Port MacDonnell

Piccaninnie Ponds Conservation Park, South Australian Tourism Commission

Population 624

Port MacDonnell is a quiet fishing town that was once a thriving port. The establishment of the breakwater in 1975 has ensured the southern rock lobster trade many more years of fruitful operation. The fleet is now the largest in Australia. While fishing is the main focus of the area, the rich maritime history, fascinating crystal pools and coastal scenery attract visitors year-round.

Visitor Information

7 Charles St; (08) 8738 2576

www.thelimestonecoast. com.au

Nearby national parks

  • Mount Eccles National Park

    Mount Eccles National Park is Victoria’s first co-managed national park, being managed by the traditional owners,...more

  • Coorong National Park

    Coorong National Park is a long, narrow ribbon of saline wetlands, saltpans, coastal dunes and wild ocean beaches stretching for 150...more

  • Wyperfeld National Park

    In the state’s arid north-west, Wyperfeld is a vast park of open plains and spreading mallee eucalypts. The usually bone-dry bed of...more

Nearby towns

  • Mount Gambier

    Mount Gambier is set on an extinct volcano – the area boasts a fascinating network of volcanic craters above sea level and limestone...more

  • Millicent

    Millicent, a prosperous, friendly and vibrant community located in the heart of the Limestone Coast region, is named after Millicent Glen,...more

  • Penola

    Penola is one of the oldest towns in south-east South Australia, and has some excellent wineries nearby. The town is noted for its...more

In Town

Maritime Museum The long maritime history of this stretch of coast is littered with stories of shipwrecks and bravery. Here photos and salvaged artefacts bring the old days to life. A particularly tragic story is the crash of the Admella on an off-coast reef in 1859. Only 24 of the 113 people aboard survived. There is also a focus on community history and on the rock lobster industry. Open 12.30–4.30pm Wed, Fri and Sun; Meylin St; (08) 8738 7259.

Clarke's Park: popular picnic spot with natural spring; northern outskirts.

Fishing: anglers will enjoy fishing from the jetty and landing. Boat charters available for deep-sea catches of tuna; details from visitor centre.

Heritage walk: includes historic cemetery with hidden headstones; contact visitor centre.


Ewens Ponds and Piccaninnie Ponds conservation parks For a unique snorkelling or diving experience, visit the crystal-clear waters of these parks.

Cape Northumberland Heritage and Nature Park: a coastal park famous for sunrises and sunsets. Other highlights include a historic lighthouse, a penguin colony and unusual rock formations; just west of town.

Dingley Dell Conservation Park: the historic 1862 restored cottage that is located here was once the home of Australian poet Adam Lindsay Gordon and features displays on his life and work; tours 10am–4pm daily; 2 km W.

Germein Reserve: 8 km boardwalk (loop track) through wetlands; opposite Dingley Dell.

Southern Ocean Shipwreck Trail: over 89 vessels came to grief on the section of coast from the Victorian border to the Murray River mouth. The drive trail includes 10 interpretive sites; brochure from visitor centre.

Fishing spots near town

Nelson 27 km

The Glenelg River is situated at Nelson near the border with SA. The long river is one of the state’s premier fisheries for bream to 1.8 kg, estuary perch and mulloway to about 20 kg. Victoria has some excellent... Find out more

Portland 86 km

‘I reckon Portland is Victoria’s best kept angling secret,’ local angler Bob McPherson told me in 2004. At the time, I believed he was right. Within two years Portland was no longer a secret, becoming... Find out more

Eco-friendly activities around town

Picnicking around Mount Gambier 25 km

Mount Gambier has some extraordinary picnic spots around collapsed caves that are now beautiful sinkhole gardens. Try Cave Gardens or the stunning Umpherston Sinkhole, which has free barbecues and good facilities.... Find out more

Campsites around town

Piccaninnie Ponds camping area 21 km

This camping area with 6 sites is 3.5 km south of Nelson Rd, 27.8 km south-east of Mt Gambier; the sites are 600 m past the access road to the ponds. Pick up a permit from the self-registration station. While you... Find out more

Simsons Camp (walk-in camping) 26 km

The 17 km trail that leads from Pattersons Camp to Simsons Camp affords some spectacular views of the limestone cliffs of the Glenelg River Gorge. From this point on, you leave the environs of the Glenelg River behind... Find out more

Princess Margaret Rose Caves camping area 27 km

Underground pools, cave coral, shawls and delicate, unpredictable helictites are just some of the memorable sights within Princess Margaret Rose Cave, one of the star attractions of the national park. A number of walking... Find out more

Kywong Caravan Park 27 km

At Kywong Caravan Park, you can spend your days swimming, fishing and saying hello to the local kangaroos and wallabies. Don’t forget to pay your respects to beautiful Lower Glenelg National Park while you’re... Find out more

Lasletts camping area (canoe-based camping) 28 km

Canoeists beach themselves at Lasletts to stage impromptu picnics, or to rest for the night before setting out for Princess Margaret Rose Cave. It’s one of the handful of campsites in Lower Glenelg National Park... Find out more

Hutchessons camping area 31 km

There’s not much to see at Hutchessons beyond the reed-lined riverbank and the surrounding trees – which is just the way that visitors like it. The turn-off for the 250 m track to the campground is on River... Find out more

