Located about 175km from Adelaide on the Yorke Peninsula coast, it makes sense that most of the things to do in Port Broughton revolve around the water, but there are a few other attractions in this relaxed country town. Here I will look at the Port Broughton attractions, where to eat and also suggest some Port Broughton accommodation.
About Port Broughton
Port Broughton is a small town of about 1200 people. This swells during the summer months as many people from Adelaide come to stay in their holiday homes here or one of the accommodation options available. It’s an ideal location for beach and fishing activities because it is located on a small inlet off the top of the Spencer Gulf, already quite protected itself.
It was founded in 1871 as a port town, with the Port Broughton jetty becoming the centre of all activities, whether bringing the abundant hauls of the local fishermen ashore, or loading ships full of grain grown by the local farmers. The jetty is no longer used for commercial purposes, and the town now mostly survives on tourism.
If you are travelling past or just looking to get away for a break, a night or two here will help you to recharge your batteries.
Things to do in Port Broughton
Port Broughton is the perfect place to throw out a line and catch a fish or two. It can be as easy as wandering down the jetty to through a line in or booking a fishing charter to head further out into the gulf to catch some bigger fish. Here are some charter fishing companies to try:
Double Header Fishing Charter
Snapper Safaris (but see note below)
Some of the fish in the area include snapper, tommy ruffs, snook, whiting (king george and yellowfin), garfish, king fish and also blue swimmer crabs. Many of the fish will be biting year round right from the jetty.
If you are in the area over the June long weekend, consider taking part in the fishing competition held in town.
Note: As of November 1st 2019 there is a ban on snapper fishing in the area due to depletion of stock. There is hope this will allow them to breed and increase stock numbers in the years to come. For more information see the PIRSA website here.
Take a Walk
A good way to get to know a little about a town is to take a walk around! For a small town, Port Broughton does well with walks, and there are four of them to keep visitors busy.
- Encounter Walking Trail – starts at the jetty and follows West Terrace and John Lewis Drive. Look out for the five interpretive signs telling you about local historical events and quirky facts.
- Port Broughton Area School Remembrance Walking Trail – starting at the school, this 1km trail has a plaque for every year from 1899 to 2001 with the significant event of that year, This trail is wheelchair and pram accessible.
- Port Broughton Historical Walk – again starting at the jetty, this is a longer walk visiting many of the older buildings throughout the town to learn about their past uses and historical significance to the town and the area.
- Port Broughton to Fisherman’s Bay – it’s 5km between the two towns, so if you would like a bit more of a challenge, this is a good walk to go on for that. Fisherman’s Bay is even another step back to a historical fishing village, and at best could be described as “sleepy”. Perfect for packing a picnic lunch, walking there, eating on the foreshore, taking a quick dip in the calm waters and walking back again.
For maps and more information about the walks, call into the Port Broughton Visitor Information Centre on McKay Street.
Enjoy the Beach
Being located in the protected inlet means that the waters along the seafront of the town are perfect for swimming. They are shallow and gently slope out to deeper water making it ideal for children and beginners. If you want to swim in deeper waters there are stairs descending from the jetty and a swimming platform is not too far away.
There is a shaded grass area along the beachfront near the jetty offering free BBQ facilities, shelters with tables, a playground for the kids and toilet facilities, making a whole day at the beach doable too. There is even some fitness equipment and a little free library if you would like to be more or less active during your stay.
Join in Park Run
Even though you are visiting Port Broughton that is no excuse to not include some exercise in your visit. This is also a good way to meet some locals – which may lead to all sorts of experiences.
Park Run is a world wide phenomena where a community organises a 5km run or walk, usually on Saturday morning. The run is free to enter, but registration on the website is required so that you can be timed and monitor your progress.
Here in Port Broughton, the run starts on the foreshore a little along from the jetty and makes it’s way along the beach to the north. For more details see the Park Run website here.
Check out a Museum
While in town have a browse through the Port Broughton Heritage Centre. Located in an old school building, there are all sorts of items here to show how life was in the years past. From photos, old farm machinery, historical papers, even a doll collection.
The Heritage Centre is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1 to 3pm, but it’s possible to visit any time that suits you – just take a look at the sign out front and call one of the numbers listed to arrange a time. Entry fees are $5AUD for adults, with discounts for children, seniors and families.
Go for a Drive
Port Broughton is the starting (or ending) point of the Coastal Way, one of six iconic road trips put together to show off the natural beauty and attractions of South Australia. The whole drive is about 700km long, but of course it’s possible to do a short section of it, or to do it over a few days.
For more information, including a map, visit the South Australia tourism website here.
Take a Day Trip
If you have the time, take a day trip to one of the nearby towns.
It’s 50km to Wallaroo and just a little further to both Moonta and Kadina. This area has many historic sites, with a lot of Cornish and Welsh settlers coming here to mine copper. There are multiple mines and museums that are open to visitors interested in learning about the mining heritage.
In the opposite direction Port Pirie about 60km away. Port Pirie is the home to the largest lead smelting works in the world. If you are keen to take a tour through the plant, they are held Monday, Wednesday and Friday through the Port Pirie Tourism and Arts Centre. While there, check out the shark display, with has an exact replica of the largest shark caught, a 5.6m great white! There is also more information on the sharks in the area, including a virtual reality shark cage dive.
