Eyre Peninsula Road Trip – the best travel itinerary 2024

If you’re looking for a road trip that promises beautiful beaches, epic coastal scenery, delectable seafood and unforgettable experiences, you can’t go past South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.  Jutting out into the Great Australian Bight, the Eyre Peninsula is remote and breathtaking. 

Whether your Eyre Peninsula Road Trip is a loop beginning and ending in Adelaide, or part of a bigger road trip heading to or from Western Australia via the Nullarbor, make sure you take your time and spend a few days exploring one of South Australia’s best regions.  

We visited the Eyre Peninsula as part of our 3 year lap of Australia, and drove anti-clockwise around the peninsula from Ceduna to Port Augusta.  We explored the beachside towns as well as heading inland to a few must-see places as well.  In this post you’ll find all the best places to see and things to do on the Eyre Peninsula.

We’ve organised this post as an Adelaide to Eyre Peninsula itinerary, but you could also follow this itinerary if you’re driving to or from the Nullarbor.

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eyre peninsula road trip

Eyre Peninsula Road Trip – Getting there

The Eyre Peninsula is a triangular peninsula that is bound by Port Augusta in the East, Port Lincoln in the south and Ceduna in the west.  Driving down and around the peninsula is an easy detour on your Lap of Australia, or you can visit on a road trip from Adelaide.

The distance of the Adelaide to Eyre Peninsula Road Trip loop is around 1850km, without any detours. From Adelaide head north on the National Highway 1, Port Wakefield Highway which then becomes the Augusta Highway.

From Port Augusta you can choose to do the loop clockwise heading down to Port Lincoln on the Lincoln Highway, or anti-clockwise by heading first to Ceduna on the Eyre Highway.

eyre peninsula road trip
Click image to open this Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Map in Google Maps

Getting around the Eyre Peninsula

You will need a car to road trip Eyre Peninsula.  If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can either rent a car from Adelaide, or you could fly into Port Lincoln and rent a car there.  Check out rentalcars.com for availability and pricing across a variety of car hire companies.

Kimba, Halfway across australia, map of australia

Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Adelaide to Port Augusta

While it’s possible to drive all the way down to the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula in a day, you’d miss out on so many great stops.  We recommend breaking up the journey – take your time and enjoy the sights along the way.

Stock up on supplies in Adelaide then head north.  You’ll drive through farmland and see the landscape gradually become more arid as you head into the outback.

Stop off just north of Port Wakefield at Lochiel, on the shores of the pink Lake Bumbunga, home of the Loch Eel, South Australia’s answer to the Loch Ness Monster.  There are actually two Loch Eels, but if you stop in the town its easiest to walk out and view this one.  

Lake Bumbunga, Lochiel, South Australia

If you left Adelaide later in the day, there is a free camp right here.  We stayed here for one night, and while it’s right on the roadside, the traffic noise quietened down after about 9pm.

Port Augusta is often called the cross-roads of Australia, as it is at the intersection of the main north-south road from Adelaide to Darwin and the east-west road from Perth to Sydney.  But Port Augusta is more than just a fuel stop, there’s a few places worth checking out here.  

You should definitely visit the Wadlata Outback Centre if you’re not going any further north.  The Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens is also a good place to stretch your legs while learning about some of the unique plants found in the outback.

Day 2 – Port Augusta to Port Lincoln

The Port Augusta to Port Lincoln Road Trip takes you down onto the Eyre Peninsula proper.  You’ll be driving close to the coast today and while the east coast of the peninsula is arguable inferior to the west coast, there are some detours off the main road that are worth the stop.

Primarily known as an industrial steel town, Whyalla is one of the only places in Australia you can swim with cuttle-fish (seasonally from May to August).  If you’re brave enough to face the winter seas, a wonderland awaits beneath the surface.

Tumby Bay is home to one of the most impressive pieces of Silo-Art we’ve seen.  You need to walk all the way down to the end of the short trail to get the full effect of this artwork. This silo art is just a short drive off the highway, and there is a large carpark here, plenty of room to turn around even if you’re towing a large caravan.

Silo Art, tumby bay, eyre peninsula

Day 3 – 4 In Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln is the largest town on the Eyre Peninsula.  It has a population of 15,000 and has a regional airport so if you’re not able to do the full road trip, you can always fly to Port Lincoln and rent a car here to experience the best parts of the Eyre Peninsula.

Port Lincoln is the self-proclaimed seafood capital of Australia, and you’ll see plenty of fishing trawlers out in the harbour.

Without doubt, the highlight of a visit to Port Lincoln is the chance to go cage-diving with Great White Sharks.  Not for the faint-hearted (or sea-sick prone), this is a full-day adventure, with a 3 hour trip out into the ocean before getting into the cage to see these misunderstood ocean giants face to face.  

