Port Willunga

Port Wilunga is a growing coastal settlement spread for 1.5 km along the low bluff that runs north of Snapper Point, to a small creek that drains across the beach. A road runs along the top of the bluff to a large car park and caravan park on the south side of the creek, which provides the best access to the beach. The beach extends for 1.5 km from Snapper Point past the creek to a 15 m high, reef fronted, bluff that extends across the high tide beach. In the south it is fronted by a 100 m wide intertidal reef flat, then the ruins of the old port jetty and finally a natural sand beach which usually has an attached bar cut by one to two rips.

Port Wilunga has two moderately safe swimming beaches under normal low wave conditions. Beware of the rips which intensify when waves exceed 1 metre.

The historic township of Willunga is located to the south of the McLaren Vale wine growing region, which is also Australia's premier almond growing centre. Each July the town holds its Almond Blossom Festival. McLaren Vale is recognised as a region of vineyards, orchards and gourmet-produce farms. The first grape vines were planted here in 1838, just two years after Adelaide was settled, and McLaren Vale has remained a prominent wine region ever since.

Heritage features of Willunga: Delabole village (slate quarry); Pug cottages; Church of England; Old Courthouse & Police Station Museum (1855); Old Post and Telegraph Station (1857, 1864); Old Bush Inn (1839); Willunga Hotel (1870); 17 St Andrews Terrace (1850s); former Council Chambers, now Museum (1854); St Anne's Lodge (1850s); Uniting Church (1863). Its graveyard includes the mass grave for the eleven people who died aboard the Star of Greece which sank when it was driven ashore at Port Willunga during a gale in 1888. It is still possible to see parts of the wreck at Port Willunga at low tide.

The town was surveyed in 1839, only three years after the settlement of South Australia. A slate quarry was established soon after which became the major supplier for the Australian colonies. The slate and wheat crops grown in the area were shipped through Port Willunga. The slate industry declined in the 1890s. The name is of Aboriginal origin derived from 'willangga' possibly meaning ' locality of green trees' although some source record its meaning as 'black duck'. The first settlers named the town's streets after saints which these days reflects the town's quaint European village feel.