Adelaide is located on a beautiful and fertile part of South Australia’s coastline. The journey from Ceduna to Adelaide is a varied drive from the stunning coast, through rural outback towns to the winelands around Adelaide and the bustling streets of the city centre. The journey itself can take as little as one or two days, but with a little extra time, the options for detours are endless with plenty of things to see and do along the way.
The nearly 800km road trip from Ceduna to Adelaide is often part of a longer journey on the Eyre Highway across the Nullarbor Plain. It’s a journey that is often considered one of the best road trips in the country. With a little extra time, you can deviate off the highway and explore the stunning Eyre Peninsula and attractions around Adelaide on your way between the two destinations. This stunning coastal region has plenty of things to see and do for the whole family.
If you’re planning to drive from Ceduna to Adelaide, then this article will outline everything that you need to know, including what to see and do along the way no matter how much time you have.
Table of Contents
- 1 About Adelaide
- 2 Best time to visit Adelaide
- 3 How to get to Adelaide
- 4 Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Adelaide
- 5 Popular towns and things to do on the way
- 6 While you’re in Ceduna:
Adelaide is a vibrant city on the edge of the St Vincent Gulf. It’s the capital city of South Australia and is famous for what some people describe as being a Mediterranean style of living. The city is smaller than other cities in Australia, but it makes up for it with exceptional food and wine, cultural events and festivals, wildlife, shopping, and beautiful attractions within a short drive away.
Many people begin or end their trip to South Australia in Adelaide, with the city being well connected by road and flights to other major cities and states in Australia. One of the most well-known and sought-after journeys is the long drive from Perth to Adelaide (of which the Ceduna to Adelaide stretch makes up the last part), which takes travellers across the Nullarbor Plain along the Eyre Highway. With this road trip, Ceduna is one of the major stays, as it is the first major town in South Australia that you come to after the long drive across the arid Nullarbor Plain, and it’s just a further 777km to reach Adelaide.
Best time to visit Adelaide
South Australia has a great climate year-round, but if you want to avoid the most extremes of the weather then you should consider travelling Ceduna to Adelaide in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn. Temperatures can soar in summer with the average around the mid-30s. This can make it a great time to explore the beaches on the Eyre Peninsula, but it can be a bit uncomfortable after long days of driving.
Winter on the other hand is relatively mild, with an average temperature of around the low-20s. Rainfall is also more common in winter, so it’s not the best time to be making long road trips. However, winter is a great season if you want to catch a glimpse of the Southern Right Whales, as they only migrate to the waters of the Great Australian Bight in the cooler months, if your journey beyond the Ceduna to Adelaide stretch also takes in the Great Australian Bight with a Nullarbor crossing, which is often how travellers prelude their Ceduna to Adelaide drive.
Adelaide is also known for its lively festivals. You might want to time your visit to the capital with one of the major cultural events of the year. Both the annual Adelaide Festival and WOMADelaide is held in March, making this month a particularly great time to be in the bustling city.
How to get to Adelaide
Being the state capital, Adelaide is easily reached by road from most places in South Australia. The distance from Ceduna to Adelaide is 777km on the National Highway A1. It can be driven in around eight hours but is best enjoyed at a slower pace so you can take in the incredible landscapes. If you take two or three days to travel between Ceduna and Adelaide on the Eyre Highway, then you can make stops along the way including the Gawler Ranges National Park, Port Augusta, and the Clare Valley.
If you have more than a couple of days to drive between Ceduna and Adelaide, you can explore the incredible Eyre Peninsula, as well. If you take the detour around the peninsula southeast from Ceduna, you can explore the seafood havens of Smoky and Streaky Bay, the stunning beaches in Coffin Bay National Park and Lincoln National Park, and the water activities in Whyalla. This Ceduna to Adelaide itinerary can take up four to five days, or even longer if you wish with recommended overnight stops in Ceduna, Port Lincoln, Whyalla and Clare.
If you don’t have your own vehicle, you can also take the weekly Stateline bus which travels between Ceduna and Adelaide in around 11 hours. There are also daily flights from Ceduna to Adelaide with Rex, if you want to travel quickly. Flights from Ceduna to Adelaide & vice versa are about ninety minutes in length or less.
Things to know about travelling from Ceduna to Adelaide
If you’re planning on travelling between the Oyster Capital of Australia and the State’s capital, there are some important things to know about the road from Ceduna to Adelaide, including safety tips.
Most people who travel from Ceduna to Adelaide take the Eyre Highway, which is part of the National Highway A1 network. It is the quickest road option between the two destinations and is a well-maintained sealed road the entire way. The Eyre Highway is considered one of Australia’s greatest road trips, as it links South Australia with Western Australia across the Nullarbor Plain. It begins in Norseman to the west and runs across the arid plain, through Ceduna to Port Augusta. From Port Augusta, the road changes to the Augusta Highway as it heads south to Adelaide.
