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My backyard: Eyre Peninsula

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Swimming with sharks and fishing with Fuzzell are just a couple of the unique activities chef Tony Ford suggests visitors should try on the Eyre Peninsula.

The region – which takes in the townships of Port Lincoln, Whyalla, Port Augusta and Ceduna – also has excellent seafood, family beaches and a host of salty seadogs.

In the second of InDaily Travel’s My Backyard series, Ford, of Boston Bay Wines near Port Lincoln, offers his insider’s tips for things to see, do and eat.

Why should people visit the region?

The Eyre Peninsula is wild, and it has bred the sort of characters that people remember or try to forget. You don’t go into a local front bar without meeting a hardened, weathered seadog with a story and a scare or two.

We have amazing scenery and are now fine-tuning a food and wine experience, from Ceduna to Whyalla (as the boomerang flies).

The interior of the peninsula needs time to explore and discover, so give yourself a week and bring the happy campers.

Wyalla

White sands at Whyalla. Photo: John White

Where are three places they should go?

1: The Sheringa Roadhouse on the Flinders Highway is a classic re-fuelling stop on the way to the world’s best family beach at Sheringa. Diving, surfing and rod fishing are just a few activities you can enjoy at the beach.

2: Ceduna’s Shelly Beach Caravan Park and luxury villas have amazing crab fishing, with whiting fishing just a short tinny trip away.

3: The Whyalla foreshore area is the perfect stop for the family, with a super cafe and great restaurant above on the hill. Try to find the cheeky cockies in the bird enclosures – they’ll give you some lip.

Must-do activities?

Shark-diving-Port-Lincoln

Shark cage diving, Calypso Star Charters. Photo: Greg Snell/Tourism Australia

Port Lincoln-based diving with sharks and swimming with tuna and sea lions are must-do/bucket-list items. I even developed my own extreme tourism experience that never took off (photo below).

Swim with Tuna

Favourite places to eat and drink (other than your own winery)?

Eyre Peninsula has many hidden gems that have amazing value and super-friendly crews, including the Cleve Hotel, Mocean restaurant (Streaky Bay), 1802 Oyster Bar + Bistro (Coffin Bay), Westland Hotel (Whyalla) and Del Giorno’s (Port Lincoln). And the Port Lincoln Hotel is a knockout.

Father’s favourite (and he’s had a lunch or two) would be the Port Lincoln Ming Inn Chinese Restaurant (pre-order the pork belly).

A fantastic new addition is the Fresh Fish Place’s new fish and chippery at Port Lincoln – it’s a ripper for lunch.

Port-Lincoln

Port Lincoln Hotel overlooking Boston Bay. Photo: John White

What is Eyre Peninsula’s best-kept local secret?

Fuzzell’s Fishing Charters at Arno Bay offer one of Eyre Peninsula’s great adventures, captained by a true character and fishing legend.

Tony Ford, along with his sister-in-law  Liz, is a chef at Boston Bay Wines, near Port Lincoln. Tony’s parents, Graham and Mary, established the vineyard on the shores of the bay in 1982, after being inspired by French explorers Nicholas Baudin and Citizen Freycinet’s suggestion that it would be a good place to grow grapes (they dubbed it “Port du Champagny”).

Read artist Janine Mackintosh’s tips for visitors to KI in My Backyard: Kangaroo Island.

 

 

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