Love seafood, sea life and back country adventure? Then this trip planner into South Australia is perfect for you
DURATION: 10 days
BEST FOR: Seafood, sea life, backcountry adventure
ROUTE: Adelaide • Port Augusta • Port Lincoln • Coffin Bay • Eyre Peninsula • Gawler Ranges
WHY DO IT: Eat the finest fish and swim with the scariest sharks before plunging into a little-known Outback wilderness
For Aussies, the Eyre Peninsula – a 40 minute flight from Adelaide via Port Augusta – is synonymous with seafood that’s considered the country’s finest thanks to the quality of the local saltwater. Travellers here often have something else on their minds: shark diving. Put these attractions together and it’s easy to see why this broad, whitebeached peninsula holds such appeal.
Port Lincoln, near the southern tip of the peninsula, is the main hub. From here you can swim with sea lions, tuck into crabs and kingfish or cage-dive with great whites. It’s a region with significant underwater kudos: scenes from Jaws were filmed here.
Organ Pipes, Gawler Ranges, Eyre Peninsula (SATC)
Surfing and fishing are further draws (boards and rods are both easily hired). So, too, is the compact Port Lincoln National Park, where endemic rock parrots can often be seen. Farther around the peninsula you’ll reach Co# n Bay, which belies its foreboding name with sweeping dunes, top-quality oysters and the chance to spot dolphins.
Then it’s time for something completely different. The Gawler Ranges aren’t a household name, but these low, orange volcanic peaks provide a stirring taste of remote Outback wilderness. They’re easily reached from the coast, but by the time you’ve made the four-hour drive inland, the Southern Ocean feels a very long way off . Join a 4WD safari to spot kangaroos and emus, visit the salt flats of Lake Gairdner and sleep under the stars. A trip here requires a bit of advance planning – this isn’t tourist central – but it’s definitely more than worth the effort.