The Eyre Peninsula is one of the most beautiful places in all of South Australia. Home to remote little beach side towns, colourful silo art, stunning beaches and amazing marine experiences, there is so much to see and explore around the Eyre Peninsula.
Surprisingly, no matter where you visit along this stunning piece of coastline, you often find yourself with beaches all to yourself. Spend your days hopping through rock pools, driving on white sand beaches and fishing right off the shore, you’ll be surprised how few other people you’ll be sharing these epic places with.
The Eyre Peninsula technically begins in the remote town of Port Augusta, winding it’s way along the coast all the way to the beginning of the Nullarbor. There are countless small towns, both beach side and inland that make up the Eyre Peninsula, and it’s impossible to get to them all on your first visit. Unless you have an endless amount of time to explore of course.
Here are some of our favourite spots from the Eyre Peninsula to save for your visit:
P.S: We’ve listed these 20 places in the order that we visited them over about two weeks. We thought about listing them in order of which ones we loved most, but it just got way too confusing.
In this post:
Getting to the Eyre Peninsula
The drive from Adelaide to Port Augusta – the beginning of the Eyre Peninsula – takes about 4 hours along the Princes Highway. From Whyalla follow the water south along the coastline if you want to check out some of the regions best beaches, or keep heading west onward to Kimba to check out the Gawler Ranges.
There are also three regional airports in the Eyre Peninsula if you choose to fly in for your visit. Located in Whyalla, Port Lincoln and Ceduna, the airports are serviced by REX and QantasLink and there are daily services to and from Adelaide, with connections to the rest of the country.
20 of the best places to visit on the Eyre Peninsula:
1. Tumby Bay
This cute little seaside town has made a name for itself due to the colourful murals that can be found all over town. You can find these colourful murals everywhere – on the silos, shop walls in town, even the rotunda on the beach is covered in a painting. The murals are stunning and give the town a unique point of difference along the peninsula.
Tumby Bay also has some fantastic free camping sites, less than 10 minutes out of the main town. We stayed at Red Cliffs for two nights and it was just perfect. There were only a few other campers there, it was quiet, peaceful and right on the beach. You can find the campsite on WikiCamps or by searching for Red Cliffs on Google Maps.
2. Port Lincoln
The biggest town along the Eyre Peninsula, Port Lincoln is a hub of activity with almost everyone who visits the Eyre travelling through the popular town. It has everything you might need if you’re looking to re-stock supplies for your trip, with everything from fuel and groceries, to Kmart and Bunnings for all the extra bits and pieces, before you head into some of the more remote areas of the peninsula.
Port Lincoln is also considered the Great White Shark capital of Australia, famous for their cage diving experiences with great white sharks, as well as amazing opportunities to swim with sea lions in their natural environment.
Port Lincoln also has it’s own airport, with multiple flights to and from Adelaide each day, making it the perfect place to start your journey if you’re planning to fly into the area.
3. Hopkins Island
A small island about an hour and a half from the Port Lincoln Marina, Hopkins Island is a popular spot for sea lions who live in the area. The little beach here is protected from the weather and gives them the perfect spot to rest in between feeds and to socialise with each other. It’s considered a haul-out zone for the sea lions in the area, so there is always a bunch of them hanging out here, giving you a guaranteed opportunity to get up close and personal with these entertaining little animals.
You can visit Hopkins Island on a tour with Adventure Bay Charters to swim with the sea lions in this area. Honestly our favourite experience from the Eyre Peninsula, swimming with the cutest little sea lions is an experience you do not want to miss during your visit.
4. Port Lincoln National Park
One of the smaller national parks in South Australia, Port Lincoln National Park is filled with quiet beaches, crystal clear water and amazing wildlife viewing opportunities. During our visit we saw a pod of dolphins swimming along the shore, while an emu walked across the beach. It’s also a great place to view whales right from the shore in the winter months of the year.
National park fees apply to visit Port Lincoln National Park, as well as camping fees if you plan to stay overnight. Find out everything you need to know on the Parks SA website.
5. Memory Cove
Deep at the bottom of Port Lincoln National Park, Memory Cove is a beautiful little beach where you can really get away from the rest of the world. You will need a key and a permit to access this one, which costs $20 from the Port Lincoln Visitors Information Centre. You will also be required to give a $50 cash deposit for the key.
Only a limited number of people can access Memory Cove each day, capped at 15 vehicles per day, keeping this little pocket of the national park pristine and in it’s natural state. Memory Cove is also a Wilderness Protection Area, dedicated to preserving the environment.
6. Fishery Bay
A beautiful beach just before Whalers Way, Fishery Bay is one of the beaches near Port Lincoln that you can drive your car on. It’s white sandy shores and crystal clear water makes it a favourite of many that come to visit the region, with fishing off the shore very popular amongst the locals.
