Venturing out to Venus Bay, South Australia & Talia Caves

Venus Bay Beach. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

Hey there, friend!

In this journal entry, I’ll be taking you through our day trip to the tranquil seaside destination of Venus Bay. I’ll be sharing about an awesome headland walk that we did, sampling the delicious local seafood, and exploring the nearby dog-friendly Talia Caves!

Explore Venus Bay in the Eyre Peninsula with me

Venus Bay is a beach-lover’s haven; it has a beautiful, calm bay that is perfect for swimming. Even though the sun was out while we went, it was actually quite cool and windy. It has to be at least over 35 degrees celsius for me to want to go into the water, so there was no swimming for me that day.

However, I did have a wonderful time soaking in the gorgeous ocean views. The vibrant turquoise colour of the water was mesmerising. I feel like my photos haven’t quite captured how stunning it was in person.

If you’re interested in reading about Venus Bay and what we got up to during our day trip, please read on. I hope you enjoy it!

Coastal view from the Needle Eye Lookout. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Coastal view from the Needle Eye Lookout in Venus Bay, South Australia

About Venus Bay in South Australia

If you’re an avid beach-goer and love swimming in the ocean, Venus Bay is for you. The tiny township sits on a gorgeous bay with calm waters, and the whole area felt very idyllic and relaxing. 

In contrast, if you venture along the South Head Walking Trail or visit the Needle Eye Lookout, you can view the entrance of the bay and the tall rugged cliffs on the other side. This section of coastline offers more dramatic ocean scenery, with rougher seas. 

View of Venus Bay entrance from the South Head Walking Trail. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
South Head Walking Trail near the Venus Bay entrance

The town of Venus Bay, from what we saw, doesn’t offer much beyond the caravan park and the general store, which also happens to serve as a cafe, petrol station and bottle-o. If you’re planning to stay for a little while, I would suggest bringing enough supplies for the length of your stay.

The location is a popular fishing destination because of the abundance of fish readily available. Commercial fishing is one of the main drivers for the local economy, as well as tourism. 

I highly recommend sampling the seafood from Venus Bay, there’s nothing like fresh and locally caught. I can vouch for Venus Bay prawns being juicy and flavourful, I tasted some at the Elliston Hotel and they were delicious. 

Fresh Venus Bay prawns at Elliston pub. Located in Elliston, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Fresh Venus Bay prawns

Map of the Eyre Peninsula

Map of Eyre Peninsula, South Australia. Created by Sheryl

Eyre Peninsula Journal Entries

Want to browse all of the Eyre Peninsula journal entries? Click here. If you would like to view an interactive Google Map of dog-friendly attractions, eats & drinks in this area, please visit my Dog-Friendly Aussie Map page!

Where is Venus Bay & how to get there 

The extremely small seaside town of Venus Bay in South Australia is situated on the top left coast of the Eyre Peninsula. From Elliston, it’s about a 40-minute drive north. From Streaky Bay, it’s about a 50-minute drive south.

If you’re travelling from Adelaide, you’re looking at just over a 7-hour drive. Alternatively, you could take a 1.5-hour flight with Rex from Adelaide to Ceduna. From Ceduna, you can hire a car and drive south a couple of hours to Venus Bay.

Pelicans surrounding the fish cleaning hut. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Pelicans surrounding the fish cleaning hut

Things to do in Venus Bay, South Australia

What we got up to

Here are a few attractions you can enjoy at Venus Bay, and what we personally got up to: 

  • Check out the beautiful coastal views at Needle Eye Lookout.
  • Enjoy a dog-friendly cliffside hike via the South Head Walking Trail.
  • Take a wander along the beach and jetty area. If there’s someone at the fish cleaning hut, guaranteed you’ll see a group of pelicans waiting for a treat!
  • Sample the locally caught seafood at Venus Bay Licensed General Store.
South Head Walking Trail Sign. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
South Head Walking Trail Entrance

Other suggestions

  • In hotter weather, the well-protected and calm bay is perfect for swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding, and the like.
  • The jetty seems to be a popular spot for fishing, and apparently is reliable for a catch.
  • The sheltered waters are also great for sailing smaller boats.
  • I believe there are also several beaches along the Venus Bay coast that offer ideal conditions for surfing. 
Venus Bay Jetty & Beach. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Venus Bay Jetty

The best time to visit Venus Bay

Being a coastal town, the best time to visit Venus Bay is during the summer months. This way, you can take full advantage of the beach and ocean activities. However, it’s worth noting that this will also be peak tourist season, and the population can jump. 

