Venture far enough down south to the very bottom tip of the Eyre Peninsula and you will stumble upon Whalers Way – a place very few people know about yet one of the best places to visit in South Australia.
The aptly named Whalers Way, distinguishable by its Whales tail shaped geography, this privately owned land lies between the township of Port Lincoln, and Coffin Bay in South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula.
Only accessible by a secret passcode and a handshake by a sketchy man on a corner (only joking)..there are two easy to get access to Whalers Way, all that and more in this mini guide to exploring Whalers Way.
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Where is Whalers Way?
A short 30 minute drive from the main township of Port Lincoln and just shy of 1 hour from Coffin Bay town, the entrance to Whalers Way can be found at 94 Right Whale Road in Sleaford.
A family run private property owned since 1887, all points of interest along the road are sign posted and easy to find.
Following Proper Bay road down towards Lincoln National Park, continue onwards towards Fishery Bay.
When you get to the fork in the road, you will take the right turn and be confronted by a steel gate.
How to visit Whalers Way?
The first thing you’re going to want to do is visit the Port Lincoln Visitor Information centre and pick yourself up a key.
This key gains you access to the gateway and entrance into the privately run land, and will cost you $40AUD.
This gets you an entrance fee as well as your first nights stay in the park.
Alternatively if you don’t want to physically go into the centre, you can always book online via the Port Lincoln tourist website and once payment has been made you will get a key-lock code to use at the gate to grab the key.
Best time to visit Whalers Way
The summer months from December through till Feb-mid March are warm and pleasant; however Whalers Way sits on the coast of the Great Australian Bight in the waters of the Southern Ocean so the wind always blows strong out here.
Make sure you bring a warm wind-breaker jacket like our ones from Kathmandu to help protect you from the harsh southern ocean breeze.
Can I bring my car?
Yes, you can. Bear in mind the entire length of Whalers Way is unsealed road, and whilst our van held up nicely, the park is littered with pot-holes, sometimes sharp rocks and unsteady roads, so 4WD is always best.
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The other thing to be mindful of is that there is limited (if at all) phone reception, so should you break down or require a tow or assistance, it’s either too difficult to get help and it’s very expensive, given the distance they have to travel to reach you.
EPIC MINI GUIDE TO EXPLORING WHALERS WAY
Once you get your map from the Visitor Information Centre it will display all 14 destinations to visit on your journey. We have condensed them down to 4 major spots, the first being the Swimming Hole.
This had the toughest access road of them all; sharp, rocky and unlevelled ground is your only way on 4 wheels to the cliff’s edge.
Right at the bottom of the cliff you will see a steel ladder with a cage around it for your protection. This ladder leads you down to the bottom where you can access the swimming hole to your left or whale chaser crevasse to your right.
There is an option to walk all the way down to the swimming hole but it was a very windy day and seemed quite easy for either a freak wave or strong gust of wind to knock you off your feet.
The furthermost south-eastern tip of Whalers Way lies Cape Wiles, and with it an Australian Fur Seal Colony in the rocks below.
The view from the top roundabout car-park is beautiful as you look out towards the pounding waves of the southern ocean and the resting colony all the way down below.
Make sure you bring either binoculars or a telephoto lens as it can be difficult to see the seals all the way down below.
Port Lincoln’s Whalers Way is less than 7 kms wide but considering that the roads are bumpy and the going is slow you should allow for at least half a day to a full day to ensure you see as much as possible without rushing.
The opposite side of the island sports a number of different attractions and points of interest, like Flinders Crevasse, Right whale crevasse, the blowhole & Baleen Rockpool as well as the caves and whaleman’s grotto.
This can be a tricky one to find but is one of the best places to visit in South Australia and one of our top attractions in Whalers Way.
Essentially a massive spout of water that crashes up against the waves as it enters a naturally formed channel and crevasse through the guiding rocks.
This can be seen from the roundabout car-park at the top of the hill and best viewed at sunrise or sunset to catch the sun’s rays through the mist!
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Right next to the blowhole is this pearler of a rock-pool at the bottom of the cliff that when the sun hits right, becomes a beautifully transparent glimpse into an underwater world.
There is a sign at the top of the hill from where you can see the rock-pool stating to not go down – 6 people have died here.
It is true, a handful of people have died here in the 50 years that Whalers Way has been open to the public, and whilst freak waves and gusts of winds are somewhat common, they are also to be expected and respected.
So it’s always best to just admire the view from the top and leave your adventure for something a little more safe.
Carved into the side of the cliff at Whalemands grotto are the oldest known rocky formations anywhere in South Australia – 2643 million years old.
These caves were so incredible to see, with views further north along the coast to distance from wind turbines and crashing waves along the coast.
Old Whalemans Grotto
To get to the caves at Whalers Way you must first descend down more sharp, rocky embankments and pss old whalemans grotto.
A series of small to large rock pools that are filled by the freakish waves that sometimes sweep up and into the rocks, filling them. There are plenty of sign posts here telling you to be careful of freak waves.
We saw a couple taking photos on the waters edge here but were definitely not keen enough to get that close!
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Blue Whale bay
Smack in the middle of Whalers Way is Blue Whale Bay that looks out to Groper Bay, a short little viewpoint that is inaccessible to view by car, so bring good shoes for walking.
Get ready for amazing views of the coastline from here as you can explore some of the oldest and treacherous waters in the world.
Very similar in landscape to Moonlight Bay, yet nonetheless stunning and breathtaking.
Moonlight Bay lies just West of Blue Whale Bay that also has no vehicle access so park the car on the side of the road and prepare to walk.
We never actually ventured out this far along the track because we were told we would need 4WD access to get here; however our friends whom we met along the way did venture out here in their Toyota Hi-ace van with no difficulty and said they saw the most amazing coastline that Whalers Way had to offer.
Wrapping up our epic guide to Whalers Way in South Australia
What do you think? Have you ever been to Whalers Way or even heard of it?
Leave us a comment down below and tell us what you think of this place and if you’d consider travelling this far?
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Chris and Laura Travels acknowledges Aboriginal people as the First Peoples and Nations of the lands and waters we live and work upon and we pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and the relationship that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have to Country.