Lakes that glow pink, crystal-clear rockpools, seaside caves, towering sand dunes and castaway islands.
The Eyre Peninsula is a coastal wonderland primed for exploration. Discover pristine beaches, jaw-dropping cliffs, deserted national parks and ancient mountain ranges with our Eyre Peninsula natural wonders bucket list.
1. Shark cage diving, Neptune Islands
Lying deep in the Southern Ocean near the entrance of the Spencer Gulf, the Neptune Islands are one of the lesser-known but most spectacular natural wonders of the Eyre Peninsula. The waters framing the two granite islands are among the most pristine and untouched in the world and provide crucial habitats for some of the rarest underwater inhabitants. They also set the stage for one of the most unforgettable wildlife encounters on earth and are the only place in Australia where you can come face-to-face with great whites in their natural environment. Otherwise inaccessible, cruise to the islands on a full day boat charter with, Calypso Star Charters or Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions and see sharks up close from the safety of a cage. Weather permitting, you'll even get to step off the boat and onto the island with Rodney Fox.
2. Sea lions
South Australia’s beautiful clear waters make it the perfect place to take an ocean dip with sea lions. Friendly, playful and undeniably cute, our aptly nicknamed 'puppies of the sea' are a hit with the whole family. Wild, but not shy, Eyre Peninsula sea lions will swim right up to you. Duck, dive, roll and race – just don’t expect to be the star of the show. Sea lions can be found in the sheltered waters of Boston Bay off Port Lincoln (a 50 minute flight from Adelaide) or at Baird Bay near Streaky Bay (about 3.5 hours drive from Port Lincoln). Baird Bay Ocean Eco-Experience and Calypso Star Charters offer tours from Baird Bay and Port Lincoln respectively.
3. Beaches, Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula's seemingly endless coast boasts crystal clear waters, snow white sands and dense bush. From epic surfing swells to secluded coves, there are literally hundreds of spots to set up your beach tent and towel. Some of the most breathtaking spots to spend a day seaside include Almonta Beach, Fishery Bay, Memory Cove, Farm Beach and Coffin Bay National Park. Check out our guide to the best Eyre Peninsula beaches.
4. Lake MacDonnell, Eyre Peninsula
For vast expanses of shimmering baby pink waters, you don’t need to go crazy in Photoshop. Set against the famed turquoise waters of the Eyre Peninsula, Lake MacDonnell’s bubble gum shores have to be seen to be believed. Here, Mother Nature’s full palette is on show with a super high salt concentration resulting in some seriously intense colours. At the end of this road lies Eyre Peninsula’s beautiful Cactus Beach - an oceanic wonderland, drawing surfers from across the world to its powerful breaks and Southern Ocean swells. Bordered by pinks and blues, the road between is a nature made runway. Here's our guide to South Australia's pink lakes.
5. Cummings Monument, Eyre Peninsula
Forget the 12 Apostles and drive the Eyre Peninsula's very own great ocean road, lined with natural wonders. An hour's drive from Port Lincoln, the dramatic coastline and impressive limestone stack of Cummings Monument are just as Insta-worthy. But beyond the postcard moment are the experienced surfers who revere this spot for its powerful waves and relative isolation, while fishermen here are also rewarded with some of the biggest catches bagged just about anywhere. But a word of warning; these waters are only suitable for weathered water-goers.
6. Murphy’s Haystack, Eyre Peninsula
The Eyre Peninsula is also home to Australia’s answer to Stone Henge. Tucked away in the middle of a wheat field about 40 kilometres outside Streaky Bay, the ancient boulders of Murphy’s Haystack have become local rock stars. Drawing travellers from far and wide to marvel at the wind-worn pink granite formations, the boulders formed over 1500 million years ago, and are among the oldest rock formations in Australia. Geologists say the rocks would have originally been deep beneath the earth’s surface - some 7 to 10 kilometres below – but eons of erosion has exposed these natural wonders for all to enjoy.
7. Talia Caves, Eyre Peninsula
Just an hour and a half drive from Baird Bay lies the monumental Talia Caves. Peer out at the wild ocean from the Woolshed Cave - a huge cavern set deep in a granite cliff, formed by pounding waves over thousands of years. Just steps away lies The Tub, a large crater that is connected to the sea by an underground tunnel. Venture further and you'll encounter dramatic cliffs that offer some seriously amazing views to the south along Talia Beach.
8. Lake Gairdner, Eyre Peninsula
The ethereal expanses of Lake Gairdner are breathtaking. A surreal inland salt lake stretching 5,000 square kilometres - here seemingly never-ending plains of glistening crystal-like earth span into the horizon. Some sections of the lake’s salt layer can be up to one metre thick, resulting in some of the most unique vistas and photograph opportunities in South Australia. Remote enough to feel like you’ve escaped to another world, but within reach of a long-weekend road trip, this shimmering, dreamy landscape is surrounded by the rugged, red foothills of the Gawler Ranges.
9. Sand Dunes, Eyre Peninsula
Mother Nature's sandcastle building skills are on show right along the Eyre Peninsula with towering sand dunes reminiscent of Arabian deserts dotting the coast. You’ll find impressive dunes in Lincoln National Park, just outside Elliston at Sheringa, Fowlers Bay, Cactus Beach and pretty much everywhere in between in this sandy paradise! You can even drive right up to and surf down the Yanerbie sand dunes - about 20 minutes from Streaky Bay - just throw down your sandboard and sail down the snow-white sand.
10. Gawler Ranges National Park, Eyre Peninsula
Formed by a series of volcanic eruptions more than 1,600 years ago, the Gawler Ranges is famous for its unique rock formations including the Organ Pipes. Navigate rocky escarpments, granite domes and red pillars as you spot kangaroos, emus, wombats and black cockatoos. At the end of the day, set up camp under the stars and admire distant galaxies. With next to no light pollution, Gawler Ranges National Park offers perfect conditions to explore the cosmos. The park is home to seven campgrounds, or you can cosy up in a little more style under the stars at Kangaluna Camp’s Swagon - a renovated, covered wagon with a swag bed and see through roof.
11.Greenly Beach Rock Pools, Eyre Peninsula
Wander down the sun soaked shores of Greenly Beach to your own private rock pool retreat. Perched by the ocean and fit for a mermaid, these iconic Eyre Peninsula rock pools are one of the most secluded and stunning swimming destinations in South Australia. BYO cocktails and spend the day lolling about in sparkling waters. Afterwards, pluck oysters straight from the ocean, swim with sea lions and cosy up at your very own beachfront abode with our Eyre Peninsula itinerary.
12. Bunda Cliffs, Eyre Peninsula
Rounding out our list of the Eyre Peninsula’s most amazing natural wonders is… the edge of the earth? When the vast expanses of the outback roll into the ocean, something special is bound to happen, like the longest sea cliffs in the world! Stretching 100 kilometres along the Eyre Peninsula and reaching up to 120 metres in height, the Bunda Cliffs are the epic heart of the Great Australian Bight. Offering dramatic coastal views, it’s also one of the best spots in Australia to catch a glimpse of Southern Right Whales on their annual migration between May and October every year. Swap nature docos for the real thing with our Eyre Peninsula itinerary.
13. Pildappa Rock, Eyre Peninsula
Pildappa is South Australia's answer to Wave Rock. Rivalling the curves of the famous West Australian granite outcrop, Pildappa Rock is our own slice of rock surfing paradise. The intriguing wave formation ebbs and flows, with the highest point near the picnic areas while there are also long waves with naturally formed platforms, crevices and gnamma holes to explore. From the top of the formation, you can see out across the Gawler Ranges and surrounding farmland.