Port Lincoln is the Seafood Capital of Australia and has the largest commercial fishing fleet in Australia. It is located on Boston Bay with Boston Island in the distance and is inhabited by 14000 people. It has a great natural harbour and the town revolves around fishing, boating and diving with sharks and tuna.
The first Europeans arrived in 1839 and while there was a lot of potential for Port Lincoln to have become South Australia’s capital, another spot was chosen because of a lack of fresh water.
We were stoked to arrive on the last day of Tunarama and did a bit of fishing at the breakwater which nearly resulted in tuna for dinner. Unfortunately, we weren’t lucky at all and spent the night at Lincoln National Park.
Every year at the end of January, Port Lincoln hosts Tunarama, a huge festival that exhibits the culture and spirit of the city. Port Lincoln has a great fishing history and in the 1960s, the community used to come out and send off the tuna fleets, blessing them with a successful trip, and they’ve maintained this annual tradition throughout the decades.
There are heaps of things to do over the four-day festival. The famous tuna toss has several heats for all ages, with the final toss on the Sunday. This year’s winner was Tim from Canberra who tossed the tuna over 30 metres. There are also a variety of competitions, such as sand sculpting, keg rolling, prawn peeling, watermelon eating, and even for the best tattoo at the festival.
The foreshore is filled with sideshows, carnival rides, food stalls and free entertainment and we watched in awe as giant tuna and squid kites flew over Boston Bay. We sampled the local goods, including a $5 tuna steak served with bread and salad. It was cooked just right, with a little bit of pink in the middle. A lady was giving out free fruit, which we thought was a great idea, and a teeny, tiny puppy was stumbling around and we couldn’t help but give him a cuddle.
PLACES OF INTERST
Boston Bay Wines
The Eyre Peninsula is a budding wine region, but Boston Bay Wines has been around for 25 years after the founder, Graham Ford, was told that the slopes could yield a good drop. They produce a variety of wines, from Riesling to Shiraz, and also accommodate for weddings, business events and other celebrations.
We took a break from the Tunarama celebrations to check out the wines and these were our favourites.
- 2012 The Great White Sauvignon Blanc – lots of tropical fruits on the nose like passionfruit and peach, and while the entry was crisp and acidic, it finished smooth with lots of stone fruits.
- 2010 Merlot – rich ruby with purple hues, it smelt ripe with sweet fruits and currants. The entry was smooth and silky with a vanilla mulberry finish.
- Riesling Mistelle – a golden liquid with a hint of orange, it was sweet with stewed fruits, raisins and honey. A smooth entry was followed by a spirited punch and lots of fruit and toffee.
We also got to sample some pure, unprocessed grape juice. It was similar to pear juice, yellow and cloudy and beautifully sweet.
Winter Hill Lookout & The Old Mill
Only 5km out of town is Winter Hill Lookout that offers an amazing view of the town below and the ocean beyond. The Old Mill is located in town and is an old unfinished mill with a spiral staircase around the outside. It gives a great view of the town and Boston Bay.
Makybe Diva Statue
The owner of three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva is a fisherman from Port Lincoln. The bronze statue was made by a local artist and took nine months to complete.
Lincoln National Park
A short drive south of Port Lincoln is a national park with a rugged coastline that offers coastal hikes, great beaches and camping with or without facilities. Fees apply to enter and camp in Lincoln National Park and these fees contribute to park conservation and maintenance of facilities.
We stayed at Surfleet Cove and did a quick hike in the morning along the Investigator Trail before driving further into the park to check out the Cape Donington Lighthouse and beautiful campsite at Spaulding Cove. If you plan to stay there, watch out for the bees. They love water!
ACCOMMODATION & INFORMATION
Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre – 3 Adelaide Place, 08 8683 3544
Port Lincoln YHA – 24-26 London Street, 08 8682 3605