Driving along the Eyre Highway is often high on many Australian’s bucket lists with hundreds of thousands of people making the road trip each year. The highway was named after John Eyre, who was the first European to cross the Nullarbor in 1841 with his Aboriginal companion, Wylie. The road was officially constructed from 1941 onwards but wasn’t fully sealed until 1976. Today, the Eyre Highway is a well-maintained road with yearly improvements to cater for the increase in traffic from trucks and tourists.
Eyre Peninsula detour
If you have a little extra time on your way to Adelaide, you can make a detour off the Eyre Highway to explore more of the Eyre Peninsula. Although this adds a few extra kilometres to your trip, you can trace the edge of the coastline between Ceduna and Adelaide and take in the incredible coastal scenery along the way.
If you opt to take this route, you can head southeast from Ceduna along the Flinders Highway to Port Lincoln and then continue northeast from there to Whyalla and Port Augusta before resuming your trip to Adelaide.
You should avoid driving at night from Ceduna to Adelaide, particularly in the more rural areas between the major towns. Animals regularly cross the roads at night, and it can be dangerous for both you and the wildlife. You should also carry a basic first-aid kit, jumper leads, and car repair kits and purchase roadside assistance if you can so that if anything happens along the way you can get help.
It’s best to break the 777km journey up with at least one night. There are plenty of towns along the way to stay if you don’t want to drive the whole distance in one day. In fact, it’s ideal to take your time while travelling from Ceduna to Adelaide, as there are plenty of things to do and see along the way, which are outlined below.
Popular towns and things to do on the way
No matter how little or how much time you have, you can find plenty of activities and sights to keep the whole family busy. From the stunning coastline on the Eyre Peninsula to the delicious seafood in the small coastal towns, to the contrasting outback landscape in the Gawler Ranges and the fertile wine regions outside of Adelaide, there’s plenty to see. Some of these spots require a bit of a detour from the most direct route, but if you want to get the most out of your trip from Ceduna to Adelaide, they’re worth the extra time and effort. Here are some of the most popular stops and things to see on the way, roughly in order from Ceduna to Adelaide:
I guess since we’re talking about driving from Ceduna to Adelaide it makes sense to make our first town on the list here Ceduna, a major town on the northwest coast of the Eyre Peninsula and considered The Gateway To The Nullarbor Plain. It’s particularly known as the Oyster Capital of Australia and is famous for its fresh and delicious seafood caught in the nearby bays. The town is also in a very convenient location for exploring the Far West Coast and the Great Australian Bight. It’s in a unique spot for exploring both the Nullarbor Plain and the Eyre Peninsula and is the last major town before heading west on the Eyre Highway towards Western Australia. For many people, Ceduna is the last stop before the endless plain or the first stop after a long drive across the border.
There are a variety of accommodation in Ceduna to accommodate travellers stopping overnight on their trip. You can also pick up all the supplies you might need with plenty of local shops, you’ll find most things in Ceduna.
To travel Ceduna to Adelaide, you can go via the Eyre Highway to Port Augusta and then down to Adelaide for the quickest route to the capital city. This takes around eight or nine hours of continuous driving. If you have more time, you can head southeast from Ceduna on the Flinders Highway to explore more of the Eyre Peninsula on your way to Adelaide with a variety of things to stop and do on the way.
Gawler Ranges National Park
The Gawler Ranges is a rocky wilderness area characterised by the stunning red outback landscape. It’s conveniently located halfway between Ceduna and Port Augusta just north of the Eyre Highway and is the perfect stop for those with a little more time to spare on their way to Adelaide. The national park is best explored either on foot on one of the many trails or on a guided 4WD tour. It was a sacred area for the region’s Aboriginal people and is a great place to stop on your way from Ceduna to Adelaide. There are also campgrounds located in the park, if you want to stay overnight amid the rocky gorges before continuing on your journey.
Driving direct from Ceduna to Adelaide takes you skimming across the top of The Eyre Peninsula but you will see little of it’s magic from this inland highway. The EP is a triangular-shaped peninsula off the coast of South Australia can be bypassed when driving Ceduna to Adelaide but you miss out on a lot. It is known for its incredible landscapes and wildlife, including stunning white sand beaches and a variety of native animals. It attracts a large number of visitors each year who come looking for a real sense of adventure with the array of activities on offer.
If you have the extra time to explore the Eyre Peninsula, it’s a great alternative route to take from Ceduna to Adelaide. You can take the Flinders Highway down towards Port Lincoln, the main town near the tip of the peninsula, before heading along Lincoln Highway up to Port Augusta. The peninsula has plenty of things to see and do, including fishing, surfing, whale watching, white-sand beaches, and national parks which are outlined further below.
