Port Augusta sits at the northern tip of the Spencer Gulf where ‘the Outback meets the ocean’. It is a major tourism centre and is considered the crossroads of Australia because roads from Sydney, Perth, Darwin and Adelaide all pass through here.
The Gulf was explored by Matthew Flinders in 1802 and the French Captain L. Freycinet 10 months later. The budding town was named in 1852 after the young wife of the first civilian Governor of South. During the early years of settlement, the water supply of the town was unreliable. They got water from a nearby creek but this changed in 1865 when a pipeline from Woolundunga Springs in the Flinders Ranges was built. This didn’t solve the problem entirely and in 1944, a pipeline from the Murray River gave Port Augusta the water supply it needed for growth and support.
We spent the day at the ABC Open office, working on our submissions for the Triple J Road Trip Relay. It was also a great opportunity to stock up on some food at the local supermarkets and get some time in the library to work on the website. The weather was beautiful so we had a picnic lunch in Gladstone Park having a dip in the cool waters by the jetty.
PLACES OF INTEREST
Australian Arid Lands Botanic Gardens
We arrived at the Botanic Gardens late in the day, just as the sun was getting close to the horizon. We weren’t expecting much, considering we had seen plenty of arid lands during our time in the Flinders Ranges, but we were pleasantly surprised at what the gardens had to offer.
Showcasing a variety of dry landscapes with desert loving plants, our first delight was a bed of Sturt Desert Pea, South Australia’s floral symbol. As we explored further into the gardens, we found suggestions on how you can create a water-saving garden in your own backyard, as well as a bush tucker trail.
There is a licensed café onsite as well as a few self-guided walks around the gardens. Entry is free and there are even a few sculptures in the park.
Water Tower Lookout
WOW it was windy up there… The lookout provides 360 degree views of Port Augusta – the wharf and jetty, the bridge that connects east and west, as well as a great coastal view over the Spencer Gulf.
Wadlata Outback Centre & Visitor Tourist Information Centre
41 Flinders Terrace, 08 8641 9193
TO THE SOUTH
This small coastal town used to have the longest wooden jetty in the Southern Hemisphere but over the years it has been shortened by storms and general wear and tear. In town you’ll find a pub and a junk shop run by gypsies.
This city is the home of the world’s largest primary lead smelter, Nyrstar, and was named after the John Pirie Schooner, with the anchor of the ship on display at the local Lions Park. It has a nice main street with beautiful railway station, a bakery that opens at 6am, and the visitor centre was exhibiting a great Carnival exhibition by David Archer, complete with a flea circus and mechanical pig that pooped sausages.
Port Augusta BIG4 Holiday Park – Cnr Highway One & Stokes Terrace, 08 8642 2974