Port Willunga is known for its white
sandy beaches eroded limestone cliffs and black
Swimming, fishing, snorkeling and scuba
diving are popular here. The "Star of Greece" a
three masted, iron cargo ship which ran aground here
on Friday 13th of July 1888 offers scuba divers a
fabulous place to dive. At low tide the famous wreck
is partly exposed as well as pylons from the old
port facilities, destroyed by 1915 storms.
The Star of Greece ran ran into a one
in a hundred year storm in the black of night and
ran aground where the cliffs rise sharply just north
of the settlement. She was loaded with wheat bound
for London and was was forced ashore by fifty foot
waves. The following day the storm broke her timber
hull apart and the twenty eight crew members had
to leap into the dangerous seas to try and save their
lives. Seventeen drowned, including the Captain.
There is a obelisk in the nearby Aldinga cemetery
to commemorate this terrible maritime tragedy.
The pylons of the old jetty jut out
of the sea as a constant reminder of the force of
the Southern Ocean. They are all that is left of
Port Willunga's jetty number two. The first jetty
extended into the sea from the Port Road. The second
jetty was constructed to replace the first one that
was neither long enough or tall enough. Built in
1860 it extended an amazing 200 metres into the Gulf
of St Vincent. In 1914 a storm ripped out the middle
of the jetty and then a another storm in 1915 washed
away most of what the remained.
Port Willunga has a reef shelf to the
south and a broad bay on the Gulf of St Vincent.
It was once a port for ships bound for South Australia
to pick up slate and wheat. By 1889 Port Willunga,
South Australia second busiest port was described
as a “has been” settlement. With crashing
crop yields and cheap galvanized iron it ended its
days as a trading port. Today it is a popular beach
resort, ideal for family beach holidays.
From the of the distinctive ochre
coloured Willunga Hills you can see all the way to
McLaren Vale to the South.
The beautiful seascapes have attracted
many artists to the resort. The every changing sea
contrasting against the ochre limestone cliffs provide
wonderful inspiration. Port Willunga is also a popular
The area has a Mediterranean style
climate with an annual rainfall of approximately
500mm or 20 inches. The majority of rain is received
from May to September.
Average winter temperatures 10-18 degrees
Average summer temperatures 24-35 degrees celsius
Port Willunga offers a wide range of
accommodation types including charming guesthouses,
self contained beach houses and cottages and bed
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