The west coast of the Eyre Peninsula is home to a range of small coastal towns that are popular for two of Australia’s most beloved pastimes: fishing and surfing. Good local surfing spots include Elliston and Venus Bay, which are southeast of Ceduna on the west coast of the Eyre Peninsula. More experienced surfers head to the world-class breaks at Cactus Beach, which is west of Ceduna and a great place to visit during your stay in town.
The Eyre Peninsula is known as Australia’s seafood frontier, with the pristine waters of the Great Australian Bight harbouring some of the most delicious seafood you can find anywhere else in the country. This means that fishing is both a commercial activity and a popular pastime along the coastline between Ceduna and Adelaide. You can throw a line in just about anywhere on the Eyre Peninsula or head out on a fishing charter if you want the best opportunity to catch the famous King George Whiting.
Self-drive Seafood Trail
Again not a necessary part of travelling from Ceduna to Adelaide but if you’re a real foodie, you’ll want to enjoy this self-drive tour along the Seafood Trail south of Ceduna all the way to Whyalla. It’s perfect if you’re heading down to the Eyre Peninsula as it takes in some of the fishing towns along the coast on the western side of the peninsula. The self-drive trail takes you to Streaky Bay, Coffin Bay, and Port Lincoln, with optional stops along the way for you to sample some fresh seafood including oysters, prawns, tuna, lobster, and whiting. You can also opt to stop in at a working oyster farm in Smoky Bay. There you can take a tour of SA Premium Oysters, where you can learn all about the process behind this delicious seafood delicacy.
One of the most sought-after wildlife encounters on the Eyre Peninsula is spotting Southern Right Whales off the coast. These beautiful creatures can be seen from around May until October each year when they migrate to the warmer waters from Antarctica. There are some designated lookouts along the western coast of the Eyre Peninsula from where you can catch a glimpse of the whales out to sea. The best spots are around Fowlers Bay and the Head of Bight. Otherwise, a more intimate experience is booking a two-hour whale watching boat tour to see these giants up close.
Not technically part of your ‘Ceduna to Adelaide’ trek but being that it’s most likely that you’re arriving into Ceduna by first crossing the Nullarbor, if you’re doing so between May and October don’t forget to stop in and get one of the best views in the world of these magnificent giants and their babies.
Port Lincoln is a major town towards the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula. It’s a huge fishing and seafood hub and makes for a great base for exploring both the stunning Lincoln National Park and Coffin Bay National Park. This makes it a popular place to stay the night if you’re planning to spend a few days sightseeing on your way from Ceduna to Adelaide.
Port Lincoln is just 405km or a four-hour drive from Ceduna along the Flinders Highway. This drive takes you along the beautiful west coast of the Eyre Peninsula and includes many of the great fishing and surfing spots along the coast include Smoky Bay, Streaky Bay, Baird Bay, Venus Bay, and Elliston. If you find yourself with time in Port Lincoln, there are also a range of things to do in town including the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum and Port Lincoln Railway Museum.
Whyalla is one of the main towns on the Eyre Peninsula and is located on the northeastern coast. It’s just an hour’s drive south of Port Augusta and a three-hour drive north of Port Lincoln along the Lincoln Highway. This makes it a great option for an overnight stop or for using as a base for exploring more of the Eyre Peninsula. From Whyalla, you can enjoy swimming with colourful cuttlefish around Point Lowly depending on the time of year. There are dedicated local tour companies who can take you out with experienced guides.
If you’re travelling direct from Ceduna to Adelaide you will bypass Whyalla but if you’re exploring the area this detour isn’t far out of your way.
When driving from Ceduna to Adelaide the halfway point is Port Augusta, a small city in South Australia and a major road traffic and railway junction in the state. It’s located 322km north of Adelaide at the tip of the Spencer Gulf, which is just three and a half hours drive. You can almost travel anywhere from Port Augusta with the Eyre Highway, Augusta Highway, Stuart Highway, and Flinders Ranges Way all meeting in the town. This makes it a great place to stop overnight on your way from Ceduna to Adelaide, with plenty of accommodation options to cater for all the passing traffic and visitors.
The Clare Valley is one of the oldest wine-producing areas in Australia. Its fertile lands are known for world-class wines, as well as a range of local artisan produce which is more than enough to get any foodie excited. The valley is north of Adelaide and an easy side trip from the highway between Port Augusta and the capital city. If you have extra time on your Ceduna to Adelaide run, it’s a nice place to drive through and stop for a picnic amongst the vines after the long drive from Ceduna. If you’re not quite ready to reach Adelaide just yet, there are also plenty of boutique B&Bs if you want to stop for the night in one of the small towns around the valley.
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