For most of us, the Eyre Peninsula is synonymous with the thriving city of Port Lincoln, swimming with sharks and slurping down world-renowned oysters. It’s the kind of place you go to when you want to indulge with a friend or partner. But, look beyond the standard tourist attractions and venture beyond the borders of the vibrant seaside city to discover diverse landscapes and experiences for the whole family, grandparents included! Because when it comes to a weekend getaway, The Eyre Peninsula has something to offer everyone. Providing a perfect excuse to pack the car for a road trip, the annual Cups Days in Port Lincoln, Ceduna, Kimba, Lock, Penong and Streaky Bay – certainly worthy of your Sunday best.
So, before you mark your next trip on the calendar, here are a few adventures to consider…
The food journey
For the food enthusiast, the Eyre Peninsula offers a mecca of experiences, that go far beyond a degustation (not that we would ever say no!). Allowing visitors to enjoy the food journey in all its entirety, Ocean to Plate and Hunter and Gather Seafood Safaris offer an opportunity to dive for razor fish and abalone, catch blue swimmer crabs and fish for salmon off the back of a luxury boat (I mean, why not live like a king for the day). The world-class seafood is then prepared onboard, ready to be enjoyed against the backdrop of the breathtaking shoreline. However, if diving for your food is not quite your idea of fun then why not visit an oyster farm where you can see how oysters are grown and can board the oyster boat to taste them plucked straight from the sea!
It wouldn’t be an Eyre Peninsula guide without directing you to some of the most notable locations to slurp down on Coffin Bay’s world-famous, mouth-watering oysters (without having to do the hard work yourself). Experience seaside ambience at the 1802 Oyster Bar at Coffin Bay where you can order anything from hazelnut to the more traditional Kilpatrick varieties, or continue your journey to Ceduna where the famous Oyster Bar offers a more traditional take on the experience. Grab a bucket of freshly shucked oysters for $12 (not a typo) and make your way to the bar’s rooftop where you can enjoy a beach view and your lunch on a deckchair…with a beer in hand of course!
For families looking to take a road trip with slightly fussier little eaters, the coastline is dotted with diverse restaurants, from contemporary establishments to more family-friendly cafes and bistros. A delicious pizza or burger is never too far away, and when you are spoilt for choice with breathtakingly beautiful beaches and pit stops, why not enjoy a dinner of fish and chips by the sea. A 5 minute drive to the local beach, the Fresh Fish Place offers factory direct seafood, which you can take and enjoy with the sand between your toes.
Let's not forget the drinks
No group getaway is complete without experiencing a good drop of wine and the Peninsula certainly doesn’t disappoint. Family owned and operated Lincoln Estate Wines draw on the clean and crisp ocean air and deep fertile soils to produce world-recognised wines. Taking out the gold medal at the Japan Wine Challenge in 2016, the bespoke label offers up all the taste with an ambience to match, the perfect way to spend an afternoon with friends and family. And if you are curious about tasting that winning drop, request the Sauvignon Blanc.
If a drink and a night out by the water is what you’re after, the Sarin’s Restaurant & Bar/Bistro offers all the vibes and music with a million dollar view to match. Located in the famous Port Lincoln Hotel, it’s where the crème de la crème of the local crowd goes to enjoy some of South Australia’s best seafood and wine. While there, why not enjoy a dinner date with unspoiled views of the beach before making your way to the bustling bistro for a nightcap. You never know who you may bump into!
The wildlife journey
For the wildlife enthusiast, the Eyre Peninsula offers the kind of experiences worthy of a mention on the bucket list. Home to the only place in Australia where you can cage dive with magnificent Great White Sharks, Port Lincoln is renowned for its diving expeditions and the best part is that the experience is there for the taking in your own backyard. However, if sharing your space with one of the ocean’s biggest predators is not quite your cup of tea, swimming with sea lions may be just the thing for you. Snorkel along one of the most striking beaches in the world while you wait for the playful sea lions to appear. Relax in the water and let them approach and play around you. Now, how many people in the world can say they have done that?
If you prefer to be on the water rather than in it, the Eyre Peninsula offers plenty of wildlife adventures for everyone in the family. For the fishermen in the clan, you will find a range of charters, including the 4-day Hook and Sinker Fishing Safari. With an opportunity to catch King George whiting, snapper and nannygai, it’s a win-win for the entire family. Alternatively, there are an assortment of day trips to choose from when time is of the essence.
Why not give the kids something to talk about when they return to school with a whale watching expedition. Put aside two and a half hours and join the Fowlers Bay Eco Tour with the possibility of spotting Southern Right Whales and Humpback Whales. If you don’t bump into one of these majestic creatures, there are always sea lions, dolphins, penguins and albatross to be found.
The natural trail
Whilst the mention of the Eyre Peninsula evokes feelings of sea adventures, the region is home to some of the most spectacular national parks in the world. Further inland from the piercing blue beaches and rolling sand dunes, the region offers plenty of opportunities to get up close and personal to native animals in their natural habitats, such as kangaroos and koalas. From leisurely strolls for the entire family, to more rigorous hikes for the exercise enthusiasts, there are parks to satisfy everyone’s needs. For a truly unique family experience why not spend the day at the Glen Forest Tourist Park and Vineyard where the kids can enjoy a dedicated animal park and a round of putt-putt mini golf while the adults finish the day with a well-earned vineyard visit and drop of regional wine.
Famous for its rugged rock formations, red soil, and distinctive crevices etched deep into the land, the Gawler Ranges display 1500 million-year-old land in all its glory. While there, be sure to visit the world-famous Organ Pipes, a multi-tiered formation of rocks formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago. We’re talking post-card worthy views that will leave you regretting not having visited this gem located in your own backyard earlier. You can take short hikes with the family or make a base for a truly unforgettable family trip and camp out under the stars.
The Races and fashion
If you are looking for an excuse to put your best foot forward, why not take the opportunity to attend the Port Lincoln Cup, with the highlight of the racing calendar taking place in early March. The Port Lincoln Cup offers up all the trimmings of a world-class meet and then goes the extra mile with a backdrop unlike any other. Located in an area where the pristine trackside meets the beautiful coastline, the Lincoln Racing Club offers views that are sure to leave you in your tracks. The Ceduna Racing Club also offer 2 non-TAB race meetings a year - the perfect excuse to dress up with friends while visiting the popular holiday destination.
For those looking for an excuse to do a little shopping, leave your race outfits at home and head to national cult favourite Coco California. The renowned online retailer, based in Port Lincoln, not only offers a collection of Australian Fashion Labels pieces (amongst others), but have an equally notable interior to match. Designed by Adelaide’s own Frame Creative, it’s the kind of shopping destination worthy of a quick pit-stop (or a few hours, we don’t judge).
Whatever your perfect holiday may look like, we know that as long as there is delicious food on offer, a good drop of wine, breathtaking views and activities to please the entire family – you can’t go wrong. When it comes to the Eyre Peninsula, you can be spoilt on all fronts. While many will travel from abroad to enjoy the experience in its entirety, for us it’s a hop, skip and jump away. You’ve got no excuse to avoid this South Australian gem.