12 things to add to your Eyre Peninsula bucket list

written by Cliona Elliott February 16, 2022
An aerial view of waves rolling into Cactus Beach

Pack your bags — we’re going on an ocean-meets-outback adventure.

The Eyre Peninsula boasts some of Australia’s most immaculate beaches, world-famous seafood and deserted national parks brimming with native wildlife. It’s also one of the country’s best-kept travel secrets (for now), which is ideal if you prefer sharing the beach with a mob of kangaroos over peak season crowds.

Here are some top picks of places to visit, things to do and local food to eat when you visit the Eyre Peninsula.

1. Hit the beach

Two people walking along Almonta Beach on the Eyre Peninsula
Almonta Beach

The Eyre Peninsula isn’t short of a stunning beach or two. There hasn’t been much noise about South Australia’s beaches, so you’ll often find that you’ll have a white sandy bay all to yourself. Almonta Beach, Memory Cove and Perlubie Beach are a few favourites.

Related: 10-must visit beaches in South Australia

2. Explore Coffin Bay National Park

Two people walking along the shore at Almonta Beach on the Eyre Peninsula

Coffin Bay National Park is a coastal playground with crystal clear shallows, wind-whipped dunes and lush bush walks waiting to be explored. Lace up your hiking boots for the 15-kilometre Oyster Walk, climb the sand dunes for an incredible sunset or pop on a snorkel to discover the park’s rich marine life.

3. See Australian sea lions

Sea lions lounging on the beach below Point Labatt

Point Labatt is the only permanent colony of Australian sea lions on the mainland. Watch these inquisitive mammals basking in the sun from the viewing platform. If you visit at the right time of year, you can also see gorgeous pups playing or learning to swim (birthing season alternates between mid-summer and mid-winter every year).

4. Feast on native foods

A native inspired lunch platter from Arid Lands Botanic Garden

Enjoy a native-inspired lunch at Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Try the tasting platter of kangaroo mettwurst, quandong chutney, native-flavoured dukka and wattle seed damper for something savoury. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll enjoy the lemon myrtle pancakes or homemade scones topped with a generous dollop of quandong jam. Yum.

Related: 6 First Nations bushfoods you need to try in Australia

5. Visit an oyster farm 

An aerial view of an oyster farm on the Eyre Peninsula, SA

Seafood from the Eyre Peninsula is that good, the region has even been dubbed Australia’s ‘seafood frontier’. While you could tuck into a plate of fresh seafood at a restaurant, we have a better idea: wade into the water with a local farmer and pluck your own oysters straight from the sea. This gives a whole new meaning to fresh.

6. Explore Gawler Ranges National Park 

Natural rock pools in Gawler Ranges National Park

This park is famous for its unique red rock formations, including the Organ Pipes, created by volcanic activity more than 1500 million years ago. Hit one of the trails to admire the colours and shapes of this striking landscape, walk across the glistening salt pans of Lake Gairdner and spot emus, kangaroos and southern hairy-nosed wombats.

7. Stay at Scotdesco Aboriginal Community  

Learn about the rich history and culture of the Wirangu people by spending two nights at Scotdesco Aboriginal Community in Bookabie. You’ll take part in cultural activities and learn about the community’s impressive rainwater harvesting system (the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere).

8. Drive along Lake Macdonnell

An aerial view of Lake Macdonnell on the Eyre Peninsula, SA

You know those places that look fake? Well, Lake Macdonnell is one of them. Divided by a red dirt road with cotton candy-coloured water on one side and bright blue water on the other, this lake has to be seen to be believed. The amount of rain heavily influences the pink colour, but winter through early spring is generally the best time to see it.

9. Visit the Wadlata Outback Centre

Go on an immersive journey through time at the ‘Tunnel of Time’ in Wadlata Outback Centre. Learn about the ancient First Nations history of Port Augusta and its surrounds, from how the Dreaming Serpent gouged out the gorges of the Flinders Ranges to how the unique outback landscapes have evolved over millions of years. You can also join early explorers on their first hikes, go underground to the Olympic Dam Mine, and so much more.

10. Visit Arts Ceduna

The exterior of Arts Ceduna in South Australia

From the sun-drenched Gawler Ranges to the bright blue seascapes of the Great Australian Bight, it’s no wonder the Eyre Peninsula is a huge source of inspiration for artists. The Ceduna Arts Centre is an Aboriginal-owned gallery where you’ll find stunning artwork by more than 130 Aboriginal artists from the Far West Coast of South Australia. Supporting local artists could also be the perfect way to take a little piece of the Eyre Peninsula home with you.

11. See the Tumby Bay art silos

The art silos in Tumby Bay, SA

These impressive silos were created by Argentinian street artist, Martin Ron and South Australian painter, Matt Gorrick. The duo were inspired by watching locals jump off the Tumby Bay Jetty. It’s well worth stopping by if you travel south towards Port Lincoln.

12. Marvel at Pildappa Rock 

A traveller taking a photo of Pildappa Rock, SA

Pildappa Rock has the tallest and longest wave formations on the Eyre Peninsula. Check out the impressive gutter system created by the deep holes at the base of the rock, marvel at its shapes and colours or walk to the top to admire the sweeping views of the Gawler Ranges.

Curious to explore this part of South Australia? Check out our Eyre Peninsula tours.

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