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A Short History of the local area
Port Augusta is a major transport hub with road and rail taking over from sailing ships and camel trains. Major industries include the coal fired power station which closed in March 2016 with the loss of over 400 jobs. The Railways were rationalised in the 80s and these days Port Augusta is a major regional service centre for outback SA.
With a population of about 14,000, it is also the Crossroads of Australia and people traveling to and from the major urban centres of Perth, Darwin, Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane have to pass through Port Augusta. Port Augusta may not be a tourist destination but like most places, it has an interesting history and great places to visit, if you know where.
What to do
Places to Visit in Port Augusta
Arid Lands Botanic Gardens
is a great place to have a coffee and cake, learn about our wonderful native plants and view native birds. It has a nice café and information centre made of rammed earth and is a short 1.5 km drive from the Motel.
Wadlata Outback Centre
is an interesting place for young and old. The Tunnel of Time combines geological history with that of the Aboriginals and white settlers. All your information needs can be met here for the Flinders Ranges, Outback and trips across the Nullarbor, to Darwin or other destinations within South Australia. Opening hours Mon-Fri 9.00am-5.30pm. Sat-Sun 10am-4pm.
Matthew Flinders Lookout
From the Arid Lands Garden, take a short walk to Matthew Flinders lookout, also known as Redcliff lookout. The views over the northern end of the gulf towards the Flinders Ranges are stunning, especially at sunset.
Pichi Richi Steam Train
journey travels part of the old narrow gauge Ghan railway line. It carries passengers from Quorn to Port Augusta through the Pichi Richi Pass via Woolshed flat and back. To book, call 1800 440 101.
Old Water Tower
for 360 degree views of the city, gulf and Flinders Ranges and magnificent sunsets, a short stroll from the Motel.
Royal Flying Doctor Service
The Port Augusta Base is headquarters of the RFDS Primary Health Care Service which serves an area of 840,000 square kilometres, providing comprehensive primary health care services to residents in the far west and northern regions of SA.
Other Attractions in the area
Galleries and museums
Curdnatta/Platform Art Gallery
2 Stirling Road
Port Augusta Cultural Centre (Yart Purtli)
RSL Museum of military memorablia
17 Fulham Road
WHY NOT VISIT THE FLINDERS RANGES while you are here?
If you HAVE SOME mORE tIME
If you have a spare half day, visit the nearby Flinders Rangers with their impressive geological history and magnificent views. There are many quality accommodation options and things to do and if you enjoy bushwalking or the outdoors, please take the time to visit.
For an introduction to the Flinders Ranges, take a drive through Horrocks pass to Wilmington visiting Hancocks Lookout on the way. Just out of town on the southern side is the road to Alligator Gorge, an enchanting walk through an ancient riverbed canyon. You will need to buy a $10 pass per vehicle from Wadlata (or online) but this has to be the best value money can buy. Be careful not to feed the local alligators.
Then take the drive up to Quorn, a once thriving railway town, stuck in time and the scene of many Australian movies. There are many funky café’s and historical buildings including the old railway building. Have a meal and traditional milkshake at Emily’s Bistro in the old Emporium and head back to Port Augusta through the Pichi Richi Pass.
Need some ideas about travelling across the Nullarbor
TRAVEL iTINERARY COMING SOON
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accommodation in historic Old-Town buildings close to all sights and attractions
Get In Touch
If you are interested in making a booking with us then please give us a call, we would love to hear from you.