148 kms from Adelaide

crabSituated on top of imposing coastal cliffs of red clay, and an easy 90 minute drive from Adelaide, Ardrossan is a thriving seaport and centre for agriculture. Spectacular scenery from a cliff top lookout, an abundance of blue swimmer crabs, great fishing, shipwrecks and an interesting history make this a great spot to while away relaxing days. Ardrossan is a popular location for Adelaide residents on weekends. The beach is safe for swimming and the views of the majestic brick-red clay cliffs are particularly stunning at sunrise. 

Being at a site formerly known as Clay Gully or Parara, after a deep gully leading to its red clay coastal cliffs, the surveyed town of Ardrossan was named by Governor Fergusson after the Ardrossan seaport in Scotland which shared similar geography - 'ard' a height, and 'ros' prominent rock or headland.

Ardrossan jetty fishingA jetty was constructed in 1878 to accommodate the steamships and windjammers used to ship grain. Today this is known as the fisherman's jetty and forms a major attraction for anglers.

Ardrossan visitor information outlet can provide information on the local area, as well as maps and brochures.

For the self contained traveller, there is a dump point and a small RV overnight stay area in West Terrace.  Fees for the overnight stay are payable to the visitor information outlet.

The Stump-Jump Plough

Ardrossan is known as the home of the stump jump plough and the ingenuity of the Smith Brothers is remembered and showcased at the local Museum.

The inventiveness of early settlers was evident when the laborious clearing of Mallee stumps became a practical proposition with the invention of the plough, which revolutionised the method of cultivating virgin land without having to endure the back-breaking work of grubbing out stumps and rocks. The remarkable stump jump plough was invented by local selector Richard Bower Smith in 1870.

Clarence Smith's factory, where he manufactured the plough between 1880 and 1935, was located in Ardrossan. One of the old buildings now provides an ideal home for the National Trust Museum.

The Zanoni

The Zanoni, located 10 nautical miles off the coast of Ardrossan, is one of the best-preserved sailing shipwrecks in Australia and one of the most complete 19th century shipwrecks in South Australia.
Ardrossan beach

The 338 ton, three masted sailing vessel Zanoni was on a voyage from Port Wakefield to London with a cargo of wheat and bark. While it sank in 1865 in a freak storm, it was not discovered until 1983, when a fisher took two divers to investigate a likely spot. The shipwreck site is located in 18 metres of water, 15 kilometres south east of Ardrossan. This discovery has since lead to the site being surveyed by archaeologists and a number of artefacts being recovered, some of which can be found in the Ardrossan National Trust Museum.

The Zanoni is a popular wreck for divers to explore. A permit is needed from the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources to visit the site. In 1984, a barge was sunk, one nautical mile south of the Zanoni to act as an alternative place to fish.

For more information on the Zanoni visit the Ardrossan Museum - open daily between 10am and 4pm. Coaches welcome anytime by appointment.


After the depression in the 1930s, the town and its businesses were largely stagnant until a large open-cut dolomite mine was opened by the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP) in the 1950s for use in its steel manufacture at Whyalla on the Eyre Peninsula and Port Kembla in New South Wales. A new one kilometre (3,300 ft) long jetty was added and at the same time construction was started with grain storage silos. The new jetty currently services ships loading dolomite and salt from the solar salt pans at Price, approximately 10 km north. There is a great lookout point near the open cut mine, on the top of one of the tailings dumps.  From here you have a fantastic view of the township, as well as right along the coastline.  

With mining exploration taking place south of the town, there are great prospects for the town.


Visitor Information

Yorke Peninsula Council acknowledges the Narungga (traditionally spelled Nharangga) people, the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Yorke Peninsula and recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.
Yorke Peninsula Visitor Information
8 Elizabeth Street, Maitland, South Australia 5573
T: 1800 202 445   E: info@visityorkepeninsula.com.au


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