After Coffin Bay it was on to Port Lincoln which is the major port and business centre of the southern peninsula.
I don’t know why but I sort of expected Port Lincoln to be a bit of a dirty town but the reality was far from that. It is a very picturesque place with a good shopping precinct and beautiful walking paths along the foreshore. The skyline is dominated by the wheat storage facilities at one end and of course the long and imposing grain conveyor belt that juts out into the middle of the harbour. Even with this infrastructure it is still a beautiful view.
I had 3 nights in Port Lincoln staying about 3km out of town high up on the hill at Bayview Park. The view over the town and bay was magnificent, especially during the early evening when the artificial lights begin to switch on as the natural light diminishes.
There was a good walkway into town through a parkland and plenty to see and do in town and around the outskirts. Again here the wind was quite chilly at times but the lower temperatures also meant less tourists about. Whilst I am a tourist myself, I still prefer less populated places.
Heading north you follow the Spencer Gulf to your right. There were a number of little places I called into including Louth Bay and stayed a couple of nights at Tumby Bay. This was another little gem of a place right on the bay. All these little towns and villages have their own jetty and I walked out on most of them. Beautiful old wooden structures. Tumby Bay is a jewel on the east coast of the Eyre.
I stopped at Port Neill overnight before having a look around Arno Bay before turning inland through Cleve and stopped a couple of nights with friends that live between Cleve and Cowell at Mt Millar.
They live on a 3,000 acre wheat and sheep farm. Having retired they lease out the property. They also have part of the Mt Millar Wind Farm on their property perched high on the hills behind them. I got the Cook’s tour of the farm and also up close and personal with the wind turbines. They are amazing structures.
I was also treated to a tour of the district through the farming district to Port Gibbon, back through and around Cowell as well as out to Lucky Bay and back via more country back roads and farming areas.
A private operator runs a ferry service between Lucky Bay and Wallaroo on the York Peninsula. we just happened to be in Lucky Bay when the ferry, which carries both cars and walk on passengers, arrived. I also got to see it arrive in Wallaroo several days later. The trip takes about 2 hours to navigate the Spencer Gulf and saves the drive up and around Port Augusta by road. A short cut to Adelaide if you like.
I had a couple of nights in Whyalla which was a town of contrast. The beach and foreshore was amazing. Very beautiful and there is a lovely boardwalk and path around some wetlands just to the south of town. The main original town centre though is as drab and I inviting as I have seen perhaps only rivalled by Port Hedland in Western Australia. Maybe it is the iron ore stains on all the buildings that give both towns that drab colourless look and feel.
The lookout at Hummocks Hill, which was the original name of the town before changing to Whyalla in 1916, gives a spectacular view over the port and the unique circular jetty and foreshore. There are also a couple of other lookouts in the city. Whyalla is the 4th most populous city in South Australia.
After leaving Whyalla I headed up to Port Augusta at the tip of the Spencer Gulf and completed the Eyre Peninsula. This is an area that I will definitely come back to sooner rather than later.