The Eyre Peninsula is South Australia at its most diverse. It’s a triangular seafood frontier, home to unspoilt beaches that give way to the rugged crimson sands of the Outback, and it’s best explored on a self-drive itinerary. Behind the wheel, with the top down, you can cruise along the coast, stopping off for flavour-exploding oysters or to try your hand at surfing 80-metre-high waves of sand. A holiday in this charming enclave is about more than the road stops though: you can swim with sea lions and dolphins, cage dive with sharks, or venture inland to spend the night in a star-canopied desert camp. Just a 40-minute flight from Adelaide, the only thing it’s missing is the crowds, and that’s something we can happily do without.
Things to Do
Aquatic adventures are undoubtedly the big draw here, and you can spend days getting immersed. Thrill and excitement await those who venture beneath the waves; the sheltered waters off Port Lincoln’s Boston Bay offer the chance to frolic and dive with playful wild sea lions, while the Head of Bight viewing platform is perfect for spotting southern right whales every June to October. For those with nerves of steel, you can even get face-to-teeth with an alpha predator: the great white shark.
Away from the water there’s also over national parks peppered across the Eyre Peninsula. Our favourites include Lincoln Nation Park and its secluded Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area, a haven for rare flora and fauna; Coffin Bay National Park, which is perfect for 4X4 drives, canoeing, birdwatching and visit the Gawler Ranges National Park, an interior gem home to semi-arid peaks, a huge salt lake and the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby.
Eat and Drink
We might have already mentioned that the Eyre Peninsula is a seafood frontier? Well that’s because it is – and it’s famous for being so. You can find oysters, abalone, whiting, prawns, rock lobster and blue swimmer crabs here, all freshly-caught and tasting utterly delicious. Join a fishing boat to catch your own dinner or embark on the Eyre Peninsula Seafood Trail – a culinary expedition from Whyalla to Ceduna that guides you to the region’s best restaurants and local seafood outlets. And, much like the rest of South Australia, the Eyre Peninsula can hold its own on the wine front too, boasting a handful of boutique vineyards located in its lower half.
Where to Stay
Despite being nestled on its own private enclave, there’s still plenty of accommodation choice on the Eyre Peninsula. Take your pick from luxury hotels, motels, B&Bs and caravan parks. Heading towards the region’s Outback, there’s also the opportunity to stay in a range of luxury wilderness retreats and tented camps.
Eyre Peninsula like a Local
Living in the Eyre Peninsula, it’s hard not to love the laid-back lifestyle and quality seafood. Join the locals and while away the afternoons gazing out across the harbour, sipping wine and eating oysters. Taste an oyster fresh from the holding tank, opened by an expert oyster shucker, at Turners Oysters & Seafood in the township of Cowell.