The last stop on our Eyre Peninsula journey for 2022 was Whyalla. Years ago this was a town that we would just pass through on our way to somewhere else, mainly because it was only known as an industrial city, built on the steelworks that still dominates the town.
For many years it didn’t have a lot to appeal to travellers to make it a destination to visit, but that has changed.
When you visit Whyalla now, you can take a tour of the Maritime Museum and the Whyalla Steelworks but ecotourism and fishing are high on the list of reasons why people come for a visit.
Since the late 1990s marine scientists noticed the annual migration of the Australian Giant Cuttlefish to this upper Spencer Gulf area and from May to August each year they return in huge numbers to mate. During this time you can book to go on a snorkel or diving tour to see these amazing creatures in numbers like nowhere else in the world.
The foreshore area of Whyalla has had a huge upgrade and features a marina, boat ramp, café, beach shelters and BBQ’s. The water is a beautiful clear aquamarine colour and it’s a safe swimming beach. It’s a great family friendly area with lots of lawn space and playground equipment.
Here you can also see the unique round jetty. This one of a kind design in the southern hemisphere, was completed in 2020 and it’s the best jetty I have ever seen. It is wide and easily accessible for people with mobility issues. The jetty is made of precast concrete slabs so there are no worn or dodgy jetty planks to trip over. It has incredible bespoke lighting under the entire length of handrail, making it a breeze to go fishing early mornings or at night, with the lighting enough to easily see where you’re going.
It has three sheltered areas so you can get undercover during wet weather or shade from the sun on the hotter days. There is so much space for fishers to use on the straight parts of the jetty or on the circular section where you can fish on the inner or outer part of the ring.
It is simply amazing and comfortable to fish from and it’s extremely popular with the locals who use it for daily walking exercise. For a birds eye view of the jetty you have to visit Hummock Hill scenic lookout which is above the marina area. Make sure to visit it at night to really get the full effect of the jetty’s incredible shape and lighting.
Fishing from this jetty is a pleasure and while we were there we saw dolphins and a seal which we thought might mean the end to any hope of catching something, but this jetty turned out to actually be the most prolific spot for squid, that we had on the whole of the Eyre Peninsula.
We did very well squidding here, so much so that we had a very interested visitor at the fish cleaning station near the start of the jetty. I won’t go into too much detail about the fishing other than it was really worthwhile and there’ll be more to read in an upcoming edition of Fishing SA magazine.
We stayed at the Whyalla Foreshore Caravan Park and it is a beauty. We particularly asked for a waterfront site in a spot where we’d stayed before that gave us an access path directly onto the sand. Perfect for when you’re travelling with a dog.
The park facilities are immaculately clean including the amenities, grounds, camp kitchens and games room. There is something to keep the whole family entertained including a 9 hole putt putt course. We will definitely be revisiting Whyalla and this park in future.