Hot tip: For the best views of Fishery Bay, check out the lookouts on the way to Whalers Way. They offer views over the whole beach, including the dramatic coastline, it’s just beautiful.
7. Whalers Way
Along the coastline between Port Lincoln and Coffin Bay, Whalers Way is a private property that allows visitors who obtain a permit from the Visitors Centre in Port Lincoln. Along the drive in Whalers Way you are treated to a beautiful rugged coastline, crystal clear rock pools, incredible caves and often wildlife sightings of dolphins, whales and fur seals.
The permit to enter Whalers Way costs $30 from the Visitors Centre for a day pass, with an additional $20 cash required as a deposit for the key. Visit Whalers Way on a windy day to truly understand the epic force the ocean holds, with king waves crashing into the rocky shore and blow holes that spray water high into the air.
8. The Swimming Hole
For one of the most popular rock pools around Port Lincoln, check out the Swimming Hole in Whalers Way. There are a couple of rock pools here, but the main and most popular pool can be found to the right of the car park. You can see it from the top of the cliff, with a steep winding dirt path leading you from the car park area, down to the swimming hole.
There is also another smaller rock pool to the left of this one, which is also better accessed from the car park, rather than trying to walk around the rocky coastline. This one is accessed by a steep ladder that is wrapped in a steel cage to protect you from falling as you descend the cliff. Be very careful if you’re climbing down to either pool, especially if it’s a windy day. These are unstable cliffs and they can be unpredictable in wild weather.
9. Baleen Rock pool & Old Whalemans Grotto Caves
Our other highlight from Whalers Way, Baleen rock pool and Old Whalemans Grotto can be found on the same road, right near each other. Both can be difficult to get to, again with rocky terrain to access them and unstable cliffs and ground, so the most care needs to be taken if you try.
It is highly recommended that you do not swim in the Baleen rock pool. One strong wave can either sweep you out to sea here, to throw you into the rocks and stop you from surfacing. The ocean and waves are so strong here, even on a calm day.
To find the caves at Old Whalemans Grotto, follow the path that leads from the sign down to the rocks, and climb carefully around to the right where you will see the caves. The rocks are relatively flat and smooth here, so it makes for a mostly easy climb, and the waves generally don’t reach where you need to climb, so it’s a little less dangerous than the rock pool.
10. Coffin Bay
Home to some of the most popular and renowned oysters in the world, Coffin Bay is where you can find Australia’s thriving oyster farms, providing fresh oysters to all of Australia, as well as other parts of the world. Jump onto an Oyster Farm Tour to learn more about how oysters are grown and harvested, learn how to shuck your own oyster and get to taste test some of the local delicacies straight from the ocean.
Make the most of your experience by stopping for lunch at Oyster HQ, where you can grab a table overlooking the water and the oyster farm, while trying some of the best and freshest seafood you can find.
11. Coffin Bay National Park
With white sand beaches and some of the clearest turquoise water we’ve ever seen, surrounded by dense natural bush land, Coffin Bay National Park is a favourite of anyone who visits. There are huge sand dunes here, epic waves and beautiful lookouts offering panoramic views over the ocean.
One of the highlights here is Alamonta Beach, a very pretty beach at the end of a short easy walk over the sand dunes. To reach Gunyah Beach you will need to drive over some hectic sand dunes, with some very soft tracks that will leave you bogged if you’re not careful. There’s no reception out here, so make sure you’re prepared for if you get into trouble.
Head to Yangie Bay if you’re looking for somewhere to stay, with a great campground here right on the water, with private campsites, giving you plenty of room. But be careful walking around at night, we came across a huge huntsman and a rather large scorpion during our stay here, they certainly aren’t scared of people.
12. Greenly Beach
This place is just a dream. One of the most beautiful beaches we have come across, Greenly Beach was a firm favourite from the Eyre Peninsula. With very few people around, you can find rock pools at each end of the beach, as well as free camping spots all the way along the coastline.
To find some of the best and most iconic rock pools from Greenly Beach head to the west end of the beach and climb over all the rocks until you see it. The rock pools were filled with starfish, crabs and all kinds of marine life during our visit, so make sure you’re careful about where you step if you decide to go in for a dip. You can easily spot them in the crystal clear water.
13. Locks Well Beach
Locks Well Beach can be found at the bottom of a very steep staircase, taking you from the car park right down the rocky cliffs and down to the beach. The staircase is about 120 meters long, with about 283 steps to get you from the top to the bottom, and trust us when we say, you’re going to feel that the next day.
This is also meant to be one of the most reliable locations for catching salmon in South Australia, with fishing right off the shore. We gave it a try during our visit, but it was a super windy day with a huge swell, so we could never get deep enough past the wave break. It’s not a good idea to swim here, with deadly king waves smashing onto the shore most of the year.
