Port Augusta Things to Do

  • Wild Hollyhock
    Wild Hollyhock
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    Gifts
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Most Recent Things to Do in Port Augusta

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    VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

    by balhannah Updated Jan 20, 2015

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    This was our first stop in Port Augusta.
    Two reasons, one I needed a souvenir with an Aboriginal painting, and two, it is home of the Wadlata centre. Both of these have won many tourism awards.

    The building is built like a large rainwater tank, with a Windmill sitting on top. Inside was a huge gift shop, one of the best I've seen.

    I thought prices were quite affordable, there was a great range of gifts, and best of all, the Australian Aboriginal gifts were AUSTRALIAN MADE, made by the local Aboriginal tribe. Some is "one - of", like the original local Aboriginal Art, including painted boomerangs, Aboriginal paintings on canvas and board, painted and carved didgeridoos, original hand woven Aboriginal bowls, burnt coolimons and music sticks.
    There were gorgeous Australiana designed Tee Shirts, ties, hand painted silk scarves in Aboriginal design,[I loved these!] Australian flora and fauna scarves, socks, hats, books, DVD's ands so much more.
    I ended up buying a large strong Aborignal painted shopping bag, excellent value at only $15!

    The Outback cafe serves fresh, mostly cooked on-site food. It's located underneath the Windmill which pumps water into the Flinders Ranges rock pool, a beautiful peaceful setting.
    Just imagine enjoying your meal here, perhaps an Outback Steak or a Bushman's Burger or even a Drovers Dog, all while relaxing Australian music plays in the background.

    I found the staff friendly and helpful, the shop is wheelchair accessible as are the spotless Toilets.
    A fee applies for Internet access.
    So, come in and visit, and then go to Wadlata's time tunnel.

    There is an online shop if you wish to buy anything.

    Gifts Wadlata Outback info centre Gifts Gifts Gifts
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    ARID LANDS BOTANIC GARDEN

    by balhannah Updated Oct 11, 2014

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    Being somebody who enjoys gardening, I wanted to visit this park located just on the outskirts of Port August.
    Driving through an impressive entrance, we followed the signs to the garden. There were plenty of car parks so we stopped and I went for a short walk. I found there was hardly a shrub in flower, wrong time of year!

    The garden has a remarkable collection of plants, and I think you will be surprised to see how much will grow very well in this arid landscape. Lots of Australian native plants attract plenty of Birds, so expect to see them when the flowers are out.
    The gift shop/visitor centre sells gifts, plants for the garden, and books on gardening. The Bluebush Cafe maybe the place to enjoy the much needed drink after walking!

    Have been back here twice and still haven't seen a lot of flowers. In October there were more out than I have seen on previous ocsasions. On asking a worker at the garden, I was told SUMMER (Jan/Feb/March) is the best time to come and see the flowers, it is also the hottest!

    The Garden is FREE ENTRY
    OPEN...7.30am to sundown
    CENTRE IS OPEN....MON - FRIDAY 9am .....SAT/SUN 10 - 4PM

    More details on the website.

    Wild Hollyhock Entrance Entrance Entrance Native plant
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    THE TUNNEL OF TIME

    by balhannah Updated Oct 11, 2014

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    Located at the Wadlata Centre is the Tunnel of Time, a must see when you visit!

    First, we bought our admission tickets at the information centre desk, then we went through the gates and into the "tunnel of time."

    The journey begins 15 million years ago when dinosaurs roamed the land and Akurra, the rainbow Serpent lived. Through reading, audio visual display, interactive exhibits, we trace local Aboriginal and European history.
    The early explorers displays is very well done. Here we learn about their hardships and their journeys to open up this unknown country.
    Some films were showing, one was "Back of Beyond" about the Birdsville Track mailman Tom Kruse.
    It is a living memorial to the people and animals who first owned this land and to those who explored, settled and live there today.

    This museum was EXCELLENT and is a MUST SEE.

    For oversea's visitors, a chance to learn about Australia, and for Australians like me, a chance to learn some more!

    ALLOW PLENTY OF TIME IF YOU WANT A GOOD LOOK, IT'S A LARGE AREA TO COVER - THERE ARE 22 FILMS AND 30 INTERACTIVE INTERPRETIVE DISPLAYS

    We took a couple of hours, you may need more! You can get a PASS OUT that you can use the same day, next week or 6 months time.

    For us, it was a very well done tourist attraction that everybody should see if in the area.

    ADMISSION IN 2014
    Adults $19.50
    Children $11.00
    Concession $18.50
    Family 2 Adults + 2 Children - $42.70, additional child - $11.00
    1 Adult + 2 Children - $32.00, additional child - $11.00

    OPEN.....MON - FRIDAY.....9am-5.30pm
    SAT/SUN.....10am-4pm

    FREE PARKING ON SITE

    Akurra - The Rainbow Serpent
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    ST. AUGUSTINE'S CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Another heritage Church on the walk. I really liked this smallish Anglican church, don't know why, the stone work, I think. It isn't the original Church that was built in 1868, but a newer, larger Church built in 1882. The Bell on the side is from 1871, and if you look further, you will see the Church Hall. Would you believe, years ago this was St. Augustine's High School for Boys, it wasn't very big!

    Check out the houses around the corner in Gibson street.....Terrace houses and other old ones.

