With its sublime beaches, high yield fishing grounds and large pocket of unspoilt wilderness, Coffin Bay ticks all the boxes for that ultimate seaside escape.
About Coffin Bay
Coffin Bay was named by Lieutenant Matthew Flinders back in 1802 after Sir Isaac Coffin, the officer responsible for the fit-out of Flinders’ ship for its voyage to Australia. According to the Coffin Bay Tourist Association, an oyster village was established on the shores of Kellidie Bay, east of the township, around the mid-1800s, an enterprise which has led to Coffin Bay’s enduring reputation for producing stellar oyster.
Like Port Lincoln to the east, Coffin Bay has an active commercial fishing fleet. Each morning, the roads are bustling with slow moving traffic, with tractors towing massive aluminium boats that monopolise the width of the road, making passage slow and painful. The upside is the availability of fresh oysters straight off the boat!
Things to do in Coffin Bay
From fresh seafood to relaxing walks along unspoilt beaches, Coffin Bay is the ultimate destination for serious relaxation. Savour beautiful scenery, picturesque walking trails, and a wonderful variety of native flora and fauna, with Australian sea lions, bottle nosed dolphins and emus all a likely sight.
However, those who enjoy a little more action in their getaways will also relish Coffin Bay’s plethora of water sport facilities, including boating, yachting, kayaking, surfing, water skiing, windsurfing and more.
Attractions in Coffin Bay
Coffin Bay National Park
Surrounding Coffin Bay to the west, this National Park offers a diverse coastal landscape of high windswept cliffs, white sand beaches, limestone pavements and impressive sand dunes. If you enjoy getting your 4WD a bit dirty, there is a pleasant track across the sand dunes to Gunyha Beach, or a six hour return journey to Point Isaacs at the tip of the Coffin Bay Peninsula for those who are a little more adventurous.
Coffin Bay Oyster Walk
Formalised in 1988, the scenic Oyster Walk is a 12km walking trail that wanders the Old Oyster Town and past the township’s main jetty before finishing at Long Beach. The walk also takes you to the Coffin Bay Lookout, which offers beautiful views of the town and the bays, with Mount Dutton and Marble Range providing a wonderful backdrop.
Mount Dutton Bay
If you’re up for a short drive, head north to Mount Dutton Bay. This small town is home to a fascinating old woolshed (now a museum) and restored jetty, and well worth a visit if you have the time.
Coffin Bay Waterways
A cruise around the rugged islands of Coffin Bay is sure to appease nature lovers, as this is a great opportunity to catch glimpses of dolphins, sea lion, fur seals and native birds. If you’re lucky, you might even spy the newly discovered Burrunan dolphin, a species only found in a few places around the world.
Weather in Coffin Bay
Coffin Bay enjoys a Mediterranean climate, and offers slightly cooler summers and marginally warmer winters than Adelaide. The average rainfall is about 500mm which falls mainly during the winter months.
Getting to Coffin Bay
Located at the southern extremity of the Eyre Peninsula, Coffin Bay is around 700km west of Adelaide.
The Sea SA ferry from Wallaroo to Cowell offers a 57km seaward leg across the Spencer Gulf that takes a little over two hours. One-way travel costs $140 for cars and 4WDs less than 5.5m, $30 per metre for trailers and vans, $35 per adult and $10 for children (4-15 years old).
The fastest route to the Eyre Peninsula is via a 45 minute flight from Adelaide to Port Lincoln with REX Airlines or Qantaslink. From the Port Lincoln airport, Coffin Bay is a further 30 minute drive.
At around eight hours in the saddle, the drive from Adelaide to Coffin Bay isn’t a straightforward one, and takes you through Port Augusta.
When to visit Coffin Bay
Summer is the best time to visit to make the most of the warm weather and coastal environment.
Where to stay in Coffin Bay
There are plenty of good camping areas within the national park, or Coffin Bay Caravan Park stands opposite the beach.