Port Wakefield is well known to the travelling public for the many roadhouses that line Highway One, providing valuable refreshments for the weary traveller. But the town also encourages you to venture off the highway, take a break, and discover the heritage and charm that lies behind the busy highway. Take the time to wander into this historical township and you will be pleasantly surprised. Stretch your legs along the waters edge or discover the many old buildings and historical sites, walk along boardwalks through mangrove forests and view the abundant bird life or take a dip in the local swimming area. If you wish to stay longer, Port Wakefield's the perfect location, only 99 kilometres north of Adelaide, a fantastic fishing destination and the gateway to many of South Australia's foremost tourist destinations. The town has a seafaring atmosphere with an emphasis on recreational fishing and its wharf, where small boats await the fishermen. Boardwalks and bird identification signs provide an insight into the environment. Port Wakefield was the first government town north of Adelaide and boasts many well preserved historic buildings. A commemorative wall features residents' family histories. The Rising Sun Hotel has a gallery of portraits dating back to the 1800s. A monument in town recalls the area's first meeting with Europeans when Captain Flinders discovered the head of the gulf, on 30 March 1802 and named it Gulf St Vincent after Admiral Lord St Vincent. Port Wakefield was the first town to be established north of Adelaide in the colonising of South Australia. Initially named Port Henry; it was changed to Port Wakefield after the River Wakefield when the town was surveyed. The port was established to ship copper from the rich mines of Burra and later served as the main local outlet for wheat and wool. In 1849 it was reported that the location would be perfect as a port. Between 1850 and 1877 the township prospered with huge quantities of copper ore passing through it from the Burra and Kooringa mines. The town started to dwindle in 1857 when they began to transport copper ore by rail, however the port was still used in the 20th century for transporting wool and wheat.