Epic Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary Exploring South Australia

Running for about 2000 km along the coastline of South Australia, from the Great Australian Bight in the west to the tip of Spencer Gulf (about 300 km from Adelaide), lies the stunning region of the Eyre Peninsula.

Stretching like a rugged finger into the Southern Ocean, the Eyre Peninsula is a haven for those seeking an authentic Australian road trip experience. It is best known for its untamed landscapes, beautiful beaches and pristine shores, hosting a treasure trove of natural wonders. 

In this article, we’ll explore this remarkable region, discover the best places to visit and things to do on the Eyre Peninsula and present compelling reasons why you should set your sights on visiting this South Australian gem.

So, sit comfortably and prepare to embark on an unforgettable adventure along one of Australia’s most exciting road trip routes.

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What is the Distance Between Port Augusta and Ceduna?

The Eyre Peninsula is defined by its sheer geographical diversity.

It is a region whose coastal areas feature dramatic cliffs, golden sandy beaches, and sheltered coves. Yet, inland, the terrain transforms into a captivating tapestry of arid plains, undulating hills, and vast salt lakes, creating an otherworldly landscape that hints at the region’s geological history.

Further north, the heart of the Eyre Peninsula boasts lush agricultural expanses, where fertile soil nurtures thriving crops and vineyards.

This geographical mosaic, where the sea meets the land and arid deserts blend seamlessly with fertile valleys, is bookended between two destinations – Ceduna in the west and Port Adelaide in the east – that represent the main beginning and end points of most people’s Eyre Peninsula itinerary.

A distance of about 470 km separates them if you travel directly inland between the two on National Highway A1. However, should you want to stick to the coastline along the B100 via Port Lincoln, this distance covers more than 800 km.

Coastal Route

DriveDistanceEstimated Drive TimeWhere to Stay
Adelaide to Port Augusta308 kms (191 miles)3 hours 35 minutesPort Augusta
Port Augusta to Whyalla77 kms (48 miles)50 minutesWhyalla
Whyalla to Port Lincoln267 kms (166 miles)2 hours 45 minutesPort Lincoln
Port Lincoln to Elliston169 kms (105 miles)1 hour 45 minutesElliston
Elliston to Streaky Bay126 kms (78 miles)1 hour 20 minutesStreaky Bay
Streaky Bay to Ceduna111 kms (69 miles)1 hour 10 minutesCeduna

Inland

DriveDistanceEstimated Drive TimeWhere to Stay
Adelaide to Kimba465 kms (289 miles)5 hours 15 minutesKimba
Kimba to Iron Knob89 kms (53 miles)1 hourIron Knob
Iron Knob to Koongawa149 kms (93 miles)1 hour 35 minutesKoongawa
Koongawa to Gawler Ranges National Park127 kms (79 miles)1 hour 35 minutesGawler Ranges National Park
Gawler Ranges to Ceduna260 kms (162 miles)3 hours 15 minutes
Ceduna
Estimates only; times will vary based on traffic and road conditions

How Long do I Need Driving on an Eyre Peninsula Road Trip?

While driving between Port Augusta and Ceduna in a day is perfectly possible it’s a long drive; you should set aside at least 7 to 10 days for your Eyre Peninsula itinerary and take a circular coastal loop.

Doing this will enable you to enjoy a well-rounded journey that encompasses both the inland and coastal wonders of this fabulous region – at a pace that will allow you to soak in its essence.

This timeframe will enable you to make a loop to experience the best of both worlds and visit plenty of small towns, sites and attractions. So, whether you’re a nature lover, a food and wine connoisseur, or simply someone wanting a break from the ordinary, scheduling this time for your trip will ensure you truly savour the essence of the Eyre Peninsula.

Best Time of Year to Drive on an Eyre Peninsula Road Trip

An Eyre Peninsula South Australia road trip is typically done from Adelaide or as an extension of a longer adventure across the Nullarbor.