There’s only one caravan park in Venus Bay, and it may pay to book your accommodation in advance. During shoulder months like November and March, the weather can still be quite pleasant, and you’ll benefit from fewer crowds. 

Considering how hit-and-miss the weather was in the Eyre Peninsula during our entire stay from late October to early January, we surprisingly had decent weather for our day trip to Venus Bay, around mid-November. It got fairly warm! 

Venus Bay Beach. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Sheltered waters at Venus Bay Beach

Where to eat in Venus Bay 

Venus Bay Licensed General Store

Venus Bay Dog-friendly Cafe 

The Venus Bay Licensed General Store is located opposite the caravan park and jetty area. It’s basically the one place that services the whole town and functions as a general store, cafe, petrol station and bottle-o. 

From memory, the cafe offers a pretty broad menu with multiple whiteboards at the counter. As expected, they specialise in seafood dishes using the local catch, ranging from fresh prawns to the classic fish and chips. If seafood isn’t your thing, they also provide other meals like beef burgers, chicken schnitzels and more. 

Venus Bay Licensed General Store & Cafe. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Venus Bay Licensed General Store

Unfortunately, if you’re dining with your dog, your only option is to sit at one of the few outdoor tables at the front of the cafe along the pavement. Luckily, it wasn’t too crowded when we visited, and we were able to sit under the only table with an umbrella. 

They have a verandah/deck with plenty of tables but there’s signs to say that dogs aren’t allowed on there. It’s a bit of a shame because the deck offers partial ocean views and plenty more shade. 

Fish Burger at Venus Bay Licensed General Store & Cafe. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Fish burger and chips at Venus Bay Licensed General Store

For lunch, I opted for a fish burger with chips and found the portion size to be quite generous. I tend to prefer fish burgers over fish and chips as they usually feel fresher with the salad and less oily with the bread. The battered fish, ‘flake’, had a flaky, soft texture and tasted fresh without being overly fishy. The chips were well-seasoned and crispy, making it an enjoyable meal overall.

Scenic Lookouts & Walking Trails in Venus Bay

Needle Eye Lookout

Venus Bay Dog-friendly Scenic Lookout

Needle Eye Lookout is located less than a kilometre away from the jetty, if you head south along Bay Road. It offers a different outlook from the protected bay area, allowing you to view a dramatic coastline of tall, rugged cliffs and rough seas. 

Coastal view from the Needle Eye Lookout. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Coastal view from Needle Eye Lookout

South Head Walking Trail

Venus Bay Dog-friendly Walking Trail

This dog-friendly headland trail at South Head offers a cliffside walk with gorgeous scenery. It’s approximately a 2.3-kilometre loop and I would say it’s moderately challenging. While there are no steep ascents, the trail can be quite rocky and rough at times.

Path along the South Head Walking Trail. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
South Head Walking Trail along the water’s edge

It also takes you extremely close to the cliff’s edge, so if you’re not good with heights, it might not be the best option. However, the trail does provide amazing views of Venus Bay’s rugged coastline and wild ocean outside of the protected bay.

According to the Elliston council website, the South Head Walking Trail is a great viewing spot for whales, dolphins, and Australian sea lions. You may be able to spot one or more of these beautiful creatures near the bay’s entrance, with better chances from May to October. We didn’t see any 🙁

Possibly "Petrified Wood"  sight along the South Head Walking Trail. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
We think the stumps sticking out are “Petrified Wood”

We started the walk from the trailhead on the corner of Weyland Drive and Matson Terrace. Although we walked from the jetty, there’s a carpark at the trailhead. Alternatively, you can start at the other end, where there’s a carpark at the corner of Weyland Drive and Ocean View Road. We walked along the streets to get back.

I don’t recall any trail markers along the walk, just the map at the trailhead. For the most part, it’s pretty obvious where to go, although towards the tip of the headland, there were sections that were less clear, and we had to hunt around a bit.

As mentioned, the walk is dog-friendly and you can actually do the trail with your dog off leash.

