Why go to Port Lincoln?
Compact village atmosphere, easy walking with all services within easy walk of the pier
Self-guided walkers will need to cover a couple of miles to see all the sights
Delightful, relaxed small-town feel with a surprising range of historic and gourmet offerings
Port Lincoln Cruise Port Facilities?
All ships will dock at the port facility at Brennan's Wharf, which serves all ship types including bulk grain loading. This is about 20 minutes' walk (1.3 km) to the Visitor Information Centre in the centre of town. A free shuttle is provided on cruise ship days. You will also find legions of uniformed volunteers out in force to guide you into town and through the attractions.
Despite some comments about its state of repair, the multi-use pier seems perfectly satisfactory for the purpose and does not present any hazards. Even though Port Lincoln is a small city (population: 16,000) and offers easy walking, a free shuttle bus service is available to the compact town centre, which contains all important services such as ATMs, banks, cafes, post office, supermarket and a public library that offers visitors free Wi-Fi (closed Saturdays).
Good to Know?
Port Lincoln has a natural deep water harbour, Boston Bay, so has no trouble accommodating full-size cruise ships during the annual October to April cruise season. The 2018/19 season saw seven ships make 14 port visits, so this is not yet a busy cruise port, but activity is set to increase as South Australian cruising enjoys a resurgence with more frequent port calls by the major lines and even a period of home porting by CMV out of Adelaide.
Because cruise visitation is such an important economic boost to this town's economy, many attractions will open outside normal advertised hours to accommodate visitors. Hence, treat opening hours below as a guide only.
Walking around the town centre of Port Lincoln can be regarded as quite safe and no special precautions are required. That said, always be aware of personal safety whenever you walk in unfamiliar ports.
By Taxi: Two local taxi companies serve Port Lincoln and can easily be hailed, or ordered by smartphone or telephone. Expect cruise days to be busy and it may be quicker to walk around town.
On Foot: Port Lincoln town centre is an easy walk from the pier on flat terrain. Restaurants and beaches, likewise, are a gentle stroll. Other attractions may be a little farther away.
Shuttle Bus: Free transfers are provided on cruise days taking guests to the central shopping precinct and visitor centre.
City Loop Bus Service: This service is provided especially on cruise ship days to assist visitors to get between all the major sites. It's $30 for an all-day ticket and is an excellent way for many passengers and crew to see attractions outside of the CBD. This 'hop-on, hop-off' service waits about 30 to 40 minutes at each stop so passengers can spend as little or as much time as they like at each stop.
An onboard guide gives a quick rundown on what to expect at each stop. The route includes the Port Lincoln Railway Museum, Cruisers Hub Cafe at the Port Lincoln Marina, The Fresh Fish Place, Mill Cottage and Settlers Cottage museums and Axel Stenross Maritime Museum. It also includes a photo opportunity at Winters Hill before returning to the start of the Loop service at the stop in front of the Makybe Diva statue.
Hire Cars: Local branches of the big car hire companies are responding to the cruise market and supplying pre-booked vehicles to passengers as they disembark. This arrangement is still finding its feet, but is likely to increase in popularity in line with anticipated demand. If this appeals to you, be sure to book well in advance.
Currency & Best Way to Get Money?
Australian dollars (AUD) in cash will always get you by, but you can expect that most popular credit cards will be accepted. ATMs can be found at several points along the main street as well as the mall (near the supermarket) and hotels. American Express and Diners Club cardholders may find some traders do not accept these cards. Both Visa and Mastercard are the most universally accepted cards.
Port Lincoln is a regional Australian town and some of the locals speak in a thick Aussie accent, which can be challenging for some overseas visitors. "Air ya garn (mate)?" is a common greeting and translates to "How are you going?" And "Youse right there?" is another way of saying, "Can I help you?" and is frequently used by everyone from waiters to retail staff. But hey, this is 'Straya, after all. Don't be afraid to smile and ask, 'Pardon me?' if you are unclear as to what has been said.