EYRE PENINSULA TOURISM BLOG
To Streaky Bay and Back Again: An Eyre Peninsula Adventure
To Streaky Bay and Back Again: An Eyre Peninsula Adventure
If you didn’t know that you could swim with sea lions on the Eyre Peninsula, then you probably didn’t know much about us in the first place. It’s a pretty celebrated experience!
On Day 5 we left Venus Bay early in the morning to drive an hour to Baird Bay, where Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience offer sea lion and dolphin swim experiences. What an experience it is.
Australian sea lions are endangered, and they’re unique to South Australia and Western Australia. They’re often called sea puppies, and it’s an accurate description! As wild animals how they interact with you is up to them, but they’re pretty friendly creatures. We took the boat out with Alan and Mick, our fantastic guides, and from the moment we pulled up we had sea lions to play with.
They can even point out some of them by name! (Beryl was my favourite).
Sea lions are flirts. Truly, they’re flirts. They do flips in the water, they dart in and out for pats, and beg for scritches under their chin with their big, beautiful eyes. It might just be the best thing you can do in the water. Seriously.
We spent at least an hour, probably longer, in the water with these sweethearts. The water is crystal clear, and the wetsuits do a pretty good job of keeping you warm. Honestly, you’ll just want to stay out there forever. When we did get out of the water, though, Alan gave us hot milo and biscuits to warm up! Perfect.
After everyone was back in the boat, we cruised past some of the sea lions on the beach with their pups. They were so tiny! And so cute! And then we went in search of dolphins.
I’ll be honest, I didn’t get back in the water with the dolphins. I was cold, and have swum with them before. But my friends jumped in with a fairly large pod that swam around them, while I cruised around the group spotting tiny, week-old baby dolphins from the boat! I don’t think I’d ever seen a dolphin that small until then.
This is an experience for the whole family – there were two couples with young children on board, and they did just fine. And it’s also something you’ll probably want to do more than once; it’s just that good.
12/10, would recommend.
At Baird Bay Ocean Eco Experience wetsuits, snorkels and goggles are provided. It’s important to remember you’re swimming with wild animals, not pets, so be sensible and don’t frighten them! And always follow the instructions of your guides.
From Baird Bay, we headed west up the coast to the seaside town of Streaky Bay. On the way we stopped at Point Labatt, to spot sea lions lounging on the rocks below the cliff from the lookout point.
It’s just near here you can also find Murphy’s Haystacks, so don’t miss that stop either!
Streaky Bay is well-known as a holiday town, and a great place to fish. We went straight for Bayfunktion Café, and were charmed by the quirky décor and chilled out vibes.
The menu was also a highlight – unfortunately they’d sold out of the prawn taco special (we were too late, no!) but the Nutty Cauli Falafels went down a treat, as did the delicious smoothies.
After a quick shop and wander about town, we headed back on the road to find some sand dunes to run down (and up, unfortunately) at Yanerbie. These dunes are pretty epic, and they’re just some of the sand hills you’ll find on the EP.
We trekked up…. and down in the gorgeous white sand (it’s a great workout if you feel like you’ve been enjoying yourself a little too much on holiday!), and for my American friend who apparently didn’t have much experience with sand it was something pretty unique. Just like the sea lions.
We’re a unique kind of place.
After some windy photo shoots, we jumped back in the car and headed back to Venus Bay, the best place on earth (that’s not a bias review at all). The cliffs ‘up the back’ of the town are gorgeous, and include the ‘Needle Eye’. It’s named after the giant hole that goes all the way through the cliff, just like a needle’s eye… the South Head Walking Trail (or ‘the Point’) takes you on a stunning walk as well, and is definitely worth the 40 or so minutes it takes.
I won’t tell you about Day 6 because the weather was rough and we were too lazy to go anywhere (it had to happen sometime). But Day 7, our final day on the Eyre Peninsula, was fantastic. Even though we didn’t catch anything.
A short drive from Venus Bay are the Talia Caves, which you also may know from Instagram. Woolshed Cave is the one you’ll likely recognise – it’s huge and a cool area to explore, and we spent a good 20 minutes wandering around down here. The boardwalk down to the cave is easy to access, and the rocks are flat, but always be careful at places like this! And definitely be careful if you’re trying to go in the cave for a photo looking out.
Back up top, we drove along the cliffs to The Tub, a huge crater in the cliff that the more adventurous can climb down (it’s 10-30m deep). We weren’t that sort of adventurous, though! It’s a pretty spectacular spot, and absolutely worth taking a look around. Further along the cliffs is a spectacular view, all the way to Talia Beach. Gorgeous.
After cave exploring and some wandering, we headed back to Venus Bay to try our luck fishing.
Look, it wasn’t just us that were unsuccessful – no one else on the jetty could catch anything either, and we did stick it out for over an hour. Unfortunately the fish weren’t biting. While it was disappointing not to catch my American friend her first ever fish (how is that possible?!?), we did have a nice time laying in the sun on the jetty and generally enjoying the fresh air.
And anyway, when the fish aren’t biting you can always head to the Venus Bay General Store, the Venus Bay Caravan Park (the Kiosk) or the Port Kenny Hotel for delicious seafood. Side note: Venus Bay prawns are absolutely fantastic, and if you get a chance to eat them – do it. Absolutely do it. They. Are. Delicious.
Our final day together was the drive back to Adelaide for my friend’s flight out. A jam-packed schedule meant she saw a whole lot, and I’m a little bit proud that the only place she’s ever been in Australia is the Eyre Peninsula.
Not many people can make that claim!
Missed Part 2? Click here!