The history of Whyalla city dates back to 40,000 years ago when the region was inhabited by the nomadic tribes of Malkaripangala group of people who were associated with the Barngarla aboriginal group. The first European who visited this region was Matthew Flinders who sailed along the coast and named the area as Hummock Hill. Thereafter Edward John Eyre came to the present site of Whyalla and it was after 1901 that settlement started in the region. In 1880, iron casting leases were obtained by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited and the city witnessed a considerable growth. In 1961, Whyalla was granted the city status and in the following years significant growth occurred in the city.
The Whyalla city enjoys a pleasant climate with 300 days of bright sunshine on an average in a year and the rainfall is about 268mm in a year. During the summer months of January and February, temperatures soar up to 30ºC and in winter months of June and July it drops down to 7ºC on an average.
There are many ways to reach Whyalla as the city is well-connected by rail, road and air transport. It just takes four-to five hours by road to reach Whyalla from Adelaide. Whyalla is well-accessible from most Australian cities. It is served by two airlines which operate about 40 flights in a week from Whyalla. The main flights catering to Whyalla are REX and O’Conner Airlines. There are charter bus services from South Australia to Whyalla and interstate buses which connect Whyalla to Adelaide and Port Augusta.
Whyalla has a host of cultural spots in the city like the Tanderra Craft Village which was set up to provide tourists with a touch of local handicraft items. The place acts as a permanent place of development for craft items of Whyalla. Middleback Theatre and Whyalla Cinema is the place which showcases all theatrical performances in the city. The place also hosts various special movie screenings and organises art and craft exhibitions from time-to-time.
Whyalla city also offers various types of tourist attractions and has been a favourite with many nature lovers. This is because it has Whyalla Conservation Park and many parks and gardens like Civic Park, Wilson Park, Whyalla Wetlands and Ada Ryan Gardens. Some popular tourist spots in Whyalla city include:
- Iron Knob Mine Tour
- OneSteel Tour
- Murray Cod Tour
- Mt. Laura Homestead Museum
- Maritime Museum
- Hummock Hill
- Port Lowly Lighthouse
Whyalla also has a host of restaurants and cafes in the city which offer all kinds of Italian, Thai, Chinese, Indian, Mexican, Australian and international cuisines. Some of the popular dining places are—Hotel Eyre, Hotel Spencer, City Plaza Espresso Café, Alexander Restaurant, Lam Inn Chinese Restaurant, Watersedge Restaurant, New Whyalla Hotel and Oriental Inn.
Whyalla has a huge range of cheap as well as highly-priced accommodation options meant for the tourists in all parts of the city. Few of the popular accommodation options include:
- Hotel Spencer
- Bayview Hotel
- Alexander Motor Inn
- Westland Hotel Motel
- Kathleen’s Cottage