From Pimba we travelled back to Port Augusta and then headed out to discover the Eyre Peninsula, renowned as one of the finest fishing areas in Australia. First stop is Whyalla, the “HMAS Whyalla” stands on dry land next to the Info centre, it was the first modern warship built in South Australia in 1941. After stopping at the wharf we drove to the Hummock Hill Lookout, this was once a gun battery and observation post to protect the shipyards during WWII.
Next stop was Cowell, here the Franklin Harbour is a 48km2 natural harbour. We drove onto Lucky Bay, Port Gibbon and Point Gibbon, all small fishing places. The coast line road has many sandstone cliffs, sand hills and reefs. At Arno Bay we viewed the Marine Wall Mural which depicts the importance of the town as a port and the 1882 jetty.
At Port Neill we went to the lookout and viewed the historic anchor from the “Lady Kinnard” which was shipwrecked south of Port Neill in 1880. At Tumby Bay we enjoyed lovely butter fish and chips for lunch before driving onto Port Lincoln to our rest area at the boat ramp. Port Lincoln is the biggest town in the Eyre Peninsula with a population of about 14 000. We drove around the foreshore which sits on Boston Bay, situated on the foreshore is a life-sized bronze statue of 3 times Melbourne Cup winner, Makyebe Diva, it took nine months to sculpt and is worth $180,000. A short distance west of Port Lincoln is the Winter Hill Lookout, giving you views of the city, Lincoln Cove, Boston Bay, Boston Island, Whaler’s Way, Thistle Island and the wind turbines at Cathedral Rocks.
Stopped at Coffin Bay and at Mount Dutton Bay to look at the heritage listed jetty and the 1870 Woolshed, a legacy of the town’s history as a bustling seaport when wheat and wool where exported to Europe. We camped at Point Drummond on a cliff overlooking the sea, it was pretty windy, so we were rocked to sleep! The following morning we moved onto Lake Hamilton/Cummings Memorial Lookout, then Sheringa Beach with its sand dunes. Driving along the country side is very much wheat, barley crops and sheep farming, at many of the stations you can still see the dry stone walls built by early settlers.
At Locks Well we walked the 283 wooden steps to the beach which is well known amongst the fishermen for being the most reliable place to catch salmon.
At Elliston the Town Hall is painted with a 500m2 mural, depicting the town’s early history through to the present. We drove a short distance out of town to camp out at Anxious Bay. The following morning we took the scenic clifftop drive back to Elliston, the event “Sculpture on the Cliffs” is held here every second year, some sculptures remain here so it made the trip more interesting. On the way out of Elliston you pass Colton Bakery, a self-service honesty system where you purchase wood fired bread, sadly it was closed (gone on holiday, amazing!)
We then drove out to Walkers Rock, “The Woolshed” and “The Tub”. The Woolshed is a large cave carved into the granite cliff by wave action, here a walkway and wooden steps provides access onto the rocks to view the cave with its honeycombed ceiling, dark crevices and blowhole. The Tub is a large crater in the cliff with a tunnel connection to the sea. We then drove onto Venus Bay, another small fishing village.