Full disclosure, we were unable to do the shark dive when we visited Port Lincoln, but it’s definitely on our list (well, Nigel’s list!) for our next visit.  Friends who have experienced this adventure rate it very highly.

If you’re after something a little less adventurous than shark-diving, why not swim with sea-lions?  Calypso Star Charters offers a half-day cruise to islands just off the coast.  As soon as the boat pulls up, these playful creatures appear, beckoning you into the water to join them.  It’s not surprising they’re known as the puppies of the sea.

Where to stay in Port Lincoln

There is a good choice of accommodation in Port Lincoln, from caravan parks to motels and even boutique luxury accommodation. You can check availability and pricing on booking.com.

If you’re looking for cheap camping in Port Lincoln, we stayed at the Billy Lights Boat Ramp which is around $15 for the night. The views and sunset across the bay were beautiful.

accommodation in port Lincoln, where to stay in port lincoln,

Day 5 – Mikkira Wildlife Sanctuary

This little-known gem at the bottom of the Eyre Peninsula is well worth a visit for the wildlife you’ll spot here.  We saw kangaroos, emus, and koalas.  LOTS of Koalas.  We went for a walk in the late afternoon, and we actually lost count of how many koalas we saw.  It was such an amazing experience.

You can camp at the Mikkira Wildlife Sanctuary, although you’ll need to plan ahead.  You need to pay your permit fee and collect a key for the locked gate from the Port Lincoln Accommodation office in the centre of Port Lincoln.  

The sanctuary is on private property, and the access road was pretty rough when we went, but this was definitely one of the highlights of our trip on the Eyre Peninsula.  The sanctuary may be closed during the fire danger season, check with the Station owner or the Port Lincoln Accommodation office.

koala spotting, mikkira, things to do on the eyre peninsula
Koala Sanctuary, australian wildlife, mikkira station

Day 6 – Lincoln National Park

At the very bottom of the Eyre Peninsula, you’ll find Lincoln National Park.  This park is an adventurers paradise, with hiking, fishing, 4×4 tracks, and great beaches.  A permit is required to visit the park ($13 per vehicle per day) and an additional permit is required for the Memory Cove Wilderness Protection Area.  

Whalers Way is privately owned land just to the west of the National Park.  There is amazing coastal scenery here and beautiful beaches.  While some of the Whalers Way is accessible for 2wd vehicles, a 4×4 is recommended.  You will need a permit to visit this area, your $40 fee also includes one night of camping.

If you don’t feel like driving through these areas yourself, or if you don’t have a suitable 4×4 vehicle, Untamed Escapes offers a day tour from Port Lincoln visiting the Lincoln National Park, Whalers Way and Mikkira Station.

Day 7 – Port Lincoln to Coffin Bay

The town of Coffin Bay is only small (around 600 people live here year round) and it is the gateway to the Coffin Bay National Park.

Coffin Bay is home to arguably the world’s best oysters.  I wouldn’t know, because I don’t eat them, but Nigel was eating at least half a dozen a day!  In Coffin Bay you can do an Oyster Boat Tour, put on your waders and eat oysters while sitting in the water, and you can even get oysters out of a vending machine!

In town you can explore along the Coffin Bay Oyster Walk or watch the fishing boats unloading their catch.

Coffin Bay, Eyre Peninsula, fishing village

Where to stay in Coffin Bay

Although Coffin Bay is only a small town, there are plenty of places to stay here. We stayed in the Coffin Bay Caravan Park for a night. This park has a really nice unpowered section, where we could set up where we liked. There are water taps in this section too.

For other Coffin Bay accommodation options, check here.

Coffin Bay National Park is known for it’s stunning coastal scenery, with windswept sand-dunes and sheltered coves.  You can access the southern side of Yangie Bay in a 2wd, but you will need a high clearance 4×4 to access the northern beaches as there is a lot of soft sand to drive through.

Days 8-11 West Coast Beaches

The West coast is the most popular section of the Eyre Peninsula Road Trip, and for good reason.  With scenery to rival Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, pristine white sand beaches, and barely anyone else around, you could spend weeks exploring and relaxing on this beautiful stretch of coastline.

Farm Beach

Farm Beach is a gorgeous little spot with a great campground right on the beach.  We stayed here for a couple of days to relax and recharge.   We also took a walk out to Gallipoli Beach, where they filmed the beach scenes for the 1981 movie Gallipoli.

This spot is very popular with fishermen, apparently it’s one of the best places in the country to catch a King Whiting.  Sadly, Nigel didn’t catch any fish.  Again.

movie set, Gallipoli beach
The Sea Cliffs at Gallipoli Beach

Greenly Beach is one of the most popular beaches on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula and there are several campsites here.  Greenly is probably best known for all the beautiful rock-pools around here.  We were here in the middle of winter, so it wasn’t really swimming weather!

