Ceduna is rightfully famous for its oysters and unique marine life, but it is also home to some of the best hiking locations in South Australia.
Ceduna is a small township with a population of only 3,500 residents. Known for its oysters and its abundance of seafood, marine life and amazing hiking locations, it lies about 550 kilometres from Adelaide and rests on the eastern side of the Great Australian Bight, on the west of the Eyre Peninsula.
Just off from the junction of the Eyre and Flinders Highway, Ceduna is located close to some of the Eyre Peninsula’s finest beaches. To explore and view this area that Mother Nature has bestowed with more than its fair share of natural attractions, take a hike along some of the most scenic routes South Australia has on offer.
Check out these hiking locations in Ceduna for your next weekend getaway.
Opening image: Cummings Lookout. Image: Tourism Australia.
For the family: Encounter Coastal Trail
Beginning at the Ceduna Sailing Club and ending at Pinky point, Encounter Coastal Trail is one of the most ideal hiking locations in Ceduna. Pack water and some snacks along with the sunscreen and hit the flat terrain paved path, which is about 3.6 kilometres long. There is no shortage of beautiful views and along the way there is easy access to local surf and swim locations.
Whether you walk, run, or cycle the Encounter Coastal Trail, you’ll no doubt be graced with awesome experience of seeing seals and dolphins at play, and if you’re there for the migration season, whales cavort about off the coast, often with their young. Ships will cruise by and pull into the local port, and birdwatchers are never short of ticking some species off their list, with plenty of them feeding from the sea and jetties.
Make sure to look out for intricate clay tiles embedded in the trail by Ceduna’s locals, and make time to check out the lighthouse at Pinky Point Lookout. It’s a great vantage point to take in the wharf, bay and the islands.
The two large islands are called St Peter and St Francis, as they were seen and named by Captain Francois Thyssen and conveyor Pieter Nuyts, in 1627 when the Dutch East India Company vessel Guilden Zeepaard, sailed into Fowler’s Bay in the Great Australian Bight.
Interestingly, about a hundred years later, these islands caught the attention of intrigued anglo-Irish author Jonathon Swift, who referenced them as the mythical islands of Lilliput in his novel Gulliver’s Travels.
There is also signage along the way describing the creation of this path in 2002, when the trail was formed to celebrate the coming together of French, British, and Indigenous Australians.
For you and your furry friend: Shelly Beach Dune Walk Trail
Much like the Encounter Walking Trail, the Shelly Beach Dune walk trail offers unforgettable ocean vistas as well as 360-degree panoramic views of the Ceduna township. It’s one of the most perfect hiking locations in Ceduna if you are looking to take your furry friend on a hike with you.
Located right inside the beach park entry, the trail weaves in and out of 55 acres of breathtaking coastal sand dunes. The trail is home to three different paths with interesting local spots to stop at along the way.
It is common to meet the local wildlife including lizards, dolphins, fish, and a kangaroo or two. The trail is fringed with beautiful native foliage that blends into the dunes.
The walk takes about 45 minutes to an hour, and is ideal for a sunset walk where you can experience one of the best hiking locations in Ceduna, or simply for a quick morning workout. The trail is best visited from April to August during the dry season.
For the adventure seeker: Googs Track
Googs Track is one of the best 4WD locations in Ceduna for adventure seekers and those wanting to camp off-grid and get back to nature. The track’s original purpose was to connect pastoral properties with Ceduna’s shipping ports. It starts approximately 30 km north of Ceduna, and is about 170 km long, crossing roughly 370 sand ridges.
Googs Track is one for experienced and well-prepared drivers only, as the track is quite remote and conditions can be unpredictable. Make sure to take as much fuel, water and food as you need for the trip, drive cautiously and listen to UHF Channel 18 to communicate with other track users. For more important safety information, click here.
In the north eastern corner of Yumbarra Conservation Park along Googs Track, lies Googs Lake, a popular tourist destination with clearly marked scenic camping grounds and a number of easy walking tracks. The beautifully stark contrast of the red sand and blue skies makes for a photographer’s dream.
For lovers of Australian wildlife, you might be lucky enough to spot scarlet-chested parrots, Major Mitchell’s pink cockatoos, thorny devils (cool prehistoric-looking spiky lizards), sand hill dunnarts (a marsupial mouse with fine grey or black fur) and malleefowl – a stocky ground-dwelling Australian bird about the size of a domestic chicken.
Mt Finke is 137 kilometres north of Ceduna and it is an impressive rocky outcrop that rises abruptly up from the shrublands. For those keen on more exploring, it offers spectacular views (particularly at sunset) across the vast landscape.
The lake remains dry most of the year due to the hot desert climate leaving a thin layer of salt causing the lake to appear white. Great for some impressive Insta photos.
Look out for monuments dedicated to the Denton family – and specifically John (Goog) Denton, who dreamed of a road connecting Ceduna to Tarcoola.
If you enjoyed this article about hiking locations in Ceduna check out our story on exploring the Eyre Peninsula for more fantastic hikes in South Australia.
For a complete guide to adventure activities in Australia, click here.
Travel to Ceduna
Rex flies to Ceduna. Book your flight here.