The Eyre Peninsula

Sometimes the loveliest places aren’t in the guide book and Arno Bay, halfway down the east coast of the Eyre Peninsula, is one of them.  With a shop, a post office, a playground, a pub, a caravan park and a jetty, Arno Bay has everything you need without the crowds.  Population: 500.  The main occupation seems to be fishing.

Lee getting ready to ride the dune

The man at the front desk of this friendly park lent us sand boards and told us where to go sandboarding on the dunes at Point Gibbon.  He also mentioned we may see some sea lions.  I wasn’t holding my breath.  Scientists estimate that there are only about 14,700 Australian sea lions left in the world—they were hunted nearly to extinction in the 19th century. 

After some exhilarating rides down the dunes, I wandered over to the rocky point with R, and, sure enough, right in front of us was a large brown Australian sea lion, basking on a rock in the sun.  Then we saw two more.

I turned around and waved my arms to get K’s attention—she and Lee were a hundred meters away and would never be able to hear me shout over the sounds of the sea.  I signed “sea lion, here”.  K ran over and we watched them for a while before the three large creatures ambled awkwardly into the water, “walking” on their back flippers, and then diving gracefully into the waves.

K with sea lions on the Eyre Peninsula


courtesy of


Author: sarahklenbort

I'm a Brisbane-based writer and mother of two children--one deaf and one hearing. I'm also a sessional academic at the University of Queensland, where I teach literature and creative writing. In 2016, my husband and I took the kids out of school and travelled around Australia with a camper trailer, visiting deaf schools along the way. When we found Toowong State School, it was so good, we decided to move to Queensland! We still have the trailer and take off for the bush whenever we can.

One thought on “The Eyre Peninsula”

  1. I loved this and that the signing helped you to share the experience. I’m impressed that you knew how to sign ‘sea lion’. As with all languages, vocabulary is everything!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: