Prawn trawlers waiting in the marina
A prawn trawler and crab boat at work

Prawn Trawlers

Prawn Trawler and Crab Boat

Wallaroo is now a fairly quiet place, with a relaxed and pleasant lifestyle, although it becomes noticeably busier during weekends and holiday periods, especially in the warmer weather as holiday makers flock in to enjoy the beaches, fishing, crabbing and squidding. There are enough shops and services to satisfy most people's needs, with Kadina and its larger shopping centre just 7 Kms away providing more options.

Holidaymakers and tourists contribute to Wallaroo's economy. Accommodation suits all tastess and incomes ranging from two highly regarded caravan parks, through guest houses and hotels to luxury waterfront apartments.  Retirees, looking for a sea-change also contribute to the economy.

There is a hospital situated at Wallaroo, with a medical clinic in Kadina, and doctors from this practice can be seen at either location, depending on the day in question. (See Health and Safety)


Grain silos lead into the jetty's bulk loading system
Grain silos lead into the bulk loading system at the jetty

The Present

The bustle of the past is truly over, as mining and the associated smelting have long gone. Wallaroo is still an active port, but for outbound goods only. The main cargo is grain from the nearby  farming area. Inbound goods nowadays are carried exclusively by road transport. The three jetties have been reduced to one. In contrast to the extensive manual labour of the old days, the cargo is bulk loaded via a gantry from the grain silos, so employs  relatively few workers with the result that Wallaroo's population has declined to around 3,000. 

The pristine waters of Spencer Gulf lend themselves to commercial, as well as amateur fishing. There are currently two main fisheries operating from Wallaroo. Prawn fishing is carried out by a fleet of trawlers, and is mainly a warm weather industry. It is strictly controlled to ensure against over fishing, and there are  rules in place to minimise damage to bycatch. The prawns caught are exclusively Western Kings. Many of the trawlers go to other ports when the prawn season is over.

Commercial crab fishing is also successfully carried out, again mainly in the warmer months of the year. The very popular and delicious Blue Swimmer Crab is the target here.

Wallaroo acts as a centre for nearby farming areas, which are a significant source of income to the town. Once again, the population is expanding, as retirees move in for a sea-side lifestyle thanks mainly to the development of the Copper Cove Marina. Since the marina was a totally new development, there has been quite a boost to the local building industry, which should continue for a number of years yet. The Marina also attracts weekend and holiday visitors, whose purchases help to keep local businesses profitable.


The busy commercial section of the marina
Commercial part of the Marina
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Tiparra Lighthouse
Wallaroo is still a very busy port
Still an active port

What's Happening



South Australia

See also New Developments for things that are changing or about to change in Wallaroo.