Yorke Peninsula, South Australia - Point Turton

Point Turton
To the northwest and on the coast is the small sea-port of Point Turton. It started it’s life in 1877 with a jetty to load limestone flux destined for the Port Pirie Silver-Lead Smelter onto ketches. This developed into an extensive business with up to about 80 men working the quarry, loading jetty trolleys then off-loading the limestone flux into waiting ketches.

Although beginning as a private venture, the BHP Company took over the Quarry Lease in 1899. This proved beneficial as BHP raised and lengthened the jetty, added mooring lights, etc.

When flux was not being loaded, a separate grain loading area was used allowing the jetty trolleys to collect the bagged grain and run it out to the end of the jetty where the bags were manually slid down a slide into the ketches' holds, where the bagged grain was manually stacked.

During 1917 BHP closed its Point Turton quarry and moved up to Wardang Island where the flux reserves were much larger. The jetty traffic then mainly consisted of grain, super-phosphate, and other bulky freight.

Ten thousand bags of grain were shipped in 1906, and in the peak year of 1961 Point Turton was second to Edithburgh, shipping out 215,828 bags of barley, 70,000 of which were No.1 grade malting barley. Several years later the grain stacking yards closed as trucks and better roads meant the grain was now carted directly to the main Peninsula ports, which in turn reduced cartage and handling costs to the growers. Point Turton survived thanks to a local commercial fishing industry.

A few years later the old grain stacking area and the adjacent old quarry area was developed into a caravan park to cater for the gradually increasing numbers of tourists.