Ceduna is a large, coastal town located on the western side of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The town is situated on the Eyre Highway and is one of the last major towns you pass through as you head west across the Nullarbor Plain.
This unique location makes Ceduna a great place to base yourself as you explore more of the beautiful peninsula, with many of the area’s highlights within easy access of the town.
Here’s everything you need to know about this seaside town, including what to do and see in the area.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where is Ceduna
- 2 Travelling to Ceduna
- 3 History of Ceduna
- 4 What is Ceduna known for
- 5 Nearby locations and towns
- 6 What to do in Ceduna
- 7 Exploring more of the Eyre Peninsula
- 8 Where to stay in Ceduna
- 9 Where to eat in Ceduna
- 10 Shopping in Ceduna
- 11 While you’re on The Eyre Peninsula:
Ceduna is located on the stunning Murat Bay, which is just one of the many beautiful shorelines of the Great Australian Bight. It’s right on the far north-west coast of the Eyre Peninsula and on the eastern edge of the Nullarbor Plain on the Far West Coast of South Australia.
The Eyre Highway runs through the town, making it a popular place to stop for travellers either heading east or west on this major thoroughfare. The highway is the only main sealed road that runs across the Nullarbor Plain and along the Far West Coast, often skirting right along the dramatic coastline itself.
It’s perfectly located to explore the western side of the Eyre Peninsula, with plenty of things to do within easy reach of town.
Travelling to Ceduna
The town sees approximately a quarter of a million vehicles passing through annually. This makes Ceduna a popular traveller’s hub for either beginning or ending the great Nullarbor road trip.
Visitors to the area usually travel from:
• Port Lincoln to Ceduna: 406 kms (approximately 4 hours via Flinders Highway / B100), or 425.3 kms (approximately 4 and a half hours via Tod Highway / B90 and National Highway A1).
• Adelaide to Ceduna: 777.1 kms (approximately 8 hours via National Highway A1) or flying into Ceduna from Adelaide on a 60 – 90-minute flight (approximately).
• Eucla to Ceduna: 492.5 kms (approximately 5 hours via National Highway A1), often making their way over the Nullarbor Plain from Perth.
If you prefer to travel by air, the Ceduna is also accessible by plane. Ceduna’s regional airport has daily flights from Adelaide and return flight direct from Ceduna to Adelaide, with the flight time around 60-90 minutes.
History of Ceduna
The coastline of the Great Australian Bight was explored by Matthew Flinders who was the first European to charter the entire shoreline in 1802. The Nullarbor Plain and Far West Coast was then explored a few decades later by Edward John Eyre and his Aboriginal companion, Wylie.
Ceduna town was officially established in 1901 with optimistic hopes for agriculture and farming prospects. It also became the site of a major satellite telecommunications facility which was built in 1969. At its peak, the station saw almost half of Australia’s international telecommunication traffic passing through.
Construction of the Eyre Highway began in 1941. The rough track was the only east to west connection across the Nullarbor and was eventually sealed and completed in 1976. It’s since become a major route for both trucks and travellers, with the highway being considered one of the must-do drives in Australia.
What is Ceduna known for
Ceduna is the main township on the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight. It’s a popular pitstop for those travelling by road on the Eyre Highway and a great base for exploring the Eyre Peninsula.
The town name is a corruption of the local Aboriginal Wirangu word, Chedoona and is said to mean a place to sit down and rest. It’s a great place to allow a few days to rest, replenish supplies and take a good look around the region.
The surrounding landscape is characterised by rugged coastal bays, sandy beaches, natural bush, and agricultural farms. Ceduna is also considered the Oyster Capital of Australia and the home of King George Whiting, with some of the best seafood you can eat in the country.
This makes the town an especially popular destination for surfers, all-round beach lovers, and foodies alike.
Nearby locations and towns
The smaller surrounding towns offer an opportunity to kick back and enjoy some peace and quiet. It’s well worth a leisurely drive around these towns before heading further afield on the Eyre Peninsula.
Thevenard is now more of an extension of the Ceduna Township and has a few traveller amenities including, a hotel, supermarket and sporting complex. It also has some great sightseeing attractions such as Pinky Point, the shipping wharf, silos, and the train just to name a few.
Denial Bay is just a short drive from Ceduna and a nice place to have a picnic and go for a fish. You’ll find the town jetty, large parking area, toilets, a playground, shelter and a free to use gas barbecue in town. You can also find a walking trail and historical places of interest.