Pattersons Camp (walk-in camping) 32 km

From Battersbys, it’s a hike of 13 km to Pattersons Camp and a further 17 km to Simsons Camp. Along the way the trail passes Sapling Creek, where you can detour onto a nice short nature walk. You can also paddle a... Find out more

Cape Banks Lighthouse camping area 33 km

Small clearings for self-sufficient camping are found in the coastal scrub at the southern end of the park. Access is from Cape Banks Rd, 3.2 km north of Carpenter Rocks. Self-registration stations have permits.... Find out more

McLennans Punt camping area 33 km

Nestled on the northern shore of the Glenelg River, McLennans Punt has only a couple of sites on offer and is a peaceful spot to erect a tent. The fishing is often very good due to the large numbers of finned creatures... Find out more

Bowds camping area (canoe-based camping) 34 km

Bowds is one of a number of camping areas in the park that are primarily for canoeists making their way down the Glenelg River, although these sites can be made available to powerboat operators at the ranger’s... Find out more

Caravan parks around town

Port MacDonnell Foreshore Tourist Park 1 km

A good value, budget-priced park situated on the beachfront, about 1.5 km from the centre of Port MacDonnell, the park has good facilities and is an ideal location from which to explore the historic region. There is a... Find out more

Blue Lake Holiday Park 24 km

Located south of the city centre, this wellshaded quality park adjoins the golf course and is adjacent to Mount Gambier’s premier attraction, the spectacular Blue Lake. This is a fabulous base for exploring the... Find out more

Kywong Caravan Park 27 km

Located on the northern side of town, this large budget-priced park has good facilities. It is about 1.5 km from the centre of the small township. There is good value here. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter and... Find out more

Kalganyi Holiday Park 29 km

This is a very good park set in a quiet, treed area on the northern outskirts of Mount Gambier. It has extensive facilities including ensuite sites. This is a good base from which to explore the Mount Gambier region.... Find out more

Millicent Lakeside Caravan Park 60 km

This is a spacious, neat and tidy park with good basic facilities. A convenient, wellstocked shop is adjacent, at the town’s excellent swimming complex (an artificial lake). Bookings are required in peak periods,... Find out more

Portland Tourist Park 85 km

Set in a residential area of town about 1.6 km from the town centre, this owner operated park has good facilities and a corner store is conveniently located opposite the park. Bookings are required at Christmas, Easter... Find out more

Henty Bay Beachfront Van and Cabin Park 85 km

This large, spacious park is located on the beachfront 6 km north-east of the centre of town. The park has a well-stocked shop with takeaway food and a good selection of fishing tackle and bait. Bookings are required at... Find out more

Beachport’s Southern Ocean Tourist Park 87 km

This large, spacious park in a popular resort town has very good amenities and sites are reasonably priced. It is situated in an area where fishing and recreational water activities are the main attractions. Bookings are... Find out more

Narrawong Holiday Park 91 km

This pretty park is in a fabulous, quiet beachside and riverfront position off the Princes Highway. Offering a range of accommodation, it is close to Portland and has good fishing and swimming, and a range of facilities... Find out more

Rest areas around town

Mount Gambier Park Area 26 km

North-east side of town

Parking area at the Lady Nelson Visitor Information Centre.

Princess Margaret Rose Caves camping area 26 km

T/O 1km E of SA border (R) or 76km NW of Heywood (L)

Near the caves 10km (unsealed) south of the highway via Princess Margaret Rd in Lower Glenelg National Park.

Pinnaster rest area 33 km

18km SE of Mt Gambier (L) or 70km NW of Heywood (R)

Just off the highway among the trees.

Glenelg River park area 52 km

33km SE of SA border (L) or 40km NW of Heywood (R)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

Fort O'Hare camping area 53 km

At Dartmoor

Under shady trees on the east side of town.

Forestry Info rest area 61 km

16km S of Penola (L) or 35km N of Mt Gambier (R)

Just off the highway on the edge of a forest.

Penola South rest area 65 km

12km S of Penola (R) or 39km N of Mt Gambier (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees. 

Greenrise Lake park area 74 km

3km S of Penola (R) or 48km N of Mt Gambier (L)

Just off the highway on the shores of the (usually dry) lake.

Annya Forest camping area 77 km

T/O 81km E of Mt Gambier (L) or 7km W of Heywood (R)

In the forest 7.5km (partly unsealed) north of the highway.

Casterton park area 81 km

At Casterton

Under shady trees on the eastern bank of the Glenelg River.

Clay Wells rest area 84 km

77km S of Kingston (R) or 28km N of Millicent (L)

Adjacent to the highway among a few trees.

Coonawarra rest area 88 km

38km S of Naracoorte (R) or 13km N of Penola (L)

Just off the highway among a few trees.

The Sawpit camping area 89 km

T/O at Narrawong

In the forest 3km (partly unsealed) north of the highway.

Fitzroy River rest area 95 km

23km E of Portland (R) or 48km W of Port Fairy (L)

Well off the highway under trees on the riverbank.

Father Woods rest area 96 km

31km S of Naracoorte (L) or 20km N of Penola (R)

Just off the road near several unique wood carvings.

Branxholme park area 99 km

At Branxholme

Adjacent to the recreation area in the middle of town. 

What's on around town

Bayside Festival: Jan.

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