Port Lincoln is the main town on the southern end of the Eyre Peninsula. The town is located on Boston Bay, the largest natural harbour in the country, and is a popular place to visit on a holiday to the coastal area. It’s considered the Seafood Frontier of Australia, home to the largest commercial fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere. This means that you can guarantee a great culinary scene along with opportunities to head out fishing for your own catch.
You can also explore much more of the Eyre Peninsula from Port Lincoln. It’s within close proximity to both the Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks, as well as a range of popular activities like whale watching and surfing. You can easily spend a few days in and around Port Lincoln and the southern half of the Eyre Peninsula.
If you’re planning a trip from Ceduna to Port Lincoln, this guide will help you plan your time, with all the best places to stop and things to do on the way outlined below.
Table of Contents
- 1 Best time to travel from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
- 2 How to get to Port Lincoln
- 3 Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
- 4 Popular towns and activities to see on the way from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
- 5 Ceduna
- 6 Via Todd Highway
- 7 Via Flinders Highway
- 8 Port Lincoln
- 9 While you’re on The Eyre Peninsula:
Best time to travel from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
You can travel on the Eyre Peninsula at any time of the year. However, certain seasons in this part of South Australia have their pros and cons for travelling.
Spring and summer considered great seasons to visit Port Lincoln. The weather is warmer during this time, which is perfect for enjoying the beaches on the coast. It’s also a good time to catch the Australian Sea Lions who come out to play off the coast during this time.
On the other hand, late summer and autumn are the best time to see great white sharks. This is a major drawcard on the peninsula which is considered the most reliable place to spot the huge predators with cage diving a popular activity.
In comparison, the weather in winter is certainly not the best on the Eyre Peninsula, but this is the best time for spotting whales off the coast. This incredible wildlife encounter on the peninsula is another major drawcard and is best between May and August when Southern Right Whales can be found off the coast.
How to get to Port Lincoln
Being located towards the bottom tip of the Eyre Peninsula, you can approach Port Lincoln from many different parts of South Australia. There are three major highways that lead to the town: Flinders Highway, Todd Highway and Lincoln Highway. All three of them are connected to the Eyre Highway which runs across the top of the peninsula, making it an easy place to explore along with the Far West Coast and Nullarbor Plain. Many people head to Port Lincoln after exploring Ceduna and more of the Far West Coast. If you plan on travelling from this direction, there are two different ways you can reach the town.
The first option is to drive south from Ceduna along the Flinders Highway. This is a very picturesque option and takes you past plenty of beautiful beaches along a coastal route.
The second option is to head east from Ceduna along the Eyre Highway before turning off at Kyancutta onto Todd Highway. This road runs down the centre of the Eyre Peninsula to Port Lincoln. While you might miss the beaches, this way you can experience some of the small towns on the Eyre Highway as well as the Gawler Ranges before heading to the peninsula.
You can also reach Port Lincoln from Port Augusta on the Lincoln Highway, via Whyalla. This is another coastal route and popular option if you’re travelling from the east.
The driving distances are as follows:
• Ceduna to Port Lincoln via Flinders Highway: 405km or 4 and a quarter-hour drive
• Ceduna to Port Lincoln via Todd Highway: 425km or 4 and a half-hour drive
• Port Augusta to Port Lincoln via Lincoln Highway: 344km or 3 and a half-hour drive
If you prefer to fly onto the Eyre Peninsula, then Port Lincoln also has an airport. There are daily direct flights to and from Adelaide with Rex and QantasLink, which can easily be connected to other major cities in Australia.
Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
If you’re heading off on a road trip from Ceduna to Port Lincoln, here are some important things to know before you go.
The Eyre Highway, Flinders Highway and Todd Highway are the three major roads used to reach Port Lincoln from Ceduna. They are all well-maintained and sealed roads, meaning that you can safely drive them in 2WD vehicles. The Eyre Highway is particularly busy and is frequently used by both trucks and travellers heading east or west from South Australia to Western Australia. The Eyre Highway stretches for 1675km from Norseman in Western Australia across the Nullarbor Plain through Ceduna to Port Augusta in South Australia.
