Leafy sea dragon near Tumby Bay (Scott Portelli)


A short drive off the Lincoln Highway is Tumby Bay, the Eyre Peninsula’s street art capital. ‘Tumby’ was traditionally known for its slow-paced lifestyle and great fishing, popular with caravaners and those on summer holidays. But more recently it’s become known for the enormous street artworks dotted around town, including its painted silos, and this busy little town has plenty of activities to keep you busy.

Go paddleboarding or kitesurfing off the foreshore (depending on the weather) or dive underwater and look for leafy sea dragons among the jetty pylons. Explore the Interpretive Mangrove Boardwalk to learn about the local ecosystem or discover the colonial history of the Eyre Peninsula at the nearby Koppio Smithy Museum, a fantastic place for kids and adults alike.

If the smaller, slower vibe is what you’re looking for, Port Neill is just a short drive from Tumby Bay and is made up of a collection of holiday-homes and small businesses. It’s the place for leisurely walks around town or along the beach, fishing off the jetty or putting the boat in the water – whatever takes your fancy in this stress-free town. The local hotel has great views and is particularly popular in summer, and the Port Neill Scenic Drive will take you south along the coast to discover historic Carrow Wells and beautiful Cowley’s Beach.

Experience Colour Tumby and its street art

Tumby Bay’s street art and biennial Colour Tumby Festival have become big winners with both locals and tourists, and its easy to see why! There are 29 murals to find dotted around town, and while you can do a super search on your own, you can also grab a map from the local council to make life easier. From giant murals on the silos and two-storey buildings to hidden gems you’ll have to work to find (even with the map), there are so many beautiful artworks to discover. If you’re visiting in March around the time of the Colour Tumby Festival, look out for a whole range of activities from sailing and sandcastle competitions to fun runs, outdoor movies, art workshops, live music and more. It’s a busy but incredible time to visit!

Birdwatch at Lipson Cove

Lipson Cove is about half-way between Tumby Bay and Port Neill and is popular for its sandy beach and local wildlife. The beach is a lovely place to spend a beach day, and it’s also the site of a shipwreck. The remains of the Three Sisters can sometimes be seen protruding from the sand, as can the remains of jetty pylons that used to be used to ship grain. When the tide is down, you can make your way from the shore to Lipson Island Conservation Park, home to numerous species of birds including little penguins! If you’re a bird enthusiast, this place is perfect for birdwatching. Be careful not to get stuck on the island when the tide rises, though. Camping is available at Lipson Cove though minimal facilities are available, and you must be self-sufficient.

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