Port Lincoln is probably the best known destination on Eyre Peninsula, being the home of Australia’s largest commercial fishing fleet and aquaculture industry.
The Harbour and marina are full of huge fishing boats which are worth a drive and walk around to look at to gain an insight into the scale of the industry and then…there are the leisure boats.
There is obviously good money in the commercial fishing business, judging by the size of the water craft. Mind you, we were told there were some bargains, and were advised that for a mere 2.5 million this one (centre photo right), could be ours, a bargain from the 5 million it cost to build originally.
Taking a drive along the foreshore of Port Lincoln, a number of statues grab your attention. Firstly there is the statue of the majestic Makybe Diva, the racehorse owned by local tuna fisherman Tony Santic, which was the first horse to win the Melbourne Cup on three consecutive occasions. Her overall winnings were more than $14 million over her career. The life size replica was designed by local artist Ken Martin.
Another impressive statue is that of the Tuna Poler, which was also sculpted by Ken Martin and commemorates the original tuna polers of the area, and their innovations from which the southern Bluefin tuna industry was built on.
Nearby is yet another statue, this one of explorer Matthew Flinders and his cat Trim. It depicts Flinders kneeling and using his compass to chart his voyage of the South Australian coast. Trim, it seems gets a little bit of extra attention and is decorated occasionally too.
A monument has also been placed near the marina area which is a memorial to fishermen lost at sea, which was commissioned by the Port Lincoln Fishing Industry and the local council. The sculpture depicts the anguish of families and friends with faces and human forms embracing in sorrow.
Surrounding the monument are granite stones with the names of around 50 men who never returned from the sea and sadly on average, one name is added to the granite each year.
Around the city of Port Lincoln are other works of art to find in the form of street art including ‘Soar Above’ by Josh Harris, which depicts a bird of prey soaring above the graffiti style lettering below, and a great little laneway which leads to an incredible second hand bookshop, tucked away at the back.
For some great views over the town there are a couple of scenic spots to head to. The Old Mill is the oldest standing building in Port Lincoln, its foundation stone laid in 1846, and a climb up its iron spiral staircase will give you views over the harbour. For an even wider ranging view, take a drive to Winter Hill Lookout.
While in Port Lincoln some good places to visit and sample the local wines, brews and food include Boston Bay wines, with another top view, Beer Garden Brewing where you can taste locally made brews and the Eyre Roasted coffee.
While in town, make sure to try some of the locally caught seafood in any of the cafes, restaurants or hotels or buy some from one of the local businesses.
The tuna makes terrific sashimi, thanks to a tip from a local for an easy way to prepare in a soy and wasabi marinade.