While it is a journey you can do all year round, you should draw up your Eyre Peninsula itinerary to take place during the spring and autumn months, specifically from September to November (spring) and from March to May (autumn). Here’s why these seasons are ideal:

Spring (September to November):

  • Spring in the Eyre Peninsula is a vibrant time when the landscape comes to life with blooming wildflowers, creating a colourful and picturesque backdrop.
  • The weather during spring is generally pleasant, with mild temperatures and less extreme heat compared to the summer months.
  • Wildlife is more active, offering opportunities for birdwatching and wildlife encounters.
  • Spring is an excellent time for outdoor activities like hiking, snorkelling, and exploring the coastline.

Autumn (March to May):

  • Autumn is another fantastic season for a road trip to the Eyre Peninsula from Adelaide.
  • The weather remains pleasant, with cooler temperatures than the scorching summer heat.
  • It’s a great time to enjoy the region’s stunning coastal scenery, beaches, and outdoor attractions without the summer crowds.
  • You can savour local produce and seafood at a more relaxed pace during the harvest season

While spring and autumn are generally the best times for an Eyre Peninsula road trip, it’s important to keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable in South Australia. So, always check weather conditions, road closures, and accommodations in advance to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.

Where to Stay on the Eyre Peninsula

Whilst there are motels and some plush property rentals on the Eyre Peninsula, by far the best way to fully explore the region is to BYO camping gear and get out into the wilderness of South Australia!

For each suggested overnight stop we’ve provided some caravan park suggestions, as well as links to local accommodation if you’d prefer four walls and a private bathroom!

Best Stops For Your Eyre Peninsula Road Trip

If you intend to drive from the Nullabor or Adelaide to Eyre Peninsula, you are in for a treat. The region has plenty of places that are sure to captivate your attention.

Outlined below is a selection of some of the best destinations to include in your Eyre Peninsula itinerary. Visiting them will give you an excellent insight into what makes this part of South Australia so unique.

Coastal Route

Here are the best places to visit on the coastal route:

DriveDistanceEstimated Drive TimeWhere to Stay
Adelaide to Port Augusta308 kms (191 miles)3 hours 35 minutesPort Augusta
Port Augusta to Whyalla77 kms (48 miles)50 minutesWhyalla
Whyalla to Port Lincoln267 kms (166 miles)2 hours 45 minutesPort Lincoln
Port Lincoln to Elliston169 kms (105 miles)1 hour 45 minutesElliston
Elliston to Streaky Bay126 kms (78 miles)1 hour 20 minutesStreaky Bay
Streaky Bay to Ceduna111 kms (69 miles)1 hour 10 minutesCeduna
Estimates only; times will vary based on traffic and road conditions

Port Augusta (1 – 2 Days)

Our first stop is Port Augusta. Located at the northern tip of the Eyre Peninsula, it offers a gateway to the region’s breathtaking landscapes. This coastal city is known for its striking Spencer Gulf views and the dramatic Flinders Ranges as a backdrop.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Flinders Ranges National Park

Visitors can explore the Wadlata Outback Centre to learn about the area’s Indigenous history and early pioneers. They can also head off on adventures to the nearby Flinders Ranges National Park, known for its hiking trails, rugged terrain and ancient Aboriginal rock art.

STAY: With your own camping gear or trailer, we recommend Shoreline Caravan Park on the waterfront, or for an easy little overnight stop, a family suite at Standpipe Golf Motor Inn.

Whyalla (1-2 Days)

Over on the eastern coast of the Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla offers a unique blend of industry and natural beauty.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Whyalla Steelworks

Known as the ‘Steel City’, it’s home to the OneSteel manufacturing plant, which you can tour for an insight into the steelmaking process. However, Whyalla’s real charm lies in its picturesque coastline and marine life. The city boasts a fantastic marina, ideal for fishing, sailing, and dolphin-watching. 

You can also witness the annual migration of giant cuttlefish at Stony Point, a mesmerising natural spectacle that you will find fascinating. If you plan on heading from Whyalla to Streak Bay with kids, let them have a run around at the playgrounds at Civic Park or the Whyalla Wetlands.

