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Port Lincoln

Port Lincoln
South Australia
Port Lincoln
Port Lincoln is located in South Australia
Port Lincoln
Location in South Australia
Population 14,088 (2011)[1]
 • Density 565.8/km2 (1,465.4/sq mi)
Established 1839
Postcode(s) 5606
Area 24.9 km2 (9.6 sq mi)
Time zone ACST (UTC+9:30)
 • Summer (DST) ACST (UTC+10:30)
  • 280 km (174 mi) from Adelaide
  • 649 km (403 mi) from Adelaide via
LGA(s) City of Port Lincoln
State electorate(s) Flinders
Federal Division(s) Grey
Railway Station

Port Lincoln is a city on the lower Eyre Peninsula in the Australian state of South Australia. It is situated on the shore of Boston Bay, which opens eastward into Spencer Gulf. It is the largest city in the West Coast region, and is located approximately 280 km (straight line – 646 km by road) from the State's capital city of Adelaide. The city is reputed to have the most millionaires per capita in Australia.[2] The town claims to be the "Seafood Capital of Australia".[3]


  • History 1
    • Water supply 1.1
  • Demographics 2
  • Geography 3
    • Climate 3.1
  • Government 4
  • Economy 5
    • Tourism 5.1
  • Transport 6
  • Culture 7
  • Media 8
  • Twin towns 9
  • Notable people 10
  • See also 11
  • References 12
  • External links 13


The Eyre Peninsula has been home to Aboriginal people for thousands of years, with the Nauo (south western Eyre), Barngarla (eastern Eyre), Wirangu (north western Eyre) and Mirning (far western Eyre) being the predominant original cultural groups present at the time of the arrival of Europeans. (Tindale 1974 in DEH 2004a; SATC 1999).

British naval explorer Matthew Flinders discovered Boston Bay on 26 February 1802. He named the body of water, Port Lincoln, in honour of his place of birth, Lincoln.[4]

A proposal by Centrex Metals to export iron ore through an expanded facility at the existing Port Lincoln wharf was approved by the South Australian Government c. Oct 2009.[5] The proposal was abandoned by the company following strong public opposition. The chief public concern was the potential harm that spillage or dust plumes might cause to the profitability or reputation of the region's dominant seafood industry.[6][7]

Water supply

The lack of a reliable surface water supply was a factor preventing Port Lincoln from being proclaimed the colony's capital city in the 1830s. Even as a small town, Port Lincoln outgrew its fresh water supplies. It is now largely dependent on water drawn from groundwater basins in the south of the peninsula.

The southern and western parts of the Eyre Peninsula region also share this resource via the Tod-Ceduna pipeline. The Iron Knob to Kimba pipeline completed in 2007 provides limited transfer capacity of River Murray water into the Tod-Ceduna system. Following the development of a long term water supply plan for Eyre Peninsula, the South Australian government is progressing detailed investigation of augmentation options. These including seawater desalination.[8]

Formerly a potable water resource fed by the Tod River, the Tod Reservoir was taken offline in 2001-2002 due to concerns about rising levels of agricultural chemical contamination and salinity.[9]


The Port Lincoln local government area had a population of 14,086 in the 2006 census. Aboriginal people make up 5.6% of Port Lincoln's population.[10]


Port Lincoln has a contrasting coastal landscape, ranging from sheltered waters and beaches, to surf beaches and rugged oceanic coastline. The Great South Australian Coastal Upwelling System brings cold, nutrient-rich water into nearby waters of the Great Australian Bight and Spencer Gulf. These upwellings support lucrative fisheries, including that of the southern bluefin tuna and sardine.[11]


