Eyre Peninsula

by Steven Chater from Trip Plan Australia. Check out Trip Plan’s free Itinerary Planner that will help you make the most of your next road trip through regional and outback Australia.

We’d just finished one of Australia’s most iconic road trips – crossing the Nullarbor. And yes, we called into the Ceduna tourism bureau – the “official” end of a west to east crossing – and bought the sticker and fridge magnet to prove it when back in Sydney!

Doing the Nullarbor for the first time and not knowing what we’d encounter (btw, no problems and a fantastic experience – check out the blog post here) we’d allowed a couple of extra days before starting the final stretch to Adelaide.

So, with a bit of time up our sleeve, rather than do the big inland crossing of the Eyre Peninsula, we decided to head down the west coast and make the shorter west to east peninsula crossing to come out at the beautiful little town of Cowell and visit Whyalla as well.

It’s all about fishing on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, with the caravan park at Streaky Bay ideally located and very relaxing. Pelicans flying everywhere!

Road trip planner Australia - Pelican squadron overflying the caravan park at Streaky Bay

Pelican squadron overflying the caravan park at Streaky Bay

Further south is the small town of Port Kenny, where we bought local prawns that we had for lunch down at the next main town of Elliston. By this time the wind was really blowing in off the Great Australian Bight – something I think you’d need to get used to if you were to spend any length of time on the west coast.

Road trip planner Australia - Elliston jetty

Elliston jetty

Of course there are protected spots – very beautiful too. And certainly not crowded!

Road trip planner Australia - Waterloo Bay, Elliston

Waterloo Bay, Elliston

Although Port Lincoln wasn’t that far away, we decided that we’d be rushing it with the time we had available – it’s on the list for next time. So it was a left turn at Elliston and on to the Birdseye Highway for the 2-hour drive east to Cowell.

Officially gazetted in 1880, Cowell is a more substantial town than those found on the west coast. It’s still all about the fishing, with conditions perhaps a little easier being located on the Spencer Gulf. It’s also a services town for farmers, has a well-known oyster industry and is also known for its jade deposits.

Road trip planner Australia - Franklin Harbour Hotel Cowell

Franklin Harbour Hotel, Cowell

Road trip planner Australia - District Council and Institute buildings, Cowell

District Council and Institute buildings, Cowell

Road trip planner Australia - Commercial Hotel, Cowell

Commercial Hotel, Cowell

Cowell has a great atmosphere and would be a pretty good spot for a longer stay – very relaxing.

Just 100km north is the town of Whyalla, a definite for more exploration next time we are down this way. We made our way up to Hummock Hill Lookout – what a fantastic 360 degree view!

Road trip planner Australia - Looking to the south east - beautiful clean looking sand flats stretching in to the Spencer Gulf

Looking to the south east – beautiful clean looking sand flats stretching in to the Spencer Gulf

Road trip planner Australia - Looking west: Whyalla township – the colour brown starting to become noticeable

Looking west: Whyalla township – the colour brown starting to become noticeable

Road trip planner Australia - Looking north: Whyalla steelworks

Looking north: Whyalla steelworks

It was interesting to see the activity associated with the steelworks, with trains pulling in and tugs escorting barges of ore to ships anchored out in the Gulf. I believe that the town of Iron Knob now has mine tours and could be worth a visit.

Because we needed to drop our vehicle off and catch a plane, we spent our last night in South Australia at Port Wakefield, just an hour and a bit north of Adelaide. It was a surprisingly beautiful place, with great heritage buildings and stunning sunsets.

Road trip planner Australia - Residence in Port Wakefield

Residence in Port Wakefield

Road trip planner Australia - Salt of the Earth café, Port Wakefield

Salt of the Earth café, Port Wakefield

Road trip planner Australia - Sunset at Port Wakefield

Sunset at Port Wakefield

Overnighting in Port Wakefield was a memorable way to finish our fantastic WA and SA Nullarbor adventure.

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Road trip planner Australia - Ceduna to Adelaide via Streaky Bay, Elliston, Cowell and Whyalla

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