Port Broughton, South Australia


Port Broughton, South Australia

Infobox Australian Place | type = town
name = Port Broughton
state = sa



caption = The Port Broughton Hotel
lga = District Council of Barunga West
postcode = 5522
est = 1839
pop = 1547 (district)
maxtemp = 24.4
mintemp = 12.6
rainfall = 341.3
stategov = Frome
fedgov = Grey
dist1 = 170
dir1 = North West
location1= Adelaide

Port Broughton is a small South Australian town located on the Yorke Peninsula on the east coast of Spencer Gulf. It is situated about 170 km north west of Adelaide, and 56 km south of Port Pirie

The close proximity (two hours drive from Adelaide) makes it a popular tourist destination, with the number of people in town swelling to over 4000 in the summer holidays.

History

The land around Port Broughton was initially used for grazing, however the local conditions were unsuitable and the land was divided up into acre lots and sold.

Port Broughton was surveyed in 1871 to service the surrounding wheat and barley growers on the recommendation of Captain Henry Dale. It is on a sheltered inlet called Mundoora Arm Inlet at the extreme northern end of Yorke Peninsula. The town is named after the Broughton River (named by Edward John Eyre after William Broughton, the first Anglican bishop of Australia) which flows into the gulf a few kilometres further north.

Built in 1876, the 'T'-shaped jetty was serviced by a railway line from Mundoora, 16 km inland and uphill. The railway, officially opened on 11 March, 1876, brought the grain down to the port. Horses were used to tow the empty wagons uphill, but they were sent downhill powered only by gravity, with a driver to operate the brakes. The passenger service ceased on 17 September, 1925, but the grain traffic continued. During January, 1926, a Fordson rail tractor displaced the animal power. From 1931, the railways contracted out the service to a private operator. The service ceased altogether on 3 August, 1942, but the tractor continued to shunt wheat wagons between the station yard and the jetty until moved elsewhere. Ketches carried the grain from the jetty 8 kilometres out into the gulf where the larger windjammers were anchored to carry the grain back to England. The windjammers ceased to call in 1949. ["The Rise and Fall of the Port Broughton Line" Callaghan, W.H.Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, August, 2003 pp283-289]

Port Broughton has now come to support a prawning fleet, and has become a popular holiday destination.

Geography

Lying on the eastern side of Spencer Gulf, Port Broughton's coastline is relatively protected, resulting in large expanses of shallow water and seagrasses, tidal flats and vast areas of mangroves that flank the inlet on which the town is built. The small town of Fisherman's Bay lies 5km north of Port Broughton and has much the same coastal features. The Broughton River lies further north toward Port Pirie, where its estuary is located. Further inland, most of the land is fairly featureless farming country, with only fragments of the original vegetation remaining.

Economy

Since its establishment, Port Broughton's economy has largely been driven agriculture, in particular cereal crops. Commercial fishing is also an important part of the economy, with scalefish and Blue Swimmer Crabs accounting for much of the catch.

Like many towns on the Yorke Peninsula, Port Broughton is a prime tourist destination, with activities such as fishing, crabbing and a variety of watersports being popular. The town has a boat ramp for such activities. The town has two caravan parks and a number of units, as well as a motel. Nearby Fisherman's Bay has many shacks belonging to holiday-makers, as well as its own small boat ramp.

Community

The recorded population the township of Port Broughton at the time of the 2006 census was 908 (Port Broughton district population 1547). The majority of the population (784) were Australian born, with the majority of immigrants coming from the United Kingdom. The census also found that over half the population of Port Broughton is over 55, suggesting the town is popular with retirees. Christianity is the dominant religion in the region, and is well serviced by a number of churches.

The town has a number of sporting clubs including Football, Cricket and Netball clubs.

Port Broughton Area School and Port Broughton District Hospital & Health Service provide the towns educational and medical needs respectively

Government

Port Broughton is the seat of the District Council of Barunga West. The mayor currently is Dean Dolling. It is in the state electoral district of Frome and the federal Division of Grey.

References

External links

* [http://www.yorkepeninsula.com.au/directory/portbroughton.aspx Port Broughton tourist information]
* [http://www.postcards.sa.com.au/features/port_broughton.html Postcards feature on Port Broughton]
* [http://www.easyfm.com.au Easy FM, Port Broughton's local radio station on 87.6]


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