How you see PORT AUGUSTA depends on where you’ve come from. Arriving from the Outback, the town’s trees, shops and hotels can be a real thrill, but compared with the southeast of the state, there’s little here. Its role as a transport hub has saved the town from destitution, while recent developments have made the foreshore area with its city beach more attractive. While you’re deciding where to head next, there are a couple of brilliant sights to see in town and some good bushwalking country around Mount Remarkable, at the tail end of the Flinders Ranges.
Port Augusta sits at the tip of the Spencer Gulf with the Outback all around. Despite the name, the docks closed long ago, while the power station and railways were drastically scaled down during the 1980s. The centre of town overlooks the east side of the Spencer Gulf, more like a river where it divides the town. Shops, banks and the post office are clustered along narrow Commercial Road. During summer, you should make the most of the swimming beach at the end of Young Street or escape the dust and heat at the attractive foreshore – the old wooden pile crossing, now a footbridge, and a 100-year-old jetty, all that remains of the port, make good perches for fishing and there are barbecue facilities and swimming pontoons in the water.