Port Lincoln to Port Pirie
Aug 4, 2011
|Wednesday – We arrived at Port Pirie around 2:30pm. Port Pirie’s only claim to fame is that they have the largest lead smelter in the world.
We are staying at the Port Pirie Beach Caravan Park which backs onto Solomontown Beach. The cost is $30 per night. The park is small but very neat and tidy. All the sites are large with at least 2/3rd being drive thru. The amenities block is very modern and clean.
We took a relaxing walk along Solomontown Beach and out to the end of the Solomontown jetty. What we have noticed is that nearly all the houses have a TV antenna mast anywhere between 30-40 feet high with the TV antenna mounted on top in their front or backyard.
Thursday – It is only a short walk (around 15 minutes) from the caravan park to the main street so Jim and I decided to get some exercise and walked into town.
The main street has numerous historic buildings and museums that the National Trust has their fingers involved in. The historical building which stands out the most is the Old Railway Station which ceased to be a working railway station some 40 years ago and was bought by the National Trust and turned into a museum. Well worth the visit especially considering that the entry fee is only $4 per adult. We climbed some very steep ladders in the Station which allowed us up into the clock tower. The clock tower originally was going to have a clock but as usual funding became a problem and the clock never eventuated.
In the early days trains used to run down the main street and stop outside the station to pickup passengers.
Apparently, it is not uncommon to see dolphins in the waters behind the caravan park; I have been looking but haven’t seen any.
Please note that our itinerary has changed as Jim and I will be travelling along the Great Ocean Road and therefore have parted the ways with the Whatos & Gnomes.
Fuel at Port Lincoln $1.529 ltr
Filled up at Port Augusta on our way to Port Pirie $1.469 ltr
History lesson - Port Pirie is South Australia's first provincial city and a thrilling industrial and commercial centre, which boasts a large market garden as well as a fishing industry. It is located on the eastern shore of Spencer Gulf, 229 kms north of Adelaide.
Prior to European settlement the local Nuguna Aborigines knew the district as ‘tarparrie’ possibly meaning ‘muddy creek’. Matthew Flinders who came up the Spencer Gulf in 1802 first explored the area.
Around 1845 the schooner John Pirie made its way up the creek and managed to take on board a flock of sheep, which is transported across Spencer Gulf to near Port Lincoln. It was because of this that Governor Robe named the site Port Pirie.
Settlement of the town was slow and it wasn't until 1871 that the town was surveyed and five years later it was declared a municipality.
The critical event in the town's history was the construction of the smelting works in 1889. This ensured the town's continuing future. It was greatly compounded by the completion of the Broken Hill Associated Smelters Pty Ltd smelting works in 1915. By 1934 it was the largest single-unit lead-smelting works in the world.
In 1937 the broad gauge railway line to Adelaide was completed and by 1953 Port Pirie was declared South Australia's first provincial city. Today it is South Australia's second largest port and is characterised by a gracious main street and some interesting and unusual historic buildings. End of lesson