The Far West Coast is also a gateway to the legendary Australian Outback and some of the most remote road trips in the country. For seemingly endless flats and the world`s largest karts landscape, this is a perfect place for adventurous motorists who are up for a challenge.
Nevertheless, the Far West of South Australia does not always look like a desert. Quite the contrary, there are some astonishing coastal delights for any beach lover. This is especially true in the Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas.
A fantastic place to reconnect with nature and take some quiet time is the Yorke Peninsula. Only a short distance to Adelaide, empty beaches, rugged cliffs and dense bushland are waiting to be explored at a slow pace.
In the Yorke Peninsula, farming and mining have always played an important role in everyday life but also tourism is a good source of income. Marine parks and wildlife sanctuaries are home to whales, dolphins, penguins, sea lions and the notorious ‘Great Whites‘, and those who are not afraid can dive in the deep waters of the ocean to search for them.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN YORKE PENINSULA
From baby seals, dolphins and whales playing in the coastal waters of the Great Australian Bight to the striking red rock formations of the Gawler Ranges, the Eyre Peninsula truly is a place of adventure.
As you drive around there is so much to discover; windswept cliffs, white sand dunes, rocky bays filled coral reefs and marine life, isolated stony hills, vast gullies and ancient geological formations.
Whyalla is a lovely seaside resort, situated on the east coast of the triangle, with lots of natural and purpose-built attractions.
Port Lincoln, standing at the bottom tip of this gorgeous peninsular triangle, is the main holiday resort and the’ Seafood Capital of Australia’.
And as leaving the region, some of its most visited places will come to sight; Streaky Bay, Smokey Bay, Laura Bay, and the west coast facing the town of Ceduna – the oyster capital of Australia. Far away from bustling cities, and even big towns, the tranquil coastline is an ideal holiday location. Fishing, surfing, sailing, swimming, scuba diving and snorkelling can be enjoyed in the summertime.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN EYRE PENINSULA
TRAVEL TIP (FOR SERIOUS ADVENTURERS)
Take a trip to the nearby Neptune Islands (access from Port Lincoln). The tiny archipelago is famed for some of the best Great White Shark Cage Diving, that is also regarded as South Australia`s best adventure.
The Highway across the Nullarbor Plains is one of the most features drives imaginable. It ranks with the Colorado Desert in the USA – it is a similar vast landmass with minimal vegetation. Its name is derived from Latin ‘nullus’, or a zero, and ‘arbor’ means ‘tree,’ which already indicates the character of the landscape.
Crossing Nullarbor is an essential experience when in South Australia. It can be quite thrilling to drive along the Eyre Highway linking the states of Western Australia and South Australia.
The road trip is perhaps on a bucket list of every Australian and a dream for many people for a number of reasons. Apart from Nullarbor being some of the most isolated regions in Australia and teeming with extraordinary wildlife and sea life, this area is a place of superlatives.
The drive includes the legendary longest straight road in Australia (between Balladonia and Caiguna, 146 km) and the world`s longest golf course (18-hole par 73 golf course is spanning along 1365 kilometres of the Eyre Highway.
There are long distances between inhabited places and service stations and the daytime temperatures rise to over 40°C. This part of Australia also takes pride in the longest straight section of the railway on earth that is 478 kilometres long.
Underneath the surface of the Nullarbor, the remains of teeming billions of marine creatures have turned into the planet`s largest limestone slab. The porous nature of limestone has led to the development of blowholes and caves almost all the way across.
ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES IN NULLARBOR
If crossing the border with Western Australia, you will be asked at the Quarantine Station to leave honey, fruit, vegetable, plants, seeds, and soil. Behind if you carry any. Also, the time zone changes in Eucla by 45 min.
BEST TIME TO TRAVEL
To enjoy the beaches and water activities, you will want to visit the coast in summer (Dec-March). However, for diving and marine life, especially the whale watching, winter is the only time you will succeed (May-Oct)
The most common way to explore the Far West Coast of South Australia is safe-drive. You can start either from Adelaide or Western Australia.
Note that the Nullarbor Plains are treeless, the sun is blistering, roads are pretty straight and driving can become monotonous; this combination can easily cause a mirage – stay alert at all times and do not drive after dark!
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Adelaide. Catch a domestic flight to Port Augusta where you can rent a vehicle (4WD recommended) and drive to the desired destination.
There is a small airport in Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Ceduna if visiting for vacations.
Distances for motorists:
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