    This concludes what I saw on the Heritage walk, one I thought was good and interesting!

    St. Augustine's Church St. Augustine's Church
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    RED CLIFFS

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    When at Matthew Flinders look-out, I followed a dirt track further along the cliff top, and it was here that I had views of the beautiful Red Cliffs. They would have been better if the sun had been shining on them, but I was still very happy with what I saw. The track continued further on, so I guess you would probably be able to walk down to the bottom of the cliffs.

    Flinders and Outback Water Cruises can take you past the Redcliffs to the very tip of the Gulf - tide and weather permitting.

    Well worth the walk!

    Red Cliffs Red Cliffs Red Cliffs Red Cliffs
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    MATTHEW FLINDERS LOOKOUT

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    I don't know if they have a lot of car break-ins or not, but the notice said to make sure your car is securely locked and all valuables out of sight before setting off!

    It's only a short walk to the Memorial Cairn, dedicated to Captain Matthew Flinders, where he stood and named Mt Brown, Mt Arden, Point Lowly and Curlew Point in the Flinders Ranges. The views are excellent of the Flinders Ranges and the tail end of Spencer Gulf.

    View from Matthew Flinders lookout
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    THE LOOKOUT TOWER

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    DO NOT MISS! - The Lookout Tower, built in 1882 provide a reserve water supply for the residents of Port Augusta West.
    I had to climb four flights of steps to reach the top, well worth it though. The views were fantastic in every direction! I could see Port Augusta, the Flinders Ranges, the salt pans and the outback in the north, what a view!

    View from water tower Water tower lookout View from water tower View from water tower View from water tower
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    PORT AUGUSTA FORESHORE

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    What a pleasant surprise this was! Last time here, it wasn't anything much, now it's lovely!
    The area is lawned, there are plenty of walking trails, seating, some undercover, BBQ's, a nice playground and FREE Toilets. You can go fishing or just have a fun time with the family. In July/August, you may even see a Great Souther Right or Humpback Whale pass by! I have seen photos of them by the Port Augusta Bridge!
    AT the bridge end, is the swimmer's memorial, built by members of the swimming club in memory of those who lost their lives in WWII.
    There is a jetty in this area.

    Port Augusta Foreshore Port Augusta Foreshore Port Augusta Foreshore Port Augusta Foreshore
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    FLOWERING GUM TREES

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    In these northern towns and cities of Australia, there is a good chance that there will be Flowering Gum Trees planted in the streets. They love the type of climate and soil, and grow very well. They are not a large tree and attract plenty of Honey-eaters.
    In APRIL, they were in full bloom and were stunning!

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    PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Next door to the Funeral Chapel is the lovely Presbyterian Church. This Church and Manse dates back to 1885. The Presbyterians had decided not to join the Uniting Church in 1977, so this remains the only Presbyterian Church outside the metropolitan area in the Northern part of South Australia.

    Presbyterian Church
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    FUNERAL CHAPEL!

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Yes, a Funeral chapel is on the heritage walk! When you see the building you will see why! Its built in limestone back in 1919, when it was a Salvation Army Citadel. It has been a Funeral Parlour since 2009.

    Funeral Chapel
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    GLADSTONE SQUARE

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Located across the road from the Trooper's Barracks is the lovely green grassed Gladstone Square.
    It was named after the Prime Minister of England in 1883. We enjoyed our lunch in this lovely park.

    There are quite a few points of interest, including the beautifully restored Rotunda, built in 1890, and in 1923 dedicated as a Soldiers Memorial.

    You mustn't miss the ornate Drinking Fountain. It's a tribute to James Beatton, the Postmaster of Port Augusta from 1882 until he died in 1905.

    The Thomas Young Memorial was erected in 1913, in memory of the "Father of Port Augusta." Mr. Young was elected to Council and served for 34 years. He became Port Augusta's 4th Mayor in 1897 and served a 3 year term.

    Rotunda Rotunda Memorial Drinking fountain Young Memorial
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    WATERWORKS OR TROOPERS BARRACKS

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Another nice heritage building is what was once used as barracks for the Troopers between 1860 & 1882. At sometime during 1882, it was converted into a Waterworks store and the Blacksmith's shop was converted into the Library.

    Now, the buildings are used as Galleries "Yarta Purtli," and administration offices and the courtyard space out the back is popular for live performances, special events and private functions.

    The galleries display all art forms by local and interstate artists with the main focus on showcasing local artist and crafts people from Port Augusta and surrounding communities.

    Trooper's Barracks
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    OLD COURT HOUSE

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Our next building of interest, is the old Court House, built out of Saltia Creek stone in 1884. Before this court house was built, proceedings were held in the customs house.
    They no longer use this building as the Court house, the new one is in Flinders Terrace.

    Old Court house
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    THE OLD TOWN HALL

    by balhannah Written Jun 8, 2012

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    Looking in a rather sad state, is the Old town hall, built of local stone quarried at Quorn. It dates to 1887, at one stage, was the largest building in town. In 1944, some of the building was destroyed by fire, luckily, the Corinthian frontage and the Dome escaped damage, so the hall was rebuilt and re-opened in 1946. I read it had a beautiful two story theatre and a huge Ballroom, so I do hope the Council will renovate and restore this lovely old building.

    Old Town Hall
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