Port Lincoln has a semi-arid climate, with hot, dry summers and cool, moist winters. January temperatures average 16 °C (60.8 °F) to 26 °C (78.8 °F), while in July temperatures range from 7 °C (44.6 °F) to 16 °C (60.8 °F).[12] Winter days are cool and cloudy, with frequent light drizzle and showers. Cold fronts cause periods of heavy rain and colder temperatures in winter, and violent storms can occasionally roll in from the southern ocean. Summers are mild to warm with cool sea breezes keeping the temperatures generally below 30 °C (86.0 °F). However, on rare occasions a severe blast of heat from the deserts to the north can cause several days of temperatures well over 40 °C (104.0 °F). Rainfall in summer is limited to very infrequent showers or thunderstorms and sometimes during summer, no rain occurs at all. Snow has never been recorded and frost is a very rare occurrence, usually happening only on clear winters nights away from the coast. Extremes have ranged from 46.1 °C (115.0 °F) to 0.1 °C (32.2 °F), while the wettest month on record was June 1981, recording 200.4 millimetres (7.9 in).[13]

Climate data for Port Lincoln
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 46.1
Average high °C (°F) 26.0
Average low °C (°F) 15.7
Record low °C (°F) 8.5
Average precipitation mm (inches) 16.4
Source: [12]


Port Lincoln and its suburbs comprise the City of Port Lincoln local government area. Port Lincoln is in the state electoral district of Flinders and the federal Division of Grey.


The economy is based on the huge grain-handling facilities (with a total capacity of over 337,500 tonnes), the canning and fish processing works, lambs, wool and beef, and tuna farming for the Japanese market.[14] Home of Australia's largest commercial fishing fleet, Port Lincoln now has a thriving aquaculture industry that farms the following species: tuna, yellowtail kingfish, abalone, mussels, oysters, and experimental farming in seahorses and spiny lobsters. Before the advent of aquaculture, the main fishing was for Southern bluefin tuna.

The city also functions as a regional centre for government administration, corporate services and commerce to Eyre Peninsula; however, many State Government functions are gradually being phased out as State Government becomes more centralised in Adelaide. During the past decade, housing demand has led to a boom in property development, both residential and commercial.


Port Lincoln is a centre for tourism, due to the scenic beauty and coastal locality. Ready access to both Spencer Gulf and the Great Australian Bight mark Port Lincoln out as a blue water playground for yachting, scuba diving, shark cage diving and game fishing.

Lincoln National Park, Coffin Bay National Park and Kellidie Bay Conservation Park are within easy driving distance.


Port Lincoln is the port for the isolated narrow gauge (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)) Eyre Peninsular Railway.

Port Lincoln Airport is located a few kilometres north of the city. Regional Express and Qantaslink provide multiple daily flights to the state capital of Adelaide.

The Port Lincoln Bus Service operates Monday to Friday from 9.00 am to 4.30 pm with separate morning and afternoon services. The morning service runs to a fixed route timetable and services Lincoln North and Lincoln South.

Long distance bus services are operated by Premier Stateliner with multiple daily services to Adelaide and Port Augusta.


The book Blue Fin by Colin Thiele was set in Port Lincoln, with the movie of the same name filmed in nearby Streaky Bay.

Some of the shark scenes of Jaws and ANZAC Cove scenes in Gallipoli were also filmed near Port Lincoln.

Australian Survivor, the Australian edition of the popular US television series, Survivor, was filmed at Whalers Way, south of Port Lincoln, in 2001.

The Discovery Channel documentary series Tuna Wranglers (2007) and Abalone Wars were both filmed in and around Port Lincoln.

Hearts Apart by Zachary nee Caitlin Jones was written on a farm in Port Lincoln.

Port Lincoln was visited in 1939 by English travel author Eric Newby, while he was crew in the 4-masted barque Moshulu, which anchored outside of Boston Island. Moshulu had taken 82 days to sail to Port Lincoln from Belfast in ballast (a fast passage for a windjammer), but there was no grain to be had there, even though Moshulu waited at anchor for most of January. The crew was given shore leave in Port Lincoln, encountering large amounts of Australian wine. Moshulu eventually carried on to Port Victoria for cargo. During the 1939 season, Passat and Lawhill were also present at Port Lincoln. Newby wrote about his experiences on the round-trip from Ireland to South Australia in his book The Last Grain Race (1956), and several pictures of Port Lincoln as it appeared in 1939 are included in his photo-essay of his voyage, Learning the Ropes.


