The Eyre Peninsula has fascinating stories to tell, from our rich Indigenous culture to our European settler heritage. The Barngala, Nauo, Mirning, Wirangu and Kokatha peoples have lived in the region for thousands of years, and welcome visitors to learn about their culture through on-country tours, art centres and community-based experiences. The region’s colonial, marine and agricultural histories are shared in stories captured throughout the region’s many galleries, museums, public art and cultural places, from tiny towns to bustling centres.
Our Indigenous heritage
The history of Maralinga, in the region’s far west, is certainly dark. After being declared off limits in the 1960s for the purpose of nuclear testing, lands around Maralinga was returned to the traditional owners some thirty years later. Maralinga Tours now offers tours to this remote corner of the world for a very unique experience – but not to worry, it’s perfectly safe to visit now.
Also out west, you can discover something to take home with you at Arts Ceduna, which showcases artwork by artists from across the Far West of South Australia. Located at the Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Arts Ceduna supports over 120 artists with skill development, marketing and sales as well as acting as a gallery for stunning artwork.
In the spirit of reconciliation and accountability, stop by the Elliston Reconciliation Monument on the Elliston Coastal Trail. This monument overlooking the cliffs acknowledges the death of Aboriginal people at Waterloo Bay in the 1840s. It’s a place of reflection on our shared past.
History & Museums
There are a lot of museums scattered around the Eyre Peninsula, from local memory-troves managed by volunteers at places like the Streaky Bay National Trust Museum and the Powerhouse Museum (also in Streaky Bay) to well-known locations like the Axel Stenross Museum in Port Lincoln, where you can learn about the area’s rich maritime history. There’s even a museum dedicated to the King himself, Elvis, in Whyalla! Visit the Koppio Smithy Museum to step back in time, nestled in the beautiful Koppio Hills between Tumby Bay and Cummins, or the Whyalla Maritime Museum where you can wander around the HMAS Whyalla which is now firmly land-locked. The Lock and Districts Heritage Museum is right in the centre of the Peninsula, while Mill Cottage in Port Lincoln is an old pioneer home you can explore. They’re all great places to step back in time and learn a little about the area’s pioneering history – it might open the kid’s eyes!
Street art blooms across the Eyre Peninsula, from enormous silo artworks that tower overhead to hidden pieces dotted around Tumby Bay or found unexpectedly in small country towns. Follow the Artwork Trail, a map identifying all the artworks you can discover – sharks, leafy sea dragons, pioneering landscapes, local flora, sunsets and local identities. Visit in March to see art in action at the biennial Colour Tumby Festival.
You can also find a collection of local ‘makers’ at Workshop26 in Kimba, where a group of women have converted an old tractor shop into a haven for micro-businesses. Part retail space, part artisan workshop, part event space, this little shop is home to a collection of shipping containers where you can purchase local pottery, vintage wares, homemade soaps and candles, produce and preserves and more. They’ll give you a warm welcome too!