Deemed the Seafood Capital of Australia, Port Lincoln is a coastal paradise on the Eyre Peninsula in South Australia. The city of 16,000 is a fish lover’s dream, with access to some of the best, most sought-after seafood in the world.
*This post may contain affiliate links, as a result, we may receive a small commission (at no extra cost to you) on any bookings/purchases you make through the links in this post. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Read our full disclosure
While many visit to shark dive, Port Lincoln is also a popular destination for 4WDing and getting out into nature. Home to beautiful beaches, award-winning restaurants, and two national parks, Port Lincoln offers a lot to do in a small area!
After spending a week exploring this small part of Eyre Peninsula on our half lap of Australia, here are our top things to do in Port Lincoln for your next trip.
How to Get to Port Lincoln
Getting to Port Lincoln is a bit of a trek from the nearest city of Adelaide. Although the two look close on a map, Port Lincoln from Adelaide is 650 km and takes about 7 hours. From Adelaide, you’ll head to Port Augusta, where you’ll follow the Lincoln Highway all the way down the Eyre Peninsula Port Lincoln. There is also a bus service that travels from Adelaide to Port Lincoln and takes about 10 hours.
You can shave off a bit of time by taking the ferry across the gulf from Wallaroo to Lucky Bay, but not much. Because of the long drive, many people opt to travel to Port Lincoln, South Australia by plane. Port Lincoln has its own airport, Port Lincoln Airport (PLO), both Rex and QantasLink offer direct flights that are much quicker with only 45 minutes spent in the air.
Traveling Soon? Here is a list of our favourite travel providers and accessories to help get you ready for your upcoming trip!
Best Time To Visit Port Lincoln
The climate in Port Lincoln is generally mild, with cool summers and mild winters, making it a lovely year-round destination in South Australia, but ideal weather conditions are in the summer and fall.
In summer, from December to February, summer days are hot and dry, with temperatures averaging around 24°C. It’s the perfect time to enjoy the beautiful beaches of the area. If you want to explore Port Lincoln during the day when the sun stays up the longest, January is the time to be in South Australia.
In the autumn months of March and April, days are mild, and the crowds have died down from peak season. The weather is still nice, the accommodations are plentiful, and while the ocean may be a bit chilly, it’s still a great time to explore the national parks and enjoy the great outdoors. During this time, flights and places to stay in Port Lincoln can be cheaper since it’s not during the main holiday seasons, especially if you book in advance.
In Port Lincoln, the wet season typically happens around June each year during winter. While there might be some decent rainfall or light showers during this time, many days are fine, with only a few drops falling from passing showers.
Spring brings more pleasant weather to Port Lincoln, with mild temperatures and longer days.
Best Things to Do in Port Lincoln
Whether you’re looking to dine, explore, or just soak in the sights, there are lots of exciting things to do in Port Lincoln.
1. Go Diving With Great White Sharks
There’s nothing like the thrill of coming face to face with one of the world’s most feared predators in Port Lincoln. Getting face-to-face with great white sharks is a huge draw for visitors to South Australia.
It’s the only place in Australia where you can dip in the Southern Ocean and go cage diving with sharks. Seeing these mighty predators in their natural habitat is a unique experience fit for any adrenaline junkie’s bucket list in Port Lincoln.
If you choose to partake in this thrilling activity, opt to go with a responsible tour operator, a company that does not chum the waters to attract the sharks or affect their natural environment in another way.
We recommend Adventure Bay Charters, a Port Lincoln eco-tourism certified operator that offers a full-day shark experience with an optional cage dive! When you’re not in the water, you can freely photograph the sharks from the safety of the vessel. Afterward, enjoy a hot shower before getting dressed and heading back to Port Lincoln.
2. Swim With Sea Lions
A major highlight when visiting Port Lincoln is undoubtedly the opportunity to dive into the ocean and swim with some of the sea’s cutest and most playful residents. Affectionately considered “puppies of the sea,” sea lions make for great entertainment! Swimming with sea lions is an interactive wildlife experience like no other!
Head to Port Lincoln Marina and set sail on a boat tour where you’ll swim alongside these adorable creatures. These playful marine creatures are super into playing and seem even more curious than you! No worries, though; the crew takes you to safe waters, far from the prying eyes (and teeth) of the Great White, the natural predator.