STAY: We recommend Discovery Parks – Whyalla Foreshore with a great blend of cabins and camping

Port Lincoln (2 – 3 days)

Port Lincoln is the largest town on the peninsula and roughly the halfway point of the coastal route, making it a terrific place for a rest day or two.

Its around a 3-hour driving day if you go direct from Whyalla, but we recommend taking your time and making some stops at the smaller coastal fishing towns and beautiful white sand beaches en route.

With a 4WD you can take the stunning coastal drive between Cowell and Port Gibbon. Continuing south, its also worth a stop at Arno Bay, Port Neill and Tumby Bay.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Port Lincoln

One of the best places to visit in Port Lincoln is the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum, where you can explore the history of the local fishing industry. But if you fancy something a bit more adventurous, Port Lincoln is renowned for its thrilling shark cage diving experiences, allowing you to get up close with the ocean’s apex predators.

For a more tranquil experience, take a scenic drive along Lincoln National Park‘s rugged coastline, offering breathtaking views, pristine beaches, and hiking and wildlife spotting opportunities. The calm, pristine waters also make it an excellent spot for snorkelling, fishing and swimming. 

Port Lincoln Marine Park also offers the unique experience of being able to swim with sea lions (at a different location to the shark diving, we promise!) There are presently two regulated providers for these half-day tours, Calypso Star Charters and Salty Swims.

STAY: There are many good motel and apartment choices in Port Lincoln; for families Aart Apartments are roomy and in a great location near the beach. Port Lincoln Tourist Park is another great option with cabins and powered caravan sites. Off roaders, head into Lincoln National Park with camping from $21 per night.

  • Seafood fan? Make your next stop Coffin Bay! Pure Coffin Bay Oysters and Farm Tours is a fascinating stop – not just for the seafood, kids will enjoy their cruises as there’s plenty of opportunities for dolphin and seal spotting too.

Elliston (1-2 Days)

Continuing our drive onto the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula, charming Elliston is a place you will probably not want to leave.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Murphy's Haystacks

One of the town’s most iconic attractions is its stunning coastal cliffs and rock formations, including the awe-inspiring Murphy’s Haystacks, a cluster of ancient granite boulders. Visitors can explore these formations and capture breathtaking photographs of the dramatic coastline.

Elliston’s Coastal Trail also offers picturesque walks where you can spot wildlife and admire the sweeping ocean views. Additionally, fishing is a popular activity where you can cast a line off the jetty or at the beach. The pristine sands of Elliston’s beaches are also perfect for relaxation, swimming and walking.

STAY: Motel options are limited in Elliston, we’d recommend this as one of the best stretches of coast for beach camping. Try Sheringa Beach, about 35 minutes from Elliston.

Streaky Bay (1-3 days)

If you are searching for a family-friendly coastal spot to spend a few days in, look no further than Streaky Bay.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Streaky Bay

The town, known for its pristine, turquoise waters and stunning beaches,  gets its name from the streaks of colour that often dance across the bay’s surface during sunset – creating a mesmerising spectacle.

However, beyond its natural beauty, it is a hub for fishing, water sports, and encounters with marine wildlife. Visitors can try their luck at catching prized seafood or embark on boat trips to observe dolphins, seals, and even the majestic great white sharks.

If you plan to head from Streaky Bay to Port Augusta, check out the nearby Streaky Bay Islands, home to Australian sea lions and various birdlife, before you leave.

STAY: Discovery Parks Streaky Bay Foreshore is a good family choice,

Ceduna (1-3 Days)

For those coming from the Nullarbor Plain, the gorgeous coastal town of Ceduna will undoubtedly provide a welcome reconnection with civilisation.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Ceduna

Located on the shores of the majestic Murat Bay, the town boasts stunning ocean views, best seen from its scenic foreshore – known as the ‘Oyster Walk’. It is also a terrific place for aquatic activities like fishing, sailing and swimming.

The Ceduna National Trust Museum is worth visiting if you want to discover more about the town’s heritage and maritime history. At the same time, the town has an excellent range of family-friendly cafes and restaurants for those wanting a proper meal and shops to stock up on supplies.

