"Port Augusta Proud" Port Augusta by gravity6

Port Augusta Travel Guide: 41 reviews and 94 photos

A Magnificent Gulf

Port Augusta is situated at the top of Spencer Gulf framed by the magnificent foothills of the Flinders Ranges. Spencer Gulf boasts clear blue waters and is a key breeding ground for a range of marine species. The sheltered waters means boating, fishing, sailing, kayaking and water skiing are able to be undertaken year round. The fine, still, warm weather of the autumn and spring months make this the best time of year to enjoy the tranquility and scenic beauty of the upper Spencer Gulf. There are three companies that offer cruises of the gulf each with a different aspect, north to enjoy "Redbanks", south to enjoy the Ranges and for the more adverturous, jet boat rides are a new addition to this unique part of South Australia. Dolphin sightings are a regular occurrence.

Steeped in History

Port Augusta has a rich Aboriginal Heritage, but with white settlement Port Augusta was a key port in the formation of South Australia and Australia for that matter!!! It was the base for the overland telegraph construction (linking Adelaide to Darwin and in doing so linking Australia to the world), this was done with significant support from Afgan cameleers their "ships of the desert" transporting supplies and materials to the vastly unexplored inland of Australia to enable the building of the line. Port Augusta was a key port to provide services to the early settlers in the remote pastoral land in the North. The port provided a shipping route for the products of the land and also enabled the goods to be transported for the construction of early copper mines around the Flinders Ranges and further north. Most importantly the town was integral to the construction of the Ghan railway that linked Adelaide to Alice Springs (and now through to Darwin), the Ghan was named after the Afghan cameleers (above). Port Augusta was also integral in the development of the school of the air and the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Port Augusta's history is retained in its historic buildings, the wharf and a through an interactive display at Wadlata Outback Centre.

The Flinders Ranges

The Flinders Ranges took millions of years to form what they are today. They are unique rock formations that stretch through one of the most arid parts of Australia. This brings rugged beauty of soaring cliffs, quiet waterholes, ancient Aboriginal culture, rare wildlife and birds and flora that ranges from towering eucalyptus through to arid plants that can survive years without rain. It starts with the Southern Flinders Ranges that are rich in flora and fauna and have historic towns scattered throughout, each with their unique flavour and story to tell. The most famous landmark in the Flinders is Wilpena Pound that is both awe inspiringingly beautiful and steeped in history. A little further north and Iga Warta can give great insight in into the significance of this land to the Aboriginal traditional owners and their unique stories of how this land was formed and shaped. Further north is Arkaroola, a living geological text book, a privately owned wilderness sanctuary that boasts one of the most diverse collections of geological rock formations, soaring cliffs, quiet waterholes, abandoned copper mines and challenging 4 Wheel Drive tracks.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:good accommodation and meals, natural beauty and a great base for exploring further north.
  • Cons:Night life limited to the pub scene.
  • In a nutshell:Where the outback meets the sea.
  • Last visit to Port Augusta: May 2008
  • Intro Updated May 30, 2008
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