Respectfully, tours are committed to minimizing impact on sea lion colonies, so they only operate 4 times a week.
3. Check Out Local Artwork At Galleries
Be sure to check out the vibrant cultural displays as you walk the streets of Port Lincoln town. The Nautilus Arts Centre features unique exhibits from all over Australia that change regularly. For local flare, our personal favourite is Quirky Owl, which even offers art classes…with tea! Even though it’s not a typical gallery, don’t miss the Rhapsody In Wood store. They create amazing handcrafted wooden maps from sustainable timbers that are absolutely stunning.
4. See Animals At Glen Forest Tourist Park
Just 15 minutes outside of Port Lincoln, Glen Forest Tourist Park offers meet-and-greets with some of Australia’s favourite animals. See kangaroos, koalas, wombats, and more before hitting balls at the mini-putt or going on a Segway ride. A visit to Glen Forest is one of the top Port Lincoln tourist attractions for families with kids.
Glen Forest Tourist Park has more than just animals. There’s a big wooden maze, a putt-putt golf course, and Segway tours. Bring lunch for a BBQ, and adults can even taste some wine made on the farm in South Australia while you’re there.
5. Enjoy The View At Winter Hill Lookout
Take in panoramic views of the city, Boston Bay, Lincoln National Park, Boston Island, and other nearby islands in South Australia from Winter Hill Lookout. Just a short drive from the centre of town, the lookout offers one of the Eyre Peninsula’s best views for free! For another spot with great views over Boston Bay, check out the Old Mill Lookout. The Old Mill itself is pretty ancient, it’s the oldest surviving building in Port Lincoln.
6. Go For A Stroll Along Parnkalla Walking Trail
Spend an afternoon taking a leisurely stroll along the scenic coastline of Port Lincoln. Pass by gorgeous fig trees, towering grain silos, and the oldest jetty site on the Eyre Peninsula. The trail is mostly flat and has easy access from Port Lincoln Tourist Park.
Lincoln National Park has plenty of shorter walking trails that include sections of the Investigator Trail. Despite crossing rugged terrain, these trails are well-marked for easy navigation, making it great for a run during our stay at the Tourist Park.
7. Visit Lincoln National Park
Lincoln National Park is one of two amazing national parks in the region. Venture down the Jussieu Peninsula to walk the white sand beaches of Memory Cove, part of a Wilderness Protection Area in Port Lincoln. This secluded paradise is reached by a rough 4WD track that’s well worth the bumpy ride.
We recommend staying a couple of days, so be sure to book your entrance and camping ahead of time. Access to Memory Cove is limited to 15 vehicles per day with a gate key.
On the flip side, while one stretch of the peninsula has a rugged coastline, the other side faces the calmer waters of Boston Bay. This makes it perfect for activities like fishing and hiking in South Australia. You’ll also find some little beaches where swimming is totally doable.
On the northern tip of the peninsula, there are other amazing beaches in the park that can be accessed with 2WD, like September Beach and Donington Beach. If you’re looking for things to do in the park – go fishing, whale watching, or take a scenic hike.
Our top pick is the Stamford Hill hike, which offers sweeping views of the bay and Port Lincoln. It’s no surprise this short 1.6 km trek is one of 40 Great Australian Short Walks.
8. Check Out Fishery Bay
A day at Fishery Bay is the perfect addition to any Port Lincoln plan. Drive onto the beach (4WD only!) and park up for the day to enjoy crystal clear water and a beautiful setting. Sink your toes in the soft white sand or catch a wave at this former whaling station. It’s a local favourite of the Eyre Peninsula.
Winter brings stunning views and a windswept look to the long white sand at Fishery Bay, it’s a chance to appreciate nature. In the summer, Fishery Bay beach is perfect for water sports, but keep in mind it’s not patrolled and is located outside of town, so take extra care.
9. Explore Whalers Way
Explore the rugged coastline with some of the best coastal views in all of South Australia. Mainly, you’ll be checking out the beautiful view of limestone cliffs and bays along the coastline.
