Your guide to winter in Whyalla
3rd May 2021
Settler and Aboriginal histories for the curious, bright blue sea and flourishing sealife for the coastal-kind, red-dyed reserves and a killer Eyre Peninsula location for the adventurers; Whyalla is your new favourite getaway destination this winter.
Here for the complimentary Penfolds? Scroll to the bottom of this post to discover our Winter Wine Offer.
Winter in Whyalla
Summer in Whyalla brings hot weather, beach days and when it’s not too hot, walks along the coast. However, there’s much more to this Eyre Peninsula city than seaside activities. Did you know, Whyalla has a steelworks over 100 years old which is still used today on a large scale? Did you know that there’s a lighthouse here built in 1883 and that people travel from all over the world for an underwater event that happens every winter?
Whyalla in winter is best enjoyed with a museum visit that will step you back in time, a scenic drive along the outstanding coastline and a brave winter snorkel to see a world-renowned congregation of Giant Australian Cuttlefish. Read on to find out what more there is to do in Whyalla this winter!
1. Enjoy the Freycinet Trail
Skirting the blue coastline of Fitzgerald Bay in the Upper Spencer Gulf, The Freycinet Trail is 12 kilometres long. Hikers, cyclists and drivers can use the trail, which is signposted with markers the whole way. Whilst walking might be off the cards on a cold and blustery day, driving is always an option here. The entire way, enjoy views of the coastline which can be rocky and very striking in parts. Jump out of your car at the most beautiful spots and take in the gorgeous views. If you’re lucky enough to be in Whyalla on a beautifully sunny day, The Fitzgerald Bay hiking trail at the beginning of the route is only four kilometres long and leads hikers through dunes, pebble beaches and bushland.
2. Walk to Wild Dog Hill
Your second option for a short walk can be found at Wild Dog Hill. In comparison to the beachfront and rocky coastline of the Freycinet Trail, the walk up to Wild Dog Hill trails you through bushland, dry red earth and rock formations. One of the best things about this trail is its great views. Only ten minutes to the top, the sandstone outcrop here is found in Whyalla Conservation Park and makes for a great lookout point at sunset or sunrise. The full loop will take about half and hour.
As you wander, find information points where you can read about the flora and fauna and how plants have adapted to the very harsh and dry environment. Wild Dog Hill is also a place of significance for Aboriginal people, in that it is part of stories which teach about providing care for babies and children.
3. Tour the steelworks
Touring the steelworks is the perfect activity if you’re around in Whyalla during winter. Those who like to learn about the history of the places they visit, will find this place super interesting. Whyalla Steelworks is over 100 years old but still runs today. The works produces approximately 1.2 million tonnes of raw steel each year!
Depending on the production schedule at the time of your visit to the steelworks, you will get to see various different parts of the process across this 1000 hectare site in Whyalla. Opt for a tour and you’ll see things such as a blast furnace, coke ovens, reed beds, the steelmaking and casting plant as well as railways being made. During your tour of Whyalla Steelworks, listen to multiple stories and gain insight into the 100 years of steelmaking that has kept Whyalla thriving!
4. Experience a once in a lifetime dive or snorkel
Most people are unaware that Whyalla is renowned globally for its sea life. Between the months of May to August every single year, Giant Australian Cuttlefish gather at the shores of Point Lowly for mating season. Opt for a tour and get to see these amazing creatures up close. The amazing thing about these Giant Australian Cuttlefish is that they don’t mind being watched either. You’ll be able to get nice and close. Watch the cuttlefish change colour and shape in front of your very eyes! It might be cold in the water, but since this annual event only happens during the coldest months, if you want to see it, you have to head over in winter! This unique experience is – we feel – enough to justify a trip to Whyalla, especially if you’re a keen diver or lover of the ocean.
Adding to the cuttlefish theme, between May and August 2021, cuttlefish related artwork will be displayed across the city. Grab a map, hit the trail and find some of the great public artworks of the famous cuttlefish.
5. Explore the Reptile and Wildlife Park
Those bringing children along with them for an SA Winter Escape to Whyalla, will love the local Reptile and Wildlife Park. This family owned park is packed with native Australian wildlife and set in a natural environment. Guided tours are on offer for big groups, otherwise if it’s just you and the family, you’ll love simply wandering through the park here and admiring the reptiles and birds. Barbecues and picnic areas are available free of charge at the park too, so you’re welcome to bring lunch and linger a little longer.
6. Learn a little at the maritime museum
With a focus on the upper Spencer Gulf, the Maritime Museum in Whyalla displays HMAS Whyalla; the first modern warship built in 1941 in South Australia. The ship stands on dry land today, two kilometres from the sea. At the museum, which you can access via the Whyalla Visitor Centre, guests will learn about local naval, BHP shipbuilding, maritime and natural history. Fascinating exhibits about shipwrecks reveal items recovered from boats lost at sea.
Kids will also love it here, with the natural collections teaching guests about local marine habitats. Learn about sharks, stingrays, sea dragons and octopuses. Plus, the Singing to the Sharks exhibition is a must-see, with its documentation of local Aboriginal people of the area and their connection to the sea.
7. Discover the lighthouse at Point Lowly
Only a short drive from Whyalla, visitors will find Point Lowly Lighthouse; a beautiful tall white structure which stands out beautifully against the striking blue water. Keen photographers love this spot for its potential for a good shot. Heritage listed, the lighthouse and its two cottages are the oldest in the Whyalla area. The lighthouse was completed in 1883 and eased the way for maritime traffic around the point. Interestingly, the tower was originally only 15 metres tall, however it was extended by eight meters later in 1909! Now owned by the city of Whyalla, the lighthouse has become a symbol of the local area and truly represents the first settlement in the region.
The SA Weekend Escapes Winter Wine Offer
Don’t just book any escape to Whyalla this winter. Book one that comes with a free bottle of Penfolds wine!
Whyalla Playford Apartments is your go-to luxury accommodation option in the heart of Whyalla. This winter, they’re offering a complimentary bottle of Penfolds wine to anyone who books direct through their website.
On your way to Port Lincoln for a holiday and fancy a stopover? Do you have family in Whyalla? Haven’t visited for a while? Or simply looking for a new place to explore? This Winter Wine Offer is the perfect way to warm up your winter evenings and top of the perfect Weekend Escape to Eyre Peninsula.
Your Ultimate Guide to Whyalla
Most of us have managed to holiday here in SA this year. But with winter coming, it’s time to book another getaway; something to look forward to during the colder months!
For more inspiration regarding things to do, places to see and restaurants to visit in Whyalla, discover our Ultimate Guide to Whyalla. Otherwise, navigate our website – packed with holiday ideas – to discover more regions for your next SA Winter Escape!