Nestled along the picturesque coastline of South Australia, Smoky Bay is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. With it’s pristine beaches and delectable seafood, this relaxed seaside town is a true water lovers paradise.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Smoky Bay offers a memorable experience for visitors of all ages. In this blog post, we have put together a list of the 10 best things to do in Smoky Bay, ensuring that your visit to this coastal paradise is nothing short of extraordinary.
1. Splash around in the Rockpools at Point Brown
Just 30 minutes south of Smoky Bay are some of South Australia’s most popular rockpools, the Point Brown rockpools. There’s nothing more exhilarating than jumping into the cool, tranquil waters of the rockpools on a hot day, making it the perfect thing to do in Smoky Bay. The rockpools at Point Brown provide a unique swimming experience, blending the serenity and calmness of the natural pools with the calming ambiance of the sea and crashing waves.
There’s a huge variety of different rockpools throughout the area, you can either jump right into a deep rockpool or spend some time dipping your feet in and splashing around the shallower ones. Keep your eyes peeled for the creatures who call the rockpools home, with crabs, fish and shrimp frequenting the many natural pools. Look further out to sea and if you’re lucky you may spot one of the many dolphins who visit the area. Whether you’re seeking a peaceful swim or just want to check out the stunning coastline, making a drive to the rockpools at Point Brown is a ‘must do activity in Smoky Bay’.
If rockpools aren’t your thing, fear not, as the nearby beach is absolutely worth checking out. With it’s stunning crystal clear water the beach is an inviting oasis for those seeking a ‘traditional’ coastal swimming experience. Immerse yourself in the refreshing waters and revel in the joy of being surrounded by the natural beauty of this iconic Smoky Bay beach.
Note that the road in to Point Brown is an unsealed, corrugated road of approximately 20km. During our visit the road was in pretty bad condition but we were fine driving on it in our 2WD Mercedes Sprinter van, we just drove extremely slowly and took our time. At the end of the road when directed to turn left to the rockpools the road became extremely sandy so we parked up there and walked the remainder of the way to the rockpools.
2. Try the Famous Oysters that Smoky Bay is Known For
No trip to Smoky Bay would be complete without indulging in it’s world famous oysters. The Eyre Peninsula is known as the seafood frontier due to the abundance of world class seafood in the area so trying the incredible seafood for yourself is a must when visiting the region. Smoky Bay has the perfect conditions for premium oyster farming, resulting in first class oysters known for their exquisite taste and freshness.
Uniquely sweet and succulent, the oysters from Smoky Bay are a seafood lover’s delight. Buy oysters straight from the source or enjoy them at a local restaurant. If you’re up for it, you can immerse yourself in the world of oysters by taking a tour of a working oyster farm at SA Premium Oysters. They have a range of tours on offer that; show you the inner workings of an oyster farm, teach you more about the history of the area and allow you to try your hand at oyster shucking. Make sure to add indulging in Smoky Bay’s world famous oysters to your list of things to do in Smoky Bay.
At the time of writing this (July 2023) SA Premium Oysters tours range from $49-$110 per person.
3. Go Fishing at the Smoky Bay Jetty
With rich marine life and abundant fishing opportunities, Smoky Bay has quickly made a name for itself as a prime fishing destination, a true paradise for anglers. Take your boat out or head to the local jetty with your fishing gear and cast your line into the crystal clear waters. Smoky Bay is the spot for king george whiting, garfish, squid, razorfish and crabs. No matter what you’re looking to catch and whether you’re an experienced angler or a novice, fishing in Smoky Bay is an experience you won’t forget.
In addition to the fishing itself, the coastal views and surrounding natural beauty add an extra element of allure to your fishing experience in Smoky Bay. The breathtaking vistas, the gentle sea breeze and the sounds of nature create a serene backdrop as you immerse yourself in the joy of angling. Enjoy the tranquility of the surroundings and soak in the breathtaking coastal views as you wait for your next big catch.
