Population 883

This pleasant Eyre Peninsula township is on the almost land-locked Franklin Harbour – its entrance is merely 100 metres wide. Matthew Flinders sailed past here in 1802 and, understandably, mistook the harbour for a large lagoon. The sandy beach is safe for swimming and the fishing is excellent. Oyster farming is a relatively new local industry, and fresh oysters can be purchased year-round. The world's oldest and perhaps largest jade deposit is in the district. Discovered in the Minbrie Range in 1965, the deposit is believed to have been formed around 1700 million years ago by the shifting of the earth's surface.

Visitor Information

Main St; (08) 8629 2588.

Nearby national parks

  • Lincoln National Park

    Easily accessible at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula, Lincoln National Park protects a sweeping plain of coastal mallee surrounded by bays and...more

  • Mount Remarkable National Park

    Mount Remarkable National Park, in the southern reaches of the Flinders Ranges, is a beautiful bushland park with pretty creeks, steep...more

  • Innes National Park

    Innes National Park, at the south-western extremity of the Yorke Peninsula, comprises a coastal environment of saline lakes, salt flats,...more

Nearby towns

  • Wallaroo

    Vast grain silos greet visitors to Wallaroo, a coastal town and shipping port on the west coast of Yorke Peninsula. The town is an...more

  • Moonta

    The towns of Moonta, Kadina and Wallaroo form the 'Copper Coast' or 'Little Cornwall', so called because of abundant copper finds and the...more

  • Kimba

    A small town on the Eyre Peninsula, Kimba is 'halfway across Australia' according to the huge sign on the Eyre Highway. It is the gateway to...more

In Town

Franklin Harbour Historical Museum: in the old post office and its attached residence (1888), now operated by the National Trust and featuring local history displays; closed Mon and Tues; Main St; (08) 8629 2686.

Ruston Proctor Steam Tractor Museum: open-air agricultural museum; Lincoln Hwy.

Cowell Jade Motel: showroom and sales of local jade jewellery; Lincoln Hwy.

Turner Aquaculture: tours of an oyster factory; Oyster Dr.

Foreshore and Mangrove Boardwalk: ideal for a picnic, with barbecue area and adventure playground for the kids; The Esplanade.

Boat hire: from the caravan park.


Scenic drive: 20 km drive south to Port Gibbon along a coast renowned for its history of wrecked and sunken ketches; interpretive signs detail the history at each site.

Franklin Harbour Conservation Park: coastal peninsula park of sand dunes and mangrove habitat, popular for bush camping and fishing; 5 km S.

May Gibbs Memorial: marks the location of children's author May Gibbs' first home; Cleve Rd; 10 km S.

The Knob: good fishing from sheltered beach and rocks; 13 km S.

Lucky Bay: safe swimming for children and the start of a 4WD track to Victoria Point with excellent views of the harbour. Sea SA operates a ferry from here to Wallaroo on the Yorke Peninsula 4 times a day on weekdays and twice a day on weekends; bookings (08) 8823 0777; 16 km E.

Port Gibbon: old shipping port with remains of original jetty. Sea lions are visible from the short walk to the point; 25 km S.

Yeldulknie Weir and Reservoir: picnics and walking; 37 km W.

Cleve: a service town with murals depicting its early days and an observation point at Tickleberry Hill; 42 km W.

Arno Bay: a holiday town with sandy beaches and a jetty for fishing. Regular yacht races are held on Sun in summer; 44 km SW.

Fishing spots near town

Wallaroo 70 km

The small SA seaport of Wallaroo, north of Moonta, offers an excellent base for anglers wanting to catch big snapper, King George whiting, Australian salmon and yellowtail kingfish. Many of the reef systems are close to... Find out more

Port Broughton 94 km

Port Broughton is a favourite destination for anglers wanting to fish from charter boats. The boat ramp in the sheltered harbour is next to a small pier complex and is popular for small fish including salmon, Tommy ruff,... Find out more

Whyalla 95 km

Whyalla is snapper central for anglers. Every Easter the Australian Snapper Championships are based here and the top ten snapper weighed in are always over 10 kg. As you would expect with a destination where fishing is... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Diving with cuttlefish, off Whyalla 94 km

Every year between May and September, thousands of Australian giant cuttlefish converge on the rocky coastline between Fitzgerald Bay and False Bay at Whyalla (on the Eyre Peninsula’s north-east coast) to breed and... Find out more

Campsites around town

Franklin Harbour camping area (bush camping) 8 km

Camping for self-sufficient campers is reached by 4WD via Wellington Rd. Bring your own everything.... Find out more

