This is a Steelworks Tour conducted by the Whyalla Visitor Centre which is best to be booked ahead of time.
It is a chance to hear about the 100 years of Australian Iron and Steelmaking history, and the $350 million OneSteel Project. Travel around the 1000-hectare steelworks site is by Bus, with a guide explaining the technology of how Hematite and Magnetite iron ore from the nearby South Middleback Ranges at Iron Duke is transformed into over 90 different grades of steel.
Depending on production and maintenance schedules you will get to see different parts of the process operating.
The tour takes in the Blast Furnace, Wharf, Coke Ovens, Reed Beds, Steelmaking and Casting Plant and the Rolling Mills, where they make structural steel, rail line and steel railway sleeper sections. You will also see and experience world class technological and safety achievements, and over $100 million in environmental initiatives.
TOURS OPERATE.... Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 9.30am (returning 11am approx). The tour operates regardless of numbers and always departs from the Whyalla Visitor Centre.
ADMISSION IN 2012..... Adults $18; Children (7-16 years) $8; Concession $16.50
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) $44; Extra children $4. Due to seat belt legislation in South Australia, children 6 years of age and under are no longer permitted to go on the steelworks tour.
Contact the Whyalla Visitor Centre Ph 1800 088 589 or (08) 8645 790 TO BOOK
This is another good lookout, and I just loved the stick figures of Flinders and Louis-Claude de Freycinet.
In 1802 Matthew Flinders was the first European to navigate and chart this unknown coast of SA, then 10 months later, in January 1803, Louis-Claude de Freycinet navigated and charted the isolated coast. He and his crew were impressed by the local scenery.
"Encounter 2002" was built to recognise French exploration. The two contemporary sculptures of Flinders and Freycinet were made and now overlook the area where they once landed.
From the lookout, I could see upper Spencer Gulf, Southern Flinders Ranges and Middleback Ranges.
I was hoping to see this Museum, but as it turned out, we were here on a public holiday and it was closed. I had to view what I could from the outside.
Mt Laura Homestead was built in 1922 as the homestead for a sheep station that was several miles from Whyalla. In the 1960's, the town of Whyalla encircled the homestead, and so it became a National Trust building. Now as museum, it's a chance to see a photos and memorabilia displayed like everyday household items used by the earliest residents of Whyalla to the first BHP switchboard and a printing press from the Whyalla News.
In the compound is the furnished Gay Street Cottage, an original workman's cottage built by BHP in 1914, the Nicolson Engine Shed contains stationary engines from early this century and the Telecommunications Museum covering Australian telecommunications history. An extensive collection of morse code, telephone, telegraph, radio and associated equipment can be viewed.
OPEN.... Weekdays 10:00am - 2pm Sunday 2:00pm - 4:00pm
ADMISSION IN 2012...Adults $4.00.....Children $1.00...Concession $3.00
This Museum adjoins the Whyalla visitor centre. As you would imagine, on display is exhibits and artifacts on World War Two Naval History, BHP Shipbuilding, Maritime Heritage, and some natural and Aboriginal History.
The main display is the HMAS Whyalla, constructed in 1941, which was the first modern warship built in South Australia.
Opening Times .....Museum Hours:10am - 4pm, 7 days per week.
Closed Good Friday & Christmas Day.
The ship can only be seen on a guided tour which commences at............
10am, 11am, noon, 1pm & 2pm.
ADMISSION IN 2012.....ADULTS ....$12 CHILDREN.....$7
THE LOADED DOG is a statue situated infront of the Whyalla Vetinerary Surgery. It was the principal Vet, "Dr. Andrew Melville-Smith," who come up with the idea.
He employed Andy Scott from Glasgow, Scotland to make the dog, which he did in his workshop and then shipped the finished statue out to Whyalla.
So, who was the Loaded Dog.
Well, it turns out to be a story written by a famous Australian Poet "Henry Lawson," about a Golden Retriever known as "Tommy."
The story goes, that Bush miners Dave, Jim, and Andy were sinking a shaft at Stony Creek in search of gold and having no success. As Andy and Dave were fishing enthusiasts, they tried fishing, also with no success, that was until one of them had the bright idea to use explosives to blow up the fish, an easy way of catching fish.
The three men owned a young retriever dog named Tommy, "an overgrown pup," who happened to pick up the explosive cartridge in its mouth and ran around the campfire, lighting the fuse on his way.
The three miners ran from the “loaded dog," only to find Tommy chasing after them with explosive in his mouth, he thought they were playing a game, and they weren't! Dave sought refuge in the local pub, only to have Tommy charge inside after him, causing the Bushmen inside to head for cover.
Outside again, Tommy comes across a "vicious yellow mongrel cattle-dog" who pinches the cartridge from Tommy. Soon other dogs are curious and gather around the explosive cartridge as the fuse burns away eventually exploding, blowing apart the nasty yellow cattle-dog, and scattering the other dogs.
The Bushmen laughed hysterically, Dave apologized for the happenings, and Tommy trotted after him as pleased as Punch!
This is an EXCELLENT LOOKOUT that overlooks the eastern end of Whyalla.
To reach here, follow the Brown Tourist signs, and then head up the sealed ONE WAY ROAD to the top of Hummock Hill for 360 degree views.
It was developed by BHP as a gift to the city to commemorate the company's centenary year, and opened during the 1986 SA Jubilee Royal Visit.
Heritage interpretive signage is sighted on important parts of the lookout. It was interesting to read, that during World War II it saw service as a gun battery with four guns and command and signals posts, some which are still on display today.
