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Published March 15th 2015
Visual dreaming of the beauty of Port Lincoln
Boston Bay is one of South Australia's most beautiful bays and deep water harbors. Sitting on the edge of the Bay is the township of Port Lincoln, and sitting in between the town and the Bay is a walking trail known as Parnkalla Trail.
The Parnkalla Walking Trail starts near the Axel Stenross Maritime Museum at the northern end of town and meanders around Port Lincoln's coastline and offers sites of ecological and historical interest. The trail was named after the Aboriginal tribe for whom Dreaming was about the beauty of Port Lincoln.
Old Trail Signage and Boston Island - Steve Hudson
Heading south from the Museum the trail passes the "First Landing Site" being the site of the first landing in Port Lincoln in 1839 aboard the Brigantine Abeona. A little further south and the trail hits the city centre and passes the iconic Port Lincoln Hotel. With a function centre, several bars, a restaurant, a café and of course plenty of rooms with a seaview, this Hotel has become a go-to destination in its own right.
The Parnkalla Trail continues through town offering right-side views of shops, businesses and the Nautilus Art Centre across the tidy lawns of the City Centre, while enabling left-side views of Boston Bay, the town jetty and the large grain handling wharf. Kids splashing in the water are mixed with parents enjoying coffee and the views at a number of the roadside cafes.
Safe swimming pool alongside Town Jetty - Steve Hudson
The striking bronzed sculpture of three-time Melbourne Cup winner Makybe Diva appears on the lawns. Makybe Diva was owned by local fisherman Tony Santic in Port Lincoln, and aside from tuna is probably one of Port Lincoln's greatest exports. The life-sized statue was made by local artist Ken Martin, and took nine months to complete.
Continuing west and the enormous Port Lincoln Wharf with its imposing silos and Brennan's Jetty appears. Built in 1923 in this natural deepwater harbour, the wharf was once a busy hub for tuna fisherman as they unloaded their catch each day. Tuna fishing has changed dramatically in the last decade with the introduction of tuna farms, and subsequently the tuna boats have relocated to the slightly calmer waters at the Port Lincoln Marina.
The Parnkalla Trail continues on a gravel trail through some native flora, and heads past Shelley Beach and Snapper Rock before arriving at the halfway point on the trail at the Kirton Point Caravan Park. Various interpretive signs along the way provide a historical and geological explanation for the various nature, land and sea features that are easily observed. There are also many benches strategically placed along the trail to sit and relax and enjoy the magnificent scenery.
The trail passes through the Lincoln Cove Marina offering exceptional views of many newly built houses, and many expensive boats. The Marina Hotel has a balcony which extends alongside and over part of the water, and offers excellent views of the passing boats while you imbibe in a generous serve of coffee or wine. The Marina Hotel is also the boarding point for the popular Swim with the Sealions and Swim with the Tuna tours.
Beyond the Hotel, the trail signage is a little difficult to source as you look to exit the Marina, but staying close to the water's edge is the safest best. Once past the houses, the trail again follows natural bushland on a gravel path through to Billy Lights Point where an open grassed play area, BBQ, Shelter and boat ramp greets you.
The Parnkalla Trail is open all year round, and is well signposted (apart from a few missing near the Marina). The trail is around 14km long in total, but may be walked in various parts over several days, as there are numerous areas to park cars, or perhaps create loops. A map and brochure is available from the Visitor Information Centre. Protective footwear and clothing is recommended for walking on parts of the trail that are on gravel or in natural bushland. Dogs on leashes are also encouraged to join in and enjoy the trail.