A small‚ historic town at the head of Gulf St Vincent‚ Port Wakefield has changed little since its heyday as a port for Burra copper. When established in 1849 the harbour was known as Port Henry. The township laid out nearby in 1850 was the first government town in the north of the young colony. It was given the name Port Wakefield‚ after Edward Gibbon Wakefield‚ who devised the original system of colonisation used in South Australia. The lack of good harbour facilities and the eventual arrival of the railway contributed to the decline of shipping from the port. When the port closed‚ progress passed Port Wakefield by and the original streetscapes remain largely intact.
Today‚ Port Wakefield is a popular tourist stop on the highway from Adelaide. The wharf caters for small boats‚ and recreational fishing is a favoured pastime.