Streaky Bay - Places to See

Streaky Bay Museum

In Montgomerie St (which is two blocks south of the harbour foreshore) is the Streaky Bay Museum. It's in the Old School Building and is run by the National Trust. Exhibits at the museum include displays of Aboriginal artefacts, birds eggs, shells, old furniture, medical equipment and early agricultural machinery. It is a typical folk museum with lots of interesting memorabilia about the local region.

In the grounds is the restored Kelsh Pioneer Cottage which was built of pug and pine in 1886. It still has furniture and domestic utensils dating from the late nineteenth century.

To the north of Streaky Bay lies the tiny, almost inconsequential settlement, of Haslam. It is easy to pass but well worth visiting for it is at Haslam that one of the few corrugated iron water collectors can still be seen. On the side of the road on the edge of town is the corrugated iron water collector which was constructed by the South Australian Government in 1917. Apart from that Haslam is an unimpressive little town with a jetty, a picnic area, toilets, and an attractive beach for swimming and fishing.

Only a few metres away from the water collector is a sign to the Haslam School and Agricultural Museum which is open between 2.00 p.m - 4.00 p.m. on a Sunday or by appointment.

Westall Way Scenic Drive and the Point Labatt Conservation Park
To the south of the town is a truly beautiful stretch of coastline which includes the superb Westall Way Scenic Drive and the Point Labatt Conservation Park.

The road around the coast is a delight. There are dramatic cliffs, pleasant bays and inlets and headlands and rocky outcrops which can be explored. There is High Cliff, the Granites, some large red smooth rocks which lie below a lookout, the Smooth Pool which is reputed to be an excellent fishing spot, the huge white sand dunes which lie to the south of Smooth Pool, and Sceales Bay, a classic holiday place for people who love being isolated, where there is a boat ramp and a small camping area. Further south is Baird Bay and Point Labatt.

To stand on the cliffs at Point Labatt is to experience one of the highlights of any visit to the Eyre Peninsula. The area is strikingly beautiful and there is a real sense of standing on the edge of the world gazing across waters which stretch out across the Great Australian Bight and down into the cold Southern Ocean. But this is only a small part of the appeal because Point Labatt is where the only permanent mainland colony of Australian sea lions (Neophoca cinerea) live. There is an estimated population of about 35-50 seals at the Point and to add to the appeal of the area there is a whale watch between June and October. Notices on the clifftop point out that this is an area where the whales breed. As well there is a notice covering the history of the area: 'Point Labatt Conservation Park. Matthew Flinders, in the Investigator, was the first European to explore, map and name this coastline for England in 1802. About the same time Nicholas Baudin in Le Geographe charted this coast for France. This reserve protects the only permanent sea lion colony on the Australian mainland. The Marine Reserve off shore ensures minimum disturbance to the seals and the reef fish upon which they depend for food. This area was declared a Conservation Park in 1973.'

There is another seal colony off the coast of South Australia at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island. The seals grow to 4 metres in length and can weigh as much as 200 kg. From the lookout, especially if you don't have binoculars, they look like slugs on the rocks below. Normally docile they can be surprisingly agile and aggressive particularly during the breeding season.

Murphy's Haystacks
The road from Point Labatt back to the Flinders Highway (good local maps of the dirt roads are available in either the Streaky Bay Tourist Book or the Discover Streaky Bay brochure - both are readily available in the town) passes the fascinating granite outcrops known as Murphy's Haystacks. It is difficult to see the outcrops from the road and people wishing to visit them should get specific directions in Streaky Bay. The 'haystacks' (some of them really do look like old fashioned haystacks) are a series of dramatically weathered granite outcrops which are possibly as much as 1500 million years old. They were named after Dennis Murphy, the property owner, by the local mail coach driver who used to point them out to passengers during the trip from Streaky Bay to Port Kenny.