The Award winning Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden was officially opened in 1996.
Establishment of an arid lands botanic garden at Port Augusta was first proposed in 1981 by John Zwar, Parks and Gardens Superintendent at Port Augusta City Council.
The new botanic garden was established on its current 250ha coastal site.
Located on the shores of Spencer Gulf, the site features significant areas of natural arid zone vegetation including Western Myall woodlands (Acacia papyrocarpa), chenopod plains together with coastal vegetation dominated by Grey Mangrove (Avicennia marina) and samphire.
Annual funding from Port Augusta City Council, with some financial assistance from the Federal and State governments, the South Australian mining sector and the Friends group has funded improvements to infrastructure, the expansion of facilities at the visitor centre and the construction of the innovative AridSmart display gardens.
The cafe on site provides a place to meet friends for lunch or just somewhere to relax and enjoy a coffee and offers a huge range of mouth-watering, 'home-cooked' dishes including famous Banjo (tuna) patties seasoned with native herbs and spices or our yummylemon myrtle pancakes with quandong icecream.
There is also the Arid Explorer Garden where you can book the shelter shed for children's parties free of charge, with a specific kids party menu.
The gift and garden shop is where you'll find a hand-picked selection of quality Australian-made gifts and garden books plus an extensive range of beautiful AridSmart plants for your garden.
Guided tours are available and run by the volunteers during the week providing a great experience of the garden.
The success of this facility is a credit to the friends of the garden and their ongoing volunteering efforts which they must be commended for - this is something Port Augusta can be and should be proud of.