Top 5 Day Trips From Port Pirie
23rd June 2021
The beautiful Mid North
Found on the Spencer Gulf, Port Pirie is located in one of South Australia’s most diverse and exciting regions: the Mid North. Packed with not only coastal scenery but thick forest, rolling hills, national parks and plenty of wineries, there’s enough to see in the Mid North to keep you busy for a week. Day trips from Port Pirie are plenty!
Heading north for a trip? Staying nearby to visit family in the region? Or just looking for a new SA Weekend Escape destination that sees you surrounded with potential for great day trips? Port Pirie might just be the ideal spot for you. In this article, we reveal some of the best day trips from Port Pirie and help you plan an action-packed escape.
Driving time: 1 hour
Those staying in Port Pirie will be perfectly placed to enjoy a day in Port Augusta. Only one hour away by car, you won’t even notice the drive, with the hilly scenery to your right making the journey very pleasant. Port Augusta is a small city – formerly a seaport – but don’t underestimate the number of things there are to do here.
The first thing you should do upon arriving is visit the Tourism Information Officers at Wadlata’s accredited Port Augusta, Flinders Ranges and Outback Visitor Information Centre. Here you can book tours and find out about local attractions. On top of this, the Tourist Information Centre is home to a ‘Tunnel of Time’ which will take you on a journey back to a prehistoric world. Here, you can learn a little about the region’s past and discover Dreamtime stories and local artwork.
If you’re visiting Port Augusta from Port Pirie, you’ll also want to drop into the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden. Established in 1993, this place is a complete surprise for visitors to the area! Wander the 250 hectares of gardens and find all sorts of arid zone plants. Drop into the cafe and gift shop where you’ll find delicious treats and awesome souvenirs.
Other points of interest in Port Augusta include: red clifftop walks, excellent cafes and Blanche Harbour.
Driving time from Port Pirie: 1 hour 30 minutes
Driving time from Port Augusta: 30 minutes
Those interested in regional towns or looking for a little more history might enjoy extending their day trip to Port Augusta to reach Quorn. Quorn is full of quirky heritage buildings, friendly locals and offers great outback views. Enjoy a walk around the town and follow the well-signposted Quorn Historic Buildings Trail to uncover the real essence of the town a learn a little about its history.
Also interesting for your day trip is the Flinders Ranges Visitor Information Centre at Quorn Railway Station. Head over to the visitor to centre to grab some advice about the best place for lunch or where to grab a cold drink. Whilst you’re there, don’t forget to take a trip on the Pichi Richi Explorer – an authentic outback steam train which trails through the stunning outback surroundings.
Driving time: Under 1 hour 30 minutes
Those wanting to visit wineries in the Mid North will be glad to hear that there are actually some nearby. Find more information about wineries near Port Pirie here. However, Clare Valley is only a 1.5 hour drive away from Port Pirie, making it absolutely feasible for a day trip.
Clare Valley is a picturesque green hideaway scattered with endless wineries, great restaurants and quaint towns. Those looking for a quieter winery region compared to the Barossa Valley will be thrilled with this option. Disappear into beautifully Clare Valley for the day and enjoy visiting world-class wineries. Riesling here is world renowned.
Those seeking a little more adventure for their day trip from Port Pirie will want to hire a bike and roll down the Riesling Trail. This perfectly maintained dirt track offers a wonderful way to see the best of the region. Find wineries and tasting rooms either side of the 35km trail, including those tucked away in old churches and gorgeous colonial buildings.
Other points of interest in Clare Valley: excellent restaurants, history and museums.
Mount Remarkable National Park
Driving time to Mambray Creek: 30 minutes
Driving time to Alligator Gorge: 1 hour 20 minutes
Mount Remarkable National Park is a stunning protected area located only a short drive from Port Pirie. The name of the national park is also the name of the highest peak inside the park, which stands at a height of 960 metres. Guests looking for an adventure will fall in love with this beautiful part of South Australia. Rolling hills, high ridge tops, cool creeks and thick forests make up the bulk of this beautiful national park.
Throughout the national park, guests will find lots of hikes of different lengths, all starting in different areas. Those looking for less of a drive and more of a walk can drive to Mambray Creek and start their hike here. Alternatively, if you’re looking to get straight to one of the main attractions inside the park, a longer drive will take you to Alligator Gorge where you’ll find fantastic scenery. The beautiful red gorge here is one of the best sites in the region. Head to viewpoints and explore the depths of the gorge by choosing one of a handful of hikes.
Driving time to Moonta Bay: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Port Pirie is also a great place to situate yourself for the weekend if you fancy exploring the coastline. Only one and a half hours south of Port Pirie, Moonta Bay at the tip of Yorke Peninsula is a great place to start. Drive only another 30 minutes to explore Port Victoria.
In these quaint seaside spots, enjoy activities such as fishing, swimming and afternoon walks along the beach. Don’t forget to head to a friendly local pub for lunch by the coast. Those who like to learn about local history will love Moonta Mines Tourist Railway too. Hop onto the train here and enjoy a 50 minutes journey where you’ll discover the region’s copper mining past.
Other points of interest: museums, Walk the Yorke and Barley Stacks Winery near Maitland.
SA Weekend Escapes’ top hotel pick!
Day trips from Port Pirie are plentiful and you could spend a week in the Mid North, regardless of the season. This winter, book accommodation direct with John Pirie Motor Inn and you’ll receive a complimentary bottle of Penfolds Wine upon arrival. Make a hotel stay feel more like a weekend escape and choose John Pirie Motor Inn for your next Port Pirie escape!
For more information regarding things to do in Port Pirie, check out our ultimate guide.