The Flinders Highway and Todd Highway connect Ceduna to Port Lincoln via the Eyre Highway. The Flinders Highway is a coastal route that takes in towns such as Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay, Elliston and Coulta south of Ceduna before reaching Port Lincoln. The Todd Highway turns off the Eyre Highway at Kyancutta east of Ceduna and continues through Warramboo, Lock and Cummins before arriving in Port Lincoln.
While the major highways are certainly in good conditions, there are still some important safety considerations before travelling. Avoid travelling at night on the Eyre Peninsula, as animal crossings are more common at night making it dangerous for both you and the native wildlife that call the area home.
As with any road trips, you should come prepared and pack a first aid kit, jumper leads and car repair kit, so if anything is to happen along the way you are well-equipped. It’s also advised to purchase roadside assistance so you can get help in any of the rural areas you find yourself in.
It’s also important to take plenty of breaks during long drives to avoid fatigue. It also means that you can enjoy the landscape and small towns along the way a little bit longer if you schedule frequent breaks. There are plenty of places to stop for a break on the way from Ceduna to Port Lincoln, no matter which highway you opt to take.
Popular towns and activities to see on the way from Ceduna to Port Lincoln
A trip from Ceduna to Port Lincoln can easily take days with plenty of towns and activities to see and do on the way. Whether you’re opting for the inland route or the coastal route, you’ll find that there is so much to see no matter which highway you drive.
Ceduna is the major town on the far northwest corner of the Eyre Peninsula. Located on the Eyre Highway, it’s a popular place for travellers to stop during a trip in the Far West Coast. Being conveniently located on the eastern fringes of the Nullarbor Plain and to the northwest of the Eyre Peninsula, it’s a great place to base yourself in while exploring more of the surrounding area.
Ceduna is known as the Oyster Capital of Australia and, along with Port Lincoln, offers some of the best seafood you can find in the entire country. One of the highlights of a trip to Ceduna is tasting some of the freshest oysters you’ll ever have and visiting a working oyster farm in nearby Smoky Bay. From Ceduna town, you also have plenty of great activities within easy reach including, surfing, fishing, 4×4 driving, swimming and walking in and around the town.
Ceduna sees hundreds of thousands of vehicles passing through each year on the Eyre Highway. This means that there is great tourist infrastructure with plenty of amenities and businesses to cater for your needs. You can find, a variety of accommodation, and also shopping options, all ready to supply your trip.
Many people plan on heading from Ceduna to Port Lincoln to explore more of the Eyre Peninsula. To do this you can head south along Flinders Highway or travel east on the Eyre Highway before turning right onto Todd Highway and heading straight down the middle of the peninsula. No matter which way you choose, you can find plenty of places to stop along the way for a break. Here are some of the must-see towns and must-do activities on both highways:
Via Todd Highway
If you plan on taking the Eyre Highway and then turning onto the Todd Highway down to Port Lincoln, here are the towns on the way:
The first town you’ll come across east of Ceduna is Wirrulla. This unique town has a jetty, despite not actually being on the coast, but instead, it’s used as the tee-off for the Wirrulla Golf Course. You’ll also find a caravan park and pub in town if you need somewhere to stay and eat.
A little further along, Poochera is a small town on the Eyre Highway. It’s considered the western gateway to the Gawler Ranges National Park and has a caravan park, pub and picnic area if you need a break. The town is particularly known for the discovery of the rare dinosaur ants in 1977 after they were previously thought to have been extinct. You can visit the small museum in town which has some interesting displays on these critters. You’ll also find a big dinosaur ant statue outside the now-closed roadhouse in the middle of town.
Another small town for a nice break on the Eyre Highway, Minnipa has some incredible natural scenery and rock formations due to its proximity to the rugged Gawler Ranges. You can easily explore granite rocks from town, with a caravan park and motel and general store for travellers passing through.
The most well-known spot to visit is Pildappa Rock, 15km north of town. This unique pink inselberg is shaped like a wave and was formed about 1500 million years ago as part of the much larger Gawler Craton. The erosion at the top of the rock also forms small rock holes over time, which were used by Aboriginals to catch and collect water after rain.
Just before the turnoff to the Todd Highway, this town is a popular place to stop on the Eyre Highway east of Ceduna. It has plenty of amenities including accommodation, a fuel station, supermarket and pub if you need. You’ll also find the Australian Farmer statue in town for a quick photo op. This huge farmer is carved out of local granite rock and is right next to the local information centre.
