15 things to do in Port Lincoln (Australia)

When navigator Matthew Flinders visited in 1802, he named this part of South Australia after the city of Lincoln, close to where he grew up in England.

Port Lincoln leads to Boston Bay, Australia’s largest natural harbour, and is three times the size of Sydney Harbour.

The sprawling depressions of Spencer Bay are teeming with marine life, and the city has officially earned the title of ‘Australian Seafood Capital’. One offshore resident is the great white shark, and brave souls can go cage diving to see the monster up close.

The majestic coastline outside Port Lincoln is protected by two national parks, with tranquil coves, cliffs, granite headlands and beaches supported by huge dunes.

1. Lincoln National Park

lincoln national park

The Jussieu Peninsula is located on the south side of Boston Bay and is protected by the luxurious Lincoln National Park.

This allows for a wide variety of coastal scenery within minutes of the city.

In most of the peninsula you have solid granite headlands, tranquil bays and views of the entire island system in the bay.

Go inward and get ready to explore by kayak or snorkeling at places like Donington Beach.

Memory Bay is a completely isolated white sand beach protected by mallet and granite rocks and limited to 15 vehicles per day.

Then on the coast, the beach is battered by rough waves and the huge sand dunes of the Sleaford-Wanna system are shaped by high winds.

As for wildlife, Lincoln National Park is incredibly rich, home to large numbers of emus, kangaroos and wallabies.

Sandpipers and sandpipers can be seen waiting for birds in summer, while Rosenberg’s monitor lizards have made a comeback in the park over the past decade.

2. Seafood

Freshly caught southern rock lobster

Port Lincoln’s status as “Australia’s Seafood Capital” comes from the natural abundance of Spencer Bay, and on the west side of the Eyre Peninsula, the tranquil waters of Coffin Bay are ripe for oyster farming.

The port has Australia’s largest fishing fleet, but also has a thriving aquaculture industry for oysters, mussels, abalone, yellowtail kingfish and southern bluefin tuna.

The many species caught nearby include southern rock lobster, squid and prawns (all seasonal), as well as snapper and King George cod (year-round). So this is probably one of the best places in the world to order delicious food from the sea.

One of the many good places to go is Fresh Fish Place on Proper Bay Road, which combines wholesale and consumer markets and a sea-to-plate cafe with an ever-changing menu of locally caught.

3. Great White Shark Cage Tour

Great White Shark Cage Tour

There’s nothing more exciting than getting up close and personal with one of the world’s most feared predators.

So if you can cheer yourself up, Port Lincoln is the starting point for your once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The travel site GetYourGuide.com offers one-day diving experiences.

This is a premium eco-certified tour that takes you to the Neptune Islands at the tip of the Eyre Peninsula.

There, you’ll get a comprehensive safety briefing, and once you see a great white shark, you’ll jump into a cage to observe these beasts in their natural habitat.

The sharks will get even closer as the company Calypso Star Charters uses the natural fish bailey to attract them.

When you’re out of the water, you can safely photograph the sharks on board, and you can take a hot shower before getting dressed and heading back to Port Lincoln.

4. Fishing

Fishing in Port Lincoln

Unsurprisingly, Port Lincoln is one of the best places in South Australia.

Large numbers of species can be caught year-round, barring a statewide closure from November to mid-December.

These include salmon, trevally, cod, garfish, snook, Australian herring and snapper, while kingfish and tuna thrive in late summer and autumn.

Regulations, luggage restrictions and size restrictions apply, so it’s best to get fishing guides from the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre.

5. Glen-Forest Tourist Park and Vineyard

Glen Forest Tourist Park and Vineyard

A short trip to the backcountry of Port Lincoln will take you to a country attraction suitable for the whole family.

The property includes 400 acres of idyllic scenery, more than a quarter of which is dedicated to an animal park with kangaroos, koalas, sheep, wild dogs, goats, ostriches and many birds.

Koalas can be seen being fed every day at 13:00, and in high season, children can meet and hug the little animals.

The 18-hole miniature golf course is also geared towards families, and you can enjoy refreshments at the kiosk or use the free shaded BBQ area.

For adults, about 80 acres are devoted to vineyards of Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Thanks to the fresh sea air and Mediterranean climate, the wines are produced under the Lincoln Estate label and can be purchased on-site.

6. The Whaler’s Path

Underwater photo of The Swimming Hole, Whalers Way

Some of South Australia’s most dramatic coastlines lie near Port Lincoln at the southern tip of the Eyre Peninsula.

Whalers Way is actually private land, so you will need a permit from the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre before driving.

With it, you will be free to venture along ancient coastlines with towering cliffs, headlands, caves, crevices, blowholes and huge golden sands.

Swimming Hole is a natural crystal clear pool surrounded by reefs, while Cape Carnot is a National Geological Monument and the oldest rock in South Australia, formed around 2.6 billion years ago.

7. Dongshan Observation Deck

Winter Mountain Lookout

Sheep graze on its slopes, and the circular mass of Winter Hill dominates the horizon northwest of Port Lincoln.

