Ace Rental Cars Blog

48 Hours in Port Augusta

Escape to the coastal town of Port Augusta for a holiday destination where you can engage with the local community, explore beyond the big city, and connect with nature. Many travellers stop by here on their way to the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and the Flinders Ranges. With scenic beauty to explore, Aboriginal culture to discover and plenty of room for water activities, an unforgettable adventure awaits in Port Augusta. Heading here on a family holiday, solo vacation, or weekend away with friends? Pick up your Ace rental car in Adelaide and get ready for a rural retreat.

  • Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden
  • Wadlata Outback Centre
  • Pichi Pichi Railway
  • Warren Gorge

Breakfast and Natural Beauty in Town

  • Local breakfast at Mamma Lou’s Cafe
  • Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden

With the Spencer Gulf on one side of the city and Bird Lake on the other, Port Augusta is a scenic paradise surrounded by flowing waterways. Start your coastal adventure with breakfast at a local favourite, Mamma Lou’s Cafe. With delicious meals and friendly hospitality, it’s the perfect place to begin your South Australian journey. On the other side of the Gulf, head to the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden for a morning immersed in natural beauty. The 250-hectare gardens showcase the unique flora that thrives in the region’s dry and desert-like climate. The gardens feature regional collections representing plants from various areas of the state, special interest collections including rare and native plants, and conservation zones containing sand dunes and marine zones. With four different walking trails highlighting unique parts of the gardens, visitors are invited to embark on a guided tour or take on a self-guided walk to explore at their own pace. An outing to the gardens provides the perfect opportunity for reflection surrounded by nature, moments of connection and serenity shared between friends and family.

Lookouts and Local History

  • Water Tower Lookout
  • Wadlata Outback Centre

After a morning surrounded by colourful plants and stunning landscapes, drive back toward the foreshore and pack a picnic for lunch by the Water Tower Lookout. One of Port Augusta’s featured attractions, you’ll get amazing views of the township, the Spencer Gulf, the Flinders Ranges, and the outback from the top of the tower. After your descent from the tower’s 80 steps, head to Rotary Park and lay out the picnic blanket. Enjoy a lunch surrounded by greenery and fill your afternoon with peaceful moments in nature before heading onto your next adventure. Next on the list of local attractions in Port Augusta is a visit to the Wadlata Outback Centre. An engaging attraction for adults and children alike, head here to discover more about the Flinders Ranges and South Australian Outback. In the ‘Tunnel of Time’ experience, visitors will be transported to when dinosaurs roamed the area, with fossils, Dreamtime stories and early explorers telling the story of how the land was created. After your walk through the tunnel, reflect on the day’s teachings with tea or coffee at the Outback Tuckerbox before ending the day with dinner in town.

Discover the Town of Quorn

  • Pichi Richi Railway
  • The Quandong Cafe

For your second day in Port Augusta, take your journey out of town and drive your rental car 30 minutes North East to the Pichi Richi Railway Station in the small town of Quorn. This heritage railway has been operating since 1878 and offers scenic rides through the Flinders Ranges region. Choose between two half-day experiences departing from Quorn. The Pichi Richi Explorer takes guests for a 2.5-hour return trip onboard a steam train to Woolshed Flat. This journey winds through the Pichi Richi Pass, so it’s the perfect time to take out your camera and capture the stunning landscapes of the Flinders Ranges. The Coffee Pot Heritage Rail Experience is a 4.5-hour trip onboard an Edwardian-era steam railcar - the only one of its kind in the world still in operation. This journey offers a three-course country-style lunch at Woolshed Flat and an optional Railway workshop tour is available for those wanting to learn more about the railroad industry. Opt for a meal in town if you’re hungry after your train ride; The Quandong Cafe offers pies, pastries, and tasty seasonal dishes.

Hiking Trails and Sunset Scenes

  • Warren Gorge Trail
  • Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout

From Quorn, it’s a 20-minute drive to the bushlands of Warren Gorge. This is the perfect spot to visit for those wanting to stretch their legs and take on a hike. The looped walking trail is 5.2km long and passes through rocky terrain, tree-lined forests and runs along towering cliffs. Keep an eye out for kangaroos and wallabies as you make your way around the gorge and pause for moments of reflection at the Smoke-Oh Lookout and at the Lookout Rocks. Head back down to Port Augusta to view the sunset over Spencer Gulf at the Matthew Flinders Red Cliff Lookout. Though your two days in Port Augusta have now come to a close, the memories made, and moments shared will never be forgotten.

From scenic railways to botanical gardens, Port Augusta has much to offer in the way of natural beauty and unique experiences. With must-see attractions in the town and surrounding regions, there’s no better way to explore South Australia’s hidden gems than on a road trip.

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