The dramatic rock pools are filled with perfectly clear water and sit alongside the mist of the Baleen Blowhole. One of the pools even doubles as a swimming hole! Because the land is privately owned, you’ll need to obtain a permit to enter and pay an entrance fee —but it’s well worth it. It’s all dirt roads, and we think an AWD/4WD is best, but a 2WD could work. Plan a whole day for your visit to make sure you have time to enjoy all the walks.
10. Visit Mikkira Station
Have a picnic surrounded by koalas and other wildlife at Mikkira Station. This former European homestead is lined with blue gum trees that koalas love to munch on. Go for a quick stroll to the old homestead, and you’ll spot plenty of koalas just chilling in the trees.
The site is closed in the summer but offers tours or a self-guided tour with a permit from the Port Lincoln Visitor Centre at other times of the year. Mikkira Station is an awesome spot for camping in South Australia. They even have on-site “glamper campers” in case you don’t have your own caravan, RV, or tent.
11. Visit Coffin Bay
Take a short 30-minute drive to visit South Australia’s oyster haven in spectacular Coffin Bay. Oyster farm tours at Coffin Bay Oyster HQ sample some of the tastiest oysters in the state. You can even try shucking your own!
Or take a day-long Coffin Bay Seafood, Wine and Nature Tour to taste what Coffin Bay is all about. Or pick up a dozen of fresh oysters with a shucking knife and pair them with a lovely bottle of unwooded Chardonnay for a feast on the senses.
12. Visit Coffin Bay National Park
A true hidden gem in Port Lincoln, Coffin Bay National Park is brimming with sand dunes, pristine beaches, and authentic coastal wilderness.
If you have a 4WD vehicle, venture to the north on a soft sand track to reach unspoiled beaches. Black Springs, a shelled beach, is one of our favourites on Coffin Bay coast with great campsites to spend a few days.
Remote Seven Mile Beach is another stunning stretch of 4WD-only track lined by white sand and bay views.
If secluded 4WD camping isn’t on your agenda, Yangie campground is a good spot for 2WD vehicles. There are a few enjoyable walks around the campground with easy trails and nice views. Admittedly not the most spectacular, but still worth checking out.
Point Avoid and Golden Island Lookout can be easily reached from the park entrance or from Yangie Bay. Here, you’ll be spoiled with magical island views. Alternatively, spend a day at Almonta Beach and enjoy some of the whitest sand and bluest water on the Eyre Peninsula. A great spot for fishing, swimming, or just hanging out!
Best Day trips from Port Lincoln
While there are plenty of things to do in Port Lincoln, the surrounding area has some attractions you can’t miss.
Greenly Beach And Rock Pools
If you’re looking for a picture-perfect Eyre Peninsula beach, Greenly Beach is just that. The stunning shoreline is dotted with rock pools that are a gorgeous spot to swim. The pools are 1 hour away from Port Lincoln in Coulta, so plan for a day trip. And if you’re keen to surf, the area gets 1-metre waves on average.
The Leo Cummings Monument is like a taste of the 12 Apostles on the Great Ocean Road. Located in Kiana, 1 hour north of Port Lincoln, the site boasts amazing views of rugged cliffs and open ocean. It’s not to be missed!
READ NEXT: Great Ocean Drive Itinerary Guide
Plan a full-day trip to the Talia Caves set on breathtaking Waterloo Bay. The drive takes about 2.5 hours each way from Port Lincoln, but the journey is totally worth it. Talia Beach sees huge waves that have carved out two granite caverns on the shore. You can walk beneath the honeycomb ceiling of The Woolshed cave or climb into a deep crater coined “The Tub.”
Looking For A Tour?
Australian Coastal Safaris offers one, two, or multi-day Port Lincoln tours highlighting some of the top Port Lincoln activities. Experience swimming with sea lions, reeling in fish, or a day of hand-picked seafood indulgence.
Best Restaurants in Port Lincoln
With world-class seafood at its banks, Port Lincoln restaurants are truly top-notch.
Peter Teakle Wines
Perched on a hill overlooking Port Lincoln and Boston Bay, Peter Teakle is leading the way for Eyre Peninsula wineries. The vineyard harvests grapes from estate-grown vines and bottles a mean Riesling. You can visit the Cellar Door for tours or dine at the winery’s award-winning restaurant, The Line & Label.
