Edithburgh, South Australia
|LGA(s)||District Council of Yorke Peninsula|
Edithburgh // is a small town on the south-east corner of Yorke Peninsula in South Australia. Edithburgh is about 50 km (31 mi) west of Adelaide across Gulf St Vincent, but 226 km (140 mi) away by road. At the 2006 census, the town had a population of 395.
Edithburgh has a jetty which, like many others on Yorke Peninsula, was once used to load grain and unload supplies for the town, but is now used mostly for recreational fishing and is a popular scuba diving site. There is a small fishing and prawning fleet based there too.
It is a popular holiday destination with various accommodation available including a caravan park.
The town has a unique seawater swimming pool constructed at the shoreline. Its waters are refreshed with each rising tide.
The town is overshadowed by the 55 wind turbines of the Wattle Point Wind Farm, located southwest of the town and opened in April 2005.
Diving & snorkeling
Many divers and marine conservationists list Edithburgh jetty as one of South Australia's premier shore-dive locations. Access is easy thanks to steps on northern and southern sides of the structure.
The jetty extends eastwards into Gulf St. Vincent and is 170 m in length. The jetty is supported by pylons in groups of four. Divers and snorkelers can safely and closely observe dense, multi-coloured colonies of temperate corals and sponges on the jetty pylons. The pylons also provide refuges for various fish, crustacea, nudibranchs and other marine invertebrates.
The maximum dive depth is 10-12 m and site is rewarding for visitors of all experience levels.
2013 Jetty maintenance and habitat loss
In December 2013, maintenance works were conducted at the Edithburgh jetty by a contractor working for the local council. An estimated 50 jetty pylons were removed from the periphery of the jetty. They were either sawed off at the seabed, or pulled up from the substrate. This resulted in an immediate loss of habitat and marine life, upsetting many members of the scuba diving and marine conservation community.
Jetty pylons had been assessed some years prior by the State Government's Department of Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (now known as the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure) and identified as a public liability risk. Impacts to the marine environment or the site's iconic status as a dive tourism hotspot do not appear to have been considered by DPTI or the local council.
Recreational divers from M.E. Dive Club witnessed the early works and arranged a group of divers to informally assess the damage the following weekend. The pylon removal works were not publicly advertised nor was the dive or tourism community consulted on the works. The Scuba Divers Federation of South Australia and the Marine Life Society of South Australia both responded to the issue by drafting letters to responsible Government bodies.
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (25 October 2007). "Edithburgh (L) (Urban Centre/Locality)". 2006 Census QuickStats. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- "Edithburgh" Country Getaways (accessed 2013-12-14)
- "Edithburgh" BenAndCamera.com
- "Diving Edithburgh Jetty" Underwater Photography Guide
- Williamson, Brett "Underwater treasures: Edithburgh jetty" 891 ABC Adelaide, January 14, 2013. Accessed 2013-12-13.
- "Edithburgh Jetty" SouthAustralia.com
- "Pylons removal next to Edithburgh jetty angers marine and dive groups on Yorke Peninsula" ABC News 2013-12-17.
- Robertson, Kim "Dive anger over jetty work" ABC News 2013-11-17.
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