The town’s most popular attraction however is Mount Wudinna, which is one of the largest granite monoliths in the southern hemisphere. It’s located just 10km from town and has plenty of parking and picnic areas around it, from where you can climb to the top for incredible views.
Gawler Ranges National Park
One of the region’s most incredible landscape, the Gawler Ranges stretch across the north of the Eyre Peninsula. If you have a little more time on your way to Port Lincoln, the national park is worth exploring for a couple of days. Located 38km north of Wudinna, this spectacular rocky wilderness area harbours some rare flora and fauna, including the Crimson Mallee and the Yellow-footed Rock-wallaby, along with native animals like emus and kangaroos.
It was an especially sacred place for the region’s Aboriginal people and is a great introduction into the incredible outback landscape of South Australia. The park is best explored by 4WD but can also be driven by 2WD or conventional vehicles in the dry season, with bushwalking, photography and camping popular activities.
After turning onto Todd Highway on your way to Port Lincoln, you’ll find more coastal landscapes and small rural towns. Located at the heart of the Eyre Peninsula, the town of Lock is an old countryside escape. There are four conservation parks around the town that you can explore, home to beautiful wildflowers and native animals. You’ll also find a small Heritage Museum in town housed in the former police station with displays on a variety of local war, farming and domestic equipment and photographs from local families. Lock also has accommodation, a caravan park, pub and small IGA for supplies, if you’re passing through.
Via Flinders Highway
After heading south from Ceduna, you’ll come across the small town of Smoky Bay which is most well-known for being the home to a thriving oyster industry in its Aquaculture Park. A touring a working oyster farm is a must-do experience. They offer an incredibly unique experience where you can learn more about the oyster growing industry and taste some of the freshest oysters on the planet. Smoky Bay also has a picnic area, public toilets, safe swimming enclosure, boat ramp and town jetty from where you can throw your own fishing line in.
Streaky Bay is a picturesque town on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. Home to stunning white sand beaches and plenty of outdoor activities, it offers a perfect place to stop and enjoy the coast south of Ceduna. Being part of the Seafood Trail self-drive tour, it’s also a popular fishing and foodie destination for those interested in catching some of the best seafood in the country. You can find plenty of accommodation in town, with caravan parks and holiday villas available.
The small coastal town of Baird Bay is the main centre for whale watching tours as well as swimming with dolphins and sea lion tours. These incredible marine encounters are a highly sought-after experience on the Eyre Peninsula. It’s also a popular fishing town and it has plenty of accommodation options if you can plan on spending a few days in this quiet spot.
Further down the coast, Venus Bay is one of the most popular towns on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s well-known for its island-dotted bay and rugged coastline with calm water perfect fishing, swimming, kayaking and water skiing. There are also some great surf beaches just outside of town for beginners and intermediate surfers.
Coulta is a small town on the Flinders Highway just back from the coastline. The nearby Greenly Beach is one of the most stunning beaches on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula and is popular amongst surfers. It’s an incredibly rugged part of the coast, with sand dunes and rocky cliffs. While there’s not much in terms of facilities and amenities in town, it’s only 62km northwest of Port Lincoln.
Coffin Bay National Park
Easily accessible off the Flinders Highway, Coffin Bay National Park is one of two spectacular national parks on the Eyre Peninsula. It’s known for its stunning coastal scenery and white sand beaches with a range of activities to do, including fishing, boating, sailing, diving, swimming and hiking. A popular way to see the park is by camping in the designated campgrounds which require permits and fees to be paid in advance. Some parts of the park are only accessible by 4WD, but there are still many beaches accessible by sealed roads.
After the long drive south from Ceduna, Port Lincoln is a small city on Boston Bay. It’s located on the eastern coast of the Eyre Peninsula, towards the southern tip. It’s particularly known as being the fishing capital of the state, with the largest fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere based in the harbour. The town is home to plenty of businesses and services to cater for travellers, including supermarkets, hardware, hospital and accommodation.
While many people use the town as a base for exploring the nearby national parks, there are still plenty of things to do in town if you have time. There are a few museums worth checking out, including Port Lincoln Railway Museum, Mill Cottage Museum and Axel Stenross Maritime Museum. They are perfect for when the weather isn’t great for fishing or heading to the beach.
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