Cyril and Pat Howkins dropped in to the Whyalla Tourist Information Centre and ended up staying in our town for two days

Whyalla visitors Cyril and Pat Howkins with Whyalla Visitor Officer Danielle Edwards

From Yeppoon in Central Queensland, across to Uluru, Alice Springs and down the middle … it was an epic trek to bring Cyril and Pat Howkins to Whyalla but worth it just to see our famous dolphins.

“We saw one from the caravan park,” Pat said.

“It was very exciting, we don’t get many dolphins in Yeppoon.

“I got it on video and I’ll be sending it back to the kids and the grandkids back home in Queensland.”

It’s the sort of publicity Whyalla can’t buy.

The Queenslanders dropped in to the Whyalla Visitor Centre this week and decided on a stay in the town. They, like the thousands every year before them, went back to their car and caravan with a stack of brochures and advice for their stay here.

Visitor services officer and tour guide Danielle Edwards was on hand to help out the couple and hear   stories of their adventure that brought them to Whyalla. Danielle took them on a tour of the HMAS Whyalla and sent them off with a caravan park booking and ideas for two more days of activities and sights in the Whyalla region.

“They were really friendly and said great things about Whyalla,” Danielle said.

Not bad for a couple who live in the idyllic, tropical coastal town of Yeppoon, just out of Rockhampton.

“They especially liked the maritime museum and were genuinely interested in what Whyalla has to offer,” Danielle said.

Dolphins off Whyalla

Danielle said the Howkins were keen to go out to Lowly Point to see the lighthouse and were extremely excited about the prospect of seeing dolphins at the marina.

“That was the big one for them, seeing the dolphins,” Danielle said.

Pat said they had taken the scenic route to Lowly Point, enjoyed the Mt Laura homestead and spent plenty of time in the Maritime Museum.

“We only booked in for one night in the caravan park but extended it to another night,” Pat said.

“The museum was so interesting, there was so much stuff in there and we really enjoy looking at olden things.”

For Pat the next big highlight then came with a visit to Pete Bleeze’s Elvis Presley museum.

“Yes, I’m an Elvis fan and I’ve got some stuff in the lounge and down the hallway but his place was amazing,” she said.

During their stay in Whyalla, the Howkins said they had run into many fellow Queenslanders and quite a few Tasmanians enjoying the Whyalla hospitality.

Last financial year the visitor centre welcomed and interacted with more than 25,000 visitors.  The visitor economy is worth an estimated $60m to Whyalla, and growing, and is directly employs more than 500 people locally.

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