Leo Cummings Monument

Just north of Mount Hope the main highway passes between Lake Hamilton and the coast.  The sea cliffs are very high here, and you’ll see a sign to the Leo Cummings Monument.  21yo Leo died when the crayfish trawler he was working on was wrecked on the coast here.  There’s a monument telling his story.

Walk up to the lookout here and you’ll see the rocky outcrop out in the sea – its just spectacular.  Just north of here is a popular locals surf spot, we watched a group of brave surfers in the waves.

cummings monument, elliston, eyre peninsula,

Elliston

Just past Elliston you’ll see the Anxious Bay/Cape Finniss Loop Drive – this loop takes you from Anxious Bay up along the sea cliffs at Cape Finniss.  The scenery is incredible, and the surf was pumping the day we drove along here.  We stopped off at Cape Finniss and saw a pod of dolphins frolicking in the waves.  What a treat!  

All along this route you will see a variety of sculptures, including some Easter Island heads, a seahorse and even a pair of thongs!  Part of this road was closed the day we were here, and we only got to see the most northerly section.

Anxious Bay Sculpture drive, Elliston, Cape Finniss,
Seahorse sculpture, cape Finniss, elliston, South Australia

Talia Beach

Talia Beach is a 20km stretch of beach between Elliston and Venus Bay.  The area around Talia Beach is famous not only for fishing and surfing, but also for some of the incredible rock formations here.  You can get to Talia Beach and the sights here down an unsealed road from the Flinders Highway.  

You will come to a carpark by the Talia Beach Caves. Park here and walk down the stairs. If you turn right after coming down the stairs you can follow the coast around to the Talia Beach Rockpools.  You’ll need to be here at low tide to visit these pools.  

talia cave, woolshed cave, eyre peninsula,

The Woolshed Cave has been carved out of the cliff by the ocean waves.  You can reach the cave down a set of wooden steps and then turn left to find the cave.  The very instagrammable image is taken from inside the cave looking out, and is especially good during sunset.  Do be careful climbing into the cave though, the surface is slippery and quite sloped.

woolshed cave, talia cave, talia beach

The Tub looks like a giant sinkhole, it’s around 50m across and 10m deep.  You can see a tunnel that leads out to the ocean.  While we thought the Tub was impressive, we much preferred checking out the beautiful pink sea cliffs nearby.  Nigel even had a sealion pop up to say Hi!

talia beach, eyre peninsula coast, the tub,

Murphy’s Haystacks

Murphy’s Haystacks are not in fact haystacks, but unique Iselberg rock formations rising dramatically from the earth.  A passing Englishman thought these weathered granite outcrops were haystacks like he had seen back at home in the UK, and since the owner of the land was named Murphy… well, the name just stuck!

The rocks are located on private property however, a walking path has been built around them, and you can enter by $2 donation into the honesty box at the gate.  You can easily spend an hour walking around the rocks here, and don’t miss the outcrops further away, as some of the most interesting ones are found here.

Camping at Murphy’s Haystacks is permitted in the carpark, and there is a toilet on site.  The fee for camping is $10 per night.  Don’t miss the delicious honey for sale at the entrance, but not if you’re about to head into WA (quarantine).

murphys haystacks, things to do on the eyre peninsula
Murphy's Haystacks, Murphys haystack,

Day 11 – Streaky Bay

Streaky Bay is a coastal town with a population of around 2000 people.  It’s best known as a fishing village, and anglers come her to catch King George Whiting, Snapper, Salmon, Blue Swimmer Crab, Squid and other seafood. 

If you can’t catch a fish, you should try the Fish and Chips at the Fish Fix food truck outside the Streaky Bay Marine Products fish market.  

Across the road, in the Shell Service Station you’ll see the replica of the largest Great White Shark ever caught.  At 5m long and weighing 1500kg, it took fishermen 5 hours to reel in.  We looked around town for this replica for a while, it’s actually INSIDE the back room of the service station.  

The Streaky Bay Jetty dominates the seascape, and was built in the 1890s.  There’s a park right by the jetty, which is a great place to watch the sunset.

streaky bay, jetty, sunset

The Cape Bauer Loop Road Drive is an unsealed scenic drive that loops around from Streaky Bay up along the Gibson Peninsula to Cape Bauer.  The dramatic coastal scenery is rugged and remote.  

Stop off at the Cape Bauer Whistling Rocks and Blowholes.  We thought the rocks roared more than whistled, either way, the sounds were definitely unique.  We did see holes in the cliffs, but no water fountains from the blowholes – I think you need to come on a rough day.

