The town of Cowell on Eyre Peninsula is an interesting one, it has a lot of interesting aspects going for it at the moment but will be one to watch in the next few years, as millions of dollars are being spent in upgrading its foreshore area.
The grants for the project have come from Federal and State Governments as well as the local council and will see the building of a new tourist centre featuring a demonstration of an oyster hatchery, a market shed multi-purpose community space, commercial buildings for a food hall, a marina, water playground and 25 metre free swimming pool for public use.
It is a hive of activity at the moment so hopefully it will all come to fruition as planned in a three to five year period. Cowell has a long jetty for fishing from, but with the works going on at the moment, access was a bit tricky.
In the meantime, Cowell is a great place to visit, especially when the caravan park is only a very short walking distance to the main centre of town and many interesting second hand / antique shops and the very hospitable, Franklin Harbour Hotel.
We were welcome to sit on the outdoor deck with our dog, who was also well looked after with a bowl of fresh cold water. If you’re lucky enough to be in town on a Wednesday they do a very tempting pig on spit roast for dinner too, which is cooked on the front veranda of the hotel tempting passers-by like ourselves.
Some other attractions in and near the town include the May Gibbs tree and commemorative plaque. May Gibbs was the creator of the quintessential Australian gumnut babies’ stories, and the site is near where she lived in this area in 1881.
A major tourist attraction for Cowell is its painted silo, another example of these majestic works of art that can be found throughout Australia.
This silo was painted by artist Austin ‘NITSUA’ Moncrieff, and it portrays the colours of a Cowell sunset as well as a Ring Neck Parrot, Diamantina a bull camel, and local man, Lionel Deer, who together with his camels, have been a rich part of Cowell’s history.
Near the silos you can also find another artwork by Michael ‘Schmick’ Motteran-Smith who also assisted with the silo painting. This smaller piece features an oyster in the waters off Eyre Peninsula and native flowers painted on a map of South Australia’s coastline.
Cowell will be a town to watch and enjoy all the new developments planned in the future.