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Cruises to Wallaroo

Wallaroo (Photo: Izzy Wollstar/Shutterstock)
Wallaroo (Photo: Izzy Wollstar/Shutterstock)

About Wallaroo

The December 2019 arrival of the first passenger ship into Wallaroo since 1955 was an event of great significance for this little port town of about 4000 inhabitants.

Historically, Wallaroo -- along with other South Australian ports such as Port Pirie, Cowell and Port Lincoln around the Gulf St Vincent and Spencer Gulf -- were called upon by mixed passenger/freight vessels of the Adelaide Steamship Company. The passenger service, dubbed the 'Gulf Trip', was a popular holiday option for Adelaide residents on the old steamers. Road and rail services eventually spelt the end of this once iconic tradition.

Wallaroo's deep-water port currently sees large bulk carriers several times a year as they load grain from the many wheat farms on the Yorke Peninsula. The port was previously one of the busiest in the whole state thanks to the busy copper mining industry of the late 19th and early 20th centuries; declining fortunes saw this industry wind up in the early 1920s.

Today, Wallaroo relies on tourism to supplement agriculture and, along with neighbouring towns Kadina and Moonta, forms a nucleus playing host to thousands of Adelaide weekend visitors. It is also proving to be a popular sea-change destination as it is just two hours by road from the State's capital, Adelaide.

Dubbed South Australia's Copper Coast, the three towns have well-preserved historic public and private architecture as well as intriguing museums and sites of interest, many of them relics of the mining hey-day. While you can occupy yourself for a couple of hours in Wallaroo's cute downtown, it's also worth getting out to Moonta or Kadina -- or both -- for a bit of variety.

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DAY 1: Adelaide

4 Night
Cruise to Wallaroo

Leaving:
Adelaide
Visiting:
Kagoshima, Wallaroo ...
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Cruise Line:
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
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Why go to Wallaroo?

Pros:

Relaxed, dainty and compact with options to expand beyond the port

Cons:

Prone to very hot weather, which makes outdoor activities uncomfortable

Bottom Line:

Small-town hospitality against a historic backdrop

Wallaroo Cruise Port Facilities?

A gangway allows passengers to walk directly down onto the wharf where a shuttle bus (mini-coach) will collect those who prefer not to walk. This shuttle bus will take passengers directly into the town (and return them) free of charge. A schedule will be provided by your cruise line, but you can expect half-hourly at peak times.

There is a beachfront cafe and a safe swimming beach at the end of the wharf and, if you are walking along the street (Jetty Rd) into town, you will also pass a bakery with excellent pies, pasties and cakes.

There is free Wi-Fi ashore, but you might find it is slow. There are other options, including Telstra Air and fast Wi-Fi at the Moonta Visitor Information Centre in the old Moonta Railway Station where you will buy your transit bus pass for Kadina and Moonta. From there, you can easily see the Wallaroo Town Hall where the transit buses leave from and the ATM is right there.

Good to Know?

Drakes Supermarket, in the small but modern shopping mall, stocks all the essentials you may need.

Summer, when ships visit, can be very hot, so be sure to bring water and sun protection.

Getting Around?

On Foot: It's easy to walk around Wallaroo and the satellite villages of Moonta and Kadina, so unless you require frequent rest stops or walk with an aid, don't be afraid to ride 'Shank's Pony' (use one's own legs as a means of transport.)

By Taxi: While there are a couple of taxis operating in Wallaroo and surrounding districts, they may be hard to find on a busy cruise day. You can always call them to enquire (08 8821 3444). Do not expect any of the popular ride-share operators.

By Bus: While it is easy enough to walk around the port precinct in Wallaroo, you will need to purchase a hop-on-hop-off bus pass from the visitor information office in the old Moonta Railway Station to visit Kadina and Moonta. Enquire as soon as you can about the schedule so as to maximise your time at the attractions. Buses leave from in front of the Town Hall where there are also public toilets. Don't worry, there are volunteers everywhere ready to guide you and offer friendly advice.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The local currency is the Australian dollar (AUD). There is an ATM across the street from the post office in the shopping mall, where you can also withdraw cash when making a purchase from traders like Drakes Supermarket.

Language?

English with a strong Aussie accent.


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