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Eyre, earth and water

Eyre, earth and water

The Eyre Peninsula is a prime example of the peace that reigns through South Australia; fewer than 60,000 people live here, and most are in the major townships. This sparseness of humanity makes the area a haven for wildlife.

The Great Australian Bight, on the western side of the peninsula, and Spencer Gulf, to the east, are two of Australia’s greatest marine treasures. They provide safe havens for many creatures that are threatened, endangered, or just plain amazing. Without these habitats, some of these animals would certainly be headed for extinction.

The Australian giant cuttlefish is the largest cuttlefish in the world, measuring up to 50 centimetres in length. The upper reaches of Spencer Gulf provide the world’s largest cuttlefish spawning aggregation site, giving these stunningly odd creatures a chance at life since being overfished as bait.

If you want to see whales, this part of the world has you covered. The southern right whale makes the Great Australian Bight its home for almost half the year, as the area provides a much-needed safe mating and calving ground for these majestic beasts. They stay around through spring and summer, taking advantage of the mostly untouched marine environment to boost their dwindling population.

The blue whale (the largest animal to have ever lived) and the humpback whale also come to the Bight to breed, making this area one of the most important whale nurseries on the planet. Whales, despite their immense size, are generally pretty docile, and while it’s great to watch them frolic in the depths, you’re not likely to raise a sweat.

Another giant of the sea – the great white shark – will do that for you, and it also takes up residence in the Great Australian Bight. If you’re so inclined, you can go cage diving with great white sharks here! You won’t catch me doing it, but each to their own, I say!

Of course, the Eyre Peninsula isn’t just about wildlife, as there are many things to do in and around the major towns. But it’s the regal gentleness and timeless quality of the natural environment that will keep you coming back over and over again.

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