Hotel History

Known as Mackay’s Hotel after owner Alexander Mackay, the hotel was opened June 1878 on the corner of Commercial Road and Chapel Street. The first known licensee was Alexander Mackay. Mackay’s was erected during the boom years in Port Augusta where between 1878 and 1883 twelve hotels were built. Of two stories the 40-room st one and Portland cement rendered building stood opposite the post and Telegraph Office on the corner of Commercial Road and Mackay Street. It cost £7,000 to build.

‘MacKay has now opened his new hotel in Port Augusta, which is the largest and most commodious house of its kind in SA….A large and convenient room for commercial travellers, also ample stable room, and horse and traps of every description at a moments notice…’

Quote from June 15th, 1878, Port Augusta Dispatch The Flinders Hotel Motel Port Augusta (circa 1854) is the earliest and oldest established hotel in the area. It was originally named ‘MacKay’s Hotel’ after the local mayor Alexander MacKay, whom also has the street named in his honour. As it was the first establishment of its time the Hotel was patronised by many locals who referred to it as:

“…the hotel was in advance of the times!”

  The Hotel Flinders attained its name when Mr James W Gawen took over ownership in March 1879. His vision of a “Flinders Family Hotel” is continued to this day where people can have a drink, a bite to eat sampling the local produce and delicacies and also stay the night experiencing the history behind this amazing hotel and township. The original description of the Flinders Hotel Motel in the Port Augusta Dispatch of 1880 describes the ‘Flinders Family Hotel.’

“…The principal feature in hotels is the “Flinders” quite a palatial affair of from 40-50 rooms.  Travellers can be accommodated with every luxury, including a look out on the top of the house, spacious promenade, fine billiard room, with two tables…”

  March 26 1880 Port Augusta Dispatch To this day there is a lingering feeling of luxury, friendliness, family and a place where travellers and locals alike are able to rest their weary feet and enjoy the palatial and historic atmosphere in the tasteful comforts of the new and modern “The Flinders Hotel Motel”. Come and visit us and experience the history of Port Augusta via the comfort and beauty of the many rooms and bars of The Flinders Hotel Motel and relax while our friendly and welcoming staff cater to your every delight as you lose yourself in a piece of history with The Flinders Hotel Motel Port Augusta.