Port Lincoln, SA has celebrated the tuna every Australia Day weekend since 1962. The annual Tunarama festival includes such highlights as a quest (is Ms. Tuna judged on smell and scaly skin?) and a tuna toss competition. This year, Janicke, Barbro, Freddy and myself jumped in a Cessna 172 and flew over to witness the festivities.
We left for Port Lincoln on Saturday 26 January, Australia Day. After a two hours flight from Aldinga in drizzle and rain, we arrived safely in Port Lincoln as the weather started to clear.
Luckily, Megan, a friend of mine from Port Lincoln, was home and kind enough to take us in for the night. Pretty much absolutely all accommodation was booked out as the town population had doubled to over 20.000 people for the festival.
Unfortunately Megan had to work, so we joined her and had a couple of beers in the pub she worked in. Being Australia Day naturally there were fireworks. Port Lincoln had some pretty spectacular pyrotechnics, even though they were a little delayed. The PA system announced that “If anyone have found the key to the town electrical system between the pub and the pier, would they please return it quickly so we can shut down the street lights and get going?”
As the evening progressed into night I got the chance to try out a mechanical bull (there was a rodeo in town at the same time) that was strategically placed outside the Pier Hotel (the main pub). Huge crowds were cheering and laughing their heads off as drunken people were tossed off the bull at high speed. I only lasted a few seconds before the mechanical monster had me flying through the air. But apparently I did better than a lot of other people.
Next day we saw the tuna toss competition finals. Exhilarating stuff seeing 8 kg tuna fish tossed 30 meters through the air. Truly exciting.
Lincoln is in a pretty picturesque coastal area in South Australia. Megan’s father gave us a thorough sightseeing trip on the Sunday, and amongst other things showed us were they recorded the Australian version of the TV show Survivor. And of course we got to see Australia’s largest tuna cannery – Port Lincoln Tuna Processors.