EYRE PENINSULA TOURISM BLOG
To Port Lincoln & Back Again: An Eyre Peninsula Adventure
Introducing new people to the Eyre Peninsula is one of my favourite things.
I love showing off my weekend trips, or photos from ‘back home’ whenever the conversation turns to beaches, seafood, stars, nature, wildlife, the ‘outback’… you get the picture.
So when I got the chance to show off a little slice of the EP to my friends it was a no brainer. Especially knowing where these friends come from – introducing Friend 1, from Nebraska, USA, and Friend 2, from Melbourne, Victoria.
There definitely aren’t any beaches in Nebraska – can confirm – and Friend 2 is a regular visitor to the region who usually gets so caught up in the relaxed lifestyle that she ends up seeing not much. Or at least, she doesn’t see as much as she could see (that’s partly my fault too).
So for this trip, with only 7 days in the region (8 nights), I did my best to show off what I could.
In this episode: Glen Forest Tourist Park, Fishery Bay and Coffin Bay oysters!
As Friend 1 is American, it was important to give her an authentic Australian experience for her first trip to Australia. Luckily, the Eyre Peninsula is pretty good for that.
Our first stop on Day 1 is Glen Forest Tourist Park, just a 15 minute drive from Port Lincoln. With tons of activities for young and old, including Segway rides, a maze, putt putt golf, animals to feed and pet and a cellar door and café, it’s a great place to take the whole family.
Or a couple mid-twenties who get really excited about animals.
The kangaroos were absolutely one of the highlights. How could you resist these cute little faces! And those cute little paws! Even for a local it’s a great time (there may or may not be a selfie with a little roo in the office now), but for someone who’d never seen a kangaroo before it was a really special experience. As she said:
“Being able to interact so closely with the animals absolutely beats your run-of-the-mill zoo experience.
“Glen Forest really was a highlight of my trip.”
Little bunnies, koalas, emus (voted to be creepy with their red eyes), dingos, sheep, donkeys, Highland cattle and an aviary full of birds of all different colours. Unfortunately the wombats were in hiding, but to be honest? It really didn’t matter.
Entry to Glen Forest Tourist Park is just $15 ($13 for children) and it’s open from 10.00am to 5.00pm every day of the year excepting Christmas.
After a quick lunch at home, our next stop for the day was Fishery Bay. This place is also just a 20 minute drive from Port Lincoln, so you don’t need to step far out of the town centre to find it.
The thing about the Eyre Peninsula (which as a local I sometimes forget) is that actually, clear aqua water, white sand and a beach pretty much to yourself isn’t something everyone has in their own backyard. And Fishery has all that – white sand, clear, clean aqua water, and only a few other people around.
The water is amazing. Really.
We spent a good few hours down there, which is a long time for the pale-skinned people among us like me. But a fair chunk of that time was in the water, with its gentle waves, crystal clear visibility (check out the pictures) and perfect temperature. It wasn’t too cold at all!
Importantly, it was a great beach to introduce to an overseas visitor. The setting was beautiful, and she wasn’t getting tugged out to sea by an undertow or dumped by big waves.
(Though please remember, this was our experience on that day – don’t get complacent at Aussie beaches!)
To say we were a little tired (and sandy) at the end of the day is an understatement.
After a good night’s sleep, Day 2 started with a drive to Coffin Bay, about half an hour from Port Lincoln. It’s a beautiful spot, and it’s famous for its oysters – which is why we were there!
To be honest, we used my connections to get out on the water. With my brother-in-law managing an oyster lease, we jumped on the boat and went for a tour of the leases.
It was an overcast day, with rain about, but that didn’t detract from the experience at all. Who can turn down fresh oysters straight out of the ocean?
Going out on the water to the oyster leases was an entirely new experience for both of my friends, but we all learned a lot about the industry.
When we arrived at the oyster lease, a basket was pulled out of the water and oysters were shucked for us to try.
“I had never tried oysters before, so what an incredible opportunity to try ones that were so fresh!” Rachel enthused afterwards.
For those of you who don’t have connections, never fear – jump on the boat with Pure Coffin Bay Oysters and Farm Tours or walk out into the water and sit with Oyster Farm Tours. You’ll get history and a shucking lesson!
And fresh oysters right out of the water – delicious!
We went to the Coffin Bay Hotel (the ‘Pub in the Scrub’) for a nice lunch of more oysters before heading further along the west coast.
The rest of Day 2 will have to wait though, because I’ve run out of space! The next episode features rock pool hunting and a picnic in the Gawler Ranges, so keep an eye out for more next week.