A Port Lincoln day out with Australian Coastal Safaris
Ever wondered why the Eyre Peninsula is renowned for its seafood? Why does everyone always harp on about the coast line, the bush, and the wildlife here? Do yourself a favour and come and see for yourself - I can guarantee that you’ll go home with a belly full of delicious food, an eye full of beautiful scenery, amazing wildlife, and an ear full of history and knowledge. This is surely the best way to see and do it all, and be home in time for dinner.
Recently I joined Australian Coastal Safaris 'Exceptional Port Lincoln, Seafood + Wildlife tour' - 8 hours of seafood history and behind the scenes tours, four wheel driving on remote beaches, koala spotting and ‘happy hour’ amongst the local kangaroos and emus to finish it all off. I seriously wouldn’t have been able to fit that amount of fun, knowledge, deliciousness and koalas into a day on my own even if I tried (and yes, I am a local too...). The amount of diversity and untouched landscape that the Lower Eyre Peninsula has to offer within such close proximity to each other is truly unique. One hour you could be wandering through a fresh seafood factory, and the next, out in the farthest reaches of the Lincoln National Park, overlooking the Southern Ocean from four wheels with the wind in your hair. There is so much to see and do in and around Port Lincoln, that it really takes a local and a good rig (four wheeled rig that is) to get you here, there, and everywhere in one piece, and be home in time for dinner.
Instead of giving you a play-by-play of the day (yep, short attention span, I got ya), I’ll share my highlights reel with you...
Behind the scenes of the famous seafood industry
Mid-morning found us on a tour of the local fresh seafood factory learning all there is to know about the seafood industry - what types of seafood they get in, how they process it (filleting, shucking, scaling, all the sorts…) and how they get it onto market and out into the world. My pre-lunch palet was prepared with a freshly shucked Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster (go here to read about the Coffin Bay tour I recently did!) from the bench of this mornings delivery (and of course, a ‘how to’ demo of the best shucking method), and then it was on to watch the best filleters in the business. In a small factory room there were four women preparing tuna, whiting, shark, flathead, and anything that you could think of - no bone was left unpicked, no fish left unscaled, no fillet left unturned...the ladies behind the freshly prepared fillets that you see in the shop front were lightning fast, perfectly precise, and could chat along about the weeks’ affairs all while doing it. To finish off...we were all handed a tasting plate of a range of seafood - octopus, scallop, mussel, salmon, and more - before enjoying a hearty lunch of anything my taste buds desired. It’s safe to say that I’ve got my omega 3s up for the rest of the year.
4WDriving fun in the sand dunes
After lunch, we were treated to a white sandy landscape edged with blue crystal waters - a sunny day out at the Lincoln National Park, winding in and out of the sand dunes, little rocky tracks, and seeing the remote southern edges of the Lincoln National Park, and the entire Eyre Peninsula. Standing on the cliff edge at Wanna Beach, with the blue water below, a sandy landscape behind me, and the sight of the tip of Australia (Whalers Way) just on the horizon, it really felt like we were standing on the edge of the earth. How lucky are we to have these amazing places still left untouched and uncrowded, all to ourselves! Some stops en route showed us a few schools of fish in the water - we waited a few times to see if any sharks, seals or dolphins would come in to enjoy a feed - but not that day. You can definitely see why the famed seafood tastes so good down here - their ocean home is pristine. Hues of crystal blue as far as the eye can see.
*Did you know you can also see these dunes and blue waters in a half-day!*
I didn’t think it could get any better. How can you get any better than fresh seafood right from the factory, served hot with a side of chips and salad, and an epic ride along the white dunes against crystal blue waters of the Southern Ocean? Ok so, it did get better. I’ll be honest - I’m a local Port Lincoln-ite, I’ve been living here for 5 years now. I had never been to Mikkira Station - until now. How I waited so long, I’ll never know. But to be completely honest with you (again)...this is probably the best and only experience you will have with a location that is 1. Nestled into the remote southern tip of Australia and the Southern Ocean, 2. Surrounded by native Australian bushland, 3. Containing remnants of colonial settlers (think cottages and old old old mulberry trees), 4. Home to the most kangaroos, emus and koalas, WILD, that you’ll ever see in one place (go here for fun facts on these 3!). And 5. Not just any koala, but koalas that are sitting at head height, and spaced out at about a density of one per 20m...if you go to Mikkira and don’t see a koala, you’re probably legally blind, let’s be real.
After a casual bush walk and a lot of koala spotting (koalas with babies too!), we finished off the day with ‘happy hour’ in the bush with wine, beer, cheese and crackers. The sun was setting, the koalas were grumbling to one another, and the sounds of the ocean not far way, were the perfect setting for a final yarn and breath of fresh air.
*Did you know you can also see Mikkira in a half-day!*
I don’t think I need to say any more. It’s all there, waiting for you to enjoy. All you gotta do is book, jump in the Australian Coastal Safaris car, and let us show you all that Port Lincoln and the Lower Eyre Peninsula has to offer. Adventure awaits.
*Half-day tours available for similar 4WD + wildlife fun!*