14. Talia rock pools
The shore of Talia Beach is absolutely covered in rock pools. You can’t go more than a few steps before there is another, with rock pools of all different sizes and depths. Some of them are big enough for a quick dip, while some are very small, with the clear water giving you an insight into the marine life that lives inside.
The highlight of the Talia rock pools however, are the three in the image above, which sit right next to each other on the rocky shore of the beach, only a couple of metres from where the ocean begins. The interesting shapes and perfect sizes have made them infamous on social media with many coming to take a dip in these cute little pools.
To find the trio of rock pools, park at the signs for the Woolshed Cave, but once you get to the bottom of the stairs follow the rocks around to the right, leading you around the corner and to the beach. The rock pools can be found near the main part of the beach, right near the water. To make sure you don’t miss them you need to visit at low tide, as they will be covered by water during high tide. Check the tides before you go to avoid disappointment.
15. The Woolshed Cave
At the same stop as the Talia Beach rock pools you can find the Woolshed Cave, a huge deep cave that opens up to give you a picture perfect view of the ocean. We visited at sunset in February for the kind of lighting above, although pictures during the middle of the day with a perfect blue sky are also beautiful.
As you walk into the cave you can definitely hear all the bats above making noise, which is super creepy (to me anyway). But for the best photo opportunity, set up your camera as far into the cave as you can, to get the whole opening in the picture.
Stay: For a great farm stay just around the corner from the Talia caves and beach, check out Coodlie Park Farm Retreat. Just $15 for a campsite, there is no power or phone reception here, giving you a great excuse to get off the grid and enjoy the environment.
16. Murphy’s Haystacks
Sitting randomly in the middle of a wheat field, Murphy’s Haystacks are a unique attraction along the Eyre Peninsula. Formed more than 1500 million years ago, these granite boulders were shaped by the weather and the wind to become what they are today. They are worth a stop for a gold coin donation, and are a very unique sight along the flat countryside surrounding them.
17. Baird Bay & Point Labatt
Baird Bay is also home to colony of wild Australian sea lions, and is another great place to go swimming with sea lions for an up close encounter. The tours from Baird Bay also claim that they have wild dolphins joining them on their tours, so you get the chance to swim with quite a few ocean favourites.
Since we had been swimming with sea lions just a couple of days before in Port Lincoln, we decided instead to visit Point Labatt, which is home to a huge colony of seal lions. From the viewing deck high up on the cliffs you can see sea lions behaving in their most natural state – socialising and playing with each other, seal pups learning to swim, and lots of sea lions sunning themselves on the beach.
It might take you a minute to focus, as they can be quite far away. But once you start spotting them you’ll quickly realise how many sea lions you can see, with dozens hanging out in this colony. There are also some binoculars there for you to use, if you’d like a close up view of this entertaining animals.
18. Streaky Bay
One of the cutest towns along the Eyre Peninsula that we came across, this was one of the biggest towns after Port Lincoln so it is a good place to stop if you need anything. They have a decent sized Foodland and IGA here, as well as a dump point and water if you need to refill your tanks.
Just around the corner Perlubie is meant to be a great place to camp, however when we visited it was absolutely PACKED. There were literally grey nomads camping in every spare spot, leaving very little room for others to get around. Once we got down there it was super difficult to get back out. We chose to keep driving a little further along the Eyre to find a spot with less people for the night.
19. Smoky Bay
Another fishing favourite along the Eyre Peninsula, Smoky Bay has heaps of different places to try your luck at fishing. We headed down to Point Brown for our stay, where you can free camp pretty much anywhere along the point. It’s easy to find yourself a great spot away from anyone else. It was disappointing to see how poorly the campers before us had left the area, with toilet paper and rubbish all around the area. If you’re free camping anywhere throughout Australia make sure you leave it better than you found it and take ALL of your rubbish with you. Yes, that includes toilet paper. Don’t be disgusting.
Also check out St Mary’s Beach in Smoky Bay, a beautiful beach with great swells for surfing and some great hidden rock pools if you have the time to search for them!
20. Fowlers Bay
Definitely the smallest town along the Eyre Peninsula, Fowlers Bay is the last stop before the Nullarbor. It’s a super small town, with sand dunes at the end of the street and only a small tuck shop like store selling snacks from the caravan park reception. There’s little to the town, with no mains power or water and not even a pub to eat at during your visit, so make sure you come with supplies.
From July through to October each year you can also jump on a whale watching tour from Fowlers Bay, as Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales swim through the waters each year. You can jump on a two and a half hour tour with either Fowlers Bay Eco Tours or Chinta Tours from the Fowler Bay jetty.