Frequently Asked Questions
Ceduna is a town situated on Murat Bay, which is just one of the many beautiful bays along the shoreline of the Far West Coast of South Australia. It’s located on the eastern edge of the Nullarbor Plain and the northwest corner of the Eyre Peninsula. This part of the state makes up the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight and is often referred to as the Far West Coast.
The distance from Ceduna to Adelaide is 777km on the National Highway A1. This most direct route can be driven in around eight hours. The trip takes you along the Eyre Highway east of Ceduna to Port Augusta, where it changes to the Augusta Highway as it heads south to Adelaide. This is commonly driven as part of a much longer trip across the Nullarbor Plain, which is considered one of the greatest road trips in Australia. There are also plenty of options for detours onto the Eyre Peninsula or up into the Gawler Ranges if you have the time.
If you’re coming from the Eyre Peninsula, you’ll most likely be travelling from Port Lincoln to Ceduna (or vice versa). There are two options for the trip between these two major towns of the Eyre Peninsula. You can either take the Flinders Highway which is more of a coastal route along the western side of the peninsula. You will pass through some great seaside towns and beautiful beaches on the way including, Elliston, Venus Bay, Baird Bay, Streaky Bay and Smoky Bay.
The second option is to head inland along the Todd Highway up the centre of the peninsula. Then turn left onto the Eyre Highway to head west to Ceduna. This way you can experience some of the rural towns, as well as stop off at the Gawler Ranges National Park for some South Australian outback landscape and incredible camping opportunities.
Ceduna is a small town but is known for a lot of different things. It’s commonly known as the Oyster Capital of Australia and the home of the King George Whiting, with some of the best seafood found in the waters around town. Ceduna attracts keen fishermen and foodies, who come to catch and taste some of the incredible oysters and seafood.
Ceduna is also the main township on the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight. This means that it is the first or last major settlement in South Australia, depending on your direction of travel across the Nullarbor on the Eyre Highway. It’s considered the gateway to the plain and is a popular pitstop for those travelling by road.
As a pretty seaside town, the surrounding landscape is characterized by rugged coastal bays, sandy beaches, natural bush, and agricultural paddocks. This makes it an especially popular destination for surfers and all-around beach lovers.
Ceduna is well known for the annual Oysterfest festival. The long weekend in October has music, dance, art, wine and, of course, delicious seafood with fireworks, a street market and more entertainment. It’s best time to be in town, if you want to time your visit for October.
The population is just over 2100 people, making it a small coastal town. However, it’s still one of the largest ones on the Eyre Highway, with plenty of amenities and facilities for travellers.
The postcode of Ceduna, South Australia, is 5690.
The Far West Coast was inhabited by Aboriginal people for around 40, 000 years. Some of the towns in the area still have significant Aboriginal communities who have remained for generations.
The coastline of the Great Australian Bight was first seen by Europeans in 1672 when the Dutch navigator, Francois Thijssen, sailed nearby. However, it wasn’t until 1802 when Matthews Flinders chartered the entire shoreline of the Bight. The Nullarbor Plain and inland area was then explored a few decades later by Edward John Eyre who was the first white man to cross the arid plain with his Aboriginal companion, Wylie.
The town of Ceduna was officially established in 1901 with optimistic hopes for agricultural farming in the area. It also became the site of a major satellite telecommunications facility which was built in 1969. At its peak, almost half of Australia’s international telecommunication traffic passed through Ceduna’s station.
Construction of the Eyre Highway, which is the coast’s major link to Adelaide, began in 1941. The rough track was the only east-to-west connection across the Nullarbor and was eventually sealed and completed in 1976. It’s since become a major route for trucks and travellers alike, with the road trip along the highway being considered one of the must-do drives in Australia.
The Nullarbor Plain is a huge area covering 200, 000 square kilometres. It is the largest exposure of limestone bedrock in the world and stretches from Eucla in Western Australia to near Ceduna in South Australia. The Eyre Highway is the only sealed road that crosses the Nullarbor, with it being considered one of the greatest road trips in the country.
The full stretch of the Eyre Highway is an incredibly long 1675km from Port Augusta in South Australia to Norseman in Western Australia. However, the section of the highway which crosses the Nullarbor from Ceduna to Eucla is just 493km or approximately five hours of driving. There are plenty of things to see and do on the way if you have extra time, with well-spaced roadhouses making convenient places to stay and resupply. The incredibly impressive Bunda Cliffs and Head of Bight are the absolute must-sees, but there are also other places to explore including Yalata, Eucla and Balladonia on the highway.
There are plenty of things to do in Ceduna. Its proximity to the Nullarbor, Eyre Peninsula and Great Australian Bight, means that there is an endless amount that you can do both in town and in the surrounding area. It all depends on how much time you have to spare. Right in town you can go fishing, swimming and walking or cycling along the coast. There’s also a golf course, the Arts and Cultural Centre and National Trust Museum which are worth checking out in Ceduna.
If you have time to head out of town, there are plenty of self-drive tours you can take to nearby towns like Smoky Bay and Penong, as well as conservation parks on the coast including Wittelbee and Laura Bay which are within an easy short drive.
There are a range of tour options in and around Ceduna for those looking to experience something different. From scenic flights to fishing charters and whale watching tours, there are some incredible tours depending on what your interests are. There’s also the opportunity to tour a working oyster farm in Smoky Bay, for those interested in learning more about the aquaculture industry in the area.
