thrill seeker its a must do. Adventure Bay Charters is a great tour company to go with, and they also use music and sound to attract the sharks instead of bait. The price is around $400 and is a whole day tour.
Swim With The Rare and Endangered Sea Lions
This was by far the best underwater experience we have ever had. These puppies of the sea are so playful and inquisitive that you will never want to leave them! We booked our trip through Adventure Bay Charters for $205 and we couldn't recommend them enough. The Trip goes for approximately 5 hours, and you spend just over an hour in the water with the sea lions in their natural habitat. On the boat ride there and back you will most likely see dolphins and they usually swim at the bow of the boat.
Fishery bay was probably our favourite beach in the Eyre Peninsula. We stayed here for 4 nights and kept coming back every time we had to visit Port Lincoln to get supplies. Picture white sand, bright blue water, beach surfing, right point breaks, left point breaks, free camping, rock pools and 4WD beach driving. It has something for everyone! We stayed at a different camp spot every time, and you can camp along the cliffs on the left or right-hand side of the bay. You can even camp on the beach at the very back left corner away from the high tide.
An amazing rock pool is also located near Fishery Bay. Just before you get to the beach, turn right along 'Right Whale' road and drive to the very end of the road to the last car park. If you look on google maps, you will see the rock pools so use that as a guide while walking to find them. You will know you’re on the right track when you spot a metal ladder helping you down the cliff.
If you do decide to camp, please keep your site better than you found it otherwise camping will not be allowed in the future.
Whalers Way is a privately owned property 45 minutes from Port Lincoln, that beholds a harsh rugged coastline, amazing lookouts, and two beautiful rock pools. You will need to get a $30 key from the Port Lincoln Information Centre to enter Whalers Way and return it once done. We visited the swimming hole, Whalechaser Crevasse, Try-Works Cliff, and the dreamy rock pool at the end. Be very careful when you’re at Blowhole and Baleen pool because the swell can get rough and a few people have been swept away.
Lincoln National Park
We visited Lincoln National Park for 3 days and stayed at some beautiful secluded campsites. The first night was at Spalding Cove bush campground, and then Donington Beach for the other two nights. At Donington beach, we regularly spotted sea lions playing and dolphins passing by. I recommend doing the loop walk from Donington Beach to the lighthouse, September Beach, Engine Bay and back. We found there wasn’t much to do in Lincoln National Park except fish, swim, go on a few walks and relax. You will need to go online and pay for a park pass ($9) and book your camp spot each night ($12).
Memory Cove is located in Lincoln National Park but you do need a key to enter. It is $20 and you will need to collect it from the Information Centre. A 4WD is required to get to Memory Cove and there are only 5 camp spots available there so book in advance. We were lucky with the weather and enjoyed a relaxing two days there and caught plenty of fish and cooked some delicious meals.
Eating Oysters in Coffin Bay
Coffin Bay is best know for their delicious Oysters. We enjoyed Kilpatrick Oysters from 1802 Oyster Bar, which includes bacon and bbq sauce on top of the Oyster (Delicious).
Coffin Bay National Park
The National Park in Coffin Bay is the perfect place to explore unspoiled beaches, scenic coastlines, lively marine life and more. The large sand dunes are great for sand boarding which can be a fun activity for the family. Our favourite beach was Golden Island Lookout which was also great for salmon fishing. We also spent a whole sunny day at a private beach that you can spot if you look over the edge of the lookout. We went snorkeling there and happened to be greeted by four endangered sea lions who were very curious and playful. Almonta Beach and Gunyah Beach are also great beaches to check out. Yangie Bay campground is very nice to stay at but you will need to book online. There is much more to see in the park but you will need a 4WD, and make sure you’re well equipped.
After exploring Coffin Bay, we recommend making the 40-minute drive north along the coast to Greenly beach. We spent Easter with a couple of friends at this beautiful location and were surprised by how quiet it was. The rock pools are definitely the main attraction here along with the surf. Another thing to do there is Climb Mount Greenly and watch the sunset over the ocean. The camping at Greenly is also amazing, with free campsites all along the coast right next to the rock pool!
Locks Well Beach
Locks Well Beach is renowned for being the most reliable spot to catch Australian salmon. We gave it a shot along with seven other people on the beach, and we all caught at least one! To access the beach, you will need to go down a 120-meter wooden staircase, or you can stay up the top and sit on the viewing deck while watching the sunset over the ocean.
As you keep heading up along the coast you will pass the turnoff to Talia Caves. You will find wooden steps leading you down to the granite cave where you can walk inside and view the ocean looking out. We also walked along the coastline near the caves and spotted some nice rock pools and interesting rock formations.
Baird Bay Sea Lions and Swimming with Dolphins
If you have time to explore beyond Port Lincoln area, you also have the option to swim with the Australian sea lions in Baird Bay. Not only does the price include swimming with sea lions, but also includes swimming with wild dolphins in their natural habitat.
If you’re into surfing streaky bay is a great place to visit. We checked out Granites on a perfect day and it was the best surf I have ever seen. I also recommend going to Bay Funktion cafe and sit in their garden area out the back. The food and coffee are also amazing. We stayed at Streaky Bay Caravan Park for a couple of nights when the weather turned grim!
Smoky Bay was our last stop in the Eyre Peninsula. We spent one night in town and then headed towards St Mary Bay to find some rock pools. We eventually came across a road sign reading ‘rock pools’ and followed it along until we came across an opening. We walked down towards the water and stumbled across the perfect rock pool!
Getting to the Eyre Peninsula
The best way to explore the Eyre Peninsula is by car, preferably a 4WD. If you're from South Australia, it's worth getting 1-3 weeks off and experience the beauty this coastline has to offer. If you're not from SA the cheapest thing to do would be flying into Adelaide airport and then hiring a car for a few weeks. You can also look into hiring a camper van from companies such as Britz, Apollo Motorhomes, Juicy, etc.
Eyre Peninsula Accommodation
The biggest town in the Eyre Peninsula is Port Lincoln. We stayed here for most of our trip and returned every time we needed to refuel and grocery shop. When booking accommodation, support the local businesses and book on their website instead of booking.com, etc. When we left Port Lincoln, we would stay at local caravan parks every 4-5 days to shower, do washing or if the weather was miserable.
Port Lincoln Accommodation:
If you're looking for budget accommodation:
- YHA- private room from $82, shared rooms from $30
- Port Lincoln Tourist Park- Unpowered site $25, Powered from $32, Cabins from $105
- Port Lincoln Caravan Park North Shields (Just out of town)- Unpowered $12, Powered $30, Cabins $90
- Port Lincoln hotel - Rooms from $159-$229
- Marina Hotel - Rooms from $140-$250
Airbnb is another great option when looking for places to stay.
I hope you enjoyed this blog on the Eyre Peninsula and there will be more stories to come soon! This is the first place we have visited on our trip around Australia and we can't wait to share more. All rugs featured in the photos are from Salty Aura, and you can check them out by heading to our home page.
Thank you, Jade xx