Trailhead entrance near town. Located in Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Walking Trail Entrance closer to town

A little tip

This was a great walk to do with the puppers. If you decide to do this walk, I would suggest:

  • Plenty of sunscreen and protective clothing, as there’s no shade along the trail and the vegetation is mostly low-lying shrubs and bushes. On a side note, it might be a lovelier walk to do in springtime when the wildflowers are in bloom.
  • Lots of water to stay hydrated, especially since it can get hot and sweaty walking in full sun.
  • Wear long pants to protect against overgrown and scratchy bushes and shrubs in some parts of the trail that are narrow. 
  • Sturdy footwear, as some sections of the trail can be rough and rocky.
  • Insect repellent, for flies. It was windy when we went but I can imagine they’d be out in force on a still day. 

Where to stay in Venus Bay

Coffin Bay Dog-friendly Caravan Park

If you’re travelling with a dog in a caravan and looking to stop overnight or more, the only caravan park available in the area is the Venus Bay Beachfront Tourist Park. They do allow dogs on sites but the manager’s approval must be sought at the time of booking. It seems that they may not allow larger breeds or any dogs at all during peak periods. 

It’s worth noting that we stayed in Elliston, so I can’t offer any personal opinions or experiences with this particular caravan park.

Visiting Talia Caves 

Eyre Peninsula Dog-friendly Natural Attractions

On the way back to Elliston, we stopped by Talia Caves where you can visit:

  • The Woolshed (cave)
  • The Tub (formerly a cave)
  • Monument Lookout and Talia Beach. 
Talia Caves sign. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Talia Caves Sign

Talia Caves is about a 20-minute drive south from Venus Bay and about a 35-minute drive north from Elliston, where we stayed. Once you turn off Flinders Highway, it’s about a 6-kilometre drive to Woolshed Cave along an unsealed road that’s fairly corrugated. If you’re planning to take your caravan with you, it’s something to bear in mind. 

The great thing about Talia Caves is that dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed. Plus, it’s absolutely free to view these attractions.

Charlie at The Woolshed Cave at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Charlie inside The Woolshed at Talia Caves

The Woolshed 

This is a highly popular tourist spot, and just before we visited, I kept seeing The Woolshed Cave constantly on my feed. It’s definitely an Instagrammable attraction.

Stairs to The Woolshed Cave at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Stairs down to The Woolshed at Talia Caves

The carpark to the cave is at the top of the cliff, and there’s a long set of stairs that wind down to the bottom. I thought the coastal scenery was amazing. We went when the tide was low, but it might be more epic when it’s higher and the water channel to the cave is more filled.

The Woolshed at Talia Caves. Located near Elliston, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
The Woolshed at Talia Caves
The Woolshed Cave at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
The Woolshed at Talia Caves near Venus Bay

It was quite a fun place to explore with all the large granite boulders, interesting rock formations, crevasses, little rock pools, and large cavern. You can walk right into the cave, but the sides are steeply sloped, sandy, and a bit slippery with just thongs.

Coastline near The Woolshed Cave at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Coastline near The Woolshed at Talia Caves

The Tub

A bit further down from The Woolshed Cave is The Tub, named because of its bowl shape. Over time, the thinner roof of the cave eroded and eventually collapsed. I saw a video of a guy walking inside The Tub; he climbed down the side of the wall using a branch. We’re not that adventurous!

The Tub at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
The Tub
The Tub at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Inside The Tub

We did walk past The Tub and down towards the red rocky shoreline, which kind of felt like an alien landscape. It was fun to watch the rough waves crash onto the rocks.

Rocky coastline near The Tub at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Coastline near The Tub at Talia Caves

Monument Lookout & Talia Beach

After The Tub, you can drive further down the unsealed road and check out Monument Lookout. There’s a monument to commemorate a sister who lost her life when the cliff edge collapsed under her. The spot overlooks Talia Beach and offers fantastic coastline and ocean views. We didn’t go to Talia Beach, but it did seem like a beautiful long beach with white sand.

View of Talia Beach from Monument Lookout at Talia Caves. Located near Venus Bay, Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.
Monument Lookout with views of Talia Beach

And that’s a wrap!

I hope you’ve enjoyed exploring the tranquil holiday destination of Venus Bay through this journal entry. It’s definitely worth a stop if you’re travelling through the Eyre Peninsula.

Have you been to any of these places before? Please feel free to share your experiences in the comments or pop in any questions you might have; I’d love to hear from you. 

Safe travels and happy exploring! Thanks for joining me, hope to see you again!

Sheryl

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Pinterest cover featuring Venus Bay and Talia Caves. Eyre Peninsula, South Australia.

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