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In search of the ocean
In search of the ocean
Heading to Port Neill
Port Neill

Eyre Peninsula

Thursday, October 23, 2003
David’s journey starts in the city of contrasts and leads us to the millionaire’s capital.

The seaside city of Whyalla is South Australia's second-largest city after Adelaide and boasts a Mediterranean climate of 300 plus days of sunshine a year. It is the gateway to the Eyre Peninsula. When iron was discovered in Iron Knob, it became a very important steelworks, producing millions of tonnes of raw steel and ore pellets each year.

Just 10km north of town is 1100ha Whyalla Conservation Park, with stands of myall and saltbush. Euros, grey and red kangaroos and more than 70 species of birds can be seen here too. It has a walking trail to the top of Wild Dog Hill, a prominent sandstone outcrop.

The Maritime Museum is home to the 650-tonne WWII corvette HMAS Whyalla. Guided tours leave on the hour. There are also tours of the BHP steelworks, taking in what the ore goes through until it becomes steel.

Hummock Hill Lookout gives a good overview of the town and Spencer Gulf. Mt Laura Homestead is a historic museum with a variety of displays, including an old locomotive. It also has beautiful rose gardens.

Whyalla Wildlife and Reptile Sanctuary has a collection of native reptiles, 50 species of native mammals and an enormous aviary.

As you drive south along the Lincoln Highway, you'll reach Cowell, a pleasant little town of just 700 people. Perched on mangrove-fringed Franklin Harbour, it was settled in the 1850s, when the Scottish McKechnie brothers established Wangaraleednie Station.

This is one of the best fishing areas in South Australia and also has a thriving oyster business. A visit to Turner Aquaculture will give oyster fanciers the chance to taste them freshly shucked. There is also a small and interesting folk museum in the old post office on Main Street.

Nearby in the Minbrie Range is a large jade deposit, which is taken from several mines.

As you head south through Cowell and Arno Bay, you reach Port Neill, whose 200 residents are spoilt by two excellent swimming beaches.

From the lookout are beautiful views of the Spencer Gulf and surrounding countryside.

Tumby Bay is 30 minutes further south. The town of 1100 was named by Matthew Flinders in 1802. It is very attractive, with a perfect seaside atmosphere and long, curving white sand beach.

The Tumby Bay Hotel is a good place to rest, have a meal and drink while enjoying the views. You can rent a little tin boat and dangle a line if that takes your fancy.

Last stop is Port Lincoln, 40 minutes away. It's on Boston Bay, which covers an area three-and-a-half times the size of Sydney Harbour. With a population of 13,000, it is a little like arriving in the Big Smoke after the previous tiny towns.

Winter's Hill Lookout sits high above the city and gives uninterrupted views of Lincoln Cove, Boston Bay and Island, as well as Whaler's Way.

The Pilkarra b&b is in the centre of town, close to restaurants and shops. Di Bichard owns the beautiful old 1911 home, which is filled with contemporary and antique furniture and surrounded by a cottage garden.


From Whyalla to Port Lincoln in South Australia


Pilkarra B&B rooms start at $242 a night.
Please note prices are valid at time of filming.

More information

Eyre Peninsula Tourism
Ph: (08) 8682 4688

South Australian Tourism

Qantas: 13 13 13

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