Port Augusta tourism down on last financial year

Ready for tourists: Michelle Henrey and Carly Archer at Wadlata Outback Centre last week. Photo: Elsie Adamo.
Ready for tourists: Michelle Henrey and Carly Archer at Wadlata Outback Centre last week. Photo: Elsie Adamo.

There has been a dip in tourism numbers to council assets in the past financial year.

Both the Arid Lands and Botanic Gardens and the Wadlata Outback Centre were affected, with 57,000 visits and 74,000 down approximately 20 per cent from the previous financial year.

Carly Archer, Port Augusta council's Manager Tourism Facilities, said the dip is to be expected considering the pandemics impacts.

"We have dropped a little bit from last year, but we are having traffic coming through and people are still traveling," she said.

"Where Port Augusta is located we are really lucky as we are that gateway to the Flinders Ranges, outback and western regions.

"We are the crossroads, and people have to pass through us to get to those destinations."

But travel makers from within the state, or even within the region have been taking advantage of our local attractions.

"The caravan market has just boomed, I feel like almost everyone owns one now," she said.

"People have just had to explore their own backyard, and appreciate a bit more local tourism and understanding the dedication behind some of these tourism businesses."

Ms Archer is encouraging those going to explore the regions to drop in.

"If you are doing any outback exploring, there is not always reception or internet and tracks may be closed so it is all about coming here and we have all the details ready to give people," she said.

Ms Archer said there may be a final rush of visitors coming through the town in September and October, before the tourism season winds down for the summer.