Best Port Lincoln Hotels
There are many great options for Port Lincoln accommodation, from hotels to camping. We hopped around mixing staying in town with campgrounds inside the parks.
Port Lincoln Tourist Park
The Port Lincoln Tourist Park includes luxurious waterfront apartments, a great spot for waterfront accommodation that’s close to city amenities, located right on the beach, it offers BBQ facilities and a playground for kids. Each accommodation is equipped with air conditioning, a fully stocked kitchenette with a dining area, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom with a shower.
We stayed at an unpowered campsite with a great view and easy access to the Parnkalla Walking Trail. The park also offers powered campsites, modern cabins, and waterfront apartments with views of the marina, and has 15 rooms in total, an ideal spot for environmentally conscious travellers to get a good night’s sleep.
The Port Lincoln Hotel
Take a dip in the solar-heated swimming pool overlooking Boston Bay at The Port Lincoln Hotel. This modern hotel has 111 rooms and suites, a 24-hour reception, secure lift access, free unlimited wifi, a restaurant and bar, and lots of flexible function spaces with complete conference facilities and even live entertainment on weekends.
It’s steps away from the Old Mill Lookout and close to bustling Port Lincoln beaches. The best part, the Port Lincoln Hotel is committed to sustainability, actively minimizing its environmental footprint.
Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges
Just 20 minutes outside of the town of Port Lincoln, Tanonga Luxury Eco Lodges are the ultimate Eyre Peninsula getaway. Featuring two architecturally striking buildings with complete amenities and a laundry room, these lodges have panoramic views in a secluded setting with amazing sunrise and moonrise views, plus a 360-degree look at rolling hills all the way to the sea.
Each has one bedroom, but it can fit more guests or kids with a high-quality fold-out double sofa bed and a single folding chair. Tanonga utilizes solar energy, rainwater collection, and all environmentally-conscious products to preserve the beauty of the area.
READ NEXT: Tips For Sustainable Travel In Australia
Camping In Lincoln National Park
Located on South Australia’s Eyre Peninsula, camping in Port Lincoln National Park is an awesome way to experience the wildlife and scenery of the area. If you’re staying for 2-3 nights, Memory Cove campground has a lovely beach in true coastal wilderness. There are 5 sites in Port Lincoln National Park that are only accessible via a bumpy 4WD track. Besides the toilets, there are no other facilities so be sure to pack it in, pack it out.
Booking ahead is essential and you’ll need a key (requires a $50 deposit) to enter the area. Camping is $22 per night.
If you’re travelling with a caravan or don’t want to head too deep into the wilderness, Surfleet Cove Campground offers sheltered bayside camping. There is a mix of tent and vehicle sites, along with clean drop toilets. Camping is $13 per night.
Another beautiful spot on the shore is the September Beach Campground. There are 12 campsites that are steps away from soft, white sand. Campfires are permitted here and the grounds have picnic tables and drop toilets. This spot is perfect for tents and caravans and even offers two glamping tent options. Camping is $13 per night.
Coffin Bay National Park
Nestled in a sheltered cove in Coffin Bay, Black Springs Campground is a 4WD spot with 8 beachside sites. It’s surrounded by lush trees and is our favourite place to camp in the park. There are drop toilets and fire pits, but no other facilities, so be sure to take your rubbish with you. Camping is $13 per night.
Less secluded is Yangie Bay Campground, which is busy but still comfortable. It’s the only 2WD accessible campground in the park, so it’s great for caravans and those wanting to paddle in the calm bay. There are communal fire pits, drop toilets, picnic tables, and a kayak launch. Camping is $13 per night.
Coffin Bay Caravan Park
If you want to stay outside of the park, Coffin Bay Caravan Park is an option that’s closer to Coffin Bay town. There are 130 powered and unpowered campsites with access to BBQs, bathrooms and even WiFi. It’s decent for an overnight stay, but we didn’t particularly enjoy staying here. The sites are on one big grassy knoll, so they don’t have much of a view or any privacy. Powered sites are $25 per night.