Whistling Rocks, Cape Bauer, Streaky Bay, Eyre Peninsula

Day 12 – Ceduna

Located on the far west of the Eyre Peninsula, Ceduna has been named the Oyster Capital of Australia.  They even have an Oysterfest here each year in October.  Oysters are farmed in Denial Bay and Smoky Bay. The gentle tides and clear waters make for high quality oysters.  Ceduna supplies around half the states oysters.

You could easily base yourself in Ceduna for a couple of days. Ceduna is ideally located near the Gawler Ranges, Eyre Peninsula west coast beaches, and attractions further west.  In the winter months you can see whales at the Head of the Bight whale centre. (Sadly we were just a few weeks too early).  There are also many salt lakes around here, and Cactus Beach is arguably Australia’s best surf beach.

Where to stay in Ceduna

There are plenty of accommodation options in Ceduna, from motels, airBNB and caravan parks. If your looking for free camping in Ceduna, the closest we found was around 6km east of the town on the Eyre Highway (its call Eyre Hwy site on WikiCamps app).

Day 13-14 Ceduna to Adelaide

After Ceduna, you can continue west and cross the Nullarbor Plain into Western Australia.  You’ll pass through Penong, where you can see the windmill museum, and the largest collection of windmills we’ve ever seen. 

You might like to head down to Lake MacDonnell, which sometimes looks incredibly pink.  You might have seen pictures of vans on this road. The pink lake on one side, and the blue ocean on the other.  It did NOT look like that when we visited!!

Lake Macdonnell, pink lake, South Australia

If you’re heading back to Adelaide from Ceduna, simply take the Eyre Highway until you rejoin the Princes Highway at Port Augusta.

You might like to stop off at Pildappa Rock, South Australia’s answer to WA’s Wave Rock, or the Gawler Ranges National Park to see the Organ Pipes rock formations.

On the main highway you’ll pass through Kimba, the “Halfway across Australia” town.  Don’t miss the photo opportunities here by the signs.  You’ll also see the Big Galah here, which has recently had a new paint job, and another beautiful silo art.

Kimba SA, halfway across australia, south australia road trip
Big Galah, Kimba SA, South Australia road trip

Essential Information for your Eyre Peninsula Road Trip

Permits and Passes

You will need a Parks SA pass to enter Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks, and the Gawler Ranges if you decide to go there too.  Park passes are $13 per vehicle per day, or you can buy a multi-park 2-month or 12-month pass which may work out more economical.

Internet and Phone Reception

Outside of the main towns Internet and Phone reception will be patchy.  We saw a number of SA Government free wifi points around the Eyre Peninsula, including one in the middle of the Farm Beach campground, however, none of these ever worked for us.

Food and Water

You’ll find a Coles supermarket in Port Lincoln. There are FoodWorks or IGA supermarkets in Coffin Bay, Streaky Bay and Ceduna.

We filled up our water tanks in Port Lincoln, there’s a fresh water tap by the dump point.  We also filled up in Coffin Bay and Ceduna.  There is a dump point and fresh water tap in Streaky Bay, but we didn’t need to use this one.

Fuel

While the Eyre Peninsula is surprisingly larger than you might expect, there are plenty of fuel stations, so we didn’t need to worry about where to fuel up.  As always, we use the Petrol Spy app to help find the cheapest fuel in town.

Pets

If you’re planning to visit the national parks, you’ll need to leave your pets at home.  Pets are not allowed at Mikkira Station either.

Watch our Eyre Peninsula Road Trip travel film

FAQs

How many days do I need to for the Eyre Peninsula?

While you could drive the entire peninsula in just a couple of days, you should spend at least a week here.  This will allow you time to see the main attractions, have some adventures and also relax on the beaches.  

This Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary is based on a 14 day loop from Adelaide.  Of course you could miss out some things or spend longer, it all depends on how much time you have.

Do I need a 4wd for the Eyre Peninsula Road Trip?

The main roads around the Peninsula between the towns are sealed. However there are a lot of unsealed roads here too.  Having said that, you should be find to visit most places with a capable 2wd vehicle.  The northern parts of Coffin Bay National Park are 4×4 only, as is much of the Lincoln National Park.

When is the best time to visit the Eyre Peninsula?

The Eyre Peninsula is spectacular year round.  The weather can be quite cold in winter (we visited in early June) and summer temperatures can go well into the 30s.  Nigel worked on a flying contract in Port Lincoln in February 2023, and had some days in the 40s C, and other days where they were wearing beanies and puffer jackets.  

Spring and Autumn would be great times to visit too.  Basically anytime is good! Just come, the Eyre Peninsula is amazing. You should definitely add it to your Australian Road Trip Bucket List!

Where to next?

If you’ve come from Western Australia, continue east and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Flinders Ranges, or head down to the Barossa Valley for some of the best wines in the world.

If you’re heading west, you have an amazing advenutre ahead of you – Crossing the Nullarbor.

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