Port Lincoln has two local commercial radio stations, 89.9 Magic FM and 765 AM 5CC (the first local commercial station) broadcasting out of their Washington Street studio. It is also served by ABC West Coast SA on 1485 AM which broadcasts out of the Civic Centre on Tasman Terrace. It's also served by Triple J and ABC Radio National from Tumby Bay and satellite uplink from Melbourne respectively. ABC News Radio is also available on 91.5FM. It also receives KIXFM 87.6.

Port Lincoln has one local newspaper, the Port Lincoln Times, a Rural Press publication. The Port Lincoln Times is published on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is printed in Murray Bridge at the high-tech Rural Press printing centre.

Free to air TV stations available in Port Lincoln are ABC, SBS, Southern Cross GTS/BKN (formerly Central Television), the Nine Network and Southern Cross Ten. Also available is Foxtel pay TV.

Panorama of Boston Bay, with Port Lincoln in the right third of picture.

Twin towns

Port Lincoln is twinned with:

Notable people

Statue of Makybe Diva at Port Lincoln, South Australia

Weightlifter Dean Lukin, who won the Olympic Gold Medal in the Super heavyweight division at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, was a tuna fisherman who shot to fame as a weightlifter in the 1980s. After finishing his career he returned to run the family fishery business. He also won Gold at the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, and the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.

Many Australian rules football (AFL) players have come from Port Lincoln, including Eddie Betts, Graham Johncock, Peter Burgoyne, Shaun Burgoyne, Byron Pickett and Lindsay Thomas.

Tony Santic, the owner of Makybe Diva (the only horse to win the Melbourne Cup three times) is a tuna farmer in Port Lincoln. A life-sized bronze statue of The Diva by artist Ken Martin stands on the town's foreshore.

Australian netball player Lauren Nourse began her career in Port Lincoln at age 7. In 2008 she was a member of the gold medal winning Australian side at the Auckland World Netball Championships.

Visually impaired Paralympic cyclist Kieran Modra was born in Port Lincoln.[16]

See also


  1. ^ Population 2011 Census Australian Bureau of Statistics
  2. ^
  3. ^ City of Port Lincoln website (Retrieved 2013-12-01)
  4. ^  
  5. ^ Pt Lincoln ore exports win approval – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  6. ^ ABC West Coast SA "Port fishermen protest against mineral exports" (2008-06-13)
  7. ^ Company defends Lincoln ore export plan – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
  8. ^ Government of South Australia, BUILDING South Australia "Regional Overview - Eyre & Western" (2010) Retrieved 2013-12-01.
  9. ^ "Eyre Peninsula Water Supply Final Report 85th Report of the Natural Resources Committee - Under the lens" Parliament South Australia, 2013
  10. ^ Population 2011 Census Australian Bureau of Statistics
  11. ^ Ward, T. M., McLeay, L. J., Dimmlich, W. F., Rogers, P. J., McClatchie, S., Matthews, R., Kämpf, J. and Van Ruth, P. D. (2006), Pelagic ecology of a northern boundary current system: effects of upwelling on the production and distribution of sardine (Sardinops sagax), anchovy (Engraulis australis) and southern bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) in the Great Australian Bight. Fisheries Oceanography, 15: 191–207. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2419.2006.00353.x
  12. ^ a b "BOM". 
  13. ^ "BOM". 
  14. ^ Tim Treadgold, The future is Fish: Japan's taste for tuna is creating millionaires in a tiny Australian town" Forbes Magazine, 22 May 2006
  15. ^ Fenn, Kate. "Lincoln's Twin Towns". City of Lincoln Council, City Hall, Beaumont Fee, Lincoln. Retrieved 11 June 2013. 
  16. ^ "Australians at the 1996 Atlanta Paralympics: Cyclists".  

External links

  • City of Port Lincoln
  • Map
  • Eyre Peninsula – Port Lincoln – Official Tourism Website
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