Port Augusta

Boats at dawn, Ken Stepnell / Explore Australia Publishing

Population 13255

Port Augusta is the most northerly port in South Australia. The difficulty of land transportation in the 1800s prompted the town's establishment in 1854. It was a major wool and wheat shipping depot until its closure in 1973 – luckily the power stations built by the State Electricity Trust were already generating the city's chief income. Fuelled by coal from the huge open-cut mines at Leigh Creek, the stations generate more than a third of the state's electricity. Port Augusta is also a supply centre for outback areas, an important link on the Indian–Pacific railway and a stopover for the Adelaide to Darwin Ghan train.

Visitor Information

Wadlata Outback Centre, 41 Flinders Tce; (08) 8641 9193 or 1800 633 060


Nearby national parks

  • 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

  • Lake Torrens National Park

    The 250-kilometre-long ephemeral Lake Torrens is timeless, wild and starkly photogenic. Protected within Lake Torrens National Park, this is...more

  • Flinders Ranges National Park

    Flinders Ranges National Park covers a vast ancient landscape of rippled outback terrain and exposed ridges, culminating in the striking...more

Nearby towns

  • Quorn

    Nestled in a valley in the Flinders Ranges, Quorn was established as a town on the Great Northern Railway line in 1878. The line was built...more

  • Wilmington

    Robert Blinman had the foresight to build an inn, called the Roundwood Hotel, at the base of Horrocks Pass in 1861, and soon the Cobb &...more

  • Melrose

    Melrose, a quiet settlement at the foot of Mount Remarkable, is the oldest town in the Flinders Ranges. Indigenous groups who occupied the...more

In Town

Wadlata Outback Centre This award-winning complex (recently upgraded) covers the natural history of the outback and Flinders Ranges. Read More

Homestead Park Pioneer Museum: picnic areas, re-creation of a blacksmith's shop, miniature steam and diesel train rides (1st and 3rd Sun each month), and the restored 130-year-old pine-log Yudnappinna homestead; Elsie St; (08) 8642 2035.

Fountain Gallery: local and touring art and cultural exhibitions; open Mon–Fri; Flinders Tce.

Gladstone Square: landscaped square surrounded by historic sites, including the courthouse, barracks and Presbyterian church; Cnr Jervois and Marryatt sts.

Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden: walks through 200 ha of arid-zone vegetation. Guided tours 10am weekdays; northern outskirts, on the Stuart Hwy; (08) 8641 1049.

McLellan Lookout: site of Matthew Flinders' landing in 1802; Whiting Pde.

Water Tower Lookout: spectacular views from the balcony of the 1882 tower; Mitchell Tce.

Matthew Flinders Lookout: excellent view of Spencer Gulf and the Flinders Ranges; end of McSporran Cres.

Boat cruises and adventure tours: contact visitor centre.

Heritage walk: self-guide town walk includes courthouse and the magnificent stained glass in St Augustine's Church; brochure from visitor centre.

Curdnatta Art and Pottery Gallery: high-quality painting, pottery and fabric art; Flinders Tce.


Spencer Gulf: watersports, yachting and fishing for King George whiting in northern waters.

Scenic drive: north-east to the splendid Pichi Richi Pass, historic Quorn and Warren Gorge. See the same sights by train on Pichi Richi Railway, a 33 km round trip operating from Quorn; see Quorn.

Fishing spots near town

Fitzgerald Bay 48 km

Snapper fishing has a language all of its own. In Queensland and NSW, anglers talk about small snapper as ‘squire’. In Victoria, small snapper are ‘pinkies’; in SA, they are known as... Find out more

Point Lowly 56 km

The Point Lowly lighthouse marks the southern extremity of Fitzgerald Bay. Near the lighthouse is a small community of shacks. These lighthouse cottages are cared for by the Uniting Church, and are available for hire. It... Find out more

Whyalla 62 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 63 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

The Dutchmans Stern camping area (walk-in camping) 25 km

There is no vehicle-based camping here, so it’s walk in and be self-sufficient. Many sites are provided west of the Dutchman Range, reached from Arden Vale Rd, 10 km north of Quorn.... Find out more

Stony Creek Camp (bush camping) 38 km

The park’s northernmost campground, this walk-in site is off the Stony Creek Track, 8 km north of the Alligator Gorge carpark. It is on the Heysen Trail. Only gas/fuel stoves are allowed and you need a permit from... Find out more

Eaglehawk Dam camping area (bush camping) 38 km

This walk-in bush camp is on the Ring Route Track, 4 km north-west of the Alligator Gorge carpark. A permit is required from the self-registration station, and you need to use a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Fricks Dam camping area (bush camping) 39 km

This elevated walk-in site is close to The Battery, with valley views. On Fricks Track, it is 10 km north of Mambray Creek. A permit is required from the self-registration station and you need to bring a gas/fuel stove.... Find out more

Stringers camping area (bush camping) 40 km

This walk-in camp is high on The Battery in the west of the park, 2 km north of the Hidden Gorge Hike. This site is gas/fuel stove only; pick up a permit from the self-registration station. Bring drinking water.... Find out more

