Point Turton is situated on in the south-west of the Yorke Peninsula, overlooking Hardwicke Bay, and is around a two-and-a-half hour drive from Adelaide.
The town is a popular holiday destination, and popular for its beaches, watersports facilities and fishing opportunities. Indeed, the area also has a small salmon and prawn fishing industry in addition to leisure fishing. Amenity-wise, the town has the basics that you’d require, albeit little more – the town’s first tavern only opened in 2008 – and the facilities of Yorketown are just a 30 minute drive away.
The permanent population of the town is tiny, albeit growing: in 2001, it was just 183, while in 2006 it had soared to 205, and is estimated to be around 300 by the South Australian government at present. However, the population can swell to as much as 3,000 people during peak season – and therein lies the secret to its success. Much of Point Turton's growth is down to the purchase of holiday homes by investors and weekenders.
“The original beach shacks in Point Turton were originally leasehold shacks,” explains Peter Koulizos, lecturer and author of Top Australian Suburbs. “The South Australian government sold the freehold some years ago, which increased the values of the shacks. However, it was the property boom which kicked in around the year 2000, which resulted in the incredible value growth over the last decade.”
However, Point Turton was hit hard by the GFC, with values falling by over $10,000 from their September 2008 peak. Prices have still not fully recovered, and despite efforts to develop the town further – 102 new blocks were recently released for development - Koulizos reckons that Point Turton's best days are behind it.
“While towns like this do well when the economy does well, I don't think you'll be able to make as much money here as in the last few years,” he comments. “I think Point Turton's had its good time, unfortunately.”