The Knob camping area 14 km

This popular fishing and swimming haunt is just 13 km south of Cowell and its oyster farms in Franklin Harbour, where the beach is a sheltered curve of sand bounded by rock flats and a low headland called the Knob.... Find out more

Munyaroo camping area (bush camping) 49 km

The road to the camping area is signposted from the Lincoln Hwy, 44 km south of Whyalla. Bush camping here is for self-sufficient campers only, so bring everything with you.... Find out more

Carappee Hill camping area (bush camping) 68 km

This site offers bush camping for self-sufficient campers. The approach from the Darke Peak–Kimba Rd can handle off-road trailers.... Find out more

Lakes Edge camping area (bush camping) 81 km

Access routes to this camping area for self-sufficient campers are signposted from Eyre Hwy, 87 km west of Iron Knob and 35 km east of Kimba. A 4WD is essential for areas north of the lake. A permit is required.... Find out more

The Gap camping area 81 km

Several beachfront sites huddle among the dunes here, on the remote north-west coast. The water is easy to access – including for boat launching – and the long, dazzling stretch of beach to the north is... Find out more

The Bamboos camping area 83 km

There’s a varied coastline to discover here - rocky headlands, seagrass shallows, and white sand beaches. The camping is behind the dunes, 12 km north of Balgowan.... Find out more

Tiparra Rocks camping area 86 km

This is the first of 3 coastal-reserve camping areas, 4 km north of the seaside settlement of Balgowan. A crust of vivid red cliffs marks the edge of the peninsula south of this site. You’ll find lots of solitude... Find out more

Lipson Cove camping area 89 km

This is an easygoing coastal hideout halfway between Tumby Bay and Port Neil, with fine ocean views and a beach that offers good swimming and fishing. There’s a walk at low tide to explore Lipson Island... Find out more

Nicholls Track camping area 91 km

On Nicholls Track, 54 km north-east of Cummins, this camping area is reached by 4WD via Reserve Rd from Mt Isabella. Check track conditions with Parks SA; a permit is required. Bring your own wood and water.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Cowell Foreshore Caravan Park and Holiday Units 1 km

Located on the foreshore at the end of the main street, this park is ideally situated for those who enjoy walking everywhere. Fresh Cowell oysters are on sale at reception. Bookings are required from January to April,... Find out more

Arno Bay Caravan Park 41 km

Close to the water, with good facilities, this is an attractive park that would be a great holiday destination, particularly for those interested in a little fishing. Bookings are necessary for the summer and Easter... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Whyalla Foreshore 94 km

This large park close to town has most amenities for tourists. Bookings are required at Easter.... Find out more

Port Broughton Caravan Park 94 km

A large park on the waterfront at the small town of Port Broughton, this is ideal for a quiet break or for fishing and crabbing. Bookings are required in peak periods, and a minimum-length stay period applies at Easter... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Franklin Harbour Hotel

This heritage-listed Federation-era hotel is a classic of the genre. Conveniently located at the head of the main street, it’s an easy amble to the shops, boat ramp and wharf. The accommodation is upstairs, with... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Cowell park area 1 km

At Cowell

On the foreshore at the end of the main street through town.

Port Gibbon camping area 17 km

T/O 23km SW of Cowell (L) or 21km NE of Arno Bay (R)

On the foreshore 6km (unsealed) east of the highway via Port Gibbon Rd.

Arno North rest area 26 km

28km SW of Cowell (R) or 16km NE of Arno Bay (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Arno Bay park area 41 km

At Arno Bay

On the foreshore at the end of the main street through town.

Granite Hill rest area 53 km

48km SW of Whyalla (L) or 59km NE of Cowell (R)

Just off the highway.

Arno South rest area 59 km

18km SW of Arno Bay (L) or 17km NE of Port Neill (R)

Just off the highway behind a few bushes.

Port Neill park area 72 km

At Port Neill

On the foreshore near the jetty.

Lake Giles rest area 72 km

36km NE of Kimba (R) or 119km SW of Port Augusta (L)

Secluded in the scrub behind the truck bay.

Kimba rest area 76 km

At Kimba

Adjacent to the highway. In the middle of town.

Cape Hardy rest area 86 km

15km SW of Port Neill (R) or 25km NE of Tumby Bay (L)

Secluded area just off the highway among a few trees.

Lipson Cove camping area 89 km

T/O 23km SW of Port Neill (L) or 17km N of Tumby Bay (R)

On the foreshore with picturesque views over a bay. Located 8km (unsealed) east of the highway.

What's on around town

Fireworks Night: includes street party; Dec.

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