Using a long weekend, we organised a four-day road trip around the Eyre Peninsula from Adelaide. There are so many things to do on the Eyre Peninsula; it is one of Australia’s best-kept secrets. So much to do that we had to stick to the north of the region!
Our destination names were not on the hot list of Australia’s must-do. But we were owed by what we saw. It is hard to believe that we could experience all these fantastic places just by ourselves.
South Australia keeps astonishing me
Although I am not a big fan of Adelaide – a bit too quiet to my taste – I loved my trips to South Australia.
It was my second time in South Australia after a trip to Kangaroo Island a few years before. It’s one of the best places to see iconic Australian wildlife. I did not imagine it could get better than this. I even gave this title to my blog article: My Fabulous Wild Encounters On Kangaroo Island Will Be Hard To Beat. Well… our trip to the Eyre Peninsula kind of beat it!
Wildlife was not the only highlight of our time exploring the Eyre Peninsula. We also enjoyed fantastic scenery all along the journey. We were surprised that even Australians don’t know much about these jewels we visited.
How to go to the Eyre Peninsula
The easiest way to reach the Eyre Peninsula is to fly to Port Lincoln, in the south of the peninsula. It’s a great base to explore the region as many tours leave from there.
But as we really wanted to visit the north of the peninsula and travel off the beaten track, we decided to go on a road trip from Adelaide instead. Our first stop after leaving the city was Port Augusta, 300 kilometres north of Adelaide.
Things to do on the Eyre Peninsula
Swim with sea lions and dolphins
This was the number one reason why we travelled to the Eyre Peninsula. I love sea lions and there are excellent opportunities to swim with these puppies of the ocean in the Eyre Peninsula. Most visitors go to Port Lincoln in the south of the peninsula to swim with sea lions. We chose to go to Baird Bay, on the northwest of the peninsula.
The tours in Baird Bay are organised by a smaller operator and you get a chance to also swim with dolphins. We were lucky to have a very intimate experience and learnt a lot from their passionate team. Note that they don’t operate in winter (June, July, and August).
Swim with sharks
Port Lincoln is nationally famous for being the best place in Australia to swim with great white sharks in a cage. It’s quite expensive but known to be a thrilling experience. I haven’t tried it but I really enjoy seeing grey nurse sharks (without a cage – grey nurse sharks aren’t dangerous!) when scuba diving on the East Coast of Australia.
Baird Bay sea lion colony
If you don’t want to get wet or go on a boat, or if you’re obsessed like me with sea lions and just want to see them for longer, go to Point Labatt Lookout in Baird Bay. You’ll have great views of the largest sea lion colony on Australia’s mainland.
Explore national parks
You can access three national parks from the Eyre Peninsula: Gawler Ranges, Lincoln National Park or Coffin Bay National Park. Hiking is always a good opportunity to spot wildlife.
As we were travelling off the beaten track on our Eyre Peninsula road trip, we opted to visit the Gawler Ranges. We saw no other humans but tons of emus. Our short hike was fun and the red organ pipes were a highlight.
But the two other national parks are easier to access – especially if you’re staying in the south of the peninsula. You can even find tours to take you there.
We wanted to add a stop on our road trip between Baird Bay and Adelaide. That’s how we found Lake Gairdner, a large salt lake no one we knew had ever heard of. It’s quite a detour from the main road, but we loved our time there. We all agreed it was one of the most hidden gems in Australia. Read more information about how to get to Lake Gairdner here.
Go to the beach
The water around the Eyre Peninsula looks stunning. It’s a great destination for beach lovers. Four days weren’t enough to tick all the things to do on the Eyre Peninsula, so we skipped the beach!
The Eyre Peninsula is reputed for having some of the best seafood in Australia. Trying the oysters from Coffin Bay should be on all seafood lovers’ list of things to do in the Eyre Peninsula. We had a tasty seafood platter at Mocean in Streaky Bay.
Scuba diving on the Eyre Peninsula
You’ll find a few dive shops on the Eyre Peninsula, in Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay. It’s a famous destination to see giant cuttlefish in winter (see below). But you can also see the beautiful leafy sea dragons at Tumby Bay. If you’re keen on doing a night dive, we loved looking for small critters in the Whyalla Marina.
Things to do on the Eyre Peninsula in winter only
Swim with thousands of giant cuttlefish
Whyalla is the only place known on Earth where thousands of giant cuttlefish aggregate to reproduce. It’s one of the best things to do on the Eyre Peninsula in winter. Although the water is cold, it’s worth it to go snorkelling or scuba diving with the giant cuttlefish. Alternatively, they also offer glass-bottom boat tours for visitors who want to stay dry and warm. Read my tips here about Whyalla and the cuttlefish.
Southern Right and Humpback whales migrate on the coasts of Australia in winter. They can be seen on whale-watching tours on the Eyre Peninsula between May and October.
Our Eyre Peninsula road trip itinerary, day by day:
- Day 1: The beautiful Eyre Peninsula: Whyalla & Streaky Bay
- Day 2: Swimming with Sea Lions and Dolphins at Baird Bay
- Day 3: The incredible Lake Gairdner
- Day 4: Wineries in the Clare Valley (near Adelaide, on our way back)
Map of our Eyre Peninsula 4-day road trip from Adelaide
The Eyre Peninsula starts at Port Augusta, about 300 kilometres north of Adelaide.