A Tourists' Guide to Regional Australia – Part 2: The Copper Triangle, South Australia

This is the second in a series of articles that will help tourists both local and international visiting Australia find information about locations that are not usually covered in television travel programs and magazines.

South Australia

South Australia is a state in Australia which is located in the south central region of Australia. It covers 983,482 square kilometres and is the fourth largest state. The population is approximately 1,650,000 and it is estimated that 1,280,000 people live in the capital city, Adelaide. The South Australian coastline faces the Southern Ocean, and the climate ranges from Mediterranean in the south to a Desert Climate in the north.

Transport Options

Adelaide has an international and domestic airport. The best option for travelling to the Copper Triangle region would be via a hire vehicle. The Copper Triangle is located approximately 150 kilometres north west of Adelaide driving along Port Wakefield Road. For tips on driving in South Australia, please visit this website http://dpti.sa.gov.au/roadsafety/safe_road_users/visitors_to_SA

Stop 1 – Port Wakefield

Port Wakefield is located 100 kilometres north of Adelaide. It is located on the northernmost point of the Gulf of St Vincent, and was used as a major port and transport hub during the copper mining boom in the mid to late 1800’s. Port Wakefield has a range of specialty shops, cafes and petrol stations. There is a tidal swimming pool and also nature walks along the mangroves which host a variety of wildlife.


Kadina is located approximately 45 kilometres north west of Port Wakefield on the Yorke Peninsula. It has a population of around 4,200. Kadina was founded in 1861 and was the central town during the copper mining boom. You can find many shops, cafes and restaurants here along with a large shopping centre. There is a mining museum which contains historical artefacts from the copper mines. The Wallaroo Mines is also worth visiting, which are located just south west of Kadina. There are also various accommodation options, from hotels to caravan parks.

Port Hughes

Port Hughes is a tiny fishing village approximately 15 kilometres west of Kadina. The population is around only 400 people, although this is tipped to rise with the construction of a new housing estate. Port Hughes is an excellent location for swimming and has calm and clean water. There is a jetty located along the main beach, and is a renowned fishing location, especially for whiting, garfish and squid. There is only a general store and petrol station located here, so Kadina is the best option for any shopping. Port Hughes has a small range of holiday rental homes and a caravan park. This location is ideal for people who enjoy a quiet holiday to get away from it all.


Port Hughes Jetty


Moonta is located approximately 20 kilometres west of Kadina and 5 kilometres north of Port Hughes and has a population of around 3,500. Moonta is a popular tourist destination and is home to several holiday apartments, hotels and caravan parks. It has a popular safe swimming beach and a jetty which is located at Moonta Bay. The Moonta Bay Jetty is renowned for its fishing, with a variety of species being present, including blue swimmer crabs and squid. There also a range of cafes and restaurants, specialising in local seafood. For those who like history, take the Moonta Mines walking trail and visit the old copper mines. This takes around one hour on foot. Accommodation is plentiful, with hotels, holiday units and caravan parks available.


Moonta Town Hall


Wallaroo is located 15 kilometres north of Moonta and has an approximate population of 3,000. Wallaroo is a popular tourist destination, and was also a central town during the copper mining boom. There is a safe swimming beach, and an extremely long jetty which is used by grain ships to load grain. The jetty is extremely popular for fishing, and many species can be caught here, with larger species being abundant in the deep water in the furthest reaches of the grain loading jetty. You can visit the large marina and see the prawn fishing fleet enter and leave, or take one of the many fishing charters that are located here. There are also several accommodation options in Wallaroo, ranging from hotels to holiday units and caravan parks.


Wallaroo Jetty

This concludes our guide of the Copper Triangle in South Australia. All information is correct to the knowledge of the author at the time of publication. Please note that weather events or factors could affect the information given here so please ensure that you check with local authorities and media upon arrival.


When swimming anywhere in Australia please be aware that certain beaches can be prone to rips and strong currents. Please always read and follow the relevant signs. More information can be found here http://www.australia.com/about/australias-landscapes/australian-beaches.aspx South Australian waters are home to several species of sharks. Whilst shark attacks and fatalities are extremely rare, it is suggested that all swimmers remain vigilant and swim at patrolled beaches and follow any signs that are placed at beaches. Avoid swimming at dawn and dusk as this has been identified as the high risk times for shark attacks. For more information, please see this site http://www.pir.sa.gov.au/fisheries/fishwatch/sharks South Australia is also home to several venomous animal species, including spiders and snakes. Whilst bites and fatalities are extremely rare, it is advised that caution is taken and a first aid kit which includes a snake bite kit is carried at all times. Please visit this site for more information http://www.adelaidebound.com/wildlife.html

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