Your guide to winter in Port Pirie

Interesting settler history and local museums for the curious, seaside and nearby national parks for the outdoor-type, markets and hearty restaurants for the foodies; overlooked Port Pirie is your next SA Winter Escape destination just up the road.

Here for the complimentary Penfolds? Scroll to the bottom of this post to discover our Winter Wine Offer.

Port Pirie in winter 

Port Pirie in the Mid North, is the gateway to the Flinders Ranges, the neighbour of remarkable national parks and the town where everyone is friendly. Visit in summer and you’ll find yourself lounging by the water’s edge, exploring the city, enjoying a cold beer at a local pub or cooling down in the Aquatic Centre’s outdoor pool.

But when winter comes, what do visitors to Port Pirie enjoy doing? Whether you’re staying with family, visiting after many years, or simply visiting a new place, this short guide to winter in Port Pirie will let you know just what you should plan during your SA Winter Escape.

1. Head to the markets

Seeing as Port Pirie is known for its super friendly residents, what better place to spend the morning than a local market where you can not only chat to local people, but get your hands on some local products. At Port Pirie Producers Market, you will find a whole lot of goodies, including vegetables, breads, olives, jams, dips, breakfast rolls, coffee and much more. A handful of stalls selling arts and crafts can also be found here. Port Pirie Producers Market is found at Memorial Park on the second Sunday of every month from 8.30am. Planning a trip to Port Pirie and not particularly restricted by time? Coincide your trip with the market and spend a winter morning like a local.

Pic credit: SATC/Port Pirie Regional Council

2. Discover the Tourism & Arts Centre

Port Pirie has a tourism centre which doubles up as an information point, art gallery and all-round attraction. Enrich your SA Winter Escape in Port Pirie with a little dose of local history and learn about some locally famous spectacles. Shakka the Shark is a Port Pirie icon that the kids will love. Years ago, the Shakka the Great White became entangled in a snapper line and drowned. When pulled to shore, the shark entered local folklore and today a 5.5 metre replica of Shakka is found at the tourism centre. Also fun for the children is the Port Pirie Rail Express. On the 1st and 3rd Sunday of every month, this adorable miniature railway makes for a fun morning out. Allow enough time at the tourism centre so that you can see everything; this is a tourism centre with a twist!

Pic credit: SATC/Port Pirie Regional Council

3. Wander through the a museum or gallery

Port Pirie is known for its culture and rich settler history. An art gallery, four museums and a great big theatre are among the must-see cultural spectacles of the town. Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery hosts a number of exhibitions year round, mainly displaying the talents of local people, but occasionally hosting nationwide exhibitions. After a little art, head to the Port Pirie National Trust Museum tucked away inside a sweet Victorian National Trust building. Inside, you’ll find educational displays which help visitors understand a little about Port Pirie’s shipping and smelting history. Whilst you’re in Port Pirie, you might also like to pop into the Fishing Boat Museum or the Stories From The Road Museum for something a little unique!

Pic credit: SATC/Port Pirie Regional Council

4. Wrap up warm for a morning walk

Throwing on a jacket and heading out for a walk, followed by a hot chocolate, coffee or even an afternoon beer, is absolutely one of the best and most refreshing things to do in winter. From Port Pirie, there are a handful of walks worth a try. The Port Pirie to Napperby Cycle Trail is actually a cycle path, but it is open for walkers too. The trail links Port Pirie with the small town of Napperby. Another option would be the Napperby Gorge Hike which follows Napperby Creek to the Hells Gate waterfall. Immersed in nature all the way, this walk only takes an hour to complete. Also consider the The Rocky River Rail Trail. This wheelchair friendly route is perfect for a short stroll.

Looking for more of an adventure, only 30 minutes up the road from Port Pirie, Mount Remarkable National Park is a nature-lovers dream. Thick forests, deep creeks and lofty ridges with spectacular views that look out to Spencer Gulf make this spot an absolute must for hikers visiting the area. Walks here vary from short, to two-day return hikes.

5. Visit a nearby winery

Red wine on a cold and blustery winter day sounds pretty good to us. Port Pirie isn’t known for its wine, and nor is its immediate surroundings. However, just outside of Port Pirie visitors can visit a couple of wonderful little wineries that many people won’t even know about. Even better! Don’t visit here if you’re looking for a Jacob’s Creek winery experience, but if you enjoy intimate, cosy wineries and chatting to friendly winemakers, you’ll enjoy a trip to the vines.

At Bartagunyah Estate, a Mediterranean climate and 400 metre elevation results in high quality wines and a gorgeous setting. Step into the cellar door and enjoy a wine tasting with a view. You will also want to visit Blesings Garden wines during your trip. Found between rolling hills and sporadic silver gum trees, the cellar door is open seven days a week and welcomes everyone. If you’re unfortunate enough to find yourself in Port Pirie on a cold and rainy weekend, visiting local wineries is the perfect solution!

restaurants in shepparton

Pic credit: Angus & Co.

6. Spend the evening at a steakhouse

Port Pirie has a number of pubs and casual restaurants that will cater perfectly to your needs during a stay. However, Angus & Co. located at the John Pirie Motor Inn is a great choice for families and more generally just for the hungry! Burgers, salads, schnitzels and seafood dominate the menu here and food is fresh, tasty and local. Angus & Co. offers steakhouse vibes with a modern twist and is the perfect spot for your family evening meal or a catch up with friends.

7. Catch a movie or show at the Northern Festival Centre

Small town cinemas and theatres are always more characterful than inner city ones. During a cold winter day in Port Pirie, why not keep the kids entertained with a movie, or see the film you’ve been meaning to watch for weeks. At Northern Festival Centre, you’ll find a schedule of movies, but also events, theatre and comedies to help you make the most of any bad winter weather that may come your way!

The SA Weekend Escapes Winter Wine Offer

Don’t just book any escape to Port Pirie this winter. Book one that comes with a free bottle of Penfolds wine!

Do you have family in Port Pirie? Haven’t visited in a while? Looking for a base to explore the Mid North? This Winter Wine Offer it the perfect way to top of the perfect Weekend Escape to Port Pirie.

John Pirie Motor Inn is offering a complimentary bottle of Penfolds wine this winter, for those who book direct on their website.

Find out more about this Winter Wine Offer here!

Your Ultimate Guide to Port Pirie 

Most of us have managed to holiday here in SA this year. But with winter coming, it’s time to book another getaway; something to look forward to during the colder months. For more inspiration regarding things to do, places to see and restaurants to visit in Port Pirie and the Mid North, discover our Ultimate Guide to Port Pirie, or navigate our website – packed with holiday ideas – to discover more regions for your next SA Winter Escape!