From the top you have the best panoramic view of the city.

Within a five-minute drive of the CBD, you can overlook Port Lincoln and Boston Island, and see the many islets of Spencer Bay in clear weather.

Looking south, you can also follow the rugged coastline along the Whalers Way, while Coffin Bay can be seen at the southern tip of the peninsula.

8. Axel Steinros Maritime Museum

Axel Stenrose Maritime Museum

To immerse yourself in the seafaring heritage of Port Lincoln, there is a superb Maritime Museum on the water just off the Lincoln Highway.

There you will learn the story of Axel Stenross, a Finnish ship carpenter who arrived in Port Lincoln in 1927 on windjammer sv Olivebank and decided to stay forever.

The museum showcases Steinross’ well-preserved living quarters, as well as the shipbuilding workshop and slides that are still in use today.

9. Mikkira Station

Michira Station

If you want to experience country life in the southern part of the Eyre Peninsula, there is a restored historic stone homestead not far from Port Lincoln.

Surrounded by mature manna trees, this wonderfully secluded spot is home to koalas, emus and kangaroos, along with rare orchids and a variety of unusual native plants.

You can contact the Port Lincoln Visitor Information Centre for guided tours throughout the year.

From May to October, when the station is at its greenest, you can also go camping and picnics, permits are available at the accommodation reservation desk at the visitor information centre.

10. Kopio Blacksmith Museum

Kopio Blacksmith Museum

Head north into Koppio Hill to visit this wonderful outdoor museum of a small townscape with colonial-era architecture.

Managed by the National Trust for South Australia, the Koppio Smithy Museum is anchored by a blacksmith’s cottage built in 1905 and a matching two-bedroom cottage. You can also wander around the various old buildings that have been relocated from across the Eyre Peninsula, like a one-person schoolhouse, the ‘Grunley’ cottage (1890), the Port Lincoln tailor, the tiny White Flat Post Office and Adelaide Bank Building.

The entire museum is packed with original artifacts that enriched everyday life on the peninsula more than a century ago, as well as display sheds for tractors and other agricultural machinery, from shears to stationary engines.

An unexpected find was a replica of a World War I tank recovered from an old scene from the 1987 film “The Light Horseman,” which was filmed in the sand dunes of Coffin Bay.

11. The Old Mill Lookout

Old Mill Lookout

The oldest surviving building in Port Lincoln is the Flour Windmill, completed in 1846 but never used for its intended purpose.

The tower still stands on a scenic height in Dorset Square, surrounded by lawns and fronted by a rose garden.

The mill was turned into a lookout, with a steep metal staircase spiraling up outside.

From the top you can overlook Port Lincoln, Boston Bay and the islands scattered around Spencer Bay.

12. Coffin Bay National Park

Coffin Bay State Park

If you crave more remote and breathtaking coastal scenery, you can head west to Coffin Bay National Park.

Extending over a small patch of land are towering cliffs, massive sand dunes and stunning beaches, some pounded by waves, others in tranquil coves.

The southern end of Yangie Bay Park is more sheltered and ideal for kayaking and canoeing, and on land you can set off for a bush picnic.

For stunning views from the south side, the King Island Observation Deck is accessible via a closed road and offers near-constant ocean views.

The park’s northernmost beach is unusual but rarely visited, and you’ll need a high-clearance 4×4 to get there, traversing epic dune vistas on the way.

13. Pankala Walk

Pankara walking trail

For full views of Boston Harbor, you can walk through part of the trail, which runs 35 kilometers along the harbor’s shoreline through Port Lincoln.

Because of its low position on the coast, the walk is always light and family-friendly, while the central portion of the Port Lincoln waterfront is asphalted.

On your way, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to watch the passing sea traffic and venture down to the beach to feel the sand between your toes or paddle.

Parkalla walks are fully signposted, with occasional maps and interpretive boards.

14. Port Lincoln Visitor Information

Visitor Information

We’ve mentioned local visitor information centers several times in this list.

It’s not just a place to get plenty of flyers, it’s a key resource, opening up the Eyre Peninsula and its myriad attractions and national parks to travelers.

You can book tours here, get permits for places like Whalers Way, and the helpful staff will help you find the perfect place to stay if you’re not having any luck online.

The center offers free Wi-Fi and a variety of souvenirs and postcards.

15. Tunalama

Tuna Rod Statue in Port Lincoln

For three days over the long weekend in January, Port Lincoln unwinds in a celebration that goes back six years.

Of course, Tunarama is rooted in the city’s fishing heritage and is a taste bud-stimulating activity where you can sample some of the freshest seafood.

In addition to market stalls, cultural displays and live music, there will be plenty of craziness and fun at various competitive events on and off the water.

The signature is a competitive tuna throw, like a hammer throw in track and field…but with whole tuna.

Also, every year there is a kids zone filled with free stuff to keep the kids entertained.

Where to Stay: Best Hotels in Port Lincoln, Australia
Lowest Price Guarantee