Eyre Peninsula - South Australia
Eyre Peninsula is a triangular peninsula in South Australia. It is bounded on the east by Spencer Gulf, the west by the Great Australian Bight, and the north by the Gawler Ranges. It is named after explorer Edward John Eyre who explored some of it in 1839-1841. The coastline was first explored by Matthew Flinders in 1801-1802. The west coast was also visited by Nicolas Baudin at around the same time.
The peninsula was explored by a party led by John Charles Darke in 1844, who was killed by local aborigines on the return to Port Lincoln.
The main towns are Port Lincoln on the southern point, Whyalla and Port Augusta at the north east, and Ceduna at the northwest. They are connected by the Eyre Highway across the inland edge, and the Flinders Highway and Lincoln Highway along the west and east coasts.
The major industry is farming - cereal crops, sheep, and cattle in the drier north and more water-intensive activities such as dairy farming and a growing wine industry in the south. Many coastal towns have commercial fishing, in particular Port Lincoln, which had a large tuna-fishing fleet, Port Lincoln is gradually being converted to fish farming in bays along the coast. The Eyre Peninsula has a growing population of around 55,390 people.
There is a commercial nephrite jade mine near Cowell as well as this iron ore is mined in the hills near Iron Knob inland from Whyalla, to where it is transported by rail for smelting.
National Parks located on the Eyre peninsula include Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park, Gawler Ranges National Park, and several conservation parks and reserves like Acraman Creek Conservation Park.
The peninsular is served by the isolated narrow gauge Eyre Peninsula Railway.
The area is also known as the Eyre Coastal Plain.