The city of Port Pirie is a seaport on the east coast of the Spencer Gulf, 223 km north of Adelaide and close to the Flinders Ranges. Named after Captain John Pirie of the first ship to sail through the area, Port Pirie was established in 1845. The population is now around 15,000.
Port Pirie is the site of the world’s largest lead smelter and the 250 metre high smokestack, oil tanks and grain silos tower over the city, while on the waterfront huge local and overseas ships are loaded and discharged. Wheat and barley from the mid-north are also exported from here.
The smelter is operated by Nyrstar and also produces refined silver, zinc, copper and gold. The company is the major employer in the region. Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) began mining lead in 1889.
Celebrating 125 Years June 27, 2014
Port Pirie's Recorder newspaper reported:
125 years ago, the now famous Port Pirie smelter began its operations.
On June 27, 1889 the first shift went into work at 4am at what was then known as the British Broken Hill Smelters.
On Friday the Nyrstar Management team handed out free cake and coffee sachets at the gate to over 500 employees and contractors as a small celebratory token. www.portpirierecorder.com.au/story/2166519/
Port Pirie is the service centre of the Southern Flinders Ranges, where you will find great shopping, restaurants and cafes, accommodation and plenty to see and do. Take in the beach and waterfront, visit a museum or gallery or attend one of the enriching events on Port Pirie’s events calendar.
There are plenty of parks and gardens around the Port Pirie Region to enjoy a picnic or BBQ. Two playgrounds in the Port Pirie CBD allow kids to burn off some energy. The playground at the foreshore is fully enclosed for security and has become a popular meeting spot for families, while the Solomontown Beach playground provides a play environment next to the beach. The skate park is also popular.
Port Pirie has a number of stately heritage buildings and is known for its culture. An A Class art gallery, three museums and an impressive theatre are among the must-see cultural experiences.
Port Pirie Regional Art Gallery hosts continually changing exhibitions highlighting the talents of local and regional artists while showcasing state and national touring exhibitions.
Other must-see attractions include the Port Pirie National Trust Museum, a Victorian pavilion style building preserved by National Trust and features amazing displays of rail, shipping, smelting and local history.
Port Pirie, being on the coast is also great for fishing. Just offshore there is an artificial reef made of tyres. Tide Information