walking along the jetty at Beachport
Charming and sophisticated holiday resort on
the southern coast.
Located 385 km south-east of Adelaide, Beachport
is a seaside town of enormous appeal. There's an
air of sophistication about the central area and
beyond the town centre it is a typical seaside
resort for a relaxed beach holiday atmosphere.
The appeal of the town is created by a wonderful
mixture of Norfolk pines, pure aquamarine
waters, beautiful white sands and a sense of
relaxation produced by people swimming, fishing
and boating. It is also an important port for
the local crayfishing industry.
Now here's a piece of trivia to conjure with.
Beachport was not named because of its proximity
to the sea. In the earliest days, before
European settlement, it was known as 'Wirmalngrang'
to the local Booandik Aborigines. The first
European into the area was Nicholas Baudin in
1802 who named it Rivoli after the Duke of
Rivoli who had helped Napoleon defeat the
Austrians at Rivoli in northern Italy in 1796.
By the early years of the 19th century the bay
was being used by whalers and by 1845 Captain
Emmanuel Underwood had built a store and was
trading with merchants in Port Adelaide.
One of the characteristics of the area is the
shallowness of the waters offshore. This
accounts for the town's jetty which, at 772
metres, is one of the longest in Australia. It
was commenced in 1878 and the plan was to build
it nearly 1300 metres long.
Today the town is sustained by a combination
of fishing (this is an excellent crayfish area)
and tourism. It is a charming centre with plenty
of good walks and interesting historic sites.
Things to see:
Trust Old Mill
Old Wool & Grain Store - National Trust
Now a National Trust Museum, the Old Wool and
Grain Store is located in Railway Terrace.
Dating from the 1879-80 and built of local
freestone and limestone quoins. The building was
originally constructed as a wool and grain
store. The stores were held downstairs and the
upstairs was used as a residence. At one point a
railway line ran from the store to the jetty. It
was restored by the National Trust in 1972. The
museum has a good collection of artefacts from
the town's whaling and shipping past. It also,
for those curious about the drains outside the
town, has a special exhibition titled Down the
Drain which explains the region's water
drainage. For details and opening times (08)
Pool of Siloam
Located on the Scenic Drive, this is about as
close as Australia gets to the Dead Sea. It is
fed by underground springs and has a salinity
seven times that of the sea. This means that it
is popular for therapeutic purposes. It also
means that if you are a non-swimmer you will
float. You can even lie on your back and read a
|Surf Beach at
Beachport Conservation Park
The excellent handout 'Beachport Walking Trails'
explains: 'Drive from the jetty with the sea on
your left-hand side and turn around the
roundabout passing the National Trust Museum and
the Beachport Hotel. About 0.7 km from the
roundabout you will see a road sign posted to
Lake George. Follow this for 5.2 km until the
sealed road ends at the boundary of the
Beachport Conservation Park.'
The path (taking the right hand fork) follows
the edge of Lake George. The park is important
as the habitat for Lewin's Water Rail, Rufous
Bristle Bird and the Olive Whistler. There are
also some particularly important Aboriginal
middens in the area.
Penguin Island Conservation Park
Drive to the seaside end of Foster Street and
you can walk past the lighthouse to a lookout
which looks across at Penguin Island. The
lighthouse, which was built in 1878, used to be
on Penguin Island but was moved to the mainland
in 1960. The lookout, particularly if you have a
good pair of binoculars, offers an excellent
view of Penguin Island which is characterised by
10-15 metre cliffs and is the breeding ground
for silver gulls, little penguins and crested
terns. There are also Australian fur seals on
Located 10km north of Beachport this cutting (ie
huge trench) took M. B. McCourt three years. The
local publicity declares that it is 'probably
Australia's biggest engineering feat performed
by one person. It took Mr McCourt three years
and it did convert a large area of swamp into
farmland. There's an observation platform where
you can admire the man's tenacity and hard work.
Beachport Walking Trails
There is an excellent brochure listing a number
of walking trails in the district which have
been named after local identities. There is
Lanky's Walk (named after an Aboriginal tracker
and reputedly the last member of the Booandik
tribal grouping) which lasts 30 minutes and
moves through native bushland to Lanky's Well
(where Lanky used to water the police horses)
starting from Railway Terrace just beyond North
West Terrace. There's Jack and Hilda McArthur
Walk around Wooley's Lake which starts at the
car park in the Beachport Conservation Park and
Wendy's Walk (45 mins) which offers views across
the Southern Ocean and starts at the steps
opposite South Terrace on Foster Street.