What to expect
- Catch some of the best arts festivals in Australia
- Swim with friendly sea lions
- Get up close and personal with great white sharks on a cage dive
- Time: 10 Days
- Transport: Car
- Price: $$
Adelaide will surprise and delight with its hip bars, progressive food scene and never-dull events calendar. But head out of the city and discover the Eyre Peninsula, where you’ll taste the country's freshest seafood, meet aquatic animals and face your fears.
Day 1: Soak up Adelaide’s party vibe
Adelaide is a city with a name for top notch food and drink, shopping that can’t be skipped and plenty of bars for you to grab a cocktail or craft beer.
In January, South Australia hosts the Tour Down Under, Australia’s largest cycling event, and sees Adelaide come alive with street parties and events.
The city’s flat roads make it perfect for cycling, so join in the fun with a scenic spin across Adelaide on a free loan bike from one of a number of locations across the city. The Linear Park trail is popular with locals and visitors alike, taking cyclists from the city to the beach, travelling alongside the River Torrens.
If you'd rather participate in a city-wide party, visit from mid-February to mid-March. The must-see Adelaide Fringe Festival turns the city into a non-stop party with street festivities, performances and outdoor festival hubs popping up all over South Australia in the warm summer climate.
After a day of exploring, check in to the Adelaide Central YHA for an affordable bed with a great location.
Day 2: Eat and drink Adelaide
This morning head to the Adelaide Central Market, the largest fully undercover, fresh food market in the southern hemisphere. Eat your fill of the market's seasonal produce, bakery items, smallgoods and more.
To quench your thirst, explore some of the microbreweries that call Adelaide home. Big Shed Brewing and Pirate Life are just two of the craft breweries located right in the city, or head to the nearby Adelaide Hills or Fleurieu Peninsula for a wealth of other options.
And when night falls, it’s time to hit some of Adelaide’s many small bars. You'll find several charming options in the small laneway quarter around Leigh St, Peel St and Gilbert Place.
Day 3: Rooftop climbing and river floating
A visit to Adelaide would not be the same without taking on its sports icon – the Adelaide Oval. The Oval is home to Adelaide’s biggest Aussie Rules and cricket matches and now you can legally and safely climb the roof. The guided climb runs for about two hours and covers 1.2 kilometres (three-quarters of a mile) in total, taking in 360-degree views of Adelaide city across the scalloped roofline.
In the afternoon, head to the River Torrens and rent a donut-shaped boat with a barbecue on board where you can grill your own lunch as you float down the river.
Day 4: Leave the city for the seafood
Hit the road and head for the Eyre Peninsula. Your first stop is Whyalla, located just over four hours from Adelaide on the western side of the Spencer Gulf.
Whyalla is known for the annual migration of giant cuttlefish, which gather in the shallow waters of the gulf between May and August. Sometimes called the 'chameleons of the sea,' cuttlefish are famous for their vibrant, kaleidoscopic colours that change as they swim. Head for the ramp at Stony Point where you can wade out to watch the show.
Don't forget to keep an eye out for the pod of resident dolphins playing and feeding off the coast of Whyalla Marina. The pod have gained a reputation as some of the friendliest dolphins in Australia.
While you're in Whyalla, stay at Discovery Parks on the foreshore, where you can rent either a campsite or cabin.
Day 5: Whyalla to Port Lincoln
Drive just under three hours south from Whyalla to reach Port Lincoln. Stop on the way at the small coastal town of Cowell, Arno Bay and Tumby Bay. Drop a net from the town jetty to catch succulent big blue crabs or hire a kayak or boat to catch and sample an array of the bay’s best seafood.
Then make your way to The Fresh Fish Place, the Eyre Peninsula’s largest seafood supplier. There are behind the scenes tours that run most mornings where you can sample a range of fresh as well as in-house pickled and smoked products. The Fresh Fish Place also runs popular cooking classes once a month.
Day 6: Swim with sea lions
One of the most amazing aquatic animals in South Australia is the rare - and adorable - sea lion. Set off on a half-day tour to the crystal clear waters of Seal Cove, where the sea lions welcome your arrival as they bound toward the boat. Dive into their underwater world and check out their somersaults and swirls.
After, chill out on the beach with some takeaway seafood. After you've eaten your fill, trek to the top of Winters Hill for a heart-stopping view.
Day 7: Up close with great whites
Port Lincoln is the only place in Australia that you can share the water with one of the country's most iconic creatures - the great white shark. Come face-to-face with these incredible animals on a cage dive with Adventure Bay Charters.
Take a boat journey up to three hours to prime spots off the coast, often accompanied by a pod of dolphins or sometimes a whale. Spend up to 45 minutes suspended in a cage while great whites circle. Even if you’re not in the water, the action from above is nearly as enthralling.
If you haven't quite mustered the courage to dive with the sharks, don't worry. Adventure Bay Charters also offers the shark “Aqua Sub”, where you can spy on great white sharks from a glass viewing area with 360-degree views underwater.
Day 8: Seafood and dolphins from Coffin to Streaky Bay
While you’re in the area, enjoy the clean air and beautiful views of Coffin Bay National Park. The park is home to some of the most spectacular coastal scenery in South Australia, ranging from ancient cliffs to long beaches bordered by white sand dunes. It's also the perfect place for a paddle; head out on a sea kayak through calm waterways and inlets. You might even spot an emu or two.
When you land in Streaky Bay, a three hour drive from Port Lincoln, head to one of the popular caravan parks on the foreshore. Visit Streaky Bay Seafood for the freshest seafood caught on the peninsula.
Day 9: Streaky Bay to Ceduna
Say goodbye to Streaky Bay and head further west to Ceduna. On the way, keep an eye out for Murphy's Haystacks, ancient wind-worn pink granite boulders, around 40 kilometres (25 miles) out of Streaky Bay.
Stop at Smoky Bay and devour oysters straight from the sea before arrival in Ceduna.
As the sun begins to set, take the easy four-kilometre (2.5-mile) walking trail along the Ceduna Foreshore to Pinky Point. Don't forget to bring your camera to capture the changing sky.
Day 10: Whale watching in Fowlers Bay
On your final day, drive less than two hours to get to Fowlers Bay, where you can head on out on a whale-watching tour with EP Cruises. Southern right and humpback whales stop in at Fowlers Bay during their annual migration, from May to October, and often remain within the bay for several weeks to calve and nurse their young.
In the same location, you'll also often see common and bottlenose dolphins, endangered Australian sea lions, New Zealand fur seals, white bellied sea eagles, little penguins and some rare species of albatross.
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