PORT JULIA is a picturesque seaside settlement comprising holiday homes and permanent residences set within natural coastal shrubbery.

A particularly apt description is from Anne Chappel’s book “Port Julia’s Stories - A Guide to its Past and Present “:   Port Julia is situated “…halfway down the eastern side of Yorke Peninsula. Dawn breaks over the sea and on many nights you can see the shining lights of Adelaide. On some days Mount Lofty is outlined on the horizon. The town is about ten minutes from Pine Point and fifteen from Port Vincent.

Port Julia is small. There are about 121 dwellings in Port Julia , a bush camping site and no shops. Included in the 121 dwellings are 11 beachfront shacks. It has grown considerably since 1986 when the Port Julia 150 Committee established that there were about 80 shacks. The town is still growing but almost all land in the town boundaries is settled and it may be approaching capacity.

Property owners of Port Julia have shown their keenness to keep Port Julia as it is: off the beaten track and a peaceful small community! The town has a Progress Association (PJPA) which runs the Reichenbach Bush Camping Reserve and initiates many projects around the town.”

It has a rich history associated with the bagged grain trade and ketches which transported wheat and barley prior to the introduction of bulk handling. Many historical aspects are contained in Anne Chappel’s book which is available for sale at $20.00 per copy from the Port Julia Progress Association Secretary secretary@portjuliapa.org.au It is now a haven for residents and tourists who enjoy seasonal crabbing, fishing from the jetty, swimming, boating and relaxing in a delightful holiday environment.

Other significant amenities in Port Julia are the historic Red Shed adjacent to the jetty; the jetty itself; a boat ramp; a community hall, a lookout, swimming beaches and walking trails which are clearly delineated in interpretative signs. A centrally located sign is next to the telephone box on Active Road.

 

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A Short History of Port Julia.

Port Julia was first known as Curramulka Harbour, for it was used as a port by that nearby town. Recognised in the district as one of the finest harbours between Port Vincent and Pine Point, the first ketch to regularly dock there around 1878 belonged to Louis Wurm of Stansbury. He suggested calling it Port Julia, for his wife, and the name persisted.

Wurm built a store near the port from which he exported grain and sold necessities to the locals. Whilst nearby Port Vincent was already established and had its own jetty, many grain dealers preferred dealing with Wurm, and so the port became quite busy, trading wheat and barley between Yorke Peninsula farmers and Port Adelaide.

With trade on the increase the need for a jetty became apparent, so when an 1883 appeal for Government funding fell on deaf ears, enterprising local John Kerry decided to build his own.

In 1905 maintenance of this jetty was transferred to the local council, a goods shed was built nearby and doubled as a community hall. Whilst not ideal, the jetty served the community and its merchants until a better one took its place in 1913.

The town started to boom when in the late 1920s Yorke Peninsula Barley Producers built stacking sheds there. Scores of ketches - up to eight at a time - could be seen in the bay.

By the 1950s road and rail transport, and the bulk shipping of grain out of Wallaroo led to the decline of trade in Port Julia, and by 1972 it ceased trading as a port altogether.

Port Julia is now a small community and is a popular holiday destination for anglers.

The 1913 jetty and goods shed (well known as the Red Shed) still stand, and are heritage listed.