The last stop on our Eyre Peninsula road trip was the town of Whyalla. In the past, my impression of Whyalla was one of a hot dry and dusty town, where all you noticed was the massive steelworks that the town revolves around.
The steelworks still is the biggest industry in town but there is more going for Whyalla than in the past including some terrific art, a beautiful foreshore and beach area and one amazing jetty.
Apart from the steelworks, Whyalla is also known for its Giant Cuttlefish which breed in these northern waters of Spencer Gulf. Every year between May and August these huge creatures which can reach up to 60cm in length and weigh up to 5kg, migrate to these waters in their tens of thousands to mate and during this time they are a protected species.
Around town you’ll find reference to cuttlefish, squid and octopus in various art forms, including at the beginning of the new jetty, where local creatures and habitat are shown in a series of tiled art pieces created by the local community, led by artist Karen Carr and information on different local species.
The jetty which was opened in September 2020, is an artistic piece itself, and the first of its type in the southern hemisphere, being a circular design. The 315 metre long jetty, including the circumference has a handrail with lighting installed which lights up at night, making it an attraction day or night. It is made of pre-cast concrete slabs and steel and has steel mesh sides to act as a wind break. To get a great view of its design from above, head to the Hummock Hill lookout.
Some other street art found around town include this stunning mural at the Whyalla Library which was created by the SANAA group, comprised of artists from around Africa and local artist Olivia White.
Another gorgeous large scale building mural was also created by SANAA and Australian artist Scott Rathman and Katherine Gailer from Columbia, can be found in Essington Lewis Avenue in Whyalla.
When we were in Whyalla we stayed at the Whyalla foreshore holiday and caravan park which was located on the beachfront, and if you get a waterfront site you can walk directly from your van onto the sand which is perfect for those travelling with a dog.
Whyalla although still very much an industrial town, is worth stopping in to see when you’re travelling on Eyre Peninsula.