Known as the gateway to the Eyre Peninsula, Whyalla is the region's biggest town and home to the giant Australian cuttlefish. These colourful creatures gather along the town's northern coastline each winter to breed. Of course, snorkelling with them is not to be missed but what else is there to do in Whyalla at other times of the year? Well, here are some of the top things for you to consider besides that underwater experience.
Whyalla's unique circular jetty stands as an unmistakable feature of the historic seaside town. Opened in September 2020, the jetty is supported by 102 pylons and made of pre-cast concrete slabs, steel mesh and brushed steel balustrade. Three shelters, as well as plenty of seating, have been installed along the 165-metre-long and 4.5-metre-wide structure.
Whyalla Steelworks supplied all of the jetty's steel except for its pylons. As a fully integrated operation, the steelworks play a significant role in our nation's production of finished steel products. Tours of the steelworks site are conducted every Monday, Wednesday and Friday except on public holidays. On the tour, you will be introduced to the blast furnace, coke ovens, reed beds and so on.
Public art can be found in various locations throughout Whyalla. Cuttlefish Craig at the jetty is one of the latest addition to the town's cuttlefish art trail. Other pieces include the diver sculpture by Yvonne Dorward, the creative thong cuttlefish and the Indigenous cuttlefish mural.
Besides viewing platforms and picnic areas, I was surprised to find a restored wartime gun at the lookout. My curiosity led me to signage which explains that Hummock Hill served as a battery during World War II. Four guns were installed on top of the hill. In 1986, BHP developed the lookout utilising the old gun emplacements and presented it to the people for public use.
A 30-minute drive from town will bring you to Point Lowly where a heritage-listed lighthouse and its two keeper's cottages still stand today. The lighthouse was crucial to those navigating around the point in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Last but not least, the Freycinet Trail would be of interest to experienced hikers. Its pristine dunes, bushland, coastal road and gulf views are simply spectacular. Starting at the tidal creek, you'll follow the Fitzgerald Bay coastline for 12 kilometres to the lighthouse. Fifteen interpretive signs can be found along the way detailing both heritage and nature.