Port Augusta is not one of the essential places to see when when visiting Australia. In fact let's say I was not particularly taken with the place. It is true that the city is famous for its port and for being located at the point where two major rail routes, the Ghan and the Indian Pacific, meet. However, what I found interesting was the fact that this has caused the landscape to become surprisingly eerie and ghostlike in places, making it feel to me as if I was visiting somewhere particularly strange and out of the ordinary. But this experience aside, I didn't otherwise find Port Augusta to be a particularly memorable place.
Nevertheless, and as I'm in the habit of doing, I did pay a visit to a park, namely the Australian Arid Lands Botanic Garden. And I have to admit that it was completely unlike any of the other botanic gardens I've visited. It's definitely something of a surprise to see such a place in an area designated as arid!
After the stifling heat of the desert, which I had just travelled from north to south, it was really nice to get some freshness by the water of Port Augusta. There are trees and green corners in the centre of town but the town's surroundings are still very arid and you are aware that you are in a desert port. And, on certain days in December, when the wind comes from the north, the temperature can easily reach 40 degrees. So, if you are camping, I recommend you take an air-conditioned cabin.
There is a little French bakery in the centre of town. It cakes and pastries are very good and not expensive. I had breakfast at one of the picnic tables in the park, but there are also tables by the water.
Port Augusta is one of Australia's crossroads. It the point where the road from the north, Stuart Highway, crosses the one from the west, on which you can cross Nullarbor plain. Port Augusta isn't very interesting in itself. One day is enough to get your breath back before you continue on your voyage of discovery around Australia.