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The Eyre Peninsula and its city of Port Lincoln are the showcase of South Australia’s water adventures. With pristine, clear waters and gorgeous white sandy beaches, a visit needs to be on everyone’s to do list at least once in their lifetime.
Where is the Eyre Peninsula?
The Eyre Peninsula is the far triangular peninsula located west of Adelaide, South Australia. It is roughly the size of Switzerland and stretches from Whyalla on the Eastern Eyre Peninsula, down to Port Lincoln on the Southern tip and over to Streaky Bay and Ceduna on the Western Eyre Peninsula. It is also the gateway to the Great Australian Bight and the Nullabor for those on their Aussie road trips.
From Adelaide to Whyalla, it is approx. 380kms (4 hours drive) to Port Lincoln is approx. 640kms (6.5 hours drive) and across the top of the peninsula to Ceduna is approx. 770kms (8 hours drive).
Flights are easily available from Adelaide to Port Lincoln, which is a 50-minute flight.
A vehicle and passenger ferry service runs from Wallaroo, at the top of the Yorke Peninsula, over to Lucky Bay, which is approx. 180kms (2 hours drive) north of Port Lincoln on the Eastern side of the peninsula. This service is intermittent throughout the year so check the SeaSA website for more details and updates.
Port Lincoln and the Neptune Islands Marine Park is the only place in Australia where you can dive with Great White Sharks! No scuba diving certification is needed as cages are just below water level and surface air is supplied – thankfully!
There is also an abundance of Australian Sea Lions, also known as the ‘puppies of the sea’ that love to play and swim along in these crystal clear waters. And don’t forget the resident Dolphins and gigantic Whales on their annual migration.
Calyspo Star Charters are the only one-day shark cage diving operator that is allowed to use natural fish berley to attract Great White Sharks. This gives the best possible chance of seeing shark sightings and is recognised for their environmental and sustainable activities.
This one day shark diving charter begins with an early for a full day of activity and up to 45 minutes cage diving. The bar opens onboard the vessel on the way home for that much needed drink to settle your nerves and return transfers from nearby hotels/hostels are available for a small additional cost.
Prices cost from $295 (child) and $395 (adult) for the charter as a spectator – to cage dive is an additional $100 (2018 prices). All equipment is provided.
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Their Sea Lions Tour is a great option for all the family. Enjoy spending time in the water with them as they twist and turn playfully, and don’t forget to take your underwater camera!
Packages are available to combine Shark Cage dive and Sea Lion swim adventures!
Calypso Star Charters are located at Port Lincoln Marina.
Jump onboard the Shark Warrior and see how the sharks are attracted to the tunes and sound vibrations of Australia’s very own AC/DC band! Adventure Bay Charters do not use berley to attract Great Whites but use this more natural method.
Their vessel is the first to have a 360 degree underwater view in their ‘Aqua Sub’ – getting up close and personal to the sharks but staying completely dry!
Adventure Bay Charters offer shark cage diving and swimming with sea lions experiences. Or why not combine the two and join their Ultimate Marine Adventure!
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And don’t worry if you don’t have an underwater camera. Adventure Bay Charters provide one for you as part of the experience so you can take selfies of yourself and your new bestie (and we don’t mean of the human kind!).
Adventure Bay Charters are also located at Port Lincoln Marina.
These tours fill up fast, so book your tickets now to avoid disappointment.
Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions provide a serious exclusive experience when it comes to shark cage diving. You only have to read the About Us section on their website with the opening headline ‘In Our Blood’, and you know these guys live, breathe and love sharks!
They offer handcrafted tours with not only surface cage dives (similar to the above Calypso and Adventure Bay Charters) but also the only Ocean Floor Cage Diving in the world (my stomach seriously went over when writing that!). This is an ultimate experience never, ever to be forgotten.
Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions in Port Lincoln offer multiple night adventures.
Prices are considerably more than the above two charters but are certainly worth it for the experience of a lifetime. For more information about these amazing experiences and to book online, click here.
With a more relaxed feel, situated at Baird Bay, on the western side of the peninsula, just 50kms south of Streaky Bay, this small holiday village is home to the first Sea Lion and Dolphin swim experience.
With tours departing in the morning and the afternoon, you are invited to join the Sea Lions and Dolphins in their underwater world, where they will happily play and interact with you as their guest! This experience has been going for more than two decades so trust has been built between human and mammal to offer a truly unique experience.
You even get the chance to try and remember all their names!