If you’re travelling in a 4WD vehicle, then there are some incredible things to do with the benefit of being able to get off track. Some of the beaches along the Far West Coast are accessible with 4WD only and tracks inside the Gawler Ranges National Park to the east are also reserved for high clearance vehicles. However, for real adventure, 4×4 drivers can head for Goog’s Track just outside of Ceduna. This 360km rough track will take you to the Transcontinental Railway Line before turning east to the end of the track in Kingoonya. It’s a genuine adventure for the daring with over 300 sand dunes to navigate. Many make this now world-famous pilgrimage each year but be warned – this isn’t a track for solo beginners and should be reserved for those with experience and preparation.
The Great Australian Bight is known for its pristine underwater environment and abundant marine life. There are some truly incredible encounters that you can have off the coast of the Far West Coast of South Australia. From whale watching in the winter months around Fowlers Bay to swimming with Australian sea lions through the warmer months in Baird Bay, there’s plenty of cool experiences to be had. However, these are best done with a licensed and experienced tour operator who understands these animals and can help you safely appreciate them.
You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to fishing in Ceduna and along the Far West Coast. You can go boat fishing in the bay, fishing off the jetty in town and even rock fishing and beach fishing in surrounding bays. You’ll have the chance of catching Tommy ruffs, King George whiting, salmon, garfish, snook, and a range of sharks. Nearby towns are also popular swimming destinations, such as Penong, Streaky Bay, Smoky Bay and Laura Bay. See the Department of Primary Industries and Regions website for limits.
There is plenty of sheltered and calm swimming spots in Ceduna. The best places are near the Sailing Club and at Alexander’s Beach, located on either side of the town’s jetty. You can easily reach these spots from the town centre on foot. Otherwise, you can head to some more secluded bays around Ceduna such as Laura Bay and Point Sinclair, where you’ll find a safe swimming enclosure. Just be aware of where you choose to swim along the Far West Coast outside of designated safe swimming areas, with some intense rips and frequent sightings of Great Whites common occurrences.
From world-class, well-known spots to lesser-known local favourites, there are some great surfing spots to be found around Ceduna. The most popular place is at Cactus Beach at Point Sinclair. This world-class place attracts surfers from around the world who come to this secluded point south of Penong town. The three surf breaks here are best reserved for experienced surfers though, so be aware of the conditions before heading out.
For something closer to Ceduna, you can try Rocky Point and Point Bell, which are two points between Ceduna and Denial Bay. You can find reef and beach breaks here along the 12km stretch of beach. Out the other side of Ceduna, you can head to Point Brown and St Mary’s surf beach, south of Smoky Bay. The reef breaks here are well-known amongst local experienced surfers.
There are a few beautiful coastal walks you can do in Ceduna. One of the best options is the Encounter Trail which goes from the local sailing club to Pinky Point in Thevenard. The 4km trail is a great way to stretch the legs and get views across the coast. Pinky Point Lookout is especially beautiful at sunset if you want to time your walk with the golden hour of the setting sun. Otherwise, it’s also popular to cycle or run along the trail as well.
You can also explore the serenity of Shelly Beach on the beautiful and secluded Bosanquet Bay, south of town. Walk along the scenic Shelly Beach Dune Walking Trail that weaves across 55 acres of coastal sand dunes.
Ceduna sees nearly a quarter of a million vehicles passing through town each year. This means that there is plenty of accommodation to cater for those visiting the Far West Coast or driving across the Nullarbor.
You can find a range of accommodation in Ceduna to suit your needs and budget. For families and groups, caravan parks, motels and holiday homes are popular options, with some incredible choices available in Ceduna. Otherwise, you can also opt for eco and luxury accommodation for something a little different, with some even offering stunning sea views for something special.
The Far West Coast is a popular destination for those who enjoy camping. The idea of waking up on the beach is a dream for many travellers. However, there is limited infrastructure for free camping in the area, with very limited toilet facilities and rubbish removal. This means that the environmental impact of free camping is detrimental and can affect the area long after campers have left. It’s encouraged that travellers hoping to camp, opt to stay at caravan parks and paid campsites where there are decent facilities and amenities to use. This ensures that the fragile coastal area and wildlife is protected for generations to come.
The weather in Ceduna depends on the season you decide to visit. Summers can be quite hot and dry, which is ideal for spending days at the beach and out in the water. Winter is definitely cooler with cloudy days and a higher chance of rain. On the other hand, autumn and spring are much milder and are great seasons to experience the best of both winter and summer, with less crowds.
While summer is certainly the most popular time to visit the area, it’s often quite busy and crowded, especially along the beaches and popular coastal areas, with accommodation often booked out in the holiday period. Winter is a nice time if you want to see the Southern Right Whales off the coast and prefer a much quieter experience. However, the shoulder seasons of autumn and spring are great options, as the weather can still be quite nice, but you won’t get all of the summer crowds. If you’re around in spring, you can also time your visit with Oysterfest in October.
Ceduna has a range of places to eat from quick diners to traditional pubs and small cafes. Whether you’re just after a coffee or prefer to sit down for a meal, you’ll be able to find something to suit your needs and budget in town. Of course, one of the most popular dishes to try is King George Whiting and fresh oysters, which you can find on many menus in town. There are also a number of licensed eateries in Ceduna, so if you want to enjoy a beer or glass of wine at the end of a long day, you won’t have a problem of finding one in town with traditional country pubs a popular choice.
Ceduna has a range of businesses and shops for all your essential and non-essential purchases and services. You’ll find a supermarket, pharmacy, tourist information and souvenir shop, post office, fuel station, hardware, auto parts and tyre shops, plus much more. Whatever you need for your trip, you’ll be able to find it in Ceduna.
Is Ceduna pet-friendly?
If you’re travelling with your pet, you’ll certainly both have a great time in Ceduna. The town offers pet-friendly accommodation, as well as plenty of places to take your dog for a walk. There are beautiful coastal trails and beaches to explore together. Just make sure that you follow any rules about keeping them on a leash.