Get Back to Nature
Clements Gap Conservation Park is located just 15 minutes from town on the way to Port Pirie. Here you will find a large section of undisturbed bushland, rare in this area where most of the land has been cleared for cropping. There used to be a small settlement here, but all that is left is the Clements Gap Uniting Church, which still holds monthly church services. There is remnants of the old school nearby, with quirky signs set up in the area to teach about the past.
Take a walk through the park to find the photo points that have been set up to showcase some of the unique flora. The best time of the year to visit is in spring when all the native wildflowers are in bloom.
Race a Rubber Ducky
This one only happens twice a year but I thought it was worth a mention. On the October long weekend there will be a whole carnival atmosphere with lots of activities and games for the kids, a BBQ and a market. It all culminates with the lining up of the ducks and the wait to see which duck makes it across the bay first. The rubber ducks have been training for weeks and will be available to purchase either on the day or in the days leading up to the race from businesses around town ($3AUD in 2019). Win or lose, your duck can be picked up after the race as a nice souvenir.
A similar race happens in the evening on the January long weekend. Look out for more details around the town or contact the Port Broughton Visitor Information Centre.
Port Broughton Accommodation
There are a few different styles of accommodation in Port Broughton.
Port Broughton Tourist Park – Has all the amenities of any caravan park, as well as a pool, great outdoor kitchen, and a jumping pillow and playground for the kids. Bungalows sleeping up to six people are available.
Broughton Bayside Caravan Park – this is a much more basic caravan park, but the up side of that is it is cheaper too if you are on a strict budget. There is no self contained accommodation here, you will need to have your own caravan or tent.
Broughton Bay RV Park – this one is a little out of town and I only discovered it by accident as we drove to Clements Gap. It looked relatively new, and payment is simply by donation. Would suit only completely self contained RVs or caravans as there are not other accommodation options. Could be worth a look if you are passing by.
Sunnyside Hotel Motel – there’s not a whole lot of choice when it comes to hotel accommodation in town and this is where we stayed. I admit I was not overly impressed. The accommodation is basic and very dated. The rooms could really do with a makeover and coat of paint. But at $90AUD (Nov 2019) per double, it is the cheapest accommodation for two people in town. A simple breakfast of toast, cereal and juice was included. Unusually wifi is not available.
If you are visiting Port Broughton with a family or group of people then this would be my pick. There are various websites to find the holiday homes, here are some suggestions
Stayz – A popular Australian website with many holiday rentals listed including some in Port Broughton
Country Getaways – this is a local website covering accommodation options for the Yorke Peninsula area. There are a lot of options here for Port Broughton
Where to Eat in Port Broughton
While in Port Broughton we had three dinners and one lunch in town. Here’s what I thought of each place
Palate 2 Palette – this is easily my pick of the places to eat. A nice restaurant setting with friendly staff. Food was fresh and modern, including regular a la carte meals and tapas plates too. Prices were reasonable, and if you have any special dietary requirements you can contact them in advance (speak with Helen) and they will arrange something for you.
Port Broughton Hotel – we were here on a Saturday night and it was busy with locals and visitors alike. There is quite a large pub meal menu to choose from, and on the weekends, a pizza menu too. Meals include a salad bar of nice fresh salads. Our food was typical pub quality, decent without being amazing. Not a bad option when you are visiting.
Sunnyside Hotel Motel – Small pub menu, much more basic that the hotel, but cheaper too. The bistro is only open limited days which seem to be random. During our visit it was only open one of the three nights we were in town. Is also open for lunch and throughout the day on the days it is open.
Baker Bears Cafe – Located right on the sea front opposite the jetty, we had lunch here. Service was a little slow, but it was extremely busy the whole time we were there. It is popular with the locals so that suggests good, consistent quality.
Note: During my visit I was vegetarian and not drinking alcohol. This actually made eating in Port Broughton very limiting. All places had very few vegetarian options and I had to modify meals or opt for something like a vegetarian pizza. Because I was not drinking alcohol, and even in my normal life I don’t drink soft drinks, my drink options were also very limited, often it was only water.
If you are happy to drive the 50km to Wallaroo, I suggest eating at the Coopers Alehouse. We got a delicious lunch there during our visit, including a few vegetarian options on the menu.
More Port Broughton Information
For wifi, there is a free hotspot right near the jetty. Look out for the sign explaining the logon procedure (which was fairly simple)
If you have managed to catch some fish but don’t have anything to store them in, call into the United Chemist and ask for a foam esky. They recycle the eskies used to transport medicines to them by giving them to others who can use them.
If you are passing though and need to do some laundry, there is a laundromat on the main street.
There are many book swap locations throughout the town. You will find Little Free Libraries near the school and on the foreshore not too far from the jetty. There is a swap shelf in the Sunnyside Hotel Motel, and more secondhand books available in Palate 2 Palette and the Uniting Church Op Shop.
I hope this helps you enjoy a great little piece of South Australia.
For some more from rural Australia, read these posts too
Things to do in Port Augusta
Road Tripping to Innes National Park
Bushwalking in the Flinders Ranges
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.