Very similar in coastal geography to the opposite side of upper Gulf St Vincent, Port Clinton is a tiny settlement with a permanent population of 260 and is within a comfortable 90 minute drive of Adelaide.
Surrounded by an 1850 hectare conservation park, Port Cliton is the most northerly town facing Gulf St Vincent, and is a popular fishing and crabbing destination.
This was an important and busy port in the 1860s and 70s, being a transfer point for goods and passengers travelling between Port Adelaide and the copper mines at Wallaroo and Moonta. That was despite the shallowness of the beach, which closed the port to larger vessels during low tide. Port Clinton began a gradual decline after 1878 when the railway between Wallaroo and Adelaide was completed. The jetty was dismantled in 1916.
Today Port Clinton boasts a Community and Sports Club and there is a community swimming pool available for use by paying at the caravan park. There are barbecues and a shaded picnic area near the pool, as well as barbecues on the foreshore.
Surrounded by a conservation park and mangroves, Port Clinton is rich in birdlife and the perfect location to see nature’s wonders. The mangroves help keep the marine life cycles turning, providing plenty of shelter and making it the perfect nursery for fish.
Port Clinton is rich in birdlife and is the ideal location to explore from a car-topper aluminium dinghy. There is small boat launching available, but unless you have access to a tractor, it’s a bit tricky when the tide is well down, so it’s best to plan both launches and retrievals around high water.
Salmon trout and mullet are the two fish varieties that are easiest to locate and there are usually plenty of blue swimmer crabs about in the warmer months. Garfish can be prolific around the top of Gulf St Vincent at night and dabbing them with spotlight and long-handled net is a popular activity at Port Clinton.
Offshore there are plenty of snapper ‘drops’, many of which are man-made from derelict car bodies, old boats and building refuse. However, most of these are well kept secrets and are guarded closely by their creators. Some enormous snapper come from this region, a few topping 14 kilograms, and it is well worth exploring with an echo sounder if you have the time and patience.
Facilities in this Town:
- • Accommodation
- • BBQ
- • Caravan Park
- • Fishing
- • Hiking & Bushwalking
- • Pub/Tavern
- • Recreation Centre
- • swimming pool