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Published November 9th 2017
Exploring the Beauty of Broughton
Located around two hours north of Adelaide on the Spencer Gulf is the pretty seaside village of Port Broughton. Its proximity to the upper Yorke Peninsula cropping farms, and the sheltered waters of the bay made Port Broughton an important trade and fishing port in the late 1800's. Today the trade ships no longer visit, and the fishing fleet is smaller, but Port Broughton remains an attractive holiday destination for families and couples looking to get away from it all.
Aside from swimming, recreational fishing and crabbing, coffee and fish 'n' chips on the Esplanade, visitors to the town are greeted with four magnificent walks of varied distance, terrain and interest. All walks are free and may take between 1-3 hours depending upon fitness levels and time spent taking photographs.
Located just inside the entrance to the Port Broughton Area School is the Remembrance Walking Trail, a 1 km long trail through natural scrubland where 103 small metal signs detailing a significant world event from each year between 1899 and 2001 have been placed. The events were researched by students, with the most significant ones being recorded on the metal signs, and they include such events as the JFK assassination, The Beatles breakup, the Mao uprising in China, the discovery of Machu Picchu and the release of Mein Kampf.
In addition, all major wars that Australia participated in during the same period have been commemorated with a large stone wall and a detailed information board regarding the conflict, the time span, the lives lost and the impact that these had on Australia and the world.
Port Broughton's early life as a township began in 1871 when the land was surveyed and blocks were offered for sale on the recommendation of Captain Henry Dale. And it was Dale who built a private landing (near the current playground) to facilitate transport by boat. The landing is now little more than a few jetty piles sitting above the tidal water, with the newer and much longer Jetty replacing it in 1876.
To facilitate trade, the town required a rail line to assist the movement of crops and wool from the nearby farms to the Port. The rail line was laid, a Railway Station built, and horses began the task of towing carriages from nearby Mundoora along 16km of narrow gauge line to the Port. Occasionally the horses would tow what was known as a Pie Cart, a cart that carried passengers along the route pending the arrival of a formal locomotive. But the train never came, and history has now marked Port Broughton as one of a few places in the world that had a Train Station without a Train.
The Historical Walk is around 3km long and takes walkers past 15 of the most significant buildings and locations within the town that are etched in its history ranging from churches, stations, hospitals, early cottages, memorials, the magnificent Port Broughton Hotel and the Jetty which retains its significance as a key recreational fishing point and home for a number of fishing / crabbing trawlers.
For those looking for a longer walk, and perhaps some solitude while walking, the 6km trail to Fishermans Bay may be for you. Starting from the Jetty, the trail follows the coastline with lawns, sand and shacks to the east, and sea waters and the curved land of the Mundoora Arm to the west. The trail progresses north up to the Bayside Caravan Park passing the Boat Ramp, and crosses several small tidal 'peninsulas' where samphire and other exotic water plants are exposed during high tide.
The trail then continues north along the largely unpopulated coast until the northern corner is reached and the pretty fishing village of Fishermans Bay comes into view. Complete with a boat ramp, playground, facilities and some swimming pontoons in a sheltered bay, the village of Fishermans Bay provides a pleasant spot to relax and play with the kids.
Starting from the Jetty and alongside another one of the great Murals of the Yorke Peninsula, the Encounter Trail takes walkers on a short walk north along John Lewis Drive past the holiday homes and shacks of Port Broughton. Five information boards provide context to this short walk, which finishes at the Bayside Caravan Park where walkers can either return to the jetty back along John Lewis Drive, or perhaps via the coast and the Fishermans Bay Trail.
Port Broughton is 170km north of Adelaide and has a base population of around 1,200 which swells during holiday season to over 4,000. Several cafes, bakeries and restaurants provide food options along the Main Street, with accommodation available at the two Caravan Parks or at a number of the holiday rental homes. Further information on the walks is available from the Visitor Information Centre, or from the below images.