Eyre Peninsula Fishing & Whale Watching at the Great Bight

After seeing, breathing and eating so much red dirt we wanted to go back to the coast for a big bowl of fresh air. Our eyes were fixated on the West, as its countless tales of raw secluded beauty have reached our ears more than once. Once we were done with the Stuart Highway stretch back down to Port Augusta however, we were not too keen on tackling another patch of Australian outback right off the bat. So instead of heading West from Port Augusta towards the Nullarbor Plain – which literally translates to ‘no trees’ by the way – we decided to take our time and enjoy an often overlooked stop right in between.

From Port Augusta, do not head straight across on the A1, rather take the turn off onto the B100 and unlock a new Australian level: Eyre Peninsula. We wished for time on the coast, well we could not have been better served. The majority of this peninsula’s touristic and economic activity revolves around the coast and the sea. Want to do shark cage diving? Eat the best oysters in the world? Fish off the coast just with your mates in front of a sunset? Then this place is perfect for you! With no real plan, we enjoyed the cruise along the East coast of Eyre Peninsula, following recommendations online and on WikiCamps. One morning, however, we stumbled upon an English bloke (Matt) that changed our path. On top of being an all around great guy, it turned out that our new friend is a serious fishing aficionado. Having never really fished ourselves, it was time to learn whilst exploring this pristine part of Australia.

From this point on, we scouted the coastline for the best fishing spots. Between setting up camp at Port Neil, Tumby Bay and Fishery Bay, we could not believe our eyes. Everywhere we went felt untouched and unspoiled by civilisation. More often than not we had the whole place for ourselves. Unfortunately, the fishing wasn’t great so despite the sheer beauty of the place, we headed on with our search.

Our journey lead us all the way down to Port Lincoln, the economic and touristic hotspot of the peninsula, and from there all signs pointed to Lincoln National Park. Without even realising it, we got completely sucked in and ended up living in the national park for the better part of a week.

Thanks to the low season, we pretty much were the only visitors in the park and spent our days fishing at various locations throughout the coastline. At night, we’d light up a fire, cook today’s catch and go to bed with not a single worry in the world. Okay, we wouldn’t be honest with you if we didn’t disclose that we did organise a few excursions to Port Lincoln for a burrito, the odd shower and laundry. But for the most part, we did live in the wild. Promise.

After a week of fishing, reading and camping it was time for us to start moving along. After all, we still have most of Australia to explore and only four months in front of us! Matt wanted to hold onto this little piece of paradise for a little longer, so sadly we had to bid our farewells. We are truly thankful for being able to learn so much from your passion Matt, although we are sorry for all the knots you had to tie for us…

Winston was ready to go full throttle through the Nullarbor, but there were still a few things to see along the East coast of the peninsula. First on the list: Coffin Bay and its internationally renowned oysters. Not being the biggest fan of oysters, we gave it a shot, without any real success. But don’t listen to our opinion, everybody else says they are delicious! Even if you don’t like oysters, Coffin Bay is still an amazing spot to spend some down time sailing, surfing, fishing or swimming!

On our way up the coast, we stopped through the equally idyllic Australian holiday towns known as Venus Bay, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay and Ceduna. In fact, pick any spot along the coast and you won’t be disappointed.

Final stop before the start of the Nullarbor: the Head of the Bight. The Bunda cliffs, one of the longest uninterrupted line of sea cliffs in the world, stretch along the Australian Bight for almost 100km. Between June and October they offer incredible vantage points for the annual migration of Southern Right Whales as they travel from Antarctica to the warmer Australian waters, transforming the Head of the Bight in a free-range crèche. From the high cliffs, it really is a delight to see whales playing around with their calves (don’t forget your binoculars).

The Bight is one of the most pristine ocean environments left on Earth. With the cliffs and isolation, it’s a haven for whales, birds, fish and any other marine life. Unfortunately, its unique ecosystem is being threatened by big oil companies. It goes without saying that the exploitation of oil will heavily disrupt the marine environment, even if no spill occurs. Recently, a number of big actors backed away from plans to drill in the Bight, but the fight is never truly over. Follow and support Fight For The Bight to stay informed and help in any way you can.

Now instead of describing what a 146.6km straight line along the Nullarbor looked or felt like, we thought it best to show it to you in in a quick time-lapse. Spoilers: We will not be turning once.

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