Situated in the heart of Port Lincoln, Xtreme Kites & Paddle have everything you want to enjoy getting out on the water (or more often ‘in’ in my case!). Port Lincoln is one of the best locations to learn water sports with its beautiful but uncrowded beaches and crystal blue water that keeps inviting you to make a splash!
Take lessons in Kite Boarding, Surfing or learn how to Paddle board in style with their sunrise session. Or if you’re serious enough to go it alone, or just want to have a bit of fun, they have a range of equipment available to hire.
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We love this Insta post – it looks like the one just to the middle left is about to start a domino effect!
They don’t just stop on the water though, they also have bubble soccer balls, sumo wrestling outfits, zorb balls, sandboards, electric skateboards and archery equipment available for lessons and hire!
Sceale Bay Surf School, located 28 kms from Streaky Bay is a great way to get out on the water. Share the waves with the local Dolphins and Sea Lions and learn lifelong skills with confidence whilst having some serious fun.
Lessons start from just $50 per person with expert tuition, equipment and wetsuits provided in a safe and pristine environment.
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From May to August each year, witness one of the most spectacular natural events at Stoney Point, just 20 minutes outside of Whyalla. Dive or snorkel to swim with these ‘chameleons of the sea’ as they migrate to these waters as part of their spawning process.
Although not initially the prettiest fish in the sea, they change into vivid colours, shapes and textures, creating an underwater light show and multi-coloured display. Find out more about their unusual behaviour here or check out this article about what it is like to swim with these giant Australian Cuttlefish.
Pure SA and Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries are two options that offer guided tours of this unique event. Check out their websites and Google search closer to the time to see what other local tours are on offer. People come from all over to witness this hypnotising experience of colourful antics of tens of thousands of Cuttlefish, so don’t miss the opportunity if you get one.
For a water adventure of a different kind, wade out into the waters of Coffin Bay to taste the freshest Oysters straight where they came from! Enjoy a glass of South Australian Riesling whilst having a hands-on shucking lesson and learn about Oyster Farming Practices.
This certainly is a once-in-a-lifetime, unique culinary experience not to be missed. A private Champagne and Seafood Mezze Platter Water Pavilion Experience is a true way to finish this tour, enjoying dining in the water at your own leisure.
Hotel pickups from Port Lincoln are also available.
For a full day tour, this experience takes you out on a boat to explore the Pure Coffin Oyster Lease (farm), learning how to shuck and taste them, before exploring the town by boat and dining at the iconic seafood restaurant, 1802 Oyster Bay at Coffin Bay. Pick ups are available from Port Lincoln hotels and include travelling along scenic routes with beautiful views and a trip to Eyre Peninsula’s only craft brewery. Don’t miss this one!
Boat Trips and Cruises
Situated at Fowlers Bay, along the western side of Eyre Peninsula, EP Cruises is an ocean based eco tourism service, highlighting (or showing off really!) the natural beauty of the peninsula.
Take a tour of the cliffs of Point Fowler whilst catching sights of Common and Bottlenose Dolphins, Australian Sea Lions, New Zealand Fur Seals, Little Penguins and many more species to enjoy. During the months of July, August and September, cruise along with Southern Right and Humpback Whales as part of their annual migration. And with such clear waters, the views are incredible.
Prices start from $65 (child) and $95 (adult) with family tickets available – 2018 prices.
If you fancy getting a little closer to the water, enjoy a tranquil 1.5 hour sunset kayak tour around Fowlers Bay. And who knows, you may get a friendly greeting from a Whale or Dolphin passing through! Suurrrprise!!
Prices start from $50 per person.
Hop onboard the unique electric cruiser for a more relaxed type of cruise around Port Lincoln Marina. Learn from Fred and his comprehensive knowledge of the Lincoln Cove Marina whilst hearing about the evolution of the seafood trade that Port Lincoln is famous for.
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Tours start from the Port Lincoln Marina Pontoon and run daily from 2pm (morning tours on request).
Prices start from $30 for children (under 3’s are free), $40 for concessions and $50 for adults – 2018 prices.
Boat & Equipment Hire
Not sure how to get your boat licence? Read more in our post here.
Located at Cowell, halfway between Whyalla and Port Lincoln on the east side of the peninsula, Eyre Peninsula Boat and Kayak Hire is ideal for getting out on the water when you are travelling light.
This area is known for Snapper, King George Whiting, Sand Whiting, Snook, Flathead, Squid, and Tommy Ruffs to name just a few. Located within a calm bay, the area is full of eco-reserves just waiting to be explored.
An Australian boat licence is required for hire, and additional equipment is available for hire.