4. Swim in the Smoky Bay Jetty Safe Swimming Enclosure
If visiting Smoky Bay on a hot day make sure to take a dip in the safe swimming enclosure at the Smoky Bay jetty. During extensive renovations to the jetty in 2012 a meshed swimming enclosure was installed to provide a safe, family-friendly swimming spot. Visitors of all ages can jump into the calm clear waters and enjoy a refreshing swim without a care in the world.
If you’re not up for swimming, don’t worry, there’s still plenty to enjoy at the Smoky Bay jetty. Take a leisurely stroll along the jetty, soaking up the sun and enjoying the serenity of your surroundings. The jetty at Smoky Bay offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Whether you’re going for a swim, taking a leisurely walk or trying your luck with some fishing, visiting the jetty allows you to truly appreciate the coastal charm of Smoky Bay.
5. Catch Some Waves at St Mary Bay Point Brown
In Point Brown, 30 minutes south of Smoky Bay, not only will you find some of South Australia’s most popular rockpools you’ll also find popular surfing spot St Mary Bay. The ideal attraction for surfers and beach enthusiasts, St Mary Bay is an open west facing 2km long bay with great swells and multiple surf spots.
Grab your board and ride the waves along this pristine stretch of coastline. Even if you’re not a surfer, the beach is perfect for leisurely walks, sunbathing, fishing or simply taking in the awe-inspiring views. Enjoy the serenity of St Marys Bay.
As noted previously, Point Brown Road runs for 20km and is unsealed and corrugated. During our visit the road was in pretty bad condition so we drove slowly and parked further back away from the rockpools or bay. You’ll be able to drive close to St Mary Bay with a 4WD but may need to park further back if you’re driving a 2WD vehicle.
6. Bush Walk Through the Beautiful Laura Bay Conservation Park
Nature enthusiasts will find solace in the tranquil beauty of Laura Bay Conservation Park. Representing the original vegetation that once covered South Australia’s western coastline, the sheltered bay features tidal samphire flats and mangroves. Explore the diverse flora and fauna that call this park home, from sea birds who migrate from the northern hemisphere to kangaroos and bush birds who permanently call Laura Bay home.
Embark on a bush walk through the park, allowing you to embrace the untouched wilderness and breathtaking vistas. Don’t forget to pack a picnic and enjoy lunch amongst the beautiful surroundings. You can then set out to explore the sandy cove and rock pools of the bay or go swimming or fishing along the coast. If you’d like you can spend a night under the stars at the Laura Bay campground. At the time of writing this (July 2023) the Laura Bay campground costs $14 per night.
7. Perfect Your Swing at the Smoky Bay Golf Club
For those who enjoy a leisurely round of golf, make sure to drop by the Smoky Bay Golf Club. Their 18 hole golf course provides an unforgettable golfing experience in the heart of this beautiful coastal town. Perfect your swing and savour the fresh coastal air as you navigate through the well maintained course.
Golf enthusiasts of all skill levels will find delight at the Smoky Bay Golf Club. So, grab your clubs, practice your swing, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Smoky Bay Golf Club.
8. Pay Your Respects at the Crows Nest Memorial
For those interested in paying tribute to the past, a visit to the Crows Nest Memorial is a must. The memorial is the crows nest from the ‘Austral Eagle’, a fishing vessel built in 1978 for cray fishing and shark fishing along the Great Australian Bight, from Kangaroo Island in South Australia to Esperance in Western Australia.
The memorial was setup by the Smoky Bay Progress Association in memorial to everyone who has lost their lives at sea in the waters of Smoky Bay. Take a moment to reflect and pay your respects.
At the time of writing this (July 2023) the Crows Nest Memorial doesn’t seem to have a listing on Google, if you’d like to visit it is located just off the carpark at the end of Jetty road.
Images are taken from the Monument Australia website.
9. Visit the Nearby Towns of Ceduna or Streaky Bay
While Smoky Bay offers a plethora of attractions, if you have the time take the opportunity to explore the neighbouring towns of Ceduna and Streaky Bay.