Penong is often referred to as the town of windmills so it seems appropriate that you should find the Penong Windmill Museum there full of windmills. It’s become a popular place to visit on the Eyre Peninsula and even boasts the largest windmill in Australia.
Penong is also home to the world-famous surf breaks at Point Sinclair known as ‘Cactus’, along with the well-known surfboard manufacturer, ‘Gravelle’. It’s considered the best place for experienced surfers on the entire Eyre Peninsula.
You’ll find the legendary little Aussie pub, the Penong Hotel, that the original Cactus surfers used to refer to as ‘The Fridge’. Penong also has a golf course, skate park, and a great little rest spot with toilets and shade with a table and seating.
Perhaps more of a location than a township, Laura Bay is a great sightseeing drive with beaches and sea views of the islands. You will also find some camping spots, making it a nice and relaxing sightseeing drive and camping destination.
Smoky Bay is known for its Aquaculture Park which is the oyster growing centre of the region. There is also a nice picnic area, public toilets and a safe swimming enclosure near the town jetty.
Haslam offers another great little stop on a self-drive tour. Near the foreshore in town, you’ll find unpowered sites for just $10 per night with amenities nearby which is great for a quiet night’s stay.
What to do in Ceduna
There are lots of things to do in Ceduna and the surrounding region of the Eyre Peninsula, here’s a selection of the best:
The best way to explore is on a self-drive tour of the Ceduna area. This gives you complete freedom to be able to do things at your own pace and according to your own interests. You can also explore places outside of the township, such as Laura Bay Conservation Park, Fowlers Bay and the famous pink waters of Lake MacDonnell further afield. Use this map of Ceduna and districts.
The Nullarbor Plain
This flat, semi-arid plain is one of the most unique and famous landscapes in South Australia. It is the largest exposure of limestone bedrock in the world and covers an area of 200, 000 square kilometres across South and Western Australia. It runs along the coast of the Great Australian Bight and begins just slightly west of Ceduna.
For many people, driving across the Nullarbor Plain on the Eyre Highway is one of the best things to do in South Australia and Ceduna offers the perfect base or overnight stop from which to do that.
There are plenty of guided tours on offer on the Eyre Peninsula, from scenic flights to fishing charters, and whale watching boat tours in Ceduna. No matter what you want to explore, you’ll find a tour to suit your interests.
One of the must-do’s in Ceduna for oyster lovers is the oyster farm tour in Smoky Bay. In the Aquaculture Park, you will find Jeff and Colleen Holmes of SA Premium Oysters. Jeff and Colleen offer a unique experience in touring a working farm, as well as an opportunity to eat the freshest oysters available to you on the planet!
The Eyre Peninsula is considered one of the seafood frontiers of the country. This means that you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing on the peninsula and particularly around Ceduna. You can go boat fishing, jetty fishing in the towns, and even rock fishing and beach fishing further out.
You’ll have the chance of catching Tommy Ruffs, the famous King George Whiting, salmon, garfish, snook, and a range of sharks. See the Department of Primary Industries and Regions website for limits.
From around May until October, Southern Right Whales can be seen off the coast of the Great Australian Bight. There are a variety of ways to observe these incredible marine mammals from Ceduna.
You can view them from land at a number of viewpoints, or the ultimate option is to head out on a boat tour that will get you a closer look at these giants from the water. There are whale watching tours available from Ceduna, Fowlers Bay and Baird Bay on the Eyre Peninsula.
There are plenty of sheltered swimming spots for everyone to enjoy around Ceduna. The best places are near the Sailing Club and at Alexander’s Beach, located on either side of the jetty. These popular swimming spots are easily reachable on foot from the town centre.
Ceduna is also within easy reach to the most famous surfing spot on the Eyre Peninsula. The world-famous Cactus Beach is just 90 km west of town, near Penong. It’s home to two world-class left-hand breaks known by local surfers as Cactus and Castles, as well as, the right-hand break known as Caves. It’s strictly for dedicated surfers only, with serious swells and a notorious prevalence of sharks.
More novice surfers can head to Fowlers Bay or Venus Bay for more gentle waves.
This salt lake is at the former site of a salt mine on the largest gypsum deposit in Australia. It’s located just inland from Cactus Beach at Point Sinclair. The incredibly high salt level of the water combined with algae and pink bacteria makes the colour of the lake turn a bright fluorescent pink colour.