Whether you are interested in fishing or just seeing part of the Eyre Peninsula from a different perspective (or finding all those hidden beaches!), this boat hire is the ideal choice to blow away those cobwebs.
A launch and retrieve service is available if you are unable to tow.
Boat hire starts from $190 for a full-day hire.
Kayaksare available to hire to explore the bay for the day.
12. EP Boat Hire
Mount Dutton Bay West, close to Coffin Bay is home to EP Boat Hire, a beautifully protected bay with outstanding fishing. It is located just over 40kms (30 minutes drive) west of Port Lincoln.
An Australian boat licence and a tow vehicle are required as they are only hired out on trailers. A driver’s licence and credit card for a security bond is also required. 3 boat ramps are available in the area – 2 concrete ramps with floating pontoons and a beach boat launch at Farm Beach.
Three boats are available:
- 4.55m Polycraft Drifter with a 4 stroke 50hp Yamaha tiller
- 4.27m Quintrex Dory with a 30hp Yamaha outboard
- 4.0m Quintrex Fishseeker with a 25hp Yamaha outboard
(Max. 2 adults & 4 children under 12 years – lifejackets available)
Rates start from $140 for full day hire from 7am to 7pm – 2018 prices.
Discounted rates are available for multi day hire from $80 per day and receive 10% discount off boat hire when staying at the Southern Ocean Lookout Guest House.
Also located in Coffin Bay, just over 40kms (30 minutes drive) west of Port Lincoln is Coffin Bay Boat, Water & Bike Hire.
Spend a lazy day exploring the stunning Coffin Bay with kayaks, fishing kayaks, stand up paddle boards and electric bikes!
Prices start from $15 per hour – look out for them next to the Oyster Farm Tours on the waterfront.
Killas Fuel & Service Station is the ideal place to stop on a trip to Streaky Bay, located on the far northwest side of Eyre Peninsula. 300kms (3 hours drive) north from Port Lincoln.
Killas is the hub for everything you need to get out on the water, including:
- Boat Hire (4.2m Quintrex – Australian boat licence required)
- Stand Up Paddle Board + Hire
- Kayak + Hire
- Surf Boards
- Snorkel gear
- Beach Accessories
- Fishing Clothes
- Sun Protection
- Take Away Food
- Tackle & Bait
We couldn’t talk about getting out on the water on the Eyre Peninsula without mentioning Whyalla!
Whyalla is South Australia’s 3rd largest city and is located approx. 260kms (just under 3 hours drive) north of Port Lincoln, on the far northeast corner of Eyre Peninsula.
Whyalla is home to a large pod of friendly dolphins, and Dolphin Treasure is a great opportunity to go and have some fun with them!
Kayaks and stand up paddle boards are available to hire from the foreshore.
Eyre Peninsula Aquatics is a small stand up paddle boarding and surfing business in Tumby Bay. Offering lessons, hire, merchandise and paddle board sales, this is the ideal place to cool off during those summer days.
Tumby Bay is one of the best swimming beaches on the Eyre Peninsula. With perfect waves to learn or improve your skills on, take in the surrounding breathtaking views (if you’ve got any breath left after all those water sports!).
The Eyre Peninsula is spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing, especially as it has some of the best fishing spots in Australia.
The peninsula also has an abundance of islands, including Boston island, Spilsby Island and the Sir Joseph Banks Group of Islands, making it an ideal area to explore! It also means, especially around Port Lincoln, there are a lot of sheltered areas that make it perfect, even when the weather’s not!
Choose from half day, full day, twilight fishing, overnight, inshore and the ultimate offshore reef fishing experience catching Tuna (Jan – May). Charters are all across the peninsula from Port Lincoln and along both the east and west coasts:
- 17. Triple Bay Charters – departing from Port Lincoln
- 18. GT Fishing Charters – departing from Coffin Bay (west coast)
- 19. Ceduna Boat Charters – departing from Ceduna (northwest coast)
- 20. Arno Bay Fishing Charters – departing from Arno Bay (east coast)
- 21. Cowell Fishing Adventures – departing from Cowell (east coast)
As an added bonus, check out Whyalla Fishing Charters – a personal recommendation from Sara!
Want to find out where all these water adventures are?
Each of the above Eyre Peninsula water adventures, cruises, hire and fishing charters are highlighted on the Google map below:
What is your favourite Eyre Peninsula water adventure? Do you have a favourite boat trip or place you love to go exploring? Let us know in the comments below – we would love to share your experiences!
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