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Port Lincoln

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Port Lincoln

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Port Lincoln is a town in the Eyre Peninsula region of South Australia.



Visited and named by Matthew Flinders in 1802, after his home of Lincolnshire, Port Lincoln is yet another Australian town that remembers this explorer. Flinders was looking for fresh water during his visit, which lasted several weeks. He eventually located some, which enabled him to continue his voyage into the Spencer Gulf.

He lost eight of his crew in a rowing boat while going ashore here. The boat was found but the bodies of the crew never were. The cape at the tip of Lincoln National Park is called Cape Catastrophe after the event, and the surrounding islands named after each of the lost crewmen.


Port Lincoln doesn't get as warm as you may expect during summer, with averages remaining lower than Adelaide, and more northern towns.


Port Lincoln today is a town of around 15,000 people, it has a foreshore area, marina district, and is close to the Lincoln National Park. Although tourism is important to the area, this is a working city, and you are just as likely to see trawlers in the marina as you are luxury yachts or tourist charters. While swimming at the foreshore jetty, you can see the large grain silos and conveyors load grain ships at speed.

Get in[edit]

By car[edit]

About 8 hours drive from Adelaide, a little quicker and less driving when taking the ferry [7]arriving at Lucky Bay from Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula.

By plane[edit]

Port Lincoln has a regional airport (IATA: PLO) situated north of the town on the Lincoln Highway (B100) and near North Shields at the north western end of Boston Bay. The airport is around 15 km from the town and is the second busiest airport in South Australia.

Rex Regional Express [8] and Qantaslink [9] fly from Adelaide several times daily. Compared to the drive, flying is quick and flights are easily obtainable for less than $100 each way. The distance of 245 km (152 mi) as the crow flies across the Spencer Gulf and St Vincent Gulf to Adelaide is not that great when compared to the much longer road route to the north via Port Augusta and around the top of the two gulfs and top of Yorke Peninsula.

Whyalla is the next closest airport with scheduled services, about 3 hours drive (268km) to the north. Flights there are less frequent and more expensive.

By coach[edit]

Premier Stateliner [10] run daily services to Adelaide via Whyalla and Port Augusta.

Get around[edit]

Rental cars are available in Port Lincoln, and taxis operate around the town.

Bike hire is available from Port Lincoln Adventure Hire.

See[edit][add listing]

  • Whaler's Way is a drive on private land commencing 20 km south of Port Lincoln. The drive itself is around 15 km, and will take around 3 hours to see all the sights along the road. You need to purchase a $30 permit to enter from the visitors centre, and show it at the gate. You can also buy the permits at the gate when it is attended. You can get a key to the gate from the visitors centre in Port Lincoln for after hours entry with a $10 deposit. Expect to see dramatic cliffs edges, rockpools, craveasses, islands, rock falls and seals.

Lincoln National Park[edit]

Lincoln National Park is 15 km drive south of Port Lincoln, The road is sealed (paved) for most of the distance to Cape Donnington and a well graded gravel road for the remainder. Near Cape Donnington there are many emu, kangaroo and goanna. Bring binoculars to see the wildlife on Donnington Island.

  • Cape Donnington has a fairly modern looking lighthouse, rocks, and waves. Views out to Donnington Island.
  • Stamford Hill at 1.6 km return walk to the Flinders monument. A great view over the town and beaches. This is the point to which Flinders climbed when he located the water that allowed him to continue his journey.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Coffin Bay with its two conservation parks, oyster farms and beaches, and Tumby Bay make ideal day trips.
  • Swimming
  • At the foreshore. There is a park, swimming enclosure and jetty just in front of the main shopping area. Showers and change rooms are available in the park.
  • At the beach
  • Go cage diving with great white sharks. Three operators have cage diving tours leaving from Port Lincoln, two offering a day trip and another offering multi-day sleep on board trips. The best time for seeing great white sharks is in the winter months as they like cooler water.
  • Adventure Bay Charters, 2 Jubilee Drive, +61488428862, [1]. Advanced Eco Certified, Full day 'Shark Cage Diving', $345 per spectator, $445 per diver  edit

  • Rodney Fox Shark Experience, office +61 8 8363 1788, cellular/mobile +61 428 810646 (), [2]. Liveaboard trips start at 3D/4N with diving and accommodation packages. From $1,995.  edit
  • Calypso Star Charter, 3/10 South Quay Boulevard, +61 8 8682 3939 (, fax: +61 8 8682 6877), [3]. One day 'Shark Cage Diving' adventures $395 per spectator and $495 per diver.  edit
  • You can swim with the tuna in enclosures. You can see the circular tuna nets out beyond Boston Island. Each can hold up to 3,000 tuna, with little room for anyone to jump in with them. The swim with Tuna platforms are purpose built, and have enough tuna so you can fit in as well. Tuna are large fish, with constantly open mouths, and they can swim up to 80km/h when darting for a pilchard. Swimming with them isn't a calm snorkelling experience, but rather a slightly freaky experience with tuna darting rapidly at you, and then turning away with precision accuracy as they avoid everything that isn't a pilchard. Wetsuits, gloves and booties are supplied if you want to dive in.
  • Swim with the Tuna, [4]. Underwater viewing, two pools, feeding and swimming. Free coffee and tea, and cookies and sausages available for purchase. No tuna available here though, so this may be the place for those who are more into watching them than eating them.  edit
  • You can Swim with the Australian Sea Lion. A marine encounter. Half day tour including light lunch and morning tea. An experience not to be forgotten.
  • Adventure Bay Charters, Jubilee Drive, +61 488 428862, [5].  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Tasman Terrace is the main shopping strip of Port Lincoln, with shops occupying one side of the street, and the park and waterfront on the other. There some fashion stores, cafes, restaurants, as well as all the essential supplies available.

Eat[edit][add listing]

If you have been touring the Eyre Peninula eating in pubs and at fast food outlets, Port Lincoln may give you a chance to branch out a little. There is selection of restaurants here, with seafood being a speciality.

Drink[edit][add listing]

  • Marina Hotel. A nice spot in summer, with the bar looking out over the water viewing the boats in the Marina  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Limani Port Lincoln, 50 Lincoln Highway, 0886831256, [6]. Limani Port Lincoln provides spacious Studio accommodation in Port Lincoln, South Australia. All Studio Apartments offer spectacular waterfront views of Boston Bay and Boston Island. Port Lincoln is the "Seafood Capital of Australia" offering a variety of dining options less than 10 minutes walk from Limani.  edit


Time Zone in Port Lincoln is+10:30 from GMT (UTC)

Get out[edit]

If you are heading onwards, you have three roads to choose from, two ultimately heading west towards Ceduna, and one heading east towards Port Augusta.

  • Coffin Bay Fresh oysters and the Coffin Bay Conservation Park.
  • Tumby Bay
  • Arno Bay walk along the Arno Bay Boardwalk, through the mangroves and down to the beach.
  • Cowell and the ferry departing from Lucky Bay to Wallaroo on Yorke Peninsula.
  • Cleve an agricultural centre and administrative centre to the north. 18 hole all season golf course, skate park, bowling greens, netball/tennis/basketball courts with coin operated lights, town oval and playgrounds.
  • Whyalla
  • Flinders Ranges to the north of Port Augusta and a gateway to the north of the state
  • Wallaroo on nearby Yorke Peninsula (via ferry)
  • Lock
  • Elliston follow the coast further to Ceduna and onward to the Great Australian Bight.
  • Nullarbor Plain

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