Longhill Camp (bush camping) 40 km

Just 1 km south-west of Alligator, this walk-in camp (gas/fuel stove only) is at the start of the Ring Route Track. A permit is required from the self-registration station.... Find out more

Warren Gorge camping area 41 km

A popular haunt for self-sufficient travellers touring the Flinders Ranges, this area has eye-catching rock formations and classic groves of native pines to wander through. It’s 20 km north-west of Quorn via Arden... Find out more

Kingfisher Flat camping area (bush camping) 42 km

Delightful woodland walk-in camping is offered close to Alligator Creek. The facilities and ease of access make this a popular base for day walks to surrounding highlights. Situated 4 km south of the Alligator Gorge... Find out more

Hidden Camp (bush camping) 44 km

This sheltered walk-in site is close to the dramatic ravine of Hidden Gorge, 8 km on foot north of Mambray Creek. The site is gas/fuel stove only, and a permit is required from the self-registration station.... Find out more

Sugar Gum Dam camping area (bush camping) 45 km

Secluded small sites are set in this walk-in area among high woodland on the Black Range Trek, 11 km east of Mambray Creek. A permit is required from the self-registration station, and the site is gas/fuel stove only.... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Port Augusta Big4 Holiday Park 2 km

With very good facilities, this park is strategically based at the junction of the Eyre, Princes and Stuart highways. It can get quite busy here, even in the low season. The park is about 1.5 km from the town centre.... Find out more

Shoreline Caravan Park 3 km

This park has good facilities in a quiet, off-the-highway location. It has sea frontage and views of the Flinders Ranges. Bookings are required in peak periods.... Find out more

Nuttbush Retreat Caravan Park 35 km

This park adjoins the huge Pandurra sheep and cattle station, 40 km south-west of Port Augusta on the Eyre Highway. The park has very good facilities, including a licensed bar and restaurant.... Find out more

Discovery Holiday Parks – Whyalla Foreshore 63 km

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

Port Pirie Beach Caravan Park 80 km

This beachfront caravan park is just 1.5 km from the town centre and offers a range of facilities to suit most travellers. Nicely angled drive-through sites, clean amenities and friendly staff make this our pick of the... Find out more

Hotels, motels & B&Bs around town

Majestic Oasis Apartments

The revamping of Port Augusta’s foreshore has included the addition of these 75 serviced apartments. As well as balcony views of the water and landscapes beyond, these modern one- and two-bedroom units are smartly... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Information Bay rest area 23 km

130km NE of Kimba (R) or 26km SW of Port Augusta (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Tank Hill Rest Area 27 km

126 km NE of Kimba (R) or 30 km SW of Port Augusta (L)

Large secluded area just off the highway in the scrub. Limited shade.

Hancocks Lookout rest area 33 km

T/O 18km SE of Princes Hwy (R) or 4km W of Wilmington (L)

At the lookout 7km (unsealed) south of the highway.

Tent Hill rest area 35 km

36km N of Port Augusta (R) or 137km S of Pimba (L)

Just off the highway and surrounded by scrub.

Mount Whyalla rest area 35 km

11km S of Eyre Hwy (L) or 36km N of Whyalla (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Wilmington park area 35 km

At Wilmington

Just off the highway. On the south side of town.

Mambray Creek rest area 44 km

T/O 48km S of Port Augusta (L) or 47km N of Warnertown (L)

Under trees on both sides of the highway.

Mambray Creek camping area 46 km

T/O 48km S of Port Augusta (L) or 47km N of Warnertown (R)

At the base of some ranges 5km east of the highway in Mt Remarkable National Park.

Fitzgerald Bay camping area 47 km

T/O 36km S of Eyre Hwy (L) or 11km N of Whyalla (R)

On the foreshore 24km (partly unsealed) east of the highway via Port Bonython and Point Douglas rds.

Willochra Creek rest area 53 km

17km S of Wilmington (R) or 3km N of Melrose (L)

Just off the highway among trees.

Point Lowly camping area 55 km

T/O 36km S of Eyre Hwy (L) or 11km N of Whyalla (R)

Near the foreshore 23km east of the highway via Port Bonython Rd.

Knobbies camping area 64 km

At Iron Knob

Among a few small trees on the edge of town. Donation requested.

Port Germein South rest area 66 km

72km S of Port Augusta (L)

Secluded behind trees. For southbound only.

Murray Town camping area 66 km

At Murray Town

Large area just off the highway. In the middle of town. Good facilities. Limited shade.

Ippinitchie camping area 76 km

T/O at Wirrabara

In the forest 8km (partly unsealed) west of Wirrabara in Wirrabara Forest Reserve.

Warnertown rest area 88 km

At Warnertown

Just off the highway. On the south side of town. For northbound only.

Laura park area 91 km

At Laura

Under shady trees opposite a caravan park.

What's on around town

Cup Carnival: horseracing; June.

Outback Surfboat Carnival: Nov.

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