Just a short drive away, Ceduna is a vibrant coastal town known for its stunning beaches and remarkable sunsets. Explore the town, indulge in delicious seafood and soak up the stunning views. If you’d like to know more on what to do in Ceduna check out our article; The 12 Best Things to do in Ceduna.
Similarly, Streaky Bay boasts beautiful coastal scenery, fantastic natural attractions and a range of outdoor activities. Discover its rugged coastline, visit it’s many natural wonders and embrace the unique coastal charm that Streaky Bay has to offer.
10. Need Something? Grab it from the Smoky Bay General Store
A visit to Smoky Bay wouldn’t be complete without stopping by the local general store. Whether you’re in need of essentials, snacks for your outdoor adventures, fishing supplies or souvenirs to remember your trip, the Smoky Bay General Store has you covered. The Smoky Bay General Store has fuel, fishing supplies, grocery items, alcohol, coffee, hot food, postal services, fresh oysters and more on offer.
Stock up on supplies, have a friendly chat with the locals and delight in the warm hospitality that defines this tight-knit community.
Enjoy Your Time in Smoky Bay!
Smoky Bay, with its breathtaking coastal landscapes, abundant marine life and prime fishing spots, offers a wealth of experiences for every visitor. Whether you’re exploring the fascinating rockpools, indulging in fresh seafood or immersing yourself in the tranquility of the nearby conservation park, Smoky Bay is sure to leave an indelible mark on your heart. Embrace the natural wonders, enjoy the coastal activities, and savour the delightful local experiences that make Smoky Bay a destination worth discovering.
If you’re interested we’ve also put together some answers for frequently asked questions about Smoky Bay, SA below.
Where is Smoky Bay?
Smoky Bay is a coastal town situated on the west of the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia.
What Region is Smoky Bay in?
Smoky Bay is in the Eyre Peninsula region of South Australia.
What Local Government Area is Smoky Bay in?
Smoky Bay is in the District Council of Ceduna.
What is Smoky Bay Known For?
Smoky Bay is well-known for a few things. Firstly, Smoky Bay is well-known as a prime fishing destination for many with rich marine life and abundant fishing opportunities. Visiting (or local) fishermen can try their hand at catching king george whiting, garfish, squid, razorfish, crabs and more from their boats, the jetty or the coast.
Secondly, Smoky Bay is well known for it’s thriving oyster industry which produces world famous oysters. Many travel far to buy straight from the source and try fresh Smoky Bay oysters for themselves.
Overall, Smoky Bay is known as a water-lovers paradise. With stunning coastal surroundings and ample water-based activities on offer such as; fishing, rockpool swimming, ocean swimming, boating and more.
Why is it Called Smoky Bay?
Smoky Bay was first seen and mapped by British navigator, Matthew Flinders, who named it Smoky Bay due to the amount of smoke seen there from camp fires by local Aboriginal inhabitants.
How Far is Smoky Bay from Ceduna?
Smoky Bay is approximately 43km from Ceduna, which is about a 30-35 minute drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Far is Smoky Bay from Adelaide?
Smoky Bay is approximately 755km from Adelaide, which is about a 8-9 hour drive away (depending on traffic and which route you take).
How Many People Live in Smoky Bay?
Smoky Bay has a population of 216 (according to the 2021 Census).
What is there to do in Smoky Bay?
There are loads of great things to do in Smoky Bay, including:
- Swimming in the rockpools at Point Brown
- Buying some world famous Smoky Bay oysters
- Going fishing at the Smoky Bay jetty
- Swimming in the Smoky Bay jetty safe swimming enclosure
- Catching waves at St Mary Bay
- Visiting Laura Bay Conservation Park
- Playing golf at the Smoky Bay Golf Club
- Visiting the Crows Nest Memorial
- Visiting the nearby towns of Ceduna or Streaky Bay
- Shopping at the Smoky Bay General Store