How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

Want to make the most of your vis­it to the Eyre Penin­su­la? We’ve got you cov­ered with this 5‑day parks itinerary.

South Australia’s Eyre Penin­su­la boasts abun­dant wildlife and rugged coast­line, but it’s best-known for its world-famous aquat­ic activities.

If you’re adven­ture seek­ing, nation­al parks on the Eyre Penin­su­la are for you.

The region boasts the pop­u­lar Lin­coln and Cof­fin Bay nation­al parks at the bot­tom of the penin­su­la, but there’s so much more the region has to offer.

In fact, with so much to see and do, you’ll need to set aside a few days to tru­ly expe­ri­ence the hid­den gems of the fab­u­lous EP.

Local rangers in the region’s nation­al parks have kind­ly put togeth­er an itin­er­ary to help you make the most of your next vis­it. Here are their tips:

Day 1: Begin your Eyre Penin­su­la expe­ri­ence in Whyalla

If you’re trav­el­ling from Ade­laide, Whyal­la is the first point you’ll reach on the Eyre Penin­su­la. It’s about a 4‑and-a-half hour dri­ve to get there.

Whyal­la is brim­ming with wildlife to observe – from both under the sea and above.

One of the most well-known wildlife expe­ri­ences takes place from May to August when giant Aus­tralian cut­tle­fish swarm into rocky areas in the shal­low waters off the coast of Whyal­la to mate and lay their eggs.

It’s the only known loca­tion in the world where this hap­pens, mak­ing it an amaz­ing­ly unique experience.

The region’s Cut­tle­fest pro­gram gives vis­i­tors plen­ty of oppor­tu­ni­ties to see these mag­nif­i­cent crea­tures up close.

If get­ting into the water isn’t your thing, you can still expe­ri­ence the mag­ic of these crea­tures by vis­it­ing the Whyal­la Vis­i­tor Infor­ma­tion Cen­tre and Whyal­la Mar­itime Muse­um, grab­bing a pair of the VR gog­gles and try­ing a vir­tu­al dive. At least you’ll stay dry this way!

Top tip: Read our sto­ries to find out every­thing you need to know about giant cut­tle­fish. And if you can’t get there, expe­ri­ence what it’s like to swim with giant cut­tle­fish from your own home. 

How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

While you’re vis­it­ing Whyal­la, check out Whyal­la Con­ser­va­tion Park and try the Wild Dog Hill hike.

On this short trail, you’ll be reward­ed with expan­sive views over the semi-arid plains of myall trees and blue­bush. Take your binoc­u­lars and spot a euro or Aus­tralian kestrel on the cliffs.

Whyal­la Con­ser­va­tion Park is locat­ed about 10 km north of Whyal­la, and is dom­i­nat­ed by the red and pur­ple sand­stone Wild Dog Hill. The hill plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in the tra­di­tions of Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple, being part of sto­ries that teach the impor­tance of pro­vid­ing con­stant care for babies and obey­ing instructions.

Day 2: Dri­ve to Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park

After break­fast, jump back into the car and head for Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park. The dri­ve will take you about 4 hours from Whyalla.

If you’re keen to stay in the park, there are 6 camp­grounds you can choose from, oth­er­wise the clos­est accom­mo­da­tion is the Pon­dan­na Out­sta­tion, which has been restored by the Friends of Gawler Ranges vol­un­teer group and is avail­able for short-term stays.

The nation­al park has so much to see and do. Take the time to admire the most dra­mat­ic rock for­ma­tions in the park – the Organ Pipes, which are some of the largest vol­canic rhy­o­lite for­ma­tions in the world.

And make sure you vis­it the Kolay Mir­i­ca Falls at sun­set to see the stun­ning orange-red rocks at their glow­ing best.

For more things to check out at Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park, read our blog: top five things to see in Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park. You might also like to read local ranger Lind­say Brown’s top tips for Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park – make sure you build some of these into your itinerary.

Top tip: If you’ve got a few hours up your sleeve, dri­ve 1 and a half hours south to Pil­dap­pa Rock, a rock with the high­est and longest wave for­ma­tions on the Eyre Peninsula.

How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

Day 3: Dri­ve to Fowlers Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park

On day three, keep head­ing west along Eyre Penin­su­la to Fowlers Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park.

This dri­ve will take you approx­i­mate­ly 5 hours from Gawler Ranges Nation­al Park.

Expe­ri­ence the giant sand dunes and if you’re a keen fish­er, don’t for­get your fish­ing rod as you’ll have a good chance of catch­ing salmon, mul­loway, whit­ing and garfish.

If you’re a keen camper, there are three des­ig­nat­ed bush camp­ing areas with­in Fowlers Bay Con­ser­va­tion Park. Enjoy the tran­quil scrub­land and views of the coastal islands as the surf rolls in.

Oth­er­wise there are some accom­mo­da­tion options avail­able with­in the Fowlers Bay township.

How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

Day 4: Make your way to Head of Bight

Dri­ve 2 hours west to the Head of Bight, which is locat­ed just out­side of Nullar­bor Nation­al Park.

A num­ber of look­outs acces­si­ble from the Eyre High­way offer panoram­ic views of the cliffs and the Great Aus­tralian Bight.

If you vis­it in the cool­er months (May to Sep­tem­ber), keep your eye out for south­ern right whales.

Head to Nullar­bor Nation­al Park next and as you enter the park, check out the spec­tac­u­lar Bun­da Cliffs that form part of the longest unin­ter­rupt­ed sea cliffs in the world.

Top tip: While you’re in the area, check out the famous dog fence. At 5614 km, it’s the world’s longest fence and is used to keep din­goes out of the region to pro­tect the sheep industry.

How to have an epic road trip to four of Eyre Peninsula’s national parks

Day 5: Make your way home

Unfor­tu­nate­ly all good things must come to an end, so unless you have a few extra days to spend here it’s time to pack up and head home.

If you’re head­ing back to Ade­laide, it’s going to be a long dri­ve so make sure you take lots of breaks along the way.

If you’ve got a car full of kids, or you’re just look­ing to pass the time, our ranges have cre­at­ed a bunch of road trip activ­i­ty sheets to keep you busy.

Things to pre­pare before you go

Before you head into the park to start your day of adven­ture, buy your vehi­cle entry pass either online or from one of the book­ing agents on your way.

It’s also a good idea to down­load park and camp­ground maps on your phone while you still have inter­net recep­tion, or get the Aven­za PDF Maps app and down­load the park maps.

When you’re in the park, the app will use your phone’s built-in GPS to plot your real-time loca­tion onto a map – even when you don’t have inter­net reception.

Make sure you pack enough drink­ing water and food. It’s also a good idea to pack sun pro­tec­tion (a hat, sun­glass­es and sun­screen) and insect repellent.

If you’re plan­ning on hik­ing, it’s also essen­tial you wear suit­able footwear and cloth­ing, such as long pants.

There are no bins in nation­al parks, so you’ll also have to think about how you can take your rub­bish home. Find out more about how you can leave no trace.

If you love this region, and want to vis­it oth­ers across the state, check out our blogs4 nation­al parks to vis­it on and around the Yorke Penin­su­laand5 nation­al parks to vis­it on South Australia’s Fleurieu Penin­su­lato get inspired.

(Main image cour­tesy of @aussie_places)

This con­tent was pro­duced in part­ner­ship with  Good Living