Port Lincoln was discovered by Matthew Flinders under his commission by the British Admiralty to chart Australia’s unexplored coastline. The converted collier Investigator dropped anchor in Boston Bay in February 1802 and Flinders named the spot Port Lincoln after his native Lincolnshire in England. Only several days earlier Flinders lost eight seamen near Memory Cove, including his sailing master & personal friend Captain John Thistle, whilst searching for water.
Port Lincoln was initially considered as the alternative site for the State’s Capital, but was subsequently rejected by Colonel Light in 1836 in favour of Adelaide. Lack of fresh water supplies was a major determining factor. The First Settlers arrived in March 1839 aboard the Abeona, the Dorset and the Porter. There is an historic plaque at the First Landing site to commemorate the event.
The area is perhaps the nation’s biggest combined agricultural and fishing centre. Lower Eyre Peninsula’s primary industries include the production of lambs, wool and beef, cereal crops including wheat, oats, barley, canola, lupins, fishing including tuna, prawns, lobster, abalone and scale fish are the major fishing and aquaculture industries. Port Lincoln boasts the largest fishing fleet in the southern hemisphere.
Lower Eyre Peninsula is truly a crossroads of habitats in Australia. The oceans surrounding it are renown for fishing, however the mixture of gulf waters and open ocean of the Great Australian Bight means there is a diversity of aquatic species. Port Lincoln has proximity to 60,000 hectares of National Parks; home to a myriad of flora and fauna to see. Also 250 species of birds have been recorded in the area.
Due to the insulating effect of the surrounding ocean waters, Port Lincoln experiences a delightful Mediterranean climate. Which is on average a degree or two warmer than Adelaide in winter and 3ºC – 5ºC cooler than Adelaide during the hot summer months. Port Lincoln’s average rainfall is 488mm or 19 inches, which falls mainly during the winter months.
Warm summers, mild winters and balmy weather during autumn and spring, make Port Lincoln an all year destination for touring, fishing, sailing and other recreational pursuits.