Boasting blue skies most of the year and excellent facilities, Ceduna, and neighbour Thevenard, are the last major towns on the drive west to Perth across the Nullarbor Plain, and popular with visitors from all over Australia and the world.
With a proud history in the agricultural, salt and gypsum mining and seafood sectors, Ceduna – population of 3600 – is vibrant multicultural community, regarded as the business hub of the far west. Located on the sweeping shores of Murat Bay, Ceduna has strong Aboriginal cultural ties and was named after the Aboriginal word ‘Chedoona’, which means ‘resting place’.
The town’s thriving oyster and seafood industry is celebrated at the annual Oysterfest event held each Labour Day long weekend in October, when Ceduna erupts into an eclectic mix of art, wine, entertainment and, of course, local oysters and fresh seafood.
Ceduna provides a full range of shopping, banking, and business services for the visitor, it is home to five caravan parks, an award-winning community-owned hotel, four motels and an attractive lawned foreshore area.
Ceduna is set amidst a patchwork of grain farms, natural bush and rugged rocky bays, secluded white sandy beaches and ever changing seas. It is rapidly developing as an ideal tourist destination with its abundant seafood, foot-print free beaches and wilderness.
Things To Do
Ceduna Aboriginal Arts & Culture Centre
Featuring original Aboriginal paintings, didgeridoos, boomerangs and gifts, the Centre provides an insight into the indigenous history and culture of the area. A dedicated language centre preserves and revives the endangered languages of the Wirangu, Kokatha and Mirning people of the Far West Coast of South Australia.
Wombat Fauna Rescue Homestead
Interact with their baby wombats, kangaroos, emus, galahs and any other animals that they have at the time. Val has two very rare White Hairy Nose Southern Wombats, Icey and Polar.
Free entry, donations kindly accepted, “Tour Time” normally 10.30 to 11.30, however Tour Days vary. Always check at the Ceduna Visitor Information Centre for the availability of this tour, Ph (08) 8625 3343
Nuyts Archipelago Conservation Park
Located a few kilometres off Ceduna’s coast, the unspoilt islands of Nuyts Archipelago are home to an abundance of native fauna, including dolphins and Sea Lions. Visitors can dive for rock lobster and abalone, or observe the many curious fish against a backdrop of brightly coloured corals and sponges. Relax on the pristine beaches, or fish for delicious King George whiting, snapper, nannygai, mulloway or samson fish.
The Old School House National Trust Museum
Artefacts from the British atomic program at Maralinga are one of the features of this museum, as well as pioneering relics of the Ceduna district, photos, antiques and restored farm machinery. Located in Park Terrace, it’s open Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday from 10am to 12pm, and on Wednesday, Thursday and the first Sunday of each month from 2pm to 4pm. For information phone (08) 8625 3599 after hours.
Ceduna Sailing Club
October heralds the beginning of the sailing season on beautiful Murat Bay, with events held each weekend throughout the warmer months. The Club often hosts national yachting titles. Visitors are welcome, and meals are regularly available.
Alexander’s Beach and the Spotters’ Memorial
Alexander’s Beach is the local swimming beach and is situated off O’Loughlin Terrace. The beach was named after George Alexander, an early blacksmith whose business was nearby. Parking is on the cliff overlooking the beach. As you drive out note the Spotters’ Memorial on the left. The memorial was erected by the Lions Club and the plane made by Mark Handtke. It was erected in memory of those volunteer ‘spotters’ who spent many hours during World War II reporting on ships or planes that came into the area.
Ceduna Oyster Bar
Learn about the district’s oyster industry and buy fresh oysters direct from the growers. The Big Oyster next door is a fun photo opportunity.
Areas such as Decres Bay, Laura Bay, Davenport Creek and Denial Bay are all within an easy day trip from Ceduna. Collect a map from the Ceduna Visitor Centre.
Encounter Coastal Trail
Starting at the Ceduna Foreshore and finishing at Pinky Point, Thevenard, this easy walking trail (4km) includes historic and interpretive signage located on ceramic tiles along the trail. Look out for the anchor from the sunken Eleni K liberty ship in front of the Ceduna Sailing Club.
The home of oyster growing in Ceduna, this is the place to buy fresh oysters direct from the grower. Visitors can also take a tour with Astrid Oyster Tours - enquire at the Ceduna Visitor Centre. The Denial Bay Jetty, now approximately one third of its original length, is excellent for catching fish, crabs and squid.
Located around 40km west of Ceduna, Davenport Creek is a sheltered, sandy creek with a wonderful beach that’s ideal for swimming, fishing, surfing, walking, climbing the sand hills and picnicking. The most southerly arm of the multi-channel entrance of Tourville Bay, the area is lined with mangroves that are an important nursery ground for fish species. Camping is available, however visitors are asked to take extra care due to the pristine nature of the coastline.
Googs Track (4WD only)
Starting at Ceduna, this adventurous track heads north until it meets the Transcontinental Railway Line at Malbooma. Passing through Yumbarra CP and Yellabinna Wilderness Protection Area. It then heads east and follows the train line toward Tarcoola, ending in Kingoonya. Note Fuel availability is an issue at present and the progress association is working on a solution. It is best to plan to fill up at Glendambo at present ( this posted 30th June 2012)
Taking in 300-plus sand hill crossings - some over 20metres high - and remote Mount Finke, the track was named after John (Goog) Denton, who envisioned that a road heading from Ceduna to Tarcoola would be of considerable value to the region. ‘Goog’ decided to undertake this enormous task in 1976 and, with help from his family, the track was finished in around three years. Designed for 4WD vehicles only, the track is not suitable for caravans and campervans; should be avoided during the hotter months and can become impassable after rain.
Camping permits are available from the Ceduna Visitor Centre
According to the map reference in the book Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift’s fictional character, Gulliver, met with the tiny people of Lilliput on islands visible from the Thevenard Lookout at Pinky Point. They are, in fact, the islands of St Peter and St Francis, first recorded by Pieter Nuyts and Francois Thyssen aboard the Gulden Zeepardt in 1627.
See the islands and discover other local history on the four- kilometre Encounter Walking Trail, complete with interpretive signage, from the sailing club to Pinky Point.
Celebrate the Eyre Peninsula’s oyster and seafood industry at the Ceduna Oysterfest - an eclectic mix of family fun, concerts, dance, art, wine, fine entertainment and plenty of fresh, local seafood. The fun starts on Festival Friday with street activities including a street market and entertainment, followed by the Oysterfest Dinner (tickets required). On Saturday there’s a street parade, while on Sunday night there are fireworks. Local growers will be selling oysters all weekend.
For more information contact the Ceduna Visitor Centre.