STAY: There are several great caravan parks in this junction town to choose from; try Ceduna Foreshore Caravan Park or Big4 Cedona Tourist Park.

Inland – Adelaide to Ceduna

Here are the best places to visit when taking the inland route:

DriveDistanceEstimated Drive TimeWhere to Stay
Adelaide to Kimba465 kms (289 miles)5 hours 15 minutesKimba
Kimba to Iron Knob89 kms (53 miles)1 hourIron Knob
Iron Knob to Koongawa149 kms (93 miles)1 hour 35 minutesKoongawa
Koongawa to Gawler Ranges National Park127 kms (79 miles)1 hour 35 minutesGawler Ranges National Park
Gawler Ranges to Ceduna260 kms (162 miles)3 hours 15 minutes
Ceduna
Estimates only; times will vary based on traffic and road conditions

Kimba

During your exploration inland, one of the best things to do on the Eyre Peninsula is to visit the charming town of Kimba.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Kimba

Known as the ‘Halfway Across Australia’ town, Kimba proudly marks its position as the country’s geographical centre with the iconic Big Galah, a whimsical symbol of its identity. The town welcomes travellers with open arms, inviting them to explore its history at the Kimba Pioneer Museum and admire the striking Silo Art, which paints a vivid picture of its agricultural heritage.

As you traverse the captivating countryside, you’ll experience breathtaking landscapes, vibrant sunsets, and the warm hospitality of the local community.

STAY:

Iron Knob

Visiting Iron Knob takes you on a journey into the heart of Australia’s mining history. This small town is renowned for its rich iron ore deposits, which have significantly influenced the country’s industrial development.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Iron Knob

Once there, you’ll be able to explore the town’s historic sites and learn about the challenges and triumphs of early miners. The Iron Knob Lookout, in particular, provides a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes, showcasing the stark beauty of the Australian outback.

Overall, if you are intrigued by the stories of pioneers and the raw power of nature, stopping in at Iron Knob will fascinate you.

Koongawa (1- 2 Days)

Koongawa is a small, tranquil town nestled within the stunning landscapes of the Eyre Peninsula that offers a big attraction – the Pink Lake.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Pink Lake

Depending on the time of year and conditions, the lake can turn a stunning shade of pink due to the presence of algae. It’s a captivating, Instagram-worthy site where you should spend some quality time if you are lucky enough to see it.

As captivating farmlands and open countryside surround the town, it is an ideal destination for leisurely walks, picnics, and relaxation. Take the time to explore the charming rural scenery, breathe in the fresh country air, and immerse yourself in the tranquil ambience.

Gawler Ranges National Park (1-2 Days)

One of the best things to do on the Eyre Peninsula is visit the stunning Gawler Ranges National Park.

AU Eyre Peninsula Road Trip Itinerary - Gawler Ranges National Park

Possessing a veritable treasure trove of natural wonders and exciting outdoor activities, you’ll be captivated by the park’s ancient volcanic landscapes, rugged gorges and unique geological formations. They include the mesmerising Organ Pipes and Alligator Gorge.

Kids will love the opportunity to spot kangaroos, emus and the elusive yellow-footed rock wallaby. In the evening, the whole family can marvel at the wonder of the cosmos, which they can see in all its glory under the darkest of skies.

For those wanting to immerse themselves in nature and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life, there is no better place to go on the Eyre Peninsula.

STAY: With a 4WD, try Chillunie Campground inside the National Park

Essential Tips When Visiting Eyre Peninsula South Australia

  • You will be fine with a regular 2WD car if you intend to stick to the coastal route. However, if you want to venture off-road – particularly into the more arid, remote regions and national parks – a 4WD is recommended.
  • The weather in South Australia can be unpredictable. Check the forecast and be prepared for changing conditions, especially if you plan to visit during the shoulder seasons.
  • If your trip takes you to Indigenous communities, make sure you show respect for their culture and traditions. Seek permission before entering sacred sites or engaging in cultural activities.
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Where to Next?

If you’d like to expand your road tripping adventures around Australia, Adelaide can make a magnificent starting point. Why not read up next:

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