This pink colour in contrast with the blue lake next to it makes it one of the most incredible sights you’ll see on the coast. The lake has become a bit of an Instagram famous sight in the area and people come from all over South Australia just to snap a photo.
Walking and cycling
You can easily explore the coastal scenery of the Eyre Peninsula on foot or on two wheels around Ceduna. A stroll or cycle along the Encounter Trail from the local sailing club to Pinky Point in Thevenard is a must-do. This 4km trail is a great way to take in the scenic coastline, including the islands and Denial Bay. Pinky Point Lookout is especially beautiful at sunset if you want to time your walk with golden hour.
You can also explore the beach, sand dunes, and serenity of Shelly Beach on the beautiful and secluded Bosanquet Bay, the next bay over from Ceduna. You can follow the scenic Shelly Beach Dune Walking Trails that weaves across 55 acres of coastal sand dunes. This Ceduna map has everything!
Another popular outdoor activity in Ceduna is golf. You can play a round of golf on the longest golf course in the world at the Nullarbor Links Golf Course. The 18-hole par 72 golf course stretches from Ceduna to Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, a distance of about 1365km.
This is a very unique attraction for all golfing enthusiasts. The first (or last) hole is in Ceduna, so you can begin your epic golf tour there that can take up to four days to fully complete. For a more modest golfing experience, you can also try the smaller Ceduna Golf Course.
Art and history
If you’re interested in learning more about the traditional custodians of the land and the history of the area, there are plenty of opportunities. The Ceduna Arts and Cultural Centre is definitely worth a visit to peruse local aboriginal art. It is also a great place to buy a unique memento of your visit with artwork and souvenirs for sale.
The National Trust Museum is located in the town’s first school building. There is a range of displays with old photographs and memorabilia.
At Penong, you can also walk amongst the open-air Windmill Museum and visit the Penong Woolshed Museum. This will give you a fascinating insight into the agricultural and farming history of the area.
For the serious and well-prepared drivers, there’s the famous adventure trek that is known as Goog’s Track. The 360km 4WD track will take you to the Transcontinental Railway Line before turning east to end in Kingoonya. It’s a genuine adventure for the daring with over 300 sand dunes to navigate. Many make the pilgrimage each year but be warned – this isn’t a track for beginners!
If you happen to be on the peninsula in October, you’ll have to time your visit with the annual Oysterfest. It’s a long weekend of music, dance, art, wine, and delicious seafood. The town goes all out for this weekend with fireworks, a street market, and a range of entertainment.
Many of the Eyre Peninsula’s highlights such as whale watching, beautiful beaches and delicious seafood can be experienced in and around Ceduna. However, this triangular-shaped peninsula off the coast of South Australia has plenty of other small coastal towns and activities to explore.
Being the main town on the western coast of the peninsula, Ceduna makes for a great base or overnight stay while exploring the region. You can head off east from Ceduna and explore more of the peninsula, including Coffin Bay National Park and Lincoln National Park, both towards the bottom tip.
Other major towns on the peninsula include Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Port Augusta, which are great alternatives to stay on this incredible slice of coast.
You can find all different types of accommodation in Ceduna to suit every type of holiday. One of the best places to stay though is Ceduna Shelly Beach Caravan Park. This is a highly sought-after Ceduna caravan park that offers the widest variety of options from camping to luxury villas. They also have spotless amenities, dune walks, games room, laundry, and the list goes on.
It delights the traveller who, with or without pets and/or children, appreciates a quiet, secluded beach on Bosanquet Bay. Yet it’s still only a 5-minute drive to Ceduna’s centre for all your conveniences.
Ceduna has become a popular foodie destination thanks to the delicious seafood and famous oysters. You can’t leave town without sampling some of the tasty oysters and King George Whiting at one of the restaurants.
If you’re looking to stock up on supplies for your trip around the Eyre Peninsula, Ceduna has a range of businesses and stores to help you out.
Jim’s IGA in Thevenard is the best place to stock up on essential food and drinks for your trip or you can stop in at Ceduna Meat Service for some quality meat. Terry White Chemmart in Ceduna is able to help out with all your health and medical supplies, while Ceduna Home Timber and Hardware stocks a range of practical products that you might need.
If you’re on a long road trip and need something for your car, Autopro Ceduna for vehicle parts and accessories, they will likely have what you need. Alternately; Ceduna Toyota can help with your vehicle needs and Ceduna Furniture has a pleasing range of home products.
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