Some of the work was done by BHP workmen, but the majority of the work was carried out by gunners of the 26th Heavy Anti-Aircraft Battery in 1942. When the battery reached full strength there were approx 120 men located here.under the command of Captain R L Moorfoot.
I loved the view from here, for I could see the OneSteel operations, Whyalla Foreshore and Marina, across Spencer Gulf to the Southern Flinders Ranges and over the city towards the iron ore rich Middleback Ranges.
Facilities include a restored wartime gun, sheltered viewing and picnic area.
A MUST SEE WHEN IN WHYALLA
On the northern entrance to the city it's a bit hard not to that there's a ship out of water astride the Lincoln Highway. This marks the Whyalla Maritime Museum and a tourist information centre.
The ship is, perhaps not surprisingly, the HMAS Whyalla, one of four corvettes constructed for the Second World War in this very town. There are five guided tours daily (the only way you can get on board) and it's open from 10 to 4.
In addition there's the 1814 edition of Matthew Flinders' journals and charts plus a terrific model railway, a wooden fishing vessel and lots of remains of sea creatures.
It costs less than $10 with concessions for families and is a recommended way to spend a couple of hours.
The Whyalla Visitor Centre is situated on Lincoln Highway at the norhern approach to Whyalla, next to the HMAS Whyalla.
Apart from information on tourist attractions and accommodation, Steelworks tours can be booked through here.
9:00am - 5:00pm Monday to Friday, 9:00am to 4:00pm on Saturdays, and 10:00am to 4:00pm on Sundays.
It was the minerals around here that made Whyalla what it is today and one of the more prominent mounds left is that of Iron Knob.
Though it's a few kilometres away it stands in stark contrast to the surrounding countryside, not the least reason being the colour exhibited by the iron oxide on the slag heaps that remain.
There are other ore bodies around, such as Iron Baron and others, still in use and still feeding the steelworks but you can take tours of Iron Knob so it has an added attraction.
One of the things we couldn't help but notice was that the wharf for the steelworks was near where we parked.
This added to the noise inasmuch as we could hear the clanking of rolling stock from time to time above our heads, about 50 metres above our heads in fact.
The toing and froing of ore carriages is fairly continuous but, without it, the reason for the town's being would be taken away. Of course, these days there are many fringe industries associated with the town and education is another that plays a big part with TAFE and university both present in the town.
The population is well over 22,000 and, for those who don't like rain, it enjoys over 300 days of sunshine per annum.
The waterfront is well worth a look as, adjacent to the marina where we stayed are the Ada Ryan Memorial Gardens, a lovely place for a family picnic.
As we moved down the harbour Steve still had one more surprise for us. Lo and behold, right beside us a dolphin popped up. Awesome.
Then, it got better. Turns out that the locals have tamed this wild one and he pops up for food when the boats come in. Steve had some pilchards left over for just such a moment and we not only fed the dolphin ( see pic 3) but patted it as well )see pic 2).
Apparently there used to be two then, tragically, a local netted one and it died. The offender was duly hauled before the courts and fined and doesn't live there anymore but the remaining dolphin disappeared for 3 years before returning, this time with a female and a baby.
The other two are still a bit shy but apparently the young one's getting the idea and may soon be feeding just like the adult.
I felt I would have paid just for this experience alone.
The early start meant we had to be rugged up which fortunately we were. It's a long way out before the charter pulls up at the first reef, somewhere around an hour as I recall. Many of the reefs out here are artificial and were in fact laid down by our host's father so he had no excuse not knowing where they were.
At one stage we were fishing and some animated cries were coming from the stern. We all gathered at the rear just in time to see a great white shark drift lazily by. Wow, awesome.
Our host Steve then went on to relate that he'd seen about 100 in his time while chartering but his piece de resistance was when one attacked the front of the boat and knocked two people over, fortunately inboard, such was the impact. It then proceeded around to the rear and attacked the propeller shaft. Steve later showed us the teeth marks when the boat came out of the water.
The first picture shows one of the other couple who chartered the boat with us, Dave, hanging grimly onto something huge that he played with for 6 or 7 minutes before he lost it.
We (my mate Bob and I) went to Eyre Peninsula for the purpose of fishing. Whyalla wasn't on my original list. It only got there half way through the trip when we were having trouble chartering a boat. Most didn't go where we wanted or were booked out then someone tipped us off about Whyalla.
What a bonus that turned out to be!
Having obtained the charter they then told us the time - 5 a.m. start - ouch. Fortunately we were in a motorhome and parked right near the launch ramp which turned out to be a mixed blessing inasmuch as the carpark turned into lovers lane and hoonville after sunset but it quietened down later on and we awoke in time.
I'll elaborate on the trip in the next tip but suffice it to say that we were successful and landed our sought after snapper as clearly seen in the picture.
You can go on a tour of the BHP (OneSteel) Steelworks, I'd rate it as the most insteresting thing to do in Whyalla. Part of the site is recliamed land (from the sea); among other things you get to see where coal is processed into 'coke', a giant bucket where molten metal is poured, and the end of the production line where a continuous rectangular slab of metal is cut into sections with blowtorches and rolled past.
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Departs Whyalla Visitor Centre 1.30pm Returns 3.30pm
Second Tour - if first tour is filled 3.30pm to 5.30pm
Adults $16 Children $8 Concession $14
Family (2 Adults & 2 Children) $42 Extras $5
If you're interested in what sort of ships were built in Whyalla then this is the place to be. The HMAS Whyalla saw active duty in World War II and sailed the seas until 1987.
Adult $8.00; Pensioner $7.00; Child $4.00;
Family